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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Uncle Sam's finger in the payment pie: A legislative update

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group


Industry Update

Interchange mandates might help, but not everyone

Holidays a boon for data thieves, too

ETAU now in session

An AmEx Revolution


GS Advisory Board:
The best moves of 2009 - Part I

Research Rundown

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Origins of the gift card mall

Walter Paulsen
Payments Industry Consultant


Principles for success in 2010

Biff Matthews
CardWare International

Automate or flounder

Scott Henry


Street SmartsSM:
To train or not to train

Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang

Digging into PCI - Parts 5 and 6:
Maintain a vulnerability management program

Tim Cranny
Panoptic Security Inc.

The annual marketing and communications plan

Peggy Bekavac Olson
Strategic Marketing

PIN entry devices: Plan now for July 2010

Joan Herbig

Creating positive consequences:
Three tips

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Company Profile

Performance Training Systems Bankcard Boot Camp

New Products

Digitizing Cash


Name recognition for ISOs

CarpéCharge terminal branding


Work that family mojo


10 Years ago in
The Green Sheet


Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 14, 2009  •  Issue 09:12:01

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The annual marketing and communications plan

By Peggy Bekavac Olson

Year-end is a great time to reflect on what's happened over the course of the current year and to prepare for the coming year. Many companies use this time to develop business plans, sales strategies and budgets; however, they often overlook creating a comprehensive, integrated marketing and communications plan to support their goals.

An integrated marketing and communications plan documents in detail the actions required to support reaching specific business goals and sales objectives. It identifies what to do, when to do it and how to do it, with all marketing tactics working together in a consistent, repetitive approach to reflect the same messages and visual clues.

This makes your company and messages more likely to be understood and remembered in a crowded, noisy marketplace.

An integrated approach

For ISOs, an annual integrated marketing and communications plan should address a number of areas, including how to support your sales team to achieve revenue targets, new merchant solutions and services you will introduce during the course of the year, steps or campaigns to improve merchant acquisition and decrease merchant attrition, and actions that increase brand recognition and thought leadership.

Start with you business plan, and make sure you are clear on the overall goals and objectives for the coming year. Then review and assess the current year from a marketing and communications standpoint to document what activities, programs and materials you have in place and to identify what's working, what's not and any gaps.

Next, develop your marketing and communications plan by generating a comprehensive list of potential tactics to use in supporting your business today and throughout the coming year. You'll want to address a variety of topics as well as begin the process of estimating resource requirements, both in-house and agency, in addition to associated budget expenditures for each market vertical, segment and channel you do, or want to do, business in.

An essential checklist

Primary areas to consider and questions to ask include:

A valuable process

This is a brainstorming process; your company doesn't need to undertake all of these tactics to be successful. Use this as a checklist or guide to develop a plan that is aligned with your strategic goals.

The next step is to prioritize the tactics of your integrated marketing and communication plan with the goal of matching them to your personnel resources and annual budget. This process will determine the most effective means of distributing your message to support your identified goals.

Also, define reasonable metrics that measure return on investment for key tactics. Once your plan is finalized, a marketing calendar should be created; then the real work of tactical execution can begin.

This process is probably far more complicated and labor intensive than what you may have initially thought, but there's no better time than right now to get started. It's a critical step toward achieving your 2010 goals and taking your company to the next level.

Peggy Bekavac Olson recently founded Strategic Marketing, a full-service marketing and communications firm specializing in financial services and electronic payments companies, after serving as vice president of marketing and communications for TSYS Acquiring Solutions for more than five years. She can be reached at 480.706.0816 or Information about Strategic Marketing can be found at

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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