Advertising and PR – Principles of Marketing


Advertising and PR

Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor. The first step to advertising is setting advertising objectives based on past decisions on the target market, positioning and the marketing mix. An advertising objective is a specific communication task to be accomplished with a specific target audience during a specific period of time. Informative advertising is often used when introducing a new product. Persuasive advertising is more used when competition is increasing. Reminder advertising is relevant for mature products and is used to maintain customer relationships.

After setting the advertising objectives, the advertising budget is set. The advertising budget is the money and other resources allocated to a product or a company advertising programme. The budget is often dependent of multiple factors, such as the stage in the product life cycle, market share and the number of competitors in the market.

The next thing in the advertising process is developing an advertising strategy: the strategy by which the company accomplishes its advertising objectives. It consists of two major elements: creative advertising messages and selecting advertising media.

The advertising message

When creating the advertising message, it is important to gain the attention of the customer and to stand out from the clutter of all other advertisements. In order to stand out, many marketers use “Madison & Vine”, a term that has come to represent the merging of advertising and entertainment in an effort to break through the clutter and create new avenues for reaching consumers with more engaging messages. The aim of “advertainment” is to make ads entertaining enough, so that people actually want to watch them. Branded entertainment, or brand integrations, involves making the brand an inseparable part of some form of entertainment.

The message strategy is the general message that will be communicated to consumers. The creative concept is the compelling “big idea” that will bring the advertising message strategy to life in a distinctive and memorable way. Advertising appeals should have three characteristics. They should be meaningful, believable and distinctive. After that, the message needs to be executed.

There are different execution styles: the approach style, tone, words and format used for executing an advertising message. Some styles are:

  • Slice of life: normal people using a product in a normal setting.
  • Lifestyle: shows how a product fits within a certain lifestyle.
  • Fantasy.
  • Mood or image: builds a mood or certain image around the product.
  • Musical: singing advertisement.
  • Personality symbol: creates a character that represents the product.
  • Technical expertise.
  • Scientific evidence: proving the brand is better.
  • Testimonial evidence or endorsement: featuring a highly believable or likable source.

The marketer must also decide upon the tone and format of the advertisement. The illustration is the first thing noticed, while the headline must entice the right people to read to advertisement. The copy (main block of text in the ad) must be simple, strong and convincing All of the elements must work together in order to persuade the customer.

The other major part of developing an advertisement strategy is selecting advertising media. Advertising media are the vehicles through which advertising messages are delivered to their intended audiences. To select media, a marketer must decide upon the reach and frequency of advertising that is desired. Reach is a measure of the percentage of people reached in the target market, while frequency is a measure to show how many times the average person is exposed to the message.

An advertiser will want to reach the desired media impact: the qualitative value of the message exposure. Media planners must also choose the best media vehicles: specific media within each general media type. Furthermore, they need to consider audience quality, audience engagement and editorial quality. Some media sources are more believable than others. Finally, the advertiser must decide upon the media timing. Continuity means scheduling ads evenly within a given period, while pulsing means scheduling ads unevenly over a given time period.

Measuring advertising effectiveness and the return on advertising are becoming important. Return on advertising investment is the net return on advertising investment divided by the costs of the advertising investment. There are two types of advertising results: communication effects and sales and profit effects.

Advertising is organised differently in different companies. It ranges from someone handling it in the sales department, to advertising departments and advertising agencies: a marketing services firm that assists companies in planning, preparing, implementing and evaluating all or portions of their advertising programmes.

Public relations (PR) means building good relations with the company’s various publics by obtaining favourable publicity, building up a good corporate image and heading off unfavourable rumours, stories and events. Activities involved in PR are press relations, product publicity, public affairs, lobbying and managing investor relations. PR can have a strong impact on public awareness and results can be impressing. Some of the most important tools of PR are the news, speeches, written materials, audio-visual material and public services activities.

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