What is Advertising? Players, Types, Management Process


The American Marketing Association defined advertising as “any paid form of nonpersonal persuasion and promotion of ideas, goods or services, by an identified sponsor”. Advertising is a paid, non-personal (mass) communication with an identified sponsor, with two distinct goals informing (for persuasion and to influence) people (communication goal) and increasing sales (sales goal).

Advertising is a paid form of communication in which the sponsor or the brand owner has made payments to the media to carry the message through their set of media vehicles.

When there is no direct payment or no payment, we can term that brand promotion as publicity or public relations. The communication process is non-personal, as nobody has personally conveyed the message i.e. there is no personal contact between the sender and the receiver of the message.

When a retail salesman speaks to us at the sales counter, we can call it personal selling, as there is a direct interaction between the receiver (buyer) and the sender (the salesman).

Marketers use mass media also called nonpersonal media like newspapers, magazines, television channels, and radio stations for promoting products and services.

The presentation of the message is for promoting ideas, places, concepts, persons, parties, goods, services, and organizations, to create awareness and assist in the process of consumer decision-making. The awareness may lead to persuasion and hence the consumer may be triggered to take a decision about buying the product or service being advertised.

We have seen advertisements of brilliant ideas like the idea of a healthy baby, or a healthy nation through various health-related campaigns. The family planning advertisements explain the concept of a happy family. Tourism advertising is an example of place advertising. Political advertising propagates concepts of a good leader (personal advertising) and a good political party (India Shining campaign).

Advertisements of Clinic Plus shampoo, Jet Airways, and the income tax department are respective examples of product, service, and organizational advertising. All these advertisements are meant for generating awareness, developing interest, and finally buying the proposition for consumption.

The sponsor is identified in the advertisement either in the form of the brand name or name of the producer and marketer. The customer knows who the advertiser is, either by identifying the brand or by the company name, which makes it. This is relevant as the ownership of the message communicated rests with the sender.

If the sponsor is not identified then the objective of the message will be lost, as the potential buyer will not find out whom the communication talked about and may not search for further information in the form of inquiry or a final lead to consumer choice.

While all other marketing communication tools have predominantly a single set of objectives i.e. to maximize sales, advertising has dual goals i.e. to communicate and propagate about the product and also to achieve sales. Advertising is a method of marketing communication with pre-defined objectives.

The objectives of advertising are grouped as sales objectives (measured in terms of increase in sales, increase in market share and return on investment) and communication objectives (increase in Top of the Mind awareness, increase in comprehension, increase in brand attitude, etc). We explain herewith a set of advertising’s communication objectives for better understanding of the student:

Generating Awareness (Informing):

The first task of any advertising is to make the audience aware of the availability of the product or service and to explain exactly what it is.

Creating Favourable Attitude (Persuasion for Attitude Formation):

The advertising message should create a favorable attitude toward the brand, eventually leading the consumers to buy the brand or bring a change to their past purchasing patterns.

Managing Customer Loyalty (Reinforcement of the Desired Behaviour):

One of the key tasks of modern-day marketing is to make customers loyal and reinforce their purchase behavior. This is because the competitor will always attempt to break loyalty. In the game of taking away each other’s market share, the marketer should repeat his marketing communication to strengthen the loyalty of existing customers and motivate them to build referrals for future sales.

Major Players in Advertising

Advertising is an integrated process requiring the participation of various players working within and outside the organization. It demands synergy between various key players in the business, which include the advertiser or sponsor, advertising agency, support organizations, media, and target audience or consumer.

The business of advertising is spread across all these key players and by the interplay of these five key players, the objectives of advertising can be achieved. Let us discuss the roles of each one of them in the context of advertising management.

Advertiser or Sponsor

These are the persons or organizations that sponsor the campaign. They may be producers, marketing organizations, retailers, wholesalers, service organizations, labour unions, schools, government, politicians, individuals and countries who are into advertising. The advertising content or message is about them or their products or services. They pay the bills or bear the cost of the campaign.

Advertising Agencies

Advertising agencies are independent business organizations that develop, create, prepare, and place advertisements in media for sponsors or advertisers who want to communicate to customers about their goods or services. Advertising agencies offer potential advertisers (clients) a variety of specialized services leading to a final advertisement. Such services include the following:

  • Copy Writing: This refers to the written part of a print advertisement, including the headline, slogan and detailed description of product attributes. In broadcast media, the equivalent of this is called script writing. Whatever a customer comes in contact with in an advertisement is called a copy.

  • Advertising Art: This refers to illustrations, drawings, photographs or other forms of art put in the finished advertisement.

  • Media Buying: Involves specialists who negotiate rates with different media and gather other relevant information for buying space and/or time in suitable media.

  • Client Servicing: An executive of the agency assigned exclusively for handling a particular client. He is the connecting link between the client and the creative department in the agency. He serves the client by taking the brief from them and supplying them with the final copy

  • Other Services: These services include market and consumer research, public relations and merchandising on behalf of the client. Many of the integrated agencies have facilities to provide other integrated marketing communication services.

    • Support Organizations: Modern advertising calls for specialists not employed by either the advertiser (client) or the advertising agency. These consist of casting specialists, cinematographers, film/ tape editors, photographers, and music and sound effect experts.

      So one needs a lot of outside help to produce a good advertisement. In addition, research has become a very important input for most advertising decisions, particularly to find out consumer attitudes, behaviors, and profiles. It may not be possible for the agency or the client to carry out this function by themselves. Therefore, they hire the services of outside experts.

      All such organizations are known as support organizations. Film production houses, research agencies, and model coordinating agencies are termed as support organizations.

    • Media: Media is what an advertisement consumes. Advertising is a non-personal form of communication through paid media. So media plays a crucial role in taking the advertiser’s message back to the audience. The advertisement needs a channel through which the message can be conveyed to the intended target audience.

      This channel is called a medium. Various types of media commonly used are print media in the form of newspapers, and magazines, electronic media in the form of radio, television, and cinema slides, and out-of-the-home media like billboards, hoardings, moving vehicles, and wall paintings.

    • Consumers: Though the advertisements have a wider audience, we will consider potential buyers and consumers as the most important player for advertising as these are the people for whom advertising is carried out. The advertiser tries to reach these people with his message. However, a broader term of usage is the target audience.

Types of Advertising

Since advertising is one of the popular mediums of brand communication, it is used in many forms and for many purposes. It is possible to classify advertising into various forms as mentioned below.

Brand Advertising

This is the most popular form of advertising as all possible media including television is flooded with brand advertising. Brands like Surf Excel, Pepsi, and Coke in India are shown more frequently on Indian television. These kinds of advertisements are done to build brands and develop a unique brand identity for the firm.

National Advertising

These advertisements are uniform across the nation and are released through national media covering the nation.

Local Advertising

These advertisements are carried out in local and vernacular media to promote the product in a local region.

Retail Advertising

These advertisements are brought to promote retail outlets and dealer points.

Nation and Destination Advertising

These advertisements are brought out to promote a nation as a tourism destination. These are also used for promoting states, cities, and tourist attractions. Political Advertising: These are done for political parties, politicians, and individual candidates during elections and referendums.

Social Advertising

These advertisements are brought out for a social cause like against AIDS, sexual exploitation, women trafficking, child labor, and other critical issues in society.

Directory Advertising

These are the advertisements done in directories and yellow pages and followed by people while collecting a telephone number or a home address. People normally refer to these directories to buy products and services.

Direct Response Advertising

These advertisements are used in any medium, which tries to stimulate sales directly. The consumer can respond by mail, telephone or the Internet.

Business-to-business Advertising

These kinds of advertisements are carried out targeting business and organizational marketers. These messages are directed toward retailers, wholesalers, and distributors. These advertisements are placed in professional journals and trade association publications.

Institutional Advertising

Institutions like colleges, universities, missionaries of charities, and large corporates bring out these advertisements. When these are brought out by large corporates we call them corporate advertising.

The purpose of such advertising is to create positive goodwill, which will ultimately contribute towards achieving the overall marketing and brand-building goal of the organization. Many companies use such advertisements to build a positive image in the eyes of the consumers and the general audience at large.

Public Services Advertising

Government and government-sponsored institutions bring such advertisements for the benefit of the general public. They communicate a message on behalf of some good cause. Advertising professionals create these advertisements for the public relations departments of large corporates, highlighting a social cause.

Interactive Advertising

These are typical Internet-based advertisements, which are delivered to individual consumers who have access to the World Wide Web. Advertisers use web pages, banner ads, spots; pop-ups, and email programs to reach the target audience.

Outdoor Advertising

These are forms of advertising in which the marketer uses out-of-the-home media like wall paintings, hoardings, bulletins, kiosks, and mobile vans for communicating with the audience.

Electronic Advertising

These forms of advertising use electronic media like television, radio, video and audiocassettes, electronic display boards, and CDROMs for the promotion of products and services.

In Film Advertising

These are new forms of advertising in which brands are placed inside the film and actors are shown using these products during the movie for increasing their usage among the audience.

Unconventional Media:

These forms of advertising are of recent origin and use traditional art forms like jatropha, puppet dance, and other local dance forms to communicate products and services to the audience.

Advertising Management Process

As an advertising manager one needs to know how to decide on and design an effective advertising campaign. The advertising manager has to take a set of interconnected decisions which include setting up advertising objectives, deciding on the advertising budget, deciding on the advertising message, deciding and planning on media, and finally deciding on the methods to measure the effectiveness of the advertising message.

The message strategy also covers creative strategy. The above advertising decisions will guide the advertising manager in designing an advertising campaign covering a considerable period of time. The advertising management process is shown in Figure 14.5.

Overall Promotional Goal:

The most obvious objective marketers have for promotional activities is to convince customers to make a decision that benefits the marketer (of course the marketer believes the decision will also benefit the customer). For most for-profit marketers this means getting customers to buy an organization’s product and, in most cases, to remain a loyal long-term customer.

For other marketers, such as not-for-profits, it means getting customers to increase donations, utilize more services, change attitudes, or change behavior (e.g., stop smoking campaigns).

Setting Advertising Objective:

The promotion or brand managers should set objectives for an advertising campaign and also for each ad in each medium used. In setting the campaign objectives, most managers use the hierarchy-of-effects model so that the components of a campaign support each other and thereby stand a better chance of creating positive synergy in influencing consumer choice.

The path leads from communication objectives to sales objectives and advertisers often refer to this sequence of awareness advertising as direct-action advertising.

A good ad campaign was that of “Maggie Hot and Sweet Tomato Chili Sauce.” The product category was not new – a number of tomato ketchup brands were already available. The campaign objective was to establish a brand more different than other brands in the product category and create consumer preference for it.

Throughout the campaign period, individual commercials showed a different humorous setting but the campaign theme “it is different” was communicated very powerfully

Communication Objective

Marketers strive to influence how prospective customers think. To do that, they need to understand how and when to guide them. First, they must be aware of to whom they are offering the solutions.

Then they want to hook customers and engage them as they become interested. Next, they need to build understanding and become credible sources of information. And, finally, should entice customers to take action and purchase the products and services.

Sales Objective

Identify the target audience: A critical decision is to define the target market for the product or service. This would involve finding and precisely defining those variables that indicate who and where the best prospects are with respect to demographic characteristics, geographic location, psychographic variables, and behavioral patterns. It will also be necessary to find out the accessibility of the target audiences.

Obviously, how the target markets are defined would influence the message and media strategies. Consumer research may be needed to find out

  • Who buys the product?

  • What do they really buy?

  • When do they buy it?

  • How do they use the product?

Knowing the target audiences’ lifestyle, motivations and behavioral patterns, etc., helps in deciding whom the advertiser wants to reach and also helps creative people to write messages to real audiences and communicate more effectively.

Setting Up Advertising Budget

The objectives determine what is expected of advertising to accomplish in a defined period of time. The budget controls all proposed expenditures by fixing a limit. There are various approaches to determining the budget; however, there is much disagreement on this issue and different companies use different approaches to determine the proper allocation.

This is a critical decision as it often involves large sums of money and, in most marketing situations; it is difficult to measure what advertising does to profits or sales volume. In an increasing number of companies, top management has been showing increasing concern about accountability for these funds.

Top management is usually involved in budget decisions and brand or promotion managers may not be in a position to influence the decision. This “top-down” practice often stops campaigns with excellent potential. However, brand managers must provide all the possible input in budgeting decisions.

The advertising budget is basically a plan to allocate financial resources to advertising for future operations and should be reviewed constantly keeping in view the changing market conditions.

  • Affordable method: The promotion budget is set at the level management thinks the company can afford.

  • Percentage-of-sales method: The promotion budget is set as a specified percentage of either past or forecasted sales.

  • Fixed-sum-per-unit method: The promotion budget is set as a predetermined dollar amount for each unit sold or produced.

  • Task-objective method: Once marketers determine their specific promotion objectives, the amount (and type) of promotional spending needed to achieve them is determined. The task-objective method develops a promotion budget based on a sound evaluation of the firm’s promotion objectives. As a result, it regulates its allocation of funds to modern marketing practices.

    Although this is the most rational approach, it is hard to implement because it requires managers to specify their objectives and attach dollar amounts to them.

Develop Advertising Campaign

  • Media Decisions: Media planning is quite complex because of the nature of different kinds of media. The Media plan determines the best way to reach the audience with the advertiser’s message.

    The goal is to find a particular combination of media that enables the advertiser to communicate the message most effectively to the largest target audience at the lowest cost. Initially, the general approach and role of media in the finished campaign are determined.

    Media planning focuses on clearly defining the targeted audience’s media habits and what specific media is most suitable for them in terms of reach and frequency. The major portion of ad budget is spent on media buying and a critical decision concerns how much media money to spend on an advertising campaign.

    The tactics relate to decisions about which media vehicles to use, such as India Today, Femina, Star Movie channel, or Vividh Bharti. Except for direct mail, all other media operate on their own schedule and are not under the control of the advertisers.

    The advertiser must consider the timing, media closing dates, campaign length and the number of exposures desired. It becomes necessary that media and creative teams accommodate each other and allow maximum creative execution and effective efficiency in reaching the targeted audience.

  • Message Decisions: An excellent advertising message is estimated to be ten times or more effective than an average message in influencing consumer attitudes, preferences and purchase decisions for the product. Creative strategy is concerned with what message to deliver to the audience for accomplishing the objectives.

    Determining the central theme, idea, image, or position is a critical part of the creative process and becomes the cornerstone of all individual ads that constitute the campaign. “Marlboro country” campaign, Nike’s “Just do it,” and Hallmark cards campaign “When you care enough to send the very best” are examples of some successful campaign themes.

    The “Intel Inside” campaign is a more recent example, and readers can assess how successfully the company has been using it.

Evaluate Campaign and Provide Feedback

Post-testing is done to evaluate the final results of the campaign. These results are concerned with measuring the effectiveness of the ad. Post-testing is done at the end of the campaign to determine to what extent the advertising campaign objectives have been accomplished and then to make any appropriate changes.

It provides feedback to promotion managers and helps future planning.

  • Tapan K Panda, Marketing Management, Excel Books.

  • Schramm Wilbur, How Communication Works, in the Process and Effects of Mass Communication, Ed. Wilbur Schramm and Donald F. Roberts, 1971.

  • Burke Raymond R. and Thomas K. Srull, “Competitive Interference and Consumer memory for Advertising”, Journal of Consumer Research, June 15, 1988.

  • Strong E. K., The Psychology of Selling, McGraw-Hill, 1925.

  • http://www.ebsglobal.net/documents/course-tasters/english/pdf/ h17mm-bk-taster.pdf

  • http://www.ibimapublishing.com/journals/ JMRCS/2013/584547/584547.html

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