How Advertising Functions as a Business Tool.
Every dollar spent on advertising your business will result in making you money or costing you money. When launching a new campaign, you simply cannot afford to guess wrong. One bad brand impression can destroy all the previous good impressions you’ve made. Advertising is an integral part to any company’s growth. When treated as a strategic tool within the larger context of a marketing plan developed to fit your business strategy, advertising becomes an effective tool to retain existing customers and capture new markets.
In the modern attention economy, consumers are constantly overstimulated to the point they subconsciously disregard or forget the majority of content they are exposed to. Your advertising has to say the right thing, with the right placement, to the right person, in order to even register in their brain. Effective advertising not only grabs the consumer’s attention long enough that their brain registers seeing it, but connects with them on an emotional and logical level where they remember it. The increase in existing stimuli means that a business has to increase the frequency of good brand impressions to achieve the objective of the campaign, else your brand will be overwritten in the consumer‘s mind by the next company that put the time, effort, and money into doing it right.
In this article we will cover what functions effective advertising campaigns can achieve when crafted to match your business, brand, and marketing strategies.
The first objective of any campaign is to generate awareness. Your audience needs to know who you are, what you offer, and what you stand for to form a connection with your brand. The goal is to do this frequently enough to gain top-of-mind awareness, which means your customers think of your brand when they desire the category of products or services you compete in. The brands that do this best are what we call equity position holders, where the brand name is synonymous with the category. Examples of equity position holders are Q-Tip, Band-Aid, and Kleenex.
Introduction campaigns are typically used to advertise a new company, product, or service for the first time to a new market. An advertisement cannot say everything to everybody, so it is important to match creative design and media placement to the appropriate target demographic. Often multiple campaigns targeted at separate, specific audiences, are more effective than one campaign that says nothing to everybody.
Attract Interest with Improvements
When you make an improvement to your product or service, it generates interest within your current audience and provides opportunities to pursue new market caps. Food and beverage companies do this when they update their recipes with new ingredients or removed ingredients.
Preserve Market Share
If you are not consistently in front of your audience, they will purchase whoever is. Your existing customers need to be reminded of why they like your product in the first place. There are more advertisements out there than ever before, which means you need to increase the frequency of your brand impressions to maintain presence in your audience’s minds. Consumers expect to be advertised to for holiday and other sale events, but to maintain a loyal consumer base you need to deliver on your brand promise when they do not expect it. This requires putting your message in front of consumers all the time.
Pursue New Markets
Advertising campaigns are designed to deliver a specific message to a specific audience. New audiences can be grown over time through referrals from their friends, or created using sponsorship of events. Good advertising will prompt trial, so when your brand is associated with a consumer’s other interests, it immediately increases the brand’s appeal.
This type of campaign is used to provide consumers with information on events a company is sponsoring, a charity mission a company advocates for, or the opening of new locations. Customers like to feel that they are part of something, and will support brands that are aligned with their other interests. Businesses use these types of campaigns to keep their audience engaged, which generates brand loyalty.
This is a great way to capture new markets that may not fit into your traditional target audience. Sponsorship enhances brand loyalty and captures markets that are already established in a separate category. Advocating for a cause can help define or correct misconceptions about a company's brand image. Announcing a new location drives traffic to the store. These types of campaigns can be supported with a public relations strategy.
A promotional offers a discount on goods or services. One of the most common types of promotional offer campaigns are holiday sales. This type of campaign usually includes a deadline which creates urgency. "On Sale" has been used since the inception of advertising because it is effective. When people are saving money, they are more likely to buy your product, this generates new customers and entices current customers at the same time.
There a a variety of reasons that businesses use promotional offers. Car dealerships do it to make room for new inventory. Services offer discounts to prompt trial from new customers. Food and beverage companies use it to sell more units to the same customer.
Conversely, luxury brands will never use promotional or discount offers to preserve exclusivity, equity positions, and customer attitudes.
If you would like to discuss your next advertising campaign, click here to contact Muse Advertising.