Today I am writing about an interesting topic communication process. Fail-proof communication process which is of utmost importance in day to day life. The communication process is key towards achieving our goals A lot of us sometimes do not understand the importance of the communication process and so to say we get into problems just because we communicate wrongly or our communication is not understood by others. We will just understand the basics of the communication process in the below article.
The steps to fail-proof communication process are defined as the transmission or passage of information or message from the sender through a selected channel to the receiver overcoming barriers that affect its pace. The communication process consists of certain steps where each step constitutes the essence of effective communication.
What is the main purpose communication process?
Communication serves five major purposes: to inform, to express feelings, to imagine, to influence, and to meet social expectations. Each of these purposes is reflected in a form of communication. While we have several purposes for communication, the most important aspect being is How effectively we communicate?
Is communication a cycle & How it is related to the communication process?
Communication is also considered as a cycle because one person will act a the sender of information, idea, or thought to the listener and by that an interaction is possible. There could be a cycle in their communication, like asking and answering, and it makes the communication process.
Elements of the communication process
What are the elements of the communication process?
The main components of the communication process are as follows:
Every communication process has a context. Context means the background or pretext under which the sender and receiver want to communicate.
Sender / Encoder is a person who sends the message. A sender uses words or graphic or visual aids to convey the message and produce the required response.
The sender chooses an appropriate medium for transmitting the message The choice of appropriate medium of communication is essential for making the message effective
Receiver / Decoder
he or she is a person for whom the message is intended/aimed/targeted
Feedback is important as It helps the sender in confirming the correct interpretation of the message by the receiver Feedback may be verbal or nonverbal. It may take written form also in form of memos, reports, etc.
The above elements of the communication process set the framework for effective communication.
Steps in the communication process
To communicate effectively, we need to follow the seven-step approach, which is the basic framework of an effective communication process, which is as follows. Before we dive into the seven-step approach, let us understand briefly the components of this approach. It is also called the communication process model, in other words, and it has seven components., namely the source, the encoding, the message, the channel, the decoding, receiver, and the feedback.
Sender Prepares an idea to be shared or sent
Sender encodes the Information or message
The sender selects the channel of communication
The message is sent over the channel of communication.
The message is received by the receiver.
The receiver decodes the message.
The receiver provides feedback if required.
1. Sender Prepares an idea to be shared or sent
The beginning of the communication process starts with the sender preparing or formulating an idea that they plan to send to another person or group of people. The overall subject matter is planned or information they want to transmit, planned at the beginning stage by the sender.
2. Sender encodes the Information or message
After formulating an idea, the sender translates it into a form that can be transmitted. This means they transform the thoughts of the information they want to send into a certain format. For example, if you are writing a letter, you’ll translate your idea into words. The message can also be nonverbal, oral, or symbolic.
3. Sender selects the channel of communication
Selecting the most suitable medium for the message is involved in this step. Some communication mediums include oral or speaking writing, email, or nonverbal communication. We need to select the appropriate medium of communication-based on formal or informal communication. For example, if you’re communicating at work, make sure to select the proper and most professional channel of communication.
4. The message is sent over the channel of communication
Once the medium of communication is selected then the message or information is transmitted. The right process of this will depend on the selected medium. It is important, that In order for the message to be properly sent, the sender should have selected the appropriate medium.
5. Message is received by the receiver.
This is the final stage, wherein the receiver receives the message. This step in the communication process is done by hearing the message, seeing it, reading it, or another form of reception.
6. Receiver decodes the message.
The receiver then decodes the sender’s message. In other words, they interpret it and convert it into a thought. After they’ve done this, they analyze the message and attempt to understand it. The communication process is performed effectively when the sender and receiver have the same meaning for the transmitted message.
7.Receiver provides feedback if required.
Finally, this being two-way communication, the receiver will provide feedback in the form of a reply to the original sender of the message. Feedback provides the recipient with the ability to ensure the sender that their message was properly received and interpreted. Between two people, this is two-way communication.
These steps in the fail-proof communication process, if followed correctly will ensure clear communication.
Marketing communication process
Here it is also a matter of great interest to understand companies that are involved in
marketing use the process called Integrated marketing communication process, which replaces the old four P model of marketing.IMC is a replacement for outdated marketing models and funnels. The traditional four P model does not involve customers, which is an important part of marketing communication.
The integrated marketing communication process
Today the integrated communication process model is used in companies, to achieve their Marketing goals in relevance to their customers. Integrated marketing communications is a process through which organizations augments their
returns by deploying a customer-centric approach wherein they align their marketing and communication objectives with their annual goals.
They keep changing this every year with a strong orientation towards customers as well as towards company goals. This is a good model of communication process where the customer becomes an important element in the marketing journey of the company. It becomes a success unlike the 4 p Model because it is blended with the customer and it follows the integrated marketing communication approach.
The Integrated marketing communication process also called IMC in short has important aspects
Important considerations in IMC
- IMC is a continuous process and, it is not a one-time fixed task. The company should be clear with the overall marketing strategy and keep measuring the marketing effectiveness, measure data and align with the company goals. we need to revisit the IMC bullet points in periodic intervals and align the same with the objectives of the company. Hence it is a continuous process. The start of implementation may be difficult, but once IMC is kick-started, it is an interesting process, How well you align your quarterly and Annual objectives and accordingly revisit your communication
- To accelerate return on the marketing cost and to keep the marketing objectives aligned with the overall vision of the company is important.
- IMC is customer-centric and every communication should understand the customer perspective. It is not important that a communication or a message is good, it is important that the message or communication is well received and accepted by the customer and it improves the customer engagement with the brand, product as well with the overall company vision. Marketing efforts or communication which do not respect the customer viewpoints are no longer form part of IMC.
- IMC does do not operate alone and it is always blended with the objectives and goals of the company. The IMC is a part and parcel of the goals document of the company and it needs to be aligned with the same.
Discover your customer from the customer Buying process and behavior data
For any product, there will be target customers or what we call regular customers. The first step is to identify, who are your target group what we call TG.
This is a perfect understanding before we begin the Integrated marketing communication approach in any organization.
there will be behavioral data available and try to get the same before you start the IMC journey
Behavioral data: like what customers do, how they act, and their movements, response, and history of buying behaviors, etc
Demographic data: like their age, sex, marital status, family details, occupation, living location, earning potential or salary details, etc
Integrated marketing communication is always about discovering these customers , and understanding their behavior from their data, and classifying the data based on logic by applying other filters or segmentation and arriving at understandable information.
This will lead to meaningful communication to be designed to approach them. When we follow this process it becomes customer-centric. Also, we will able to offer what the customer wants and products and services can be aligned or tweaked based on this behavioral and other classified data analyzed by us.
We will be able to almost align our products and services as per the needs of the customer as well as communicate with them accordingly. when we communicate after this, customers will be aligned with our thoughts
2. Understand the financial value of customers before we spend in marketing and in marketing communication.
Gone are the days, where we consider marketing as an expense. As per IMC marketing expenses are considered as a separate resource or Investment wherein we need to look at the return on investment or in other words the return of income from the products and services being sold to the customers.
To understand this, we need to understand, what we can get back from the customers when we promote and sell our products. The financial value of the customer is very important. like
- Can the customer pay for the product or services which we propose to market or sell?
- Does the customer consider our product or services as value for money?
- Does the customer is ready to pay for the Brand?
3. Prepare the marketing communication in alignment with the financial capability of the customers
The marketing objectives need to be aligned with the customer’s financial capabilities so that it is always a ratio of the same so that we don’t underspend or over spend. Once this is arrived at, we are ready to prepare our marketing communication strategy based on this alignment. This becomes a foolproof IMC document.
the old and traditional methods do not take this into consideration, wherein the marketing communication materials are prepared without understanding the customer objectives and may fail or result in a lesser return on marketing cost which is invested by the company. wherein the integrated marketing approach is customer-centric, wherein it starts with what our customer is looking for, and understand the needs of the customer and accordingly the marketing budget is spent.
Here there are few important aspects that we can consider as most important when customers connect with us in a holistic way.
- Why your customers want to buy your product, and where exactly they want to connect with your Brand?
- What are the top aspects of customer behavior which you have considered as important data, in the context of buying your product or service?
- What is the maximum perceivable price which the customer is willing to pay for your product or service whereby you can maximize your returns against marketing spent?
- Is the customer is happy or delighted after buying your product or services and will heor she will go for a repeat purchase considering the value for money or brand offer.?
4. The return on marketing investments done
This is an important step wherein we look at the percentage of return from the marketing investment. Normally the spend vs return is a ratio, which needs to be measured in the IMC concept.
The following will be the outcome we will be looking at in this process
- Return on investment as a percentage increase or decrease?
- The number of new customers who are added in every stage adds value to the IMC strategy.
- The number of customers who are loyal and existing and we are able to retain them as our happy and loyal customers.
- We are able to convince Management on the marketing spend for additional budgets in future justifying the return on investment
The return on investment on the overall invested marketing budget needs to be monitored. In IMC this is a critical ratio, unlike the Traditional marketing approach. If the return on investment compared to the overall marketing investment is decreasing, it clearly indicates that we have not been able the acquire customers at optimum cost and it shows the customer-centric approach is wrong. It can mean two things
- The behavior data of the customer is not analyzed properly
- the marketing spend is not proportionate with the customer thoughts or simply not in alignment
This becomes a challenge to get further allocation for progressive marketing spend and also becomes difficult to convince the Management.
5. Get insights and feedback, improve and repeat
Once we understand step 4, then we need to work on various numerics
- Overall marketing budget
- Incremental marketing budget
- The lifetime value of the customer
- customer retention cost
- New customer addition cost
- Quarterly budgets
- annual budgets and Annual operating plan
Once we understand these numerics, a periodical watch on these numerics will give us evaluation insight and we will be able to alter the IMC budget accordingly based on the customer behaviors, competition product, and services, and accordingly, we can keep aligning the IMC.
As discussed earlier IMC is a continuous process and involves constant monitoring, evaluation, feedback, and taking corrective action so that the goals are aligned and are always customer-centric.
What is communication leadership?
Finally, communication leadership is achieved, when we follow all these models. In simple words, communication leadership is defined as an initiator who could start the conversation or discussion.
Any company that deploys the integrated communication process and speaks to the customer first and listens to their needs, and follows the same in their product design achieves success. Companies become successful when they know How to communicate with their customer and keep them as their priority.
You will also like another blog in the same context, interesting to read, which talks about Business communication concepts. If you have not read this article, kindly go thru the same.
Hope you enjoyed reading this simple blog on communication & Thank you for reading.
Do leave your insights on the same