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Business Communication and Report Writing (MBA)


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Business Communication (MBA)

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Business Communication and Report Writing (MBA)

  1. 1. Business Communication and Report Writing (MBA) 1. Concept of Business Communication. Communication in business requires a mix of language knowledge and communication skills. Language knowledge gives you the security that you are using the correct forms; communication skills give you the ability to build relationships and accomplish tasks. Taken together these two elements create competence in business communication. 2. Communication Delivery Communication takes place in the form of a message that is exchanged between a source and receiver. A message can be shaped using one or a combination of sensory stimuli that work together to convey meaning that meets the objectives of the sender. The sender uses a transmission medium to send the message. In marketing the medium may include the use of different media outlets (e.g., Internet, television, radio, print), promotion-only outlets (e.g., postal mail, billboards), and person-to-person contact (e.g., salespeople).Additionally, communication can be improved if there is a two-way flow of information in the form of a feedback channel. This occurs if the message receiver is able to respond, often quickly, to the message source. In this way, the original message receiver now becomes the message source and the communication process begins again. 3. Communication Participants For communication to occur there must be at least two participants:  Message Source – The source of communication is the party intending to convey information to another party. The message source can be an individual (e.g., salesperson) or an organization (e.g.,through advertising). In order to convey a message,the source must engage in message encoding, which involves mental and physical processes necessary to construct a message in order to reach a desired goal (i.e., convey meaningful information). This undertaking consists of using sensory stimuli, such as visuals (e.g.,words, symbols, images), sounds (e.g.,spoken word), and scents (e.g.,fragrance) to convey a message.  Message Receiver – The receiver of communication is the intended target of a message source’s efforts. For a message to be understood the receiver must decode the message by undertaking mental and physical processes necessary to give meaning to the message. Clearly, a message can only be decoded if the receiver is actually exposed to the message.
  2. 2. 4. Keys to Effective Communication For marketers understanding how communication works can improve the delivery of their message. From the information just discussed, marketers should focus on the following to improve communication with their targeted audience:  Carefully Encode – Marketers should make sure the message they send is crafted in a way that will be interpreted by message receivers as intended. This means having a good understanding of how their audience interprets words, symbols, sounds and other stimuli used by marketers.  AllowFeedback – Encouraging the message receiver to provide feedback can greatly improve communication and help determine if a marketer’s message was decoded and interpreted properly. Feedback can be improved by providing easy-to-use options for responding, such as phone numbers, Internet chat,and email.  Reduce Noise – In many promotional situations the marketer has little control over interference with their message. However,there are a few instances where the marketer can proactively lower the noise level. For instance, salespeople can be trained to reduce noise by employing techniques that limit customer distractions, such as scheduling meetings during non-busy times or by inviting potential customers to an environment that offers fewer distractions, such as a conference facility. Additionally, advertising can be developed in ways that separates the marketer’s ad from others, including the use of whitespace in magazine ads.  Choose Right Audience – Targeting the right message receiver will go a long way to improving a marketer’s ability to promote their products. Messages are much more likely to be received and appropriately decoded by those who have an interest in the content of the message. 5. Obstacles to Effective Communication While a message source may be able to deliver a message through a transmission medium, there are many potential obstacles to the message successfully reaching the receiver the way the sender intends. The potential obstacles that may affect good communication include:  Poor Encoding – This occurs when the message source fails to create the right sensory stimuli to meet the objectives of the message. For instance, in person-to-person communication, verbally phrasing words poorly so the intended communication is not what is actually meant, is the result of poor encoding. Poor encoding is also seen in advertisements that are difficult for the intended audience to understand, such as words or symbols that lack meaning or, worse,have totally different meaning within a certain cultural groups. This often occurs when marketers use the same advertising message across many different countries. Differences due to translation or cultural understanding can result in the message receiver having a different frame of reference for how to interpret words, symbols, sounds, etc. This may lead the message receiver to decode the meaning of the message in a different way than was intended by the message sender.
  3. 3.  Poor Decoding – This refers to a message receiver’s error in processing the message so that the meaning given to the received message is not what the source intended. This differs from poor encoding when it is clear, through comparative analysis with other receivers,that a particular receiver perceived a message differently from others and from what the message source intended. Clearly, as we noted above, if the receiver’s frame of reference is different (e.g., meaning of words are different) then decoding problems can occur. More likely, when it comes to marketing promotions, decoding errors occur due to personal or psychological factors,such as not paying attention to a full television advertisement, driving too quickly past a billboard, or allowing one’s mind to wonder while talking to a salesperson.  Medium Failure – Sometimes communication channels break down and end up sending out weak or faltering signals. Other times the wrong medium is used to communicate the message. For instance, trying to educate doctors about a new treatment for heart disease using television commercials that quickly flash highly detailed information is not going to be as effective as presenting this information in a print ad where doctors can take their time evaluating the information. Communication Noise – Noise in communication occurs when an outside force in someway affects delivery of the message. The most obvious example is when loud sounds block the receiver’s ability to hear a message. Nearly any distraction to the sender or the receiver can lead to communication noise. In advertising, many customers are overwhelmed (i.e., distracted) by the large number of advertisements they encountered each day. Such advertising clutter (i.e., noise) makes it difficult for advertisers to get their message through to desired customers 6. Components of integratedmarketing communications Diverse aspects of business and marketing together, these include:  Organizational culture The organization's vision and mission Attitudes and behaviors of employees & partners Communication within the company  Four P's Price,pricing plans, bundled offerings Product (product design, accessibility, usability) Promotion Place (point of purchase, in-store/shopper experience)  Advertising Broadcasting/mass advertising: broadcasts, print, internet advertising, radio, television commercials
  4. 4. Outdoor advertising: billboards, street furniture, stadiums, rest areas,subway advertising, taxis, transit Online advertising: mobile advertising, email ads, banner ads, search engine result pages, blogs, newsletters,online classified ads, media ads  Direct marketing: direct mail, telemarketing, catalogs, shopping channels, internet sales, emails, text messaging, websites, online display ads, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters, outdoor advertising, telemarketing, coupons, direct mail, direct selling, grassroots/community marketing, mobile  Online/internet marketing E-commerce Search engine optimization (SEO) Search engine marketing (SEM) Mobile Marketing Email marketing Content marketing Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Foursquare, Pinterest, YouTube, Wikipedia, Instagram)  Sales & customer service Sales materials (sell sheets,brochures, presentations) Installation, customer help, returns & repairs, billing  Public Relations Special events, interviews, conference speeches,industry awards,press conferences,testimonials, news releases,publicity stunts, community involvement, charity involvement & events  Promotions Contests, coupons, product samples (freebies),premiums, prizes, rebates,special events  Trade shows Booths, product demonstrations  Corporate philanthropy Donations, volunteering, charitable actions
  5. 5. When these diverse aspects of business and marketing are weaved together properly an effective campaign can be achieved. Effective campaigns are demonstrated on the Integrated Brands showcase which recognizes brands that are innovative, strategic and successfully growing their sales. By effectively leveraging each communication channel greater impact can be achieved together than achieved individually.