Advertising is central in marketing communications. It has become a very useful means of passing a message about a product, an idea or service to consumers. Advertising as a tool of creating awareness about products and services is believed to be as old as man. Advertising simply means a non-personal persuasive message about products, ideas, goods and services communicated to target audience through various media channels by a sponsor.
Advertising plays important roles in marketing communications. It performs the functions of informing, educating, and persuading consumers about a brand, product or service. These roles can only be achieved if the advertising is effective.
Advertising is effective if it is able to achieve the advertiser’s objectives. This describes advertising effectiveness in terms of what it is able to accomplish.
Although it may not be possible to provide a comprehensive definition of what constitutes effective advertising, we can look at it from its general characteristics.
Effective advertising must satisfy the following considerations:
• It must come from a sound marketing strategy. Advertising can be effective if it is compatible with other elements of an integrated marketing communications strategy.
• Effective advertising must follow consumers thought. Consumers buy a particular product because of the benefits they stand to derive from the product and not because of its attributes. Therefore, advertising message must be stated in a way that it relates to the consumer’s needs, wants and values rather than the marketer’s.
• Effective advertising is persuasive in nature. When advertising message is persuasive, it appeals to consumers or target audience.
• Advertising must find a unique way to break through the clutter. Every brand has a competitor in the market space. So advertising must find a way to break through the clutter to give the advertising brand strong visibility.
• Good advertising should never promise more than it can deliver or offer. In terms of ethics and smart business sense, affective advertising is one that does not promise more than what it can offer. If advertising cannot offer what it promises consumers, it can have a negative impact on the brand.
• Good advertising prevents the creative idea from overwhelming the strategy. The purpose of advertising is to persuade and influence consumers to take action. If the strategy is good, people will always remember the message.
• Effective advertising has a lot of creativity which differentiates it from ordinary advertisement. Advertisement that is ordinary and lacks creativity will not be able to break through the clutter and attract consumers’ attention. If this is the case, it may not be able to achieve set objectives.
• The following quote by Schultz and Tannenbaum summarises the essential of effective advertising “it is advertising that is created for a specific customer. It is advertising that understands and thinks about the customer’s needs. It is advertising that communicates a specific benefit. It is advertising that pinpoints a specific action that the consumer takes. Good advertising understands that people do not buy products – they buy product benefits. Above all, effective advertising gets noticed and remembered and gets people to act.”
Advertising objectives are those goals that advertising attempts to achieve in a particular campaign over a given period of time. Every advertising decision is dependent on advertising objectives but the task of setting good and clear advertising objectives may not be quite easy. Sometimes people, without knowing, come up with vague advertising objectives e.g. “to create brand awareness and to increase sales for XYZ brand.” Advertising objectives of this nature do not give a clear direction of what is to be achieved during a particular advertising campaign within a given time frame. Advertising objective of this nature e.g. “to increase sales for XYZ brand from 20 -50 percent in 6 months” is a good advertising objective because it specifies what advertising wants to achieve within a given time period.
Advertising objectives should specify clear goals set out to be achieved. A brand that is new in the market has as its objective to build brand awareness among target audience. If a brand is not well established in the market, the objective may be to encourage brand trial/patronage among target consumers. If a brand is already established in the market, then the objective is to sustain repeat purchase and build brand loyalty among target audience.
In most cases, some of the most common advertising objectives are stated in ways like:
To create brand awareness among target audience: This is a primary objective when a brand in question is not yet known in the market but tries to penetrate it.
To build brand equity/loyalty among target consumers:
This is a primary objective when a brand in question is known but faces competition in the market but wants to differentiate itself and to sustain consumer patronage.
To increase the rate of brand consumption among target consumers:
This is a primary objective when a brand is well known in the market among competitors but wants rate of consumption to be further increased among the target group.
When advertising objectives are well stated, they help in three major areas namely:
Providing direction to marketing/ advertising personnel:
When advertising objectives are clearly stated, they provide marketing and adverting personnel the direction and the strategy advertising will take during a given period of time as well as what advertising wants to achieve for a brand in that period.
Serving as guide to budget, message and media:
When advertising objectives are clearly stated, they serve as a guide to advertising budget, message and media strategy in terms of how much should be spent, the kind of media channels to use, as well as the media strategies to connect with target audience.
Serving as measurement against advertising expected results:
When advertising objectives are properly stated, they provide in clear quantitative terms what advertising intends to accomplish within a given time frame. Through this way, results can be measured against stated advertising objectives.
Advertising plays important roles in marketing communications. It performs the functions of informing, educating, and persuading consumers about a brand, product or services. Advertising is effective if it is able to achieve the advertiser’s objectives. This describes advertising effectiveness in terms of what it is able to accomplish. Although it may not be possible to provide a comprehensive definition of what constitutes effective advertising, it is possible to look at its general characteristics. Effective advertising satisfies the following considerations:
It must come from a sound marketing strategy so that it can be compatible with other elements of an integrated marketing communications strategy. Effective advertising must take the consumer’s point of thought because of the benefits they stand to derive from the product and not its attributes in order to meet consumer’s needs, wants and values rather than the marketer’s. Effective advertising is persuasive in nature because by so doing will the message appeal to consumers.
In not more than two pages, mention those factors that you think can prevent an advertising campaign from achieving its set objectives. First prize – ten thousand naira worth of recharge cards. The two other best written answers will get 3,000 naira worth of recharge cards each. Written answers
should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org