Development of Advertising
When it comes to the growth and development of any company, effective communication is at the center of everything. If a company produces or offers a specific type of goods or services, but they are not able to get the message to the targeted market, it becomes very hard for it to grow, and they can only do this through effective communication. 99 percent of markets in the modern economy operate under imperfect competition. This means there is imperfect information, with those who have it unwilling to share with the rest of the market. These companies grow because they know what is expected on the market and how to deliver.
Advertising is one of the major ways firms use to share important information about new products and services with a wide range of their target customers. Hence, every business should have a proper marketing strategy, which should be at the center of its development. Without communicating their products, it is hard to have consumers using them as intended. Advertising is a way of formal technique for reaching these specific markets. And in this course, we shall be introducing you to the concept and sharing a few practices applied by firms to get their messages out.
The Development of Advertising
Advertising can be described simply as the techniques and practices used by companies to bring products, services, opinions, or cause to the public knowledge with the aim of persuading the public to respond in specific ways on the advertised product. In most advertising processes, there is the involvement of goods and services for sale. But these methods can also be used to encourage certain behaviors in society. For instance, the ministry of transport can create adverts that encourage motorists to drive safely, or a non-profit organization encouraging people to support various charities. Advertising can also be used by a political candidate to gain public trust and votes. There are many other examples of advertising, which all lead to achieving certain goals from the expected public reaction.
Advertising is not only good for the companies, but for the media industry as well. In some countries, the main source of income is in adverts for the media house. Companies pay a lot of money to newspapers, magazines, and television stations, among other media sources, to get their message out. And in the noncommunist world, advertising is one of the most important industries.
Advertising has greatly evolved over the years. In medieval times, people used word of mouth to advertise to pass their messages to others. There were no alternatives, and hence, messengers were sent to deliver messages and come back with expected feedback physically. Of course, this method was not very effective since the messenger could intentionally change the message, or part of the message, or unintentionally. Luckily, scientific inventions came in to create proper communication methods. The first step to initiate modern advertising started with the dawn of print media in the 15th and 16 centuries. By the 17th century, weekly newspapers had become common in London to deliver adverts, which greatly flourished in the 18th century.
In the 19th century, the great expansion of business was accompanied by the growth of the advertising industry. It is during this century, especially in the U.S, that came with the establishment of advertising agencies. The first agencies were brokers for space in the newspapers since most ads were done in print media. At the start of the 20th century, agencies become more active as they now got involved in producing the advertising message itself. They started creating even copy and artwork. By 1920, agencies had fully developed as they could plan and execute full advertising campaigns, from the first steps of researching, by preparing a copy for placement in various media. They became the most important link between firms with advertising needs and media outlets.
This new approach allowed advertising to develop in various media. And for the longest period, the newspaper held the primary position for advertising needs from different companies. They offered advertisers large circulation, readership located close to the advertised business, and the opportunity to change the messages on a frequent basis. Since the print media has always been a key player in advertising, magazines, another chief print medium, soon become very popular too. It may not have been as famous as newspapers since they were aimed at a specific audience, but they still achieved their purposes. They offered manufacturers of specific products and an interesting way to reach such people, creating direct contact between manufacturers and consumers. For instance, many national magazines publish regional editions, which reaches a selected audience. In Western industrial nations, radio and television's discovery changed the game in the advertising realm. They soon became the most pervasive media. And they have continued to get stronger across the world, overtaking the print media by a large margin. And even radio and TV are state-run some countries and do not accept adverts; there are many others where advertisers can buy short 'spots' of time. Advertising sports are short broadcasts between or during the regular program. They are sometimes specified by the advertiser, while sometimes the broadcaster has full control over where they should appear.
The most important factor for advertisers concerning a given TV or radio program is the size and composition of the audience. The audience size determines how much money the media how should charge on the advertiser, while the composition of the audience determines the advertisers pick as to when a specific message should be run on air.
Apart from print and broadcast media, other methods of advertising soon became common. These include direct mail, which can be used to deliver a detailed and highly personalized appeal. Outdoor billboards and posters also came out strong in the advertisement world. Then there is transit advertising, which can save millions on users on mass-transit systems. Miscellaneous media like dealer displays and promotional items like calendars have also been used widely by advertisers to carry their messages far.
What message should appear in an ad?
This is one of the most important questions concerning adverts. Advertisers seek to get the most out of their investments, especially since advertising is not such a cheap process. Hence, every step taken should be well thought to produce the most desired result. Advertising is all about effective communication. The message you write in your advert will play a large role in producing the desired results.
The question above depends almost entirely on the listening and reading habits of the target audience. And to know this, the advertiser should consider carrying out some basic market research approaches. You cannot send a message out to listeners and readers unless you know what they read and how they read. Good market research involves identifying the best media to carry the message. It will not make sense when you advertise through a newspaper when all your customer watches the only TV or listen to the radio. Getting the right medium will help you understand how to shape your message.
Before writing their message, the advertiser must think carefully about their unique selling points. An advert aims at convincing the audience to react toward the product in question, and the brand at large. Hence, the advertiser should know the features and benefits of the product, which they wish to convey and to whom. The common mistake among first-time advertiser is writing the ad to themselves, forgetting the customer. A firm's advert should speak of how the product will help the customers. The best ads begin by introducing the potential problem a possible customer could be facing and then highlighting why they need this product or service. It makes the users feel like they cannot do without it. They also clearly highlight the terms that the customer will value. Terms like easy access, low cost, easy to use, reliable, and many other similar terms are used to define what a customer may like more in the product more than they would in the competitor's.
The most useful advertising approach is repeatedly getting the message out. This is why one advert will appear in your favorite TV show for so many times. And there are many ways to send advertising messages.
Brochures and flyers
Brochures and flyers can be easily and conveniently produced using desk-top publishing and word-processing software packages. These pieces can contain a lot of useful information. They are especially good for direct customers who come to the firm but do not have time to listen to what you are telling them. They can sit down later and make use of the material.
Direct mail is another great advertising method used by companies. Although it may seem outdated, direct letters can be very useful in sending a more detailed appeal.
Many advertisers today, especially the Gen-zees, think that emails are outdated. However, research has shown that they offer better ROI to companies than other methods. It all comes down to how one composes the message and the target audience.
Newspapers, Magazines, and Newsletters
Newspapers have been used for many generations to pass information to the public. Chances are, everyone reads the local major or neighborhood newspapers. Certain newspapers focus fully on delivering business-related information. A company can get its message in the newspaper by placing an ad or writing directly to the news editor. Newspaper adverts can be quite costly, but with the right message, a company is sure to get the best ROI.
Magazines are expensive too. But the good thing is they focus on a specific type of reader who is sure to have a large interest in the product. For instance, a motorcar selling company can get a spot in a local car show-casing magazine by approaching the editor.
A newsletter could be another powerful means to attract and keep your customer. You send them to even your existing customer who are always expecting new and exciting deals from your firm. If you can get the right message, this method is quite effective. There are many consultants in this industry who can create powerful newsletters.
Poster and bulletin boards
Posters and billboards can help a company get to their local customers. Even though it is hard to know how many people notice billboards, research has shown different consumers have bought products because they saw billboard adverts.
Television and radio are among the most powerful advertising methods. One major advantage of radio over TV is that affordability. Also, many people, especially in interior areas, listen to the radio more than they watch TV.
TV advertisements are more expensive than in other major forms. Luckily, the increase in the number of TV networks has increased competition, and hence, reduced prices significantly.
The use of broadcast media takes many different forms. The advertiser has to pick the right medium and then write the best message.
Other advertising methods
There are tons of ways companies use to achieve their goals in the selected markets. Apart from the ones mentioned above, firms use annual reports, collaborations, networking, presentations, novelties, and roadshows. These methods have also proven very useful.
Impact of the New Media on Advertising
The rise of the internet has created a whole new world of marketing and advertising. There is no modern company that does not have a website, especially one that wishes to survive in the modern market. Above all, social media has become the most applicable advertising and marketing methods. Social networking is defined by a variety of online tools used by companies and individuals to share a wide range of information. Everyone in the modern generation is at least on one platform, including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube. Experts assert that social media is a must for every person today.
Advertisers are using is a lot because it is very cheap. Besides, it brings the whole world into the hands of the marketer. And because it is a social tool, information shared touches the daily lives of subscribers. Companies use it to get social with their customer. They share different information, not major sales, but helpful to the audience.
Advertising will keep evolving as long as companies are making sales. Technological innovations have opened more and better ways for companies to achieve their marketing goals. Advertising has never been easier.
Author: James Hamilton