Advertising in Marketing Management
In marketing practice, various techniques and methods of communication with the target audience are used to get the desired response. Companies must not only produce quality and useful products, but also inform about their benefits, as well as achieve a clear positioning of their outputs in the minds of the consumers. To do this, companies must skillfully use various tools, such as advertising, sales promotion and PR. Many believe that marketing is just about advertising and sales, which is not surprising, as every day one can encounter hundreds of TV commercials, newspaper ads, sales letters and reports, billboards, signs, shop windows, etc. In reality, advertising is only the tip of the iceberg of marketing, a component of the marketing mix, which often is not the most important, but still an essential tool.
Marketing: Theoretical Background
Marketing is a widespread phenomenon of the 20th century. Its origin goes back to applied economics and is closely connected with the basic categories of economic theory, such as exchange, profit maximization, utility, specialization, and rationality. The model of a rational contemporary man, whose decision-making is directed towards achieving their selfish interests, is seen as the basis of marketing conception of consumer behavior. Robert Keith offers his perspective on the evolution of marketing, stating that “our attention has shifted from problems of production to problems of marketing, from the product we can make to the product the consumer wants us to make, from the company itself to the marketplace”. According to his scheme, the model of three periods of production and sales includes a change in priority production, sales, and marketing. The era of sales has emphasized the production orientation, which mainly focuses on the company’s products and the company itself. However, with the emergence of competition, increasing attention to the organization of marketing, personal selling, advertising and promotion has been implemented. Thus, marketing orientation forms as a special response to the needs of the customer, striving to meet their maximum. Chronologically, the era of production lasts from the mid 1850s till the late 1920s, whereas the following era of sales precedes an epoch of marketing.
Marketing services are usually engaged in the development of tactics and implementation of commodity, price, marketing policies and strategies to promote products in the market. Analysis of the practice of innovation shows that, depending on market conditions, the initial stages of transformation of enterprises use some elements of marketing as utilitarian means. Such straightforward and simplistic operational understanding of marketing activity considers it a set of actions, techniques, and technology, facilitating a more or less successful interaction within the enterprise market. Therefore, marketing is a complex system of production that focuses on the needs of a specific customer and profit on the basis of marketing research, the study of the internal and external environment of export enterprises, the development of strategy and tactics of behavior in the market through marketing programs. These programs contain measures to improve the output and its range of products, the study of customers, competitors and competition: provide pricing, demand generation, sales promotion and advertising, optimization of product distribution channels and marketing, technical service organizations and expand the range of the presented services. According to Kotler & Keller, marketing is “the art and science of choosing target markets and getting, keeping, and growing customers through creating, delivering, and communicating superior customer value” . Marketing, as the root of the market economy is the philosophy of production that extends from research and development to delivering the service satisfying the conditions and demands of the market. It is in constant dynamic progress under the influence of a wide range of economic, political, scientific, technical and social factors.
Company-producers and exporters are considering marketing as a means to achieve the objectives determined periodically for each specific market and its segments with the highest economic efficiency. However, it can only be executed when a manufacturer has the ability to systematically adjust their scientific, technical, production and marketing plans in response to the changes appearing in market conditions. Moreover, it would require them to be able to maneuver their material and intellectual resources to ensure the necessary flexibility in addressing the strategic and tactical tasks on the basis of the results of marketing studies. Under these conditions, marketing becomes the foundation for long-term operational planning, production, and commercial activities, drawing up export production programs, organization of scientific, technical, technological, investment, production and marketing operation of an enterprise: thus, marketing management is an essential element of enterprise management system. The purpose of marketing is to provide reliable, accurate and timely market information about the structure and dynamics of customers’ preferences. That is, it supplies the data about the external conditions of functioning of the firm and sets the range of products, which would more fully satisfy the demands of the market than those of competitors.
The Main Functions of Advertising in Marketing Management
Recently, the concept of advertising has become not only a frequently used word in the media, but also the term causing a definite circle of associations of economic, socio-cultural and political nature. In economic terms, advertising is most often associated with the production, business, commerce, goods, services and employment: in socio-cultural context, it is related to entertainment events, travel, fashion shows, religious and charitable actions, acquaintances. Whereas in political conditions, advertising functions in political parties, leaders, election slogans, leaflets, protests, demonstrations, etc. In addition, in terms of marketing, advertising is a kind of marketing communications aimed at drawing attention to the goods by convincing consumers to make a purchase.
Generally, advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods and services provided to a particular customer. It usually takes printed, handwritten, verbal or graphic form of the face, the goods, services or social movement, openly emanated to increase sales, expand customer base, get the public vote or approval. In modern conditions, advertising is a necessary element of production and sales activities, as it is both the way of creating the market and the active means of its capture. Precisely, because of these features it is perceived as the trade trigger. As part of the marketing, advertising should prepare the consumer market to a favorable perception of the new product, support demand at a high level at the stage of mass production and help expand the target market. Accordingly, the scope and intensity of advertising are changing depending on the stage of the life cycle of the product.
Many organizations use advertising to promote themselves, their products, services, or actions, to a selected audience in a certain way directed to cause a particular reaction. Thus, the routine response behavior manifests itself in the fact that consumers buy the advertised product due to brand recognition. Nevertheless, advertising is used not only to produce goods and services, as many non-profit and public organizations, such as charities, museums, religious communities, are trying to attract the attention of more people actively using this marketing tool. Oberall, advertising stands as an excellent means of providing the information and beliefs to people, regardless the purpose: to create a preference for Nokia mobile phones across the world, to increase the consumption of milk by children and adolescents, or to reduce the number of smokers among young people.
It should be stated that advertising follows from a marketing plan, but it still requires to be planned separately. Its own strategy includes sections of analysis of advertising objectives and strategies. However, Ots & Nyulasy demonstrate that “despite the theoretical agreement about the strategic relevance and benefits of IMC, integration has often been problematic in practice, even within marketing organizations that subscribe to IMC in principle”. High-quality advertising strategy depends on the accuracy of marketing planning. Therefore, the main reason that the huge amounts of money spent on advertising are wasted is the lack of proper planning. The matter is that a plan for the dissemination of information, or promotional activities, is prepared almost in the same way as a marketing plan. The company faces the same stages of analysis, setting goals and defining strategies, and, based on that, it adopts special tactical events or advertising.
Subsequently, it is widely acknowledged that advertising performs economic, social, marketing, and communicative functions. The essence of the economic function of advertising as an important marketing tool amounts to stimulating sales and increasing the volume of profit on certain products in a particular unit of time. Advertising informs and creates a need for a product or service that encourages people to purchase them. Thus, its information has an enormous impact on the formation of a mass and individual consciousness. Accordingly, it contributes to the formation and implementation of people’s ideological values, ultimately having a definite effect on the nature of social relations. In addition, advertising calls to consumer human instincts, encouraging them to enhance their well-being. In fact, some say that comparing different goods and services, a consumer, tends to choose the best based on their personal opinion. As to the marketing function, advertising is an important part of a promotion mechanism of the product, aiming at satisfying the customers. In turn, according to the communication function, advertising ties together advertisers and consumer audience through media channels.
The Influence of Marketing Plan on Advertising
Planning is one of the most important factors in the functioning and development of the enterprises in the market economy. These activities are continuously improved in line with the objective requirements of production and sale, increasing complexity of economic relations, the expanding role of a consumer in the formation of technical and economic parameters, etc. Balanced intra-company plan provides the company with tangible benefits, program production activities, effective feedback, the proven strategy for improving production, high labor morale of workers, universal aspirations of staff of the company to innovate and reduce production costs. The marketing plan should reflect the objectives pursued by the top management, thus, be consistent with the capabilities of the various divisions of the company. The plan includes four main sections, among which one may find the analysis of the situation, target market behavior, marketing strategy, the program of future activities.
The marketing plan not only allows marketers to conduct analysis, critique, and optimization of the entire company, including previous programs of marketing and advertising, but suggests the future role of advertising in complex market activities. It identifies the actions that will be needed to ensure the success of advertising, promotional activities and those spheres that require marketing support. In addition to this, “in making choices, the planner must rely on measurement services that estimate audience size, composition, and media cost”. Finally, the marketing plan defines the focus of the development of creative advertising, giving constructive impulses to provide the main direction. Consequently, it can improve performance, control and consistency of advertising programs, and ensure optimal placement of the funds allocated for advertising.
Advertising as a Part of Marketing Strategy
Advertising is the natural product of a marketing plan. Hence, the first step in the process of developing an advertising program is staging promotional purpose, which is a specific task of periodical informing the target audience about the goods. Objectives should be based on the earlier evaluation of the target market, product positioning and marketing mix, which determine the main directions of advertising within the marketing program. Overall, its purpose can be classified depending whether the advertising seeks to inform, persuade or remind the consumers about the products or services.
Informative advertising is very often used in presenting the goods in the market. In this case, its purpose is to create primary demand. For example, manufacturers of CD players first of all inform consumers about the benefits of sound and ease of CD usage. Persuasive advertising becomes important with the growth of competition. Hereby, the company’s goal is to develop selective demand. For instance, when CD players took their place on the market, Sony began convincing consumers that its players offered best quality at competitive price. Sometimes, persuasive advertising takes the form of comparative advertising, which involves the company directly or indirectly comparing its brand with others. According to Kotler & Keller, persuasive advertising “aims to create liking, preference, conviction, and purchase of a product or service”. In turn, reminder advertising is important for goods that are at the stage of maturity. Hence, commercials with Joy Rich presenting Coca-Cola on television are designed mainly to remind people of Coca-Cola, and not to inform or persuade them.
When choosing a means of distributing advertising, specialists ought to consider many factors. Naik and Peters state that “using a proper mix of multiple media and synchronizing spending patterns over time are more important tasks than creating and designing advertising content when generating media synergies”. The choice affects the commitment of the target audience to certain media, thus, various types require different means of distribution: if the advertising is aimed at teenagers, it is best to use television and radio, whereas while announcing a big sale starting tomorrow, it is better to broadcast it on television or print in the newspapers. The main means of advertising are: television advertising, radio advertising, press advertising, direct mail, advertising on the Internet, and outdoor advertising.
The Role of Advertising in Marketing
It is noted that the marketing program includes advertising planning and decision-making. There are several marketing tools to achieve marketing goals. Goods or services can be improved by means of distribution strategies that help unite the company’s products with customers. Price strategy is another variable in marketing solutions. Sales of the brand can be increased without using promotion and advertising, as it can also be done through improved trade relations, lower prices, or better quality of the product.
To begin with, marketing managers must accurately determine the cause of the meager sales, before they come to the conclusion that the main problem is inadequate or insufficient advertising or promotion. For example, if research shows that consumers buy a limited trial goods of the brand, it may mean that advertising is quite successful (as consumers make a trial purchase), but the quality of brand products requires special attention. Thus, the marketing plan should be based on specific problems or opportunities for the brand, establishing situational analysis. When planning advertising, brand manager must develop a marketing program, the components of which would work in coordination and synergy. For example, if a firm develops an expensive prestigious product, it is important that advertising campaigns emphasize the idea of high quality and prestige. It can be achieved by associating the product with prestigious personalities, situations or events. Although, if advertising media are incompatible with it, the entire marketing program could fail. Conversely, if a company favors a cheap product, advertising may fail due to the use of unnecessary prestigious means of dissemination.
Advertising can attract a large, geographically broad market, as one message is transmitted to a big audience. Hence, one can use a wide range of channels from national television to local newspapers. Therefore, sponsorship can also be easily found and, since it leads to higher personal sales, a variety of people is interested in a wide coverage. Creating awareness of the audience, it provides a favorable attitude to the products of the company. In addition, it allows a company to be retail-based self-service, as even an entire industry could promote a sale by mail. Furthermore, using the strategy of attracting advertising allows the company to demonstrate the existence of demand from consumers.
Nevertheless, its downside is the lack of flexibility in the advertisements, the difficulties of adapting to the needs and characteristics of a consumer. Some types of promotional activities require large investments, even if a viewer or reader is insignificant, and it may be an obstacle for small businesses. In advertising, it is quite difficult to get feedback, and fast commitment is almost impossible, as media attract many people who are not interested in advertising. Moreover, organizations dealing with advertising on television are concerned when a viewer switches to other channels during a commercial.
Recommendations and Solutions
To achieve successful interpretation of the quality of goods and services from the point of view of the needs and requirements of customers, the advertiser must have the opportunity for a full representation of the consumer and the product itself, as well as be aware of the structure of the market. Kotler and Keller believe that “the advertising objective should emerge from a thorough analysis of the current marketing situation”. That is why research in advertising should be conducted in the three main areas: 1) the study of consumers, 2) the analysis of the goods, and 3) the analysis of the market. It allows advertisers understand how consumers perceive their products and those of competitors. It helps understand what results the consumers expect taking a purchasing decision. Additionally, the analysis of the product makes it easy for advertisers to create outputs bringing the expected satisfaction, and helps isolate the biggest advantages of a product. As a result, manufacturers are able to express the quality of their products in the languages most understood by the consumer, in the language of its own needs and demands. Thus, the market analysis is essential in creating effective advertising as it seeks to identify the interests of the potential buyers in order to focus the advertising on the most promising areas. Still, Wind, Sharp, and Nelson-Field consider relevance and rigor to be “inseparable ingredients in the recipe for research quality”. However, it should not be forgotten that research only supplements and does not replace the creativity and professionalism of the heads of the working groups, lyricists, artists, people whose efforts are born from successful advertising campaigns.
As part of a global development strategy aimed at achieving long-term goals and objectives, it is particularly important for the company’s success to use advertising as the primary means of marketing communication. In order to effectively address the strategic purposes in the field of advertising, marketers should have a clear understanding of the business and the peculiarities of the goods, know the strengths and weaknesses of the company, have information about the market and the possibilities that it offers, predict the problems that can occur in the market. Advertising not only helps inform consumers about the product, for which there is a demand, but also create the demand, especially in emerging markets. Thus, advertising, as an effective use of marketing communication, allows marketers to achieve strategic and tactical objectives related to the global mission of the company. In addition, even though advertising plays a crucial role in marketing management, it does not work effectively without a clear well-balanced and organized marketing plan.