ADVERTISING STRATEGIES For Companies – Media-Selection

Companies typically plan and execute their advertising through five stages:
developing the budget, planning the advertising, copy development and approval, execution, and monitoring response

Media-Selection Strategy

Media may be defined as those channels through which messages concerning a product or service are transmitted to targets. The following media are available to advertisers: newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor advertising, transit advertising, direct mail, and the Internet.

Selection of an advertising medium is influenced by such factors as the product or service itself, the target market, the extent and type of distribution, the type of message to be communicated, the budget, and competitors’ advertising strategies. Except for the advertising perspectives employed by the competition, information on most of these factors is presumably available inside the company. It may be necessary to undertake a marketing research project to find out what sorts of advertising strategies competitors have used in the past and what might be expected of them in the future. In addition, selection of a medium also depends on the advertising objectives for the product/market
concerned. With this information in place, different methods may be used to select a medium.
Mention must be made here of an emerging medium, i.e., Internet advertising.

Online advertising is booming and had reached about $2 billion in 1998.8 Internet advertising offers a variety of advantages. It offers an exceptional ability to target specific customers. Besides, it blurs the division between content and advertising, which the traditional media regard as sacred. If the money is right, many online publishers are willing to strike whatever sort of partnerships an
advertiser might want.

However, ad rates on the Net are steep enough to justify the cost. Most advertisers pay at least as much to reach an Internet audience, typically $10 to $40 per 1000 viewers, as they would for TV or magazine ads.9 Further, the emotion-laden vignettes that work so well on TV simply don’t woo viewers in cyberspace.

Presently, most marketers see Internet advertising as little more than a complement to traditional media. Despite the above problems, Internet advertising will account for a growing proportion of overall advertising expenditure. As the technology improves, the impact of Internet advertising will increase and become easier to measure, and the gap between this new precise, interactive marketing capability and conventional “fuzzy” passive media will widen.

Advertising Objectives. To build a good advertising program, it is necessary first to pinpoint the objectives of the ad campaign. It would be wrong to assume that all advertising leads directly to sales. A sale is a multiphase phenomenon, and advertising can be used to transfer the customer from one phase to the next: from unawareness of a product or service, to awareness, to comprehension, to conviction, to action. Thus, the advertiser must specify at what stage or stages he or she wants advertising to work. The objectives of advertising may be defined by any one of the following approaches: inventory approach, hierarchy approach, or attitudinal approach. Inventory Approach. Anumber of scholars have articulated inventories of functions performed by advertising. The objectives of an ad campaign may be defined from an inventory based on a firm’s overall marketing perspective.

The inventory approach is helpful in highlighting the fact that different objectives can be emphasized in advertising and that these objectives cannot be selected without reference to the overall marketing plan. Thus, this approach helps the advertiser avoid operating in a vacuum. However, inherent in this approach is the danger that the decision maker may choose nonfeasible and conflicting objectives if everything listed in an inventory seems worth pursuing.

Hierarchy Approach. Following this approach, the objectives of advertising should be stated in an action-oriented psychological form. Thus, the objectives of advertising may be defined as (a) gaining customers’ initial attention, perception, continued favorable attention, and interest; or (b) affecting customers’ comprehension, feeling, emotion, motivation, belief, intentions, decision, imagery, association, recall, and recognition. The thesis behind this approach is that customers move from one psychological state to another before actually buying a product.

Thus, the purpose of advertising should be to move customers from state to state and ultimately toward purchasing the product. Although it makes sense to define the purpose of an individual ad in hierarchical terms, it may be difficult to relate the purpose so defined to marketing goals. Besides, measurement of psychological states that form the basis of this approach is difficult and subjective compared to the measurement of goals such as market share.

Attitudinal Approach. According to this approach, advertising is instrumental in producing changes in attitudes; therefore, advertising goals should be defined to influence attitudinal structures.

The attitudinal approach is an improvement over the hierarchical approach because it attempts to relate advertising objectives to product/market objectives.

This approach indicates not only the functions advertising performs, it also targets the specific results it can achieve.

Advertising objectives should be defined by a person completely familiar with all product/market perspectives. A good definition of objectives aids in the writing of appropriate ad copy and in selecting the right media. It should be recognized that different ad campaigns for the same product can have varied objectives. But all ad campaigns should be complementary to each other to maximize total advertising impact.