Overview of a Business Memo

Skills on how to write a memo are a key requisite in the business world. As well, in business school, you are more than likely to come across a business memo writing assignment.

Just like a business essay or a business research paper, it is important to understand what the memo entails.

Typically, memos are:

“Short documents used to disseminate information within an organization.”


When it comes to how to write a business memo, you need to differentiate between memos and business letters.

Principally, while both are used for communication purposes, memos target the internal stakeholders (employees); business letters on the other hand target external stakeholders.

For this reason, memos are usually less formal.


Features of a Business Memo

There are certain features that must be considered should you have to write a business memo. These features are as elaborated below.


1. Should be precise

Business memos should be brief and direct. As illustrated in standard memo examples to employees, you should be straightforward in your writing.

Usually, business memos should not be more than one page in length. It should be single spaced to make it appear as short as possible.


2. Clear purpose

Before you write a business memo, you must clearly identify what you seek to achieve in the intended communication.

It is critical to ascertain the topic you want to address. In this, as is apparent in any good office memo sample, you should not include competing topics.

You must address one topic, issue, or objective in the memo.


3. Specific target audience

Your communication should be tailored to a specific target audience. Accordingly, memo examples to employees should identify the category or team of employees being addressed.

The memo should be designed with three categories of audience in mind;

1. Those who thoroughly read the whole memo for all the entailed details,

2. Those who skim through the memo to find intricate points and personally relevant details, and

3. Those who only read the executive summary.

Note that you must correctly identify the target audience in order to effectively determine the purpose of the memo.


Tips on How to Write a Business Memo

Some tips will come in handy in your business memo writing assignment. These tips are as discussed below.


1. Start with the main point

As is evident in any good office memo sample, this is a very important guideline. You ensure that the most pertinent content appear first.

Such an approach makes sure that the audience can quickly understand the memo’s contents and its importance without having to rely on extensive details.

Ideally, you should present the point as a complete item and then follow it with details. The audience should as such be able to understand the memo’s objectives right away.


2. Use a professional style

Professionalism is critical when it comes to how to write a business memo. In this, it is important to maintain a professional tone throughout the memo.

Although memos are less formal, you should ensure that you remain professional, cordial, and focused. Jargon and inappropriate language should be avoided.

Also, you should retain a neutral or a positive tone.

It is important to ensure that your sentences are short and as well use active tense.


3. Come up with a specific subject line

The subject line can be used to assess your skills on how to write a memo.

Per se, your subject line should enable the reader to immediately understand the purpose of the memo or the subject being addressed.

This makes it important to ensure that you are as specific as possible in your subject line.

Where necessary, you can use colons to combine to short phrases to make the subject line specific, e.g.

Marketing Approach Changes: Use of Online Platforms.


4. Develop a summary

As illustrated in any effective office memo sample, it is critical to create a summary of the key points particularly for memos longer than a page.

It entails creating the executive summary as the memo’s first paragraph. The summary’s purpose is to:

1. Highlight the key appeal, conclusion, or recommendation,

2. Condense and screen key facts, opinions, and evidence,

3. Provide an overview of the organization and sequence of information in the memo, and

4. Highlight the memo’s purpose and contents.


5. Adopt an appropriate format

Your business memo writing assignment will require a demonstration of proper formatting skills. Just like in the case of a business case study format, a memo should adhere to a certain format.

In this, some of the key formatting features to include are headings. The headings should be used to give the memo a good outline.

When it comes to how to write a business memo, headings are the signposts that direct the reader on the major points and areas covered.

The reader should therefore be able to easily find the major areas or key points in the memo by just using the headings. As such, the headings should accurately reflect the content in the specific areas.

Besides the headings, you should consider indentation for lists, bullet points and numbers, text blocks, and short paragraphs as key format features in memos.


Sample Memo

One of the basic considerations when it comes to how to write a memo is structure. Such a structure is realized through its format.

Some key format elements that you should reflect on when developing the structure include facts like:

1. It is not necessary to include opening salutations,

2. Addresses are not required,

3. You should include the title “Memo” at the top, and

4. You should include a subject line with a specific topic.


The above elements considered, below entails one of the ideal memo examples to employees.


TO: Guido Josephs, Marketing Manager

FROM: Williams Charles, Senior Market Analyst

DATE: May 16, 2020

SUBJECT: Summer Shoes Line Promotion


Recent research and analysis of the market indicate that there is need to narrow down on and alter the advertising approaches adopted for the new summer shoes line.

The research results acquired through online surveys and focus groups reveal that it is necessary to review our marketing approaches in order to ensure that they reflect the current trends and preferences of young buyers.

Television is no longer the key source of information for the youths. As well, the internet has emerged as a key communication channel that is effective in reaching the youths who are our target clientele.


Online Marketing

Exquisite Shoes Company should prioritize online platforms that are more associated with the youths as marketing channels. This is derived from the research study that indicates that 92% of our target customers spend above 10 hours online each week.

The list below indicates the popularity order of online platforms our target clientele spend their time on.

1. YouTube

2. Instagram

3. Snap chat

4. Facebook

5. Twitter

6. Tumblr

7. Reddit


Utilizing the above online platforms in our marketing instead of the conventional television and magazines will reach more of our clients and consequently enhance sales.

The youth nowadays are spending most of their time on these online platforms seeking entertainment, communicating with their peers, and following their celebrity role models.

They no longer invest their time on watching television reality shows and reading magazines.

It is important for the company to align its marketing efforts towards the digital cultural changes in our society.


Television Advertising

Traditionally, to reach our audience, we have been advertising our shoe products on reality TV shows like American IdolThe HillsThe VoiceAmerica Got Talent, and The Amazing Race.

The nature of television has changed over time though. Television series have become the main entertainment programs for the youth.

Research results from focus groups indicate that our target clientele prefers watching TV series such as American Horror StoryAmerican GodsAltered Carbon, and Ghosted.

The only reality TV show that appears to have remained relevant to our target clientele for both genders between 18-25 years is The Voice.

For this reason, at Exquisite Shoe Line Company, our marketing budget should prioritize TV series, and consequently reduce funding on reality shows.

Aligning the focus of our marketing efforts to suit the new shoe line will be important in enhancing its exposure to our target clientele and as a result improve on our sales.

Such realignment of focus would require tapping into the evolving youth online behaviour as an effective marketing platform with the aim of augmenting our market share.


Attachments: Survey Results, February – May 2020; Focus Group Findings, January- March 2020.

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