This article will focus on the basic principles of advertising. Advertising is crucial to every business. A successful marketing strategy includes an advertising plan that will grow the business. Advertising is a huge investment for an organization. Organizations spend billions of dollars on advertising in order to support the creation and production of its products as well as to generate income to pay its employees. The benefits of internet advertising versus traditional advertising will be explored as well as examples of companies who have launched successful advertising campaigns for their online businesses.
Advertising is crucial to every business, and a successful marketing strategy includes an advertising plan that will grow the business. Advertising is a type of promotion for a business, and the ad campaign is placed in some form of media venue. In most cases, the advertising representative may have to pay for the message to be placed. However, according to Boaze (2004), there are two types of advertising -- the ones that you pay for and the ones that are free. Both types have their place for every organization. Each company must determine when and how to use each type.
Advertising has been viewed as an effective marketing technique because one ad campaign has the potential to reach many people at once. To be effective, the advertising representative must ensure that the message is reaching the appropriate markets. Otherwise, the organization may not be using its advertising budget in the most efficient manner. The use of new advertising technologies and media outlets can assist in preventing the misuse of the budget by providing options for targeted advertising.
Two other characteristics of advertising are also changing because of new technology. In the past, advertising has been viewed two ways: as a one-way form of marketing, in which consumers cannot immediately request additional information about the ad, and as a method that does not elicit immediate demand for the product advertised. Both of these characteristics are changing, as technology has provided target consumers the opportunity to click on a web page, for example, to receive additional information about a product and be interactive with ads as they are being displayed (http://www.knowthis.com) (Dent, 2012). Consumers can now buy products at the same time they view an ad.
Importance of Advertising
Advertising is a huge investment for businesses, which spend billions of dollars on advertising to support product creation and to generate income to pay its employees. The size of a company may determine how advertising campaigns are implemented. For example, a large business may split its advertising budget by applying half of the budget toward media advertisements and the other half toward efforts conducted by an internal sales team. A small business may elect to place small ads in specific media or to promote their product through sources that offer free advertisements. Regardless of the technique, all companies must develop an advertising plan that will support the business's marketing objectives and minimize the risks of costly advertising mistakes.
Six Types of Advertising
An organization can avoid costly mistakes by developing a strategy that focuses on what the message is and what the desired result should be. To accomplish this goal, advertising representatives should determine what type of advertising is best for their organization. Egelhoff (n.d.) identified six types of advertising that an organization could use in its planning phase. The six types of advertising address the following:
- Company image: Depending on the type of company, it may be beneficial to create an ad campaign that focuses on promoting the company versus its product line. This is especially helpful for new businesses. Name recognition could be valuable in the long term.
- Name brands: Many large organizations have developed advertisement strategies that highlight specific brand names. By highlighting brand names, the company is attempting to create an image in the mind of the consumer. The goal is to help the target market identify with the product. For example, Levi-Strauss is recognized for its jeans. Procter & Gamble is known for hygiene products, especially toothpaste (for, example, Crest).
- Advertising a service instead of a product: This type of advertising may be difficult for some organizations to achieve. Services are not tangible products, so it may be hard for the consumer to grasp the intent of the message. The advertising campaign usually has to explain and demonstrate the benefits of the service. In addition, service advertising tends to appeal to the emotions of the consumer. For example, AFLAC created a successful campaign using a duck. Many consumers now associate AFLAC with the image and sound of a duck. Once consumers relate to the slogan and visual, they then associate AFLAC's message with the importance of having secondary insurance benefits.
- Business-to-business advertising: Organizations attempting to market to another business should use direct mail and advertisements in trade journals. For example, pharmaceutical representatives tend to market directly to physicians. These ad campaigns tend to focus on explaining the benefits of specific drugs to doctors so that they would recommend and encourage their patients to use them.
- Co-op advertising: This type of advertising involves manufacturers absorbing part of the cost and supplying the artwork for the ads. Although this type of advertising could be good for certain companies, such as small businesses, there could be disadvantages. For example, the organization has to follow the guidelines of the manufacturer or run the risk of having to cover all of the campaign costs.
- Public service advertising (PSA): Many companies will set aside a portion of their advertising budget to run campaigns in conjunction with the service of a nonprofit organization or public service event. For example, a business may secure ad time on a local television network for community programs.
Organizations do not have to use all of the different types of advertising. Each advertising department must first determine what they want to say (the ad campaign) and who they want to say it to (the target market). Once these questions have been defined, the advertising team can decide which types of advertising it will use to have a successful campaign. Each campaign is unique. Therefore, organizations may change types based on the campaign.
There are advantages and disadvantages in the field of advertising. Two advantages of advertising are that it is considered one of the best ways to send a message about a new or existing product or service, and that it can lower the cost of the product by increasing sales. The savings from reduced production costs may be passed on to the consumer.
Two disadvantages of advertising are that it creates a temporary need for products and services, and that the ad campaign can negatively influence the consumer. Ad campaigns that are directed toward children are examples of the first disadvantage. Advertisers create campaigns directed toward children and run them on Saturday mornings and during the holiday season in December. The ad campaigns are created to entice children to desire products and have their parents purchase them. However, children's interests can wander with each new commercial, and the desire for an item can be for a season, a day, or a minute. An example of the second disadvantage can be seen in the results of studies investigating TiVo users. "Participants in the studies stated that they skipped commercials with their TiVo recorder because once they've seen an ad, they don't want to see it again. They only want to see the ad once or twice" (Smith, 2005). This finding shows that ad campaigns are not enjoyable or desired by the consumer and can lead to negative feelings toward a product.
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