Advertising facilitates large-scale marketing. It is a medium of mass communication. Manufacturers supply information about new products through advertising. The fact that companies spend crores of rupees or millions of dollars on advertising through TV, radio, the internet, and newspapers indicate its benefits in sales promotion.
Advertising is within the scope of promotion, which is one element in the marketing mix. It is getting popularity in the present highly competitive and consumer-oriented marketing. All products old and new, consumer and durable, cheap and costly need extensive advertising for sales promotion and consumer support. Latest communication techniques are now used for making it more attractive and agreeable.
The basic purpose of advertising is to give information, to attract attention, to create awareness and finally to influence the buying behavior of consumers.
Advertising is certainly needed in marketing but is equally important and essential in social, cultural and political aspects of our life.
The term ‘Advertising’ originates from the Latin word ‘Advertere’ which means “to turn the mind towards.”
The dictionary meaning of the term advertising is “to give public notice or to announce publicity.”
This suggests that advertising acts as a marketing vehicle and is useful for drawing the attention of people (prospects) towards a specific product / service / manufacturer.
2. Definition of Advertising
Advertising is defined differently by various authorities and the institutions dealing with the subject of advertising.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines advertising as,
“Any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor.”
This definition suggests the following features of advertising.
- Advertisement is a paid form of communication. Advertiser exercises a control over it.
- It is non-personal selling. It is a medium of mass communication for large-scale selling.
- It acts as an important marketing tool for presentation and promotion of ideas, goods and services.
- It needs the sponsor of the message known. Advertising will be meaningless if the advertiser is not clearly identified.
3. Features of Advertising
The nine important features of advertising are as follows:
- Provides information : The basic purpose of advertising is to provide information about products or services to prospective buyers. The details of products such as features, uses, prices, benefits, manufacturer's name, and instructions to be followed while using the product are given in the advertisements. The advertising message and brand name are also given. The information supplied gives education and guidance to consumers and facilitates to correct selection of goods by them.
- Paid communication : The advertiser has to pay to the media for giving publicity to his advertising message. He pays for the advertisement, and naturally; he decides the size, slogan, etc. given in the advertisement. Advertising is a form of paid communication.
- Non-personal presentation : Advertising is non-personal in character as against salesmanship, which is personal (face to face communication) in character. In advertising, the message is given to all and not to one specific individual. This rule is applicable to all advertising-media, including press. However, even in advertising target consumers or target market can be selected for making an advertising appeal.
- Publicity : Advertising gives publicity to goods, services and ideas. It is basically for giving information to consumers. This information is always related to the features and benefits of goods and services of different types. Advertising gives new ideas to consumers as its contents are meaningful. The aim is to make the ideas popular and thereby to promote sales. For example, advertising on family planning, family welfare, and life insurance is useful for placing new ideas before the people.
- Basically for persuasion : Advertising aims at persuasion of potential customers. It attracts attention towards a product, creates a desire to have it, and finally induces consumers to visit the market and purchase the same. Advertising has a psychological impact on consumers. It influences the buying decisions of consumers.
- Target oriented : It is possible to make intensive advertising by selecting a specific-market or specific-segment of consumers (e.g. children, housewives, etc.) for advertising. This selection of a specific market is called target market. Advertising becomes effective and result-oriented when it is target oriented. The waste in advertising can be minimized through such a target oriented advertising.
- Art, science and profession : It is now universally accepted that advertising is an art, science and a profession. It is an art as it needs creativity for raising its effectiveness. Advertising is a science as it has its principles and rules. Advertising is now treated as a profession with its professional bodies and code of conduct for members. Advertising agencies and space brokers function as professionals in the field of advertising.
- Element of marketing mix : Advertising is an important element of a marketing mix It supports the sales promotion efforts of the manufacturer and makes positive contribution in sales promotion provided other elements in the marketing-mix are reasonably favorable. This is natural as advertising alone is not adequate for promoting sales. Many companies now spend huge funds on advertising and public relations.
- Creativity : Advertising is a method of presenting a product in an artistic, attractive and agreeable manner. This is possible through the element of creativity, which is the essence of advertising. Creativity can be introduced by creative-people (professionals) in the field of advertising. They introduce new techniques for introducing creativity. Without creativity, advertising will be like a body without a soul. It is therefore known as the essence of advertising.
4. Advantages of Advertising
The advantages of advertising can be divided into two main groups. One group denotes benefits to manufactures and other group denotes benefit to consumers. Let's find out how each of them gets benefited by advertising.
The advantages of advertising for manufacturers:
- Large-scale production & marketing : Advertising is useful as a sales promotion technique. It gives information to consumers and encourages them to purchase more. Manufacturers expand their production base due to higher market demand created through advertising.
- Introduction of new products : Advertising facilitates the introduction of new products. Due to advertising, information about new products is given to the prospects. This creates demand and the manufacturer is able to sell new products along with the existing ones.
- Creates new demand : Advertising spreads information and encourages consumers to purchase new products. Such advertising leads to the creation of new demand. Various concessions are offered to consumers in the initial period. This gives positive response from the consumers. Thus, advertising creates new demand from non-users.
- Effective personal selling : Advertising creates a proper background for personal selling. It gives advance information to the prospects. They visit the shop in order to purchase a particular product which they know through advertising media. The job of a salesman becomes easy as consumers develop affinity to specific products. In brief, it supports and supplements personal selling.
- Builds brand image : Manufacturers introduce branding for making their products popular with distinct personality. The brands are made popular through advertising. As a result, consumers develop loyalty towards a specific brand. Advertising builds brand image and this develops consumer loyalty towards a specific brand.
- Reduces cost of production : Advertising creates demand and promotes sales. This enables a manufacturer to conduct production on a large scale. This leads to reduction in the cost of production and distribution. As a result, the profit margin of the manufacturer increases.
- Facing competition : A manufacturer can face market competition effectively and can make his products popular through advertising. He can remove misunderstanding among consumers about his products through appropriate advertising.
- Sales promotion : A manufacturer can make his sales promotion campaign successful by using the support of advertising. He can prepare proper background for the success of such an ad-campaign as it facilitates direct communication with consumers.
- Goodwill builder : A manufacturer can build up goodwill and good image in the business world and also among the consumers through advertising. The social welfare programs and community service activities can be given wide publicity through advertising. Even the progress of the Organisation can be brought to the notice of the public through it.
The advantages of advertising for consumers:
- Information and guidance : Consumers get information and guidance from advertising. They can study the advertisements of competitors and select the products which are profitable to them. This avoids their cheating and exploitation at the hands of middlemen.
- Acts as reminder : Advertising acts as a reminder to consumers. They remember what is urgently required to be purchased through advertising.
- Attracts consumers : Advertising leads to competition among manufacturers and retailers. They have to offer something special in order to attract consumers. Such attraction offers benefits to consumers. For example, manufacturers have to bring down the price in order to attract customers. They have to supply quality goods in order to attract more customers. All this is beneficial to consumers in terms of price and quality of goods.
- Raises living standards : Advertising raises the standard of living of people by supplying information about goods and services, which can offer convenience and pleasure to them. It guides consumers in the selection of most suitable goods for their daily life. Thus, it provides higher standard of living to consumers as a social group.
- Effective product use : Consumers get information about uses or benefits of different products through advertising. They also get guidance as regards the right manner of using the product. This avoids possible damage of the product purchased. Even the product can be used for different purposes because of the information supplied through advertisements.
- Removes misunderstanding : Advertising helps consumers in removing their misunderstanding about certain products. They change their attitudes towards products and services due to it.
5. Role of Advertising
The following points suggest the role of advertising in selling sales promotion of consumer durables.
- Advertising is useful for giving information and guidance to prospective buyers of consumer durables. Here, advertising gives the details of special features, benefits, price discount, and other concessions offered, etc. to the purchasers of consumer durables and encourage interested customers to take initiative in purchasing the durable articles.
- Effective advertising of consumer durable creates a proper background for personal selling. An attraction is created in the minds of consumers, and they are encouraged to visit retail shop in order to see the article or look at the demonstration of its working. Here, the salesman can use his skills and see that the article is purchased by his visitors.
- Advertising of consumer products enables a manufacturer to face market competition effectively. He can give special features of his product and also suggest how his product is superior to that of his competitors. This is useful for sales promotion of consumer durable. Even consumers can make appropriate selection of a suitable product by studying the advertisements of competitors.
- Advertising of consumer durable during the festival period acts as a reminder to consumers. They remember to purchase a useful product on the Eve of the festival. This technique facilitates a sales promotion during the festival period.
- The seller of consumer products (manufacturing company) may like to offer attractive gift or price discount to interested consumers. Here, advertising can be made effectively. This encourages consumers to purchase a durable product. Such advertisements are common during festivals. Even local dealer may offer certain concessions to his customers. He can make suitable advertisement of such concessions for large-scale selling at the local-level.
In short, effective advertising of consumer durables is necessary and useful for regular selling, for providing information and guidance to consumers and finally for sales promotion.
6. Types of Advertising Media
The types of advertising media are noted in the following chart.
It may be noted that advertising media have their special features, merits, limitations and suitability. An advertiser has to consider his ad-budget and select the most appropriate advertising media and use them for an advertising purpose.
7. Decision making in Advertising
While undertaking ad-campaign or while organizing an advertising program for products like consumer products, (tooth paste, chocolate, soap, face powder, skin-cream, etc.) or durable products, (car, TV, etc.) or industrial products, (machine, etc.) concerned company has to take certain decisions and adjust the advertising activity accordingly. Such advertising decision-making is a five-step process (Five Ms of advertising) consisting of mission, money, message, media and measurement. In other words, evaluation and broad decisions need to be taken in regard to these five areas while organizing an advertising program or campaign.
Five Ms of advertising are five basic considerations, which need to be given proper attention to have positive or favorable effect of advertising efforts. These considerations are particularly applicable to consumer product marketing such as tooth paste, face powder, body creams, soaps, chocolates and so on.
Advertising will be effective or result-oriented when it is made with proper planning and appropriate decisions as regards the objectives, media used, funds provided and so on. In short, it is an activity that needs suitable decision-making on various matters. Such decisions constitute the steps in the advertising.
8. Five Ms of Advertising
The five Ms of advertising on which an advertiser has to take decisions:
- Mission : This refers to the purpose or objective behind advertising. The objectives behind advertising are varied in character. They include sales promotion, information and guidance to consumers, developing brand loyalty, market goodwill, facing market competition effectively, making the products popular or successful and introduction of a new product. Decision in regard to mission is a basic one as other decisions are to be adjusted as per the mission or objective or purpose of advertising decided. For consumer products like chocolate, tooth paste, soap, the mission or objective includes facing market competition, sales promotion and making the product popular in the market.
- Money :
- This refers to the finance provided for advertising purpose (advertising budget). It means the budget allocation made by the company for advertising. Money provided is a limiting factor as effectiveness of advertising, media used, coverage of advertising, etc. are related to the funds provided for advertising purpose. Advertising is costly and companies have to spend crores of rupees for this purpose. Advertising should be always within the limits of funds provided. Naturally, decisions on an advertising package should be adjusted as per the budget allocation for advertising.
- It may be noted that consumer products like tooth paste or chocolate are highly competitive with many substitutes easily available in the market. Naturally, extensive advertising on TV, newspapers, radio, etc. is required. These media are costly. Naturally, the manufacturing or marketing company will have to provide huge money for advertising purpose.
- Message :
- Message is provided through the text of advertisement. The message is given through written words, pictures, slogans and so on. The message is for the information, guidance and motivation of prospective buyers. Attractive and meaningful messages give positive results, and the advertising becomes result-oriented. The services of creative writers, artists, etc. are used for giving an appealing message to the consumers. Here, the advertiser has to decide the message to be given, the media to be used for communicating the message, the extent of creativity, the specific customer group selected for giving the message and so on. The message is also related to the decisions taken as regards a mission, and money provided for advertising.
- For advertising consumer product like chocolate, the message is important. The buyers are mainly children and others of lower age groups or for the benefit (pleasure and satisfaction) of younger generation. The advertising message should be simple and easily understandable with the help of picture or slogan. It should be also attractive and agreeable to younger generation. The pictures or slogans used should be short and impressive.
- Media :
- The advertiser has to take a decision about the media to be used for an advertising purpose. Media differ as regards cost, coverage, effectiveness, etc. The selection of media depends on the budget provided, products to be advertised, and features of prospective buyers, so on. Wrong decision on media may make advertising ineffective and money spent will be wasted. This suggests that media should be selected properly, and decision in this regard is important and critical.
- For advertising popular and extensively used consumer items like chocolate, the media should be selected properly. TV advertising, particularly a cartoon channel, advertising in children books or newspaper supplements for children, advertising on radio programs for children, etc.
- Measure : Measure relates to the effectiveness of advertising. An advertiser will like to evaluate advertisement in order to judge its effectiveness. If an advertisement is not effective, it will be modified or withdrawn. This is necessary for avoiding expenditure on the advertisement which is not purposeful or is not likely to give positive results. An advertiser has to measure the effectiveness of his advertisement program or campaign and take suitable decisions. This decision-making as regards effectiveness of advertising is equally important and essential. Such testing facilitates an introduction of suitable remedial measures, if required.
For measuring effectiveness of chocolate advertising, the post advertising sale is one major consideration. Demand creation in new market segments or in new age groups is another consideration in the measurement of advertising effectiveness. Even success of a sales promotion program is useful for measuring advertising effectiveness.
In brief, like other areas of marketing management, decision-making is necessary in advertising. This relates to Five Ms - mission, money, message, media and measurement.