Have you ever had the right message but because of the channel you selected to use to pass the message, it did not get to the intended audience? There have been instances where written communication has failed because Choosing the appropriate communication channel for your message is key to ensuring that the message gets delivered appropriately.
In the past and even in some instances today, megaphones, town hall meetings and face to face communication have been used as the best approach to getting the message to your audience without the information getting lost in translation. Businesses can use face to face and general staff meetings to communicate to their internal stakeholders however it is still much needed that the right communication channel is selected
As Communication professionals, most of our strategies on execution of Communication Campaigns are majorly driven by the communication channels we advise our clients to use.
Most instances the choice of the channel to use is driven by three key areas- message, audience and budget. There are also certain questions relating to the 3 areas that we would more often research on so as to better advise the client.
- Which communication channels are you currently using?
- Which of these channels work well for your organization in terms of results delivery?
- Which channels have proven to be disappointing?
- Which communication channels have you avoided but are inclined to use in the future?
- Which channels do your customers use and prefer?
- Will this particular message conform well to the selected channels?
- What is your budget?
Many organizations and individuals are often afraid of making a mistake or of choosing a channel that doesn’t produce results. Making adjustments every now and then is a very normal part of the process. In fact as part of the process, tracking and monitoring the channels currently in use vis a vis results gained can influence decisions on which channel to stick to or to use more depending on the message and target audience.
Experimenting with a new channel can also be an option. However there has to be a careful assessment of the channel before committing to using it regularly.
Always try to resist the temptation of erratic moves of changing the message and channel too often as it may run the risk of poorly reflecting on the company.
The truth is as much as any organization would like, it is not possible to spread your message everywhere. You have to make very clear strategic choices based on the communication goals, audience and budget on which promotional mix to use.
The promotional mix by definition are the various forms of communication used by companies to present a brand, product or service to targeted consumers. The standard promotional mix includes advertising, public relations, sales promotion and direct marketing. Each business must consider the right promotional mix to reach its consumers.
The following areas are therefore important when selecting the proper communication channel and mix:
Know the Market
To reach your target market with the right promotional mix, you must first know who and where they are. With niche products, the process is a bit more different. You might need to consider whether your likely consumers are easily distinguished by any demographic similarities such as age, gender, income or how they intend to use the product. Once you understand your consumers, it is easier to focus and choose how to reach them.
Research available options
The best way to get your messages to the intended audience is to know what they watch, read or listen to. Newspaper readership though having declined in lieu of more online access in recent times, we still have a very wide range of people who would not start their day without physically reading the newspaper. Similarly a lot of people would make buying decisions based on referrals from others or also having seen an advert in their favorite magazine. Personal selling in store or door to door is useful in more directly communicating benefits of products in a way that passive advertising messages cannot.
Consider Your Budget
The amount of money allocated to a promotional mix greatly influences what you can do. Not all campaigns would have the same communication budget. There can be a focus on one form of communication or implore a blend in advertising channels.
The bottom line however remains that the way an organization used their promotional mix should correlate with their communication goals and strategies. Advertising is typically intended to help develop a positive brand image that supports your objective of being the product or service of choice.
Emma Wenani is Chief Director at Global Media Alliance.
LinkedIn: Emma Wenani
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