Advertising is any form of non- personal communication through the mass media that is paid for by an identified sponsor. It is a kind of media used to inform people about an idea, product, or service.
Advertising can also be defined as “any form of paid non-personal presentation of ideas, goods or services for the purpose of inducing people to buy.”
Advertising messages are usually paid for by sponsors and viewed via various traditional media; including mass media such as newspaper, magazines, television, radio advertisement, outdoor advertising or direct mail; or new media such as blogs, websites or text messages.
The message which is presented or disseminated is called advertisement. In the present day marketing activities hardly is there any business in the modern world which does not advertise. Advertising has become an essential element of the corporate world and hence companies allot a considerable amount of resources towards their advertising budget.
The main features of advertisement include the following:
- It is directed towards increasing the sales of business.
- Advertising is a paid form of publicity.
- It is non-personal. They are directed at a mass audience and nor at the individual as in the case of personal selling.
- Advertisement are identifiable with their sponsor or originator which is not always the case with publicity or propaganda.
OBJECTIVES / FUNCTIONS OF ADVERTISING
The purpose of advertising is nothing but to sell something – a product, a service or an idea. The real objective of advertising is effective communication between producers and consumers. The following are the main objectives of advertising:
- Preparing Ground for New Product: New product needs introduction because potential customers have never used such product before and the advertisement prepare a ground for that new product.
- Creation of Demand: The main objective of the advertisement is to create a favourable climate for maintaining and improving sales. Customers are to be reminded about the product and the brand. It may induce new customers to buy the product by informing them about its qualities, since it is possible that some of the customers may change their brands.
- Facing the Competition: Another important objective of the advertisement is to face the competition. Under competitive conditions, advertisement helps to build up brand image and brand loyalty and when customers have developed brand loyalty, it becomes difficult for the middlemen to change it.
- Creating or Enhancing Goodwill: Large scale advertising is often undertaken with the objective of creating or enhancing the goodwill of the advertising company. This, in turn, increases the market receptiveness of the company’s product and helps the salesmen to win customers easily.
- Informing the Changes to the Customers: Whenever changes are made in the prices, channels of distribution or in the product by way of any improvement in quality, size, weight, brand, packaging, etc, they must be passed to the public by the producer through advertisement.
- Neutralizing Competitor’s Advertising: Advertising is unavoidable to compete with or neutralize competitor’s advertising. When competitors are adopting intensive advertising as their promotional strategy, it is reasonable to follow similar practices to neutralize their effects. In such cases, it is essential for the manufacturer to create a different image for his product.
- Barring New Entrants: From the advertiser’s point of view, a strongly built image through long advertising helps to keep new entrants away. The advertisement builds up a certain monopoly for the product in which new entrants find it difficult to enter.
- In short, advertising aim at benefiting the producer, educating the consumer and supplementing the salesmen. Above all it is a link between the producer and the consumer.
BENEFITS OR IMPORTANCE OF ADVERTISEMENT
Advertising broadens the knowledge of the consumers. With the aid of advertising, consumers find and buy necessary products without much waste of time. This speeds up the sales of commodities, increases the efficiency of labour in distribution, and diminishes the costs of selling. It is an accepted fact that without market stimulus of heavy advertising, consumers might have waited another sixty years for the product evaluation that took place in less than ten years. It took over sixty years from the invention of the safety razor before the first acceptable stainless steel blades appeared in the market. These words are more than enough to testify the potentialities of advertising in the field of modern marketing system. The main benefits of advertising are as follows:
Benefits to Manufacturers
- It increases sales volume by creating attraction towards the product.
- It helps easy introduction of new products into the markets by the same manufacturer.
- It helps to create an image and reputation not only of the products but also of the producer or advertiser. In this way, it creates goodwill for the manufacturer.
- Retail price, maintenance is also possible by advertising where price appeal is the promotional strategy.
- It helps to establish a direct contact between manufacturers and consumers.
- It helps to smoothen the demand for the product. It saves the product from seasonal fluctuations by discovering new and new usage of the product.
- It creates a highly responsive market and thereby quickens the turnover that results in lower invent ory.
- Selling cost per unit is reduced because of increased sale volume. Consequently, product overheads are also reduced due to mass production and sale.
- Advertising gives the employees a feeling of pride in their jobs and to be in the service of such a concern organization. It, thus inspires the executives and worker to improve their efficiency.
- Advertising is necessary to meet up with the competition in the market and to survive it.
Benefits to Wholesalers and Retailers
- Easy sale of the products is possible since consumers are aware of the product and its quality.
- It increases the rate of the turn-over of the stock because demand is already created by advertisement.
- It supplements the selling activities.
- The reputation created is shared by the wholesalers and retailers alike because they do not need to spend anything since advertisement has already advertised the product.
- It ensures more economical selling because selling overheads are reduced.
- It enables them to have product information.
Benefits to Consumers
- Advertising stresses quality and very often prices. This forms an indirect guarantee to the consumers of the quality and price. Further large scale production assumed by advertising enables the seller to sell the product at a lower cost.
- Advertising helps in eliminating the middlemen by establishing direct contacts between producers and consumers. It results in cheaper goods.
- It helps them to know where and when the products are available. This reduces the time they spent in shopping.
- It provides an opportunity for the customers to compare the merits and demerits of various substitute.
- This is perhaps the only medium through which consumers could know the varied and new uses of the product.
- Modern advertisements are highly informative.
Benefits to Salesmen
Salesmanship is incomplete without advertising. Advertising serves as the forerunner of a salesman in the distribution of goods. Advertisement is beneficial to salesmen in the following ways:
- Introducing the product becomes quite easy and convenient because manufacturer has already advertised the goods, informing the consumers about the product and it’s quality.
- Advertising prepares necessary ground for a salesman to begin his work effectively. Hence sales efforts are enhanced.
- The contact established with the customer by a salesman is made permanent through effective advertising, because a customer is assured of the quality and price of the product.
- The salesman can weigh the effectiveness of advertising when he makes direct contact with the consumers.
Benefits to Community or Society
- Advertising, in general, is educative in nature. In the words of the late President Roosevelt of the U.S.A ., “Advertising brings to the greatest number of people actual knowledge concerning useful things. It is essentially a form of education and the progress of civilization depends on education.”
- Advertising leads to a large-scale production, thereby creating more employment opportunities for the public in various jobs directly or indirectly.
- It initiates a process of creating more wants and their satisfaction higher standard of living. For example, advertising has made more popular and universal the uses of such inventions as the automobiles, radios, and various household appliances.
- Newspapers would not have become so popular and so cheap if there had been no advertisements. The cheap production of newspaper is possible only through the publication of advertisements in them. It sustains the press.
- It assures employment opportunities for the professional men and artist.
- Advertising does provide a glimpse of a country’s way of life. It is, in fact, a running commentary on the way of living and the behaviour of the people and is also an indicator of some of the future in this regard.
There is a huge variety of media available through which a business can conduct an advertising campaign. They are:
a) Newspaper: Newspaper is one of the traditional media used by businesses, both big and small alike, to advertise their businesses. The choice of a particular newspaper for advertising depends upon many factors i.e ., circulation of the newspaper, the type of readers it serves, the geographical region in which it is popular, the costs of space and general reputation of the paper, etc.
- It can reach a huge number of people in a given geographic area.
- You have the flexibility in deciding the advertisement size and placement within the newspaper .
- Your advertisement can be as large as necessary to communicate as much of a story as you care to tell.
- Exposure to your advertisement is not limited; readers can go back to your message again and again if they so desired.
- Free help in creating and producing advertisement copy is usually available.
- Quick turn-around helps your advertisement reflect the changing market conditions. The advert you decide to run today can be in your customers’ hands in one to two days.
- Advert space can be expensive.
- Your adverts has to compete against the clutter of other advertisers, including the giants adverts run by supermarkets and departmental stores as well as the adverts of your competitors.
- Poor photo reproduction limits creativity.
- Newspaper is a price-oriented medium; most adverts are for sales.
- Advertisement have a short shelf life, as newspapers are usually read once and then discarded.
- You may be paying to send your message to a lot of people who will probably never be in the market to buy from you.
- Newspaper is a highly visible medium, so your competitors can quickly react to your prices.
b) Magazines: Another medium under press publicity is magazine and journals. They also offer good facility because magazines are read leisurely when the reader is mentally prepared to receive advertisement messages.
- Magazine allows for better targeting of audience, as you can choose magazine publications that cater for your specific audience or whose editorial content specializes in topics of interest to your audience.
- High reader involvement means that more attention will be paid to your advertisement message.
- Better quality paper permits better colour reproduction and full-colour adverts.
- The smaller page (generally 8 1/2 by 11 inches) permits even small adverts to stand out.
- Long lead times mean that you have to make plans weeks or months in advance.
- The slower lead time heightens the risk of your advert getting overtaken by events.
- There is limited flexibility in terms of advert placement and format.
- Space and advert layout costs are higher.
c) Radio: is a form of advertising via the medium of radio.
- Radio is a universal medium enjoyed by people at one time or another during the day, at home, at work, and even in the car.
- The vast array of radio program formats offers to efficiently target your advertising to narrowly defined segments of consumers most likely to respond to your offer.
- Gives your business personality through the creation of campaigns using sounds and voices.
- Free creative help is often available.
- Rates can generally be negotiated.
- Because radio listeners are spread over many stations, you may have to advertise simultaneously on several stations to reach your target audience.
- Listeners cannot go back to your adverts to listen all over again to important points.
- Advertisement is an interruption in entertainment. Because of this, a radio adverts may require multiple exposure to break through the listener’s “tune-out” factor and ensure message retention.
- Radio is a background medium. Most listeners are doing something else while listening, which means that your advert has to work hard to get their attention.
d) Television: Television advertisements have been very popular ever since they were introduced. The cost of television advertising often depends on the duration of the advertisement, the time of broadcast (prime time/lull time), sometimes the show on which it will be broadcast, and of course, the popularity of the television channel itself.
- Television permits you to reach large number of people ona national or regional level in a short period of time.
- Independent stations and cable offer new opportunities to pinpoint local audiences.
- Television being an image-building and visual medium, offers the ability to convey your message with sight, sound and motion.
- Message is temporary, and may require multiple exposure for the advert to rise above the clutter.
- Adverts on network affiliates are concentrated in local news broadcasts and station breaks.
- Preferred advert times are often sold out far in advance.
- Limited length of exposure, as most advert are only thirty seconds long or less, which limits the amount of information you can communicate.
- Relatively expensive in terms of creative, production and airtime costs.
e) Online (internet): Online advertising is a form of promotion that uses the Internet and World Wide Web for the expressed purpose of delivering marketing messages to attract customers. Online advertising can expose a small business to customers all over the world.
- The Internet’s vast reach can allow advertisers to reach significantly more people than traditional advertising media at a fraction of the cost.
- Internet advertising is ideal for businesses with a national or international target market and large-scale distribution capabilities.
- As a rule, the more people your business serves, the most cost-efficient internet advertising can be.
- Internet advertising can also be more targeted than some traditional media, ensuring that your messages are seen by the most relevant audiences.
- One disadvantage of advertising on the Internet is that your marketing materials are automatically available for anyone in the world to copy, regardless of the legal ramifications. Logos, images and trademarks can be copied and used for commercial purposes, or even to slander or mock your company. This is not the case with television and magazine advertising, wherein images must be replicated rather than simply copied electronically.
- Usually one hires a professional, be it a freelancer or some company to design his site and to strategically advertise the concerned product or service. This adds to the additional cost.
- One major problem with internet advertising is the cluttered view of a web page. Every advertiser has a competitive edge and wants to grab the attention of every consumer, but with so much information on the platter at a time, it is impossible to digest so much and the consumer in turn ignores most of the advertisements, resulting in low rates of return.
f) Mobile advertisement: A relatively new form of advertising and one that is spreading rapidly, uses cell phones, iPads, Kindles, Nooks, and other portable electronic devices with Internet connectivity. Current trends in mobile advertising involve major use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
- The unique characteristic of mobile marketing is that it provides something that other form of advertising cannot do. It is instant traffic.
- It is quantity of devices. This means mobile marketing is sheer quantity of mobile devices. Preliminary data shows good response rate for mobile campaigns. For example, when there is one person click on web advertising marketing, there will be five persons doing business through mobile marketing.
- And another advantage of mobile marketing is new tool for brands and advertisers to reach new customers and target specific audiences. And for many people, a mobile device is like a personal accessory. Mobiles are used in a very personal way.
- At the same time, mobile marketing can help generate buzz about your products/services because your offers will reach consumers while they are actively shopping, socializing, and making buying decisions.
- Trial and error period required for mobile marketers to learn how to succeed in mobile marketing, which differs from the traditional web marketing.
- Advertisers are wary of consumer privacy issues.
- Mobile marketing is fragmented and complex because of many different handsets and carriers, different types of functionality, and different preloaded applications (i.e. Google Maps on iPhone).
- Adaptation of content and messages to the mobile web results in poor user experience.
g) Billboard advertising: Billboards are large structures located in public places which display advertisements to passing pedestrians and motorists. Most often, they are located on main roads with a large amount of passing motor and pedestrian traffic; however, they can be placed in any location with large amounts of viewers, such as on mass transit vehicles and in stations, in shopping malls or office buildings, and in stadiums.
- Huge and eye-catching.
- Targets a large and diverse market.
- Easily registered information.
- Increased frequency of consumer exposure.
- Effective medium of awareness advertising.
- Targets middle and upper classes.
- Photographic information (strong visual effect).
- Builds company reputation and product image.
- High costs for brief exposure.
- Risk from vandalism, weather conditions.
- Visibility issue.
- Stationary mode of advertising.
- No feedback.
- Does not target a specific market.