If you want to understand advertising, you should first get a broader understanding of marketing, in the same way a look at the forest gives a better view of the trees in it.
People are familiar with Samsung’s mobile phones largely due to the company’s advertising strategies. They are, at the same time, unknowingly being provided with information about prices, distribution channels, brand values and after-sales service.
Advertising is one of the tools used for companies to process marketing efficiently.
There are many other ways that companies communicate with customers and this is why it is important to view advertising from a wider perspective ― marketing.
The goal of advertising
The first step in any advertisement strategy is to set a concrete goal and maintain consistency.
Without this essential concept the whole process will be ruined as if someone is planting trees randomly in a forest regardless of overall harmony.
It should always be taken into regard that advertising is just one of marketing’s strategic moves.
The goal of advertising can be categorized into two parts ― a sales goal and a communication goal.
Because the fundamental goal of advertising is to increase profit, the amount of input it takes to bring in revenue or market share is always at the center of interest.
The communication goal for advertisements is not to provoke an instant reaction from potential customers but to raise brand awareness, form a favorable response and increase intention to purchase by potential customers.
The two goals seem to be contradicting one another but actually these have to go in line together. One can call it a good advertisement only when an advertisement has an equal value in business and art.
The role of advertising
Advertisements introduce and promote products to potential customers and therefore expect higher revenues.
Such marketing effect can be divided into four levels accordingly by the stages of customer reactions.
First, advertisements form brand awareness.
Marketers put a great importance on advertisements when introducing new products. People need be aware that a product is on the market in order to purchase it.
Most automobile companies maximize their brand awareness through advertisements when launching new models.
Secondly, advertisements present information about a product. This enables potential customers to build trust in the brand and receive more facts.
For example, companies that produce electronic devices, such as smartphones and computers, introduce new or unfamiliar functions of their devices in their advertisements.
Even beverage companies enthusiastically advertise that their drinks are sugar-free and do not include any artificial colorings.
Third, advertisements lead to customers’ favorable response and preferences. Companies have to distinguish their products from rival companies’ in their advertisements. And making the reasons to buy their goods clear earns credibility and a good image.
Fourth, advertisements prompt people’s intention to purchase products.
Emphasizing the superiority of the product in the market is the best way to get an instant reaction from customers. Advertisements for ice creams are shown in summer and beer or noodle advertisements are shown during nighttime to prompt purchases.
In this sense, advertising is the meeting of art and strategy and this needs to have a positive influence on companies’ revenues. Look at the forest, not just the trees.
By Park Heung-soo
Professor, Yonsei School of Business