Episode 20- Conversational Data – Frances Ralston-Good – CEO – Hearts & Science


Don’t lie, if you don’t lie, you don’t have to remember anything and that is why we have a top tip coming up about telling the truth and staying relevant. A finally the day has come where we start to look at a new assignment, the CIM Level 4 December 18 Integrated Communications module starting with a summary of the assignment.

But first, lets say hello to our guest, CEO of Hearts and Science, Frances Ralston-Good. Helping clients find better ways to serve their customers and grow a business has been part of Frances DNA for over 20 years. As CEO, Frances leads Hearts and Science as the data-driven company uses a whole host of algorithms and software to understand what the behavior of people and we are talking a lot more than just your average Excel spreadsheet.

– All strategies should be built on data. As Frances has discovered and we all know it deep down. What people say they do and what they actually do are two completely different things and it is only by looking at various data streams, be it qualitative or quantitative that we can truly understand what is going on and plan accordingly.

– The role that brands play in ‘conversations’ is vitally important, but also fraught with danger if these conversations are in real-time, which is why it is so important for all stakeholders to understand the ‘voice’ of the brand as this has become as important as a brands logo and culture.

– Negative reach, I’d never heard that term before but it makes perfect sense. The impact on the perception of what a brands ethos is can be dramatically changed if associated or seen in the wrong context. And negative doesn’t have to be the bad or vulgar, it could be as simple as dull or boring to still have a detrimental effect on a brands reputation and credibility.

– And finally, why do people choose a product, service or stick with a particular brand. Sometimes what consumers say, isn’t quite what they do and I loved the Credit Card example of tracing a consumers mind set – starting with a flick through a Next catalogue and ending with considering breast enhancements! I’m not sure if they are on next day delivery or not!

Top Tip – Make it Relevant
I love Ed Sheeran…. See, it’s easy to make something up and no one will know if it is true or not except the person that has said it….and just for the record, I don’t!

This top tip is about making your answer relevant to the organisation you are writing about. Let me explain what I mean. Say for example your assignment is based around an SME, turnover 1 million, marketing budget £10,000, with a team of 2. When comes to applying the practicalities of marketing comms channels, measuring metrics, budgeting, time and resources, make sure they are relevant to the situation – It will do you no favours to state that you are going to complete through all social channels, trade shows and an aggressive PR campaign if;

1 – The budget doesn’t allow for this
2 – The orgainsation doesn’t have the resource
3 – Most importantly, you are just throwing everything at an answer hoping something will stick – shit sticks – shitty marketing plans don’t!

And this is fundamentally where at lot of people go wrong. Be specific and targeted in your approach. If you are ever unsure, think back to your objectives and work out how best to achieve then under any constraints you may have – be it budget, time or resources.

CIM Level 4 December 18 Integrated Communications – Summary
So what is this one all about? Well, firstly it’s important to know what we mean by Integrated Communications and this is as simple as I can put it:

Integrating or linking all the tools we utilise in our Marketing Mix, so that they work in unison. i.e. You could pick two methods of communication and although the style, format and even copy maybe different depending on your comms channel, the underlying themes or messages are the same.

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t that simple, but hopefully you get the meaning by now.

Onto the assignment. You find yourself in the role of Marketing Executive and have been tasked with looking at Integrated Communications in order to target a new customer segment with existing products or services.

And now the good bits – the tasks.

Once you have provided an organizational summary, using the guidelines provided (if you are unsure about this task – checkout episode 2, where we look at how two write an organizational summary in a little bit more detail), you need to justify a new target segment. Things to consider here would be; has there been a chance in behavior, cultural shift perhaps, heightened expectations maybe or new competition or perhaps legislation that has changed the way you operate. It can be a multitude of factors, but the justifications must be specific to your organisation.

The final part of task 1 is specific to internal communications. Consider how information currently flows around your organisation. Is there an intranet? A company forum perhaps? Also how the organisation is structured and set up to disseminate internal information – all under one roof, nationwide, worldwide. But how effective is this communication style? Has it been used to good effect before? What do other successful companies do in these situations? Hmmmm

Task 2 gives us a mixture of branding, communications and working with agencies. Question (a) requires you to explain the benefits of a brand, such as recognition, recollection, awareness, quality, cultural fit, price points and so on, but it must be linked to targeting a new customer segment.

This is similar to what question (b) is asking for, only you will have to be more descriptive about building credibility, by way of the messages given and the channels used to communicate these messages – make sure they are inline with your brand.

Working with agencies will have benefits and challenges, which must be discussed in 2 (c). Giving context to the type of agency you are talking about will help define your answer (it could be more than one but make sure your message is not lost and to light).

The final task is your chance to bring it on home with an Integrated Communications Plan (its worth a whopping 30 marks)! Similar points are required to be covered for these types of questions in most of the assignments and it is no different here. Take a look at the guidance notes for this question, there is a lot of information that will help you structure your answer – and the structure will be very important.

Now you can’t manage what you can’t measure, so for the final question you will need to evaluate appropriate measuring tools to monitor the campaign you have produced – these methods must be able to provide credible analysis that can highlight if the plan is falling behind or on target to reach your objectives.

Happy Marketing Everyone!



Music Featured on this Podcast:
Sleepy in the Garden
Lobo Loco www.musikbrause.de
Creative Commons License

Hearts & Science: https://www.hearts-science.com

02037 556 675

Truth, Lies and Advertising (Jon Steel): https://amzn.to/2JavYoO

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