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Advertising is a paid, non-personal message communicated through a mass medium. Its purpose is to inform, persuade and remind.

Advertising is one of the main forms of promotion used to attract potential customers by creating a demand for the product, informing and communicating essential information. It can be classified into three broad groups, depending on its purpose and message: selective or brand advertising; institutional advertising; or primary demand advertising.

1. Selective or brand advertising. This is used to sell a particular brand of a product and is the most common form of advertising. Business use brand advertising to persuade consumers of the benefits of their products in order to entice the consumer to purchase their product.

2. Institutional advertising. This is used to enhance the image or reputation of a business rather than to sell a particular product.

3. Primary demand advertising. This type of advertising attempts to increase the total consumption of a product without distinguishing between brands. These advertisements promote broad product categories. For example, ‘trim pork’ and milk campaigns. This sort of advertising is often used with overall consumption of a product begins to decline.

Advertising media refers to the many forms of communications used to reach an audience. There are four main types of advertising media: television, radio, newspapers and magazines.

The type of medium selected, will depend on factors such as cost and the advertising budget, the geographic distribution of the product, advertising activities of competitors, expected response rate and the target market. Large businesses often decide to use more than one method so as to reach as large an audience as possible. A business may decide to advertise continuously or in cycles, and should analyse the response to each advertising strategy to determine what is most effective for their product.

1st Set the Advertising Objectives

Objectives should be based upon prior decisions made about the target market, marketing position and marketing mix. The marketing position and mix will define the task that advertising should fulfil.

Both communication and sales objectives may need to be set as part of this stage in developing a strategy. This process is sometimes thought of as converting advertising objectives into measurable goals. An advertising goal is a specific communication task and an achievement level that needs to be accomplished, for example…

In a market place of 8 million people who drive motor cars

-Over the space of 1 year

-an extra 10% of the population

-become aware of the existence of a particular brand of motor oil

-and become aware of the superior quality of that motor oil.

Advertising objectives can generally be classified into one of three categories:

1. Objectives that Inform


Raising awareness that a product exists

Describing services offered

Suggesting new product applications

2. Objectives that Persuade


Developing a preference for a particular brand

Encouraging someone to change their negative attitude toward a particular product

Persuading a buyer to sign a contract and pay a deposit

3. Objectives that Remind


Reminding buyers where a product is available

Reminding buyers of the importance of quality

Reminding buyers of the price advantage in paying in full rather than on terms.

The choice of objectives should depend upon what the product is, and its position in a market place. If it is an old established product with decreasing usage, the aim should obviously be to stimulate interest. If it is however a new product that is unknown, the aim may be simply to raise awareness.

2nd Decide on the advertising budget

The challenge is to determine the appropriate amount to spend, in order to achieve the advertising/promotion goals. The advertising budget must be affordable. Advertising expenditure is generally treated as a current expense; but in actual effect, part of what is spent is an investment (n that it creates good will), because the full results may not be seen until a year or many years after the initial advertising.

3rd Decide on the Advertising Message

You need to generate message ideas, then evaluate and select appropriate ideas to use and finally execute those ideas. The development of a broad advertising message comes with the development of the product concept. When we conceive a new product, a general advertising message should be developed at the same time. At this early stage, the product may be modified to fit the advertising and the advertising message may be modified to fit the product.

· Beyond the broad advertising message, there is always room for innovation and variation.

· Over a period of time, the consumer’s preferences may change, requiring a change of focus in the advertising message. Example: A product that is both environmentally friendly, and relatively inexpensive, may at first be sold with the main focus on the cost, but over time, the environmental consideration may become more important than cost to the consumer.

4th Decide on the Media to Use

There are several steps in deciding on the media.

1st Decide on the reach, frequency and impact

2nd Choose from amongst the alternatives (eg. Newspapers, magazines, direct mail, radio, web sites, etc).

3rd Select specific media vehicles - if you have decided on newspapers, now you must decide, which newspaper.

4th Decide on Media Timing –when do you run an advert.

5th Decide on Geographical Media Allocation. Some media will present you with alternatives (eg. pay a little and go to the local radio station, or pay a lot and go to the whole network).

Beware: Selling Advertising can be a cut throat business.

If you are in the advertising game, to sell adverts you may need to be either very smart and organised; or ruthless and verging on unethical. If you are buying adverts, you need to be strong willed, and focussed on what you are doing, to avoid being talked into adverts that may not be the best for you.

5th Evaluate Advertising Effectiveness

Keep evaluating the success of advertising in terms of both response rates and conversion rates.

Response rate refers to the number of people who contact you for every unit of money spent (eg. contacts per dollar). Conversion rate refers to the amount of business you achieve for each response; or each unit of money spent on advertising (eg. dollars of sales per enquiry; percent of inquiries that make a purchase, or dollars of sales per dollar spent on advertising)

By calculating rates such as those above for each place you advertise, you will maintain an awareness of the cost benefit derived from the advertising investment; and the advertising program can be adjusted accordingly.

Article by Staff of ACS Distance Education

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