The Truth behind Advertising
Advertising is more than just the means of disseminating product information. It is a primary communications tool of our economic system. Moreover, aside from its diverse role as a persuasive communication tool, it is also part of the everyday culture of virtually everyone. Actually advertising is a part of our social, cultural, and business environment.
The specific reasons that a company chooses to advertise at a particular level is often difficult to determine. However, there are a number of situations that usually dictate a higher proportion of advertising to sales than might otherwise be used. First, it introduces a new product of service; to enter the marketplace against established competition, extra weight is needed. Second, to encounter competition; some industries are engaged in price wars and have far more competition than others, especially when nobody is a real leader in the field. Third, to maintain a leadership position; companies decide to spend in advertising investing in promoting their brand names. Fourth, to emphasize price; among all competitive pressures, price is probably the most usually used feature that gets heavily promoted. Finally, to keep up with a fast growing industry; in fierce competitive fields it is vital to spend more on advertising to prevent others from surpassing your offer.
Advertising primary strength is that it reaches a large mass audience to intensify broad-based demand for a product. As specialists support, advertising can build brand awareness, create long-term brand images and positions, and increase brand knowledge effectively. It can furthermore, alter the image of an existing product and act as a reminder mechanism. Finally, advertising acts also as a memorability mechanism through message repetition.
Regarding new product launch, advertising is considered of vital importance as it can provide the necessary information to the targeted audiences and increase their awareness levels. It moreover can act as an Awareness-Identification-Desire-Action tool since it can provide all the incentives needed for a trial. As far as the action stage is concerned, advertising can become the element through which a prospect will decide upon purchasing the product or service. Coupons, free samples, discounts, and many other promotional mechanisms can become the reason behind a new product's success. Penetrating any market is a matter of well-planned integrated marketing program and in order for a new product's or service launch to be successful, advertising can serve as a valuable tool for the company's future goals and current sales increase.
Advertising has limits, however. Consumers often tend to believe it is intrusive, and try to avoid it by changing the TV-channel, radio station or page. Because of the abundant of products and services in today's world, clutter issues can threaten advertising, as the more advertisements exist, the more frustrated the consumer becomes. Another major drawback of advertising is that of lost impressions. Due to its high penetration, the mass market is not always the right target to which the messages are directed.
Regarding new product launch, advertising is valuable only to companies if it creates consumer identification, is differentiated from clutter, and in the long run its success is measured by repeat purchase. If a product or service stays viable for a longer period than its competition, it is due to its penetration to customer minds and homes.
Concluding, advertising should be used in the marketing communication mix to maximize its strengths, which should be analyzed relatively to other marketing communication tools.