Take Every Opportunity to Review KPIs and Level-Set on Communication Goals



When was the last time you engaged with your professional PR and Communication partner to track KPIs and reset on strategy? The approach we take at Madden is to formulate and run quarterly client check ins, with half-yearly and end of year KPI checks.

This is an invaluable time to meet our client in a focused way to drill down and understand clearly how the elements of their communication programme are coming together, track shifts in activity and brand metrics, and generally review new and creative ways to tackle some of the ever-present shifting dynamics of the financial services sector.

Through periodic strategy revisions, businesses can ensure that their communication activities consistently adapt to internal operations and external macroeconomic factors, and in turn, sustain effective results.

Moreover, as technologies like artificial intelligence continue to reshape industries, it is essential to stay ahead of the curve and leverage innovative communication tools and/or platforms to stay connected with audiences in authentic and compelling ways.

Already this July Madden has had many client opportunities to level-set on our communication goals and pave the way for a second half year with greater purpose and renewed energy.

There are some critical factors clients should consider when asking – “does the current communication plan still align with the changing requirements of the business?”– Here are a few of our best tips:

Assess the Overall Brand Identity through the Lens of Communication

The relationship between communication and brand identity is symbiotic.

By establishing an authentic and memorable personality, brands can find a ‘home’ in the minds and hearts of their customers, and in turn stay better connected with the needs of the target market.

Executed well, a strategic communication strategy is key to reinforcing a brand’s personality, values, and purpose to a target audience. This includes consistent, proof-backed and thoughtful messaging, but also consistency of tone, visual recognition, and multi-channel presence.

Take, for example, one of the world’s largest investment management companies, Vanguard. Through its client-first motto, and strong and distinctive brand identity centred around shareholder interests, Vanguard has effectively established itself as a differentiated brand in the financial services sector.

With their focus on simplicity and transparency, in 2016, Vanguard was the only financial services company included in the “Top 13 Brands of the Year with the Largest Equity Increases”, a recognition bestowed by the Harris Poll, which identifies and ranks the most influential brands based on social discourse.

So, what sets Vanguard apart from its competitors?

Over the course of its brand history, Vanguard has demonstrated the power of thoughtful communication in creating a brand identity. For example, Vanguard made clear its core purpose was to provide low-cost investment opportunities to all, effectively resulting in reduced prices across the entire industry. This became widely coined as the ‘Vanguard Effect’ – a phenomenon which simultaneously positioned its core mission as a differentiator while placing spotlight on the brand. This simple, customer-centric purpose resonates with their target audience and drives all their communications.

Vanguard may be a leading authority in the financial industry, dedicated to empowering investors through knowledge and education – but what truly sets them apart is their ability to strike a balance between global reach and local relevance. Their communications approach points to an understanding of local market needs while maintaining a consistent global brand identity. This customer-centric approach has earned them the trust of investors worldwide, cementing their position as a highly influential and reliable brand within the financial services sector.

Ensuring Customised Strategies

It’s important to recognise that the art of communications is not one-size-fits-all; it is a highly tailored discipline. It requires a thoughtful and deliberate approach that considers the needs of the business, its audiences, and the media.

In this sense, an effective communications strategy should be tailored and adaptable to the organisation’s needs – which may continue to evolve over time. Whether it’s reaching target audiences with relatable messages, building credibility, or reinforcing offerings, any successful communication strategy is as unique as the company that uses it.

This same idea applies to key performance indicators (KPIs): the measure of communication success should look different depending on the organisation. When evaluating results, we encourage clients to consider individualised objectives – whether that be re-branding, reputation recovery, or education – rather than fixating strictly on a numerical goal. One piece of coverage that speaks strongly to the brand is worth more than ten pieces of coverage that don’t align with business objectives.

Just as a roadmap helps guide travellers on their journey, communications strategies provide a clear direction for companies to tell their stories – but only if they are continually fine-tuned. The start of a new fiscal year marks an opportune time to sharpen plans and polish strategies for continued success.

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