Following are the various steps in the communication process are:
Identifying the Target Audience: The term target audience refers to people for whom the promotional message is meant, and includes both present and potential customers. Therefore, to reach such people with meaningful message, the marketer must identify the target receivers and their characteristics (like age, sex, income, education occupation, life style, etc.), attitudes, values, past experience, buying habits and buying decision process. By understanding the profile of target customers, it becomes easier for the sender to match the message to his target audience.
Determining the Response Sought: After having identified the target audience, the sender decides on what response he is expecting from the receiver. For example, the sender might want the receiver to search for more information a product or service, or he might want the receiver to see the product physically and buy it. The ultimate response, however, is purchase. As you know, the decision-making process of the consumer, leading to a purchase, is itself long and complex. Therefore, the sender must know how to move the target audience from its present state to a state which is closer to the actual purchase of a product or service.
Choosing the Message: After deciding about the type of response expected from the receiver, the next step is to develop an effective message. The message should be able to gain the receiver’s attention (i.e., the pictures or words used in the message should have impact), arouse interest in the proportion (i.e., the message should provide information or interest to the receiver), produce a desire for the product or service (i.e., make the receiver want the product or service), and finally elicit action of some kind such as actual purchase. The important decision areas relating to message design are:
- Message content (what is to be said),
- Message format (how it is to be said),
- Message source (who should say it).
Selecting source Attributes: After selecting the effective message, you have to decide how to present it to the receiver. One has to decide whether it is to be presented by the sales persons or presented through mass media like newspaper, magazine, TV, radio, etc., here you have to identify a medium or media which can reach your target receivers. Here, you also must decide how frequently you communicate. For instance, you may decide to use newspaper and print everyday for one week. In some media, you have to decide during which time in a day you communicate.
Collecting Feedback: It refers to the receiver’s reaction to the message being communicated back to source. We have already discussed this in great detail while discussing about feedback in this unit. Based on the feedback, you can improve your strategy.