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What’s it: Advertising is a form of paid non-personal communication transmitted through various media. Its purpose is to inform, educate, or persuade the audience to take any action in relation to the product, idea, or service being offered.
Advertisers can come from companies or non-profit organizations. Additionally, they may be industry associations, individuals, or government institutions.
Paid non-personal communication. In contrast to public relations, companies have to spend a certain amount of money advertising their products. Also, the target individual is a broad audience, not a specific individual, as in personal selling.
Transmitted over the media. This includes print media such as magazines and newspapers, non-print media such as radio and television, outdoor media such as billboards, and internet media such as websites and social media.
Be informative and persuasive. Through it, the company provides information about the product. They also seek to attract consumer emotions, drive demand, and generate purchases.
An integral element of marketing communications. Companies can combine it with various other promotional mixes such as sales promotions, personal selling, or publicity.
One way communication. Advertising messages flow from sender to recipient, but not vice versa. Companies use them to inform and persuade their audiences. However, auditors cannot respond and communicate directly with advertisements.
Subject to selective consumer processes. The effectiveness of advertising depends on how the audience processes the message. The company has no control over audience exposure or perception. Also, the audience does not have to pay attention or respond to advertisements.
Advertising has three primary goals: inform, persuade, and remind current audiences and potential customers.
Informing. Through advertising, a company creates awareness about its brand, product, or company. They announce new or existing products and tell them about prices, benefits, key features, and locations where customers can buy.
Reminding. The company reminds the audience about product availability. Consumers can still buy it, and it may be available at retail stores in their neighborhood.
Persuading. Companies try to convince customers to buy and use products. With advertising, they change perceptions, enhance product image, and influence consumers to take specific actions. Companies highlight product advantages and claim their products perform better than competitors’ products.
Meanwhile, the specific objectives of advertising can include:
- Increase sales of new products by building consumer awareness
- Encourage repeat purchases
- Tell consumers about existing products and their quality
- Shows the advantages of the company’s products compared to competitors’ products
- Strengthens the brand image by making claims about why the product is better
- Correct misleading information about the product or company
- Encourage retailers to continue placing products on their shelves
Types of advertising
We can classify advertisements in various ways. First, we can categorize them based on the target audience.
- Consumer advertising – targeting the end consumer.
- Trade advertising – targeting retailers and encourages them to store products on their retail shelves.
Second, based on the advertised material:
- Product advertising – to promote products and services to an audience.
- Institutional advertising – to promote and strengthen the image of a company or organization.
- Government advertisements – to inform the public about new government initiatives, policies, or programs.
Third, based on the media used:
Newspaper. Newspapers can reach a broad audience in a specific geographic, both national and local. Because it is printed, it can be used as a reference at a later date. However, the newspaper ad was short-lived as it was only read once.
Magazine. This media reaches a specific audience, for example, by profession or hobby. Unlike newspapers, magazines have a longer shelf life because individuals are likely to reread them later.
Outdoor advertising. Examples of outdoor advertising are posters, billboards, and the interior and exterior of public transportation. They have high visibility and are more creative in attracting public attention. People can see it several times, so it is suitable for reminding consumers.
Radio. This media facilitates and reaches certain target groups, for example, youth. Besides, people can do a lot of their work while listening to the radio. But, in the absence of visuals, it may be less attractive and effective.
Television. Television advertising allows for a higher emotional connection with viewers because sound and visual effects grab their attention. Companies can also target specific markets, for example, adults, by choosing the right broadcast time.
Online. This can be via the web, blog, or social media. Compared to other media, its reach is the most extensive, national, and global audiences. They can access it anytime and anywhere, as long as they are connected to an internet network.
Advertising development stages
The typical stages for developing an advertisement are:
Set advertising goals. This is essential for designing the right advertising message. An advertisement may aim to generate sales, promote a company’s image and reputation, or inform a new product. They all require a different message.
Decide on a budget. Companies usually consider factors such as the product life cycle stage, market share, customer base, competition, advertising frequency, and product substitutions in designing an advertising budget.
Companies can take several approaches to allocate money. Four of them are:
- An affordable method. Companies set budgets according to their internal capabilities. If they have little money, they allocate a low budget.
- Competitive parity method. The company uses competitors’ advertising budget as a benchmark. For example, a market leader may set a higher budget than the average competitor.
- The percentage of sales method. The company takes the percentage of last year’s sales realization or this year’s target sales to determine the budget.
- Objective and task method. Companies break down advertising goals into a series of specific activities and tasks. Then, the company sets the cost for each activity. Thus, the total budget is the sum of these costs.
Develop messages. Companies will usually add a creative aspect to increase the success of the message in achieving advertising goals.
Selects a media channel. The company selects the appropriate media from the various alternative media available. It may be television, radio, newspapers, magazines, posters, direct mail, billboards, websites, and social media.
Factors to consider in choosing advertising media include reach, frequency, and desired impact. Media timing is also essential for more precise exposure to the audience. Other factors are product type, cost, target audience habits, and each medium’s advantages and disadvantages.
Evaluating the effectiveness of advertising. Evaluation can take place before or after the ad is shown. One of the pre-testing is the copy test.
Meanwhile, an example of post-testing is the recall and recognition test by measuring its effect on audience awareness, knowledge, and preferences. Also, the impact on the sale of advertised products is another example of evaluation.