Advertising is an effective way of promoting your products and services to your target audience and is usually a paid form of promotion. When you advertise you tell prospective customers who you are, where you are and what you can do for them.
Good advertising should:
1. build the image of your business
2. explain the benefits of your products and services
3. increase awareness of new products and services before, when and after they are launched
4. generate interest from your target market, as well as a new audience of prospective customers
5. encourage customers to ask for information about your business and provide options for how they can contact you increase the demand from customers and increase your sales.
Understanding the wide range of advertising strategies available will allow you to use the one that is best for your business. You may find that using a combination of strategies gives you the strongest results.
1.Types of advertising
Create your unique selling proposition
Types of advertising
Planning your advertising
Tips for effective advertising
Monitoring the success of your advertising
A successful advertising campaign will spread the word about your products and services, attract customers and generate sales. Whether you are trying to encourage new customers to buy an existing product or launching a new service, there are many options to choose from.
The most suitable advertising option for your business will depend on your target audience and what is the most cost effective way to reach as many of them as possible, as many times as possible. The advertising option chosen should also reflect the right environment for your product or service. For example, if you know that your target market reads a particular magazine, you should advertise in that publication.
The following list is an introduction to advertising tactics that you could use. Remember, you can always be creative in your advertising to get noticed (within advertising regulations).
Newspaper advertising can promote your business to a wide range of customers. Display advertisements are placed throughout the paper, while classified listings are under subject headings in a specific section.
You may find that a combination of advertising in your state/metropolitan newspaper and your local paper gives you the best results.
Advertising in a specialist magazine can reach your target market quickly and easily. Readers (your potential customers) tend to read magazines at their leisure and keep them for longer, giving your advertisement multiple chances to attract attention. Magazines generally serve consumers (by interest group e.g. women) and trade (industry/business type e.g. hospitality).
If your products need to be displayed in colour then glossy advertisements in a magazine can be ideal - although they are generally more expensive than newspaper advertisements.
Magazines do not usually serve a small area such as a specific town. If your target market is only a small percentage of the circulation, then advertising may not be cost-effective.
Advertising on the radio is a great way to reach your target audience. If your target market listens to a particular station, then regular advertising can attract new customers.
However, sound has its limitations. Listeners can find it difficult to remember what they have heard and sometimes the impact of radio advertising is lost. The best way to overcome this is to repeat your message regularly - which increases your costs significantly. If you cannot afford to play your advertisement regularly, you may find that radio advertising does not generate strong results.
Television has an extensive reach and advertising this way is ideal if you cater to a large market in a large area. Television advertisements have the advantage of sight, sound, movement and colour to persuade a customer to buy from you. They are particularly useful if you need to demonstrate how your product or service works.
Producing a television advertisement and then buying an advertising slot is generally expensive. Advertising is sold in units (e.g. 20, 30, 60 seconds) and costs vary according to:
1. the time slot
2. the television programme
3. whether it is metro or regional
4. if you want to buy spots on multiple networks.
Directories list businesses by name or category (e.g. Yellow Pages phone directories). Customers who refer to directories have often already made up their mind to buy - they just need to decide who to buy from.
The major advantage of online directories over print directories is that if you change your business name, address or telephone number, you can easily keep it up to date in the directory. You can also add new services or information about your business.
If your target market uses print and online directories, it may be useful to advertise in both, although print directories are being used less.
8.Outdoor and transit
There are many ways to advertise outside and on-the-go. Outdoor billboards can be signs by the road or hoardings at sport stadiums. Transit advertising can be posters on buses, taxis and bicycles. Large billboards can get your message across with a big impact. If the same customers pass your billboard every day as they travel to work, you are likely to be the first business they think of when they want to buy a product.
Even the largest of billboards usually contain a limited amount of information; otherwise, they can be difficult to read. Including your website address makes it easy for customers to follow up and find out more about your business. Outdoor advertising can be very expensive especially for prime locations and supersite billboards.
9.Direct mail, catalogues and leaflets
Direct mail means writing to customers directly. The more precise your mailing list or distribution area, the more of your target market you will reach. A direct mail approach is more personal, as you can select your audience and plan the timing to suit your business. A cost effective form of direct mail is to send your newsletters or flyers electronically to an email database.
Catalogues, brochures and leaflets can also be distributed to your target area. Including a brochure with your direct mail is a great way to give an interested customer more information about your products and services.
Being on the internet can be a cost-effective way to attract new customers. You can reach a global audience at a low cost. Many customers research businesses online before deciding whom to buy from.
A well-designed website can entice customers to buy from you. There are a number of ways you can promote your business online via paid advertising or to improve your search engine rankings.
10Tips for effective advertising
What you say and how you say it in words, sounds or pictures can be vital to your advertising success. Aim for your advertising to:
1. be noticed
2. be understood
3. stimulate action (such as an enquiry or visit to your store)
4. achieve an outcome (such as a sale).
The following tips will help you to meet these goals.
1. Create a distinctive and recognisable format for your advertisements. Be consistent in using this style.
2. Feature your branding prominently.
3. Ensure that your advertisement is well organised and easy to follow.
4. Always include relevant information your potential customers may want to know. E.g. opening hours or your shop adddress.
5. Make it easy for customers to contact you - do you want them to visit your website, phone or email you, or come into your store?
6. If you include your prices, make sure they are easy to find and remember.
7. Ensure that all contact details, product information and prices are up to date and accurate.
8. Use simple and direct language with everyday words that are easy to understand.
9. Tell your customers how you can help them with their needs or wants.
10. Make your unique selling proposition clear.
11. Tailor your message, style and format to your target audience.
Newspapers, magazines, directories, direct mail and billboards
1. Use a headline with powerful wording or a memorable graphic to capture attention.
2. Make sure graphics are high quality so they look good both in colour and black and white.
3. Do not include too much text, as most readers will only scan your advertisement for the key information.
1. Show the idea on the screen and back it up with more information (e.g. a print advertisement or brochure delivered directly to the viewer's home).
2. Don't try to cram every product onto the screen - aim for an advertisement that is memorable, not overwhelming.
3. Use professional actors (or acting students) or voice over artists instead of family and friends.
1. Keep it simple and don't try to communicate too many ideas in a 30-second spot - one central idea is more likely to be remembered.
2. Repeat the benefits of a product, the price and the name of your business so listeners will not forget it.
3. Use a professional voice-over artist (or student) rather than trying to do it yourself.
4. Think about what will work best online - don't just take a print advertisement and upload it. You may just want a headline and a hyperlink to your website.
5. As reading onscreen is not as easy as in print, make sure your advertisement is clean and uncluttered.
6. Use the language of your target audience to keep them engaged.
11TYPES OF ADVERTISING
The advertising objectives largely determine which of two basic types of advertising to use; product or institutional.
Institutional advertising tries to develop goodwill for a company rather than to sell a specific product. Its objective is to improve the advertiser's image, reputation, and relations with the various groups the company deals with. This includes not only end-users and distributors, but also suppliers, shareholders, employees, and the general public. Institutional advertising focuses on the name and prestige of a company. Institutional advertising is sometimes used by large companies with several divisions to link the divisions in customers' minds. It is also used to link a company‘s other products to the reputation of a market-leading product.
Product advertising tries to sell a product. It may be aimed at the end user or at potential representatives and distributors. Product advertising may be further classified as pioneering, competitive, and reminder advertising.
Pioneering advertising tries to develop primary demand, that is demand for a product category rather than a specific brand. It's needed in the early stages of the adoption process to inform potential customers about a new product. The first company to introduce a new technology to its industry doesn't have to worry about a competitive product since they alone have the technology. They have to sell the industry on the advantages of the new technology itself. Pioneering advertising is usually done in the early stage of the product life cycle by the company which introduces an innovation.
Competitive advertising tries to develop selective demand; demand for a specific manufacturer‘s product rather than a product category. An innovating company is usually forced into competitive advertising as the product life cycle moves along. After pioneering technology is accepted and most manufacturers are supplying competing products, the innovator is forced to sell the advantages of his specific design over that of the competition. This is usually the situation in a mature market.
Reminder advertising tries to keep the product's name before the public. It is useful when the product has achieved market domination. Here, the advertiser may use "soft-sell" ads that just mention or show the name as a reminder. Reminder advertising may be thought of as maintenance for a product with the leadership position in the market.
Marketers have at their disposal four major methods of promotion. Taken together these comprise the promotion mix. In this section a basic definition of each method is offered while in the next section a comparison of each method based on the characteristics of promotion is presented.
Involves non-personal, mostly paid promotions often using mass media outlets to deliver the marketer‘s message. While historically advertising has involved one-way communication with little feedback opportunity for the customer experiencing the advertisement, the advent of computer technology and, in particular, the Internet has increased the options that allow customers to provide quick feedback.
Involves the use of special short-term techniques, often in the form of incentives, to encourage customers to respond or undertake some activity. For instance, the use of retail coupons with expiration dates requires customers to act while the incentive is still valid.
Also referred to as publicity, this type of promotion uses third-party sources, and particularly the news media, to offer a favorable mention of the marketer‘s company or product without direct payment to the publisher of the information.
As the name implies, this form of promotion involves personal contact between company representatives and those who have a role in purchase decisions (e.g., make the decision, such as consumers, or have an influence on a decision, such as members of a company buying center). Often this occurs face-to-face or via telephone, though newer technologies allow this to occur online via video conferencing or text chat.
Promotion is the communications part of marketing. It is the way we tell the world our product. Promotion provides consumers with information and knowledge in an informative and persuasive manner. This, we hope, will sooner or later result in sales of our services or products. The information and knowledge can be communicated using one or more of the five promotional techniques - advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, merchandising, and public relations.
Goals of Promotion
The ultimate purpose of promotion is to modify behavior through communication. This requires helping customers at the various buying process stages so they eventually purchase or repurchase a particular service. Promotion achieves this by informing, persuading, and reminding - the three principal goals of promotion. Promotions usually fit into one of these categories; they are either informative, persuasive, or reminders.
Informative promotions work best with new services or products (early product-life-cycle stages) and with customers in early buying process stages (need awareness and information search). These types of promotions tend to communicate data or ideas about the key features of services.
Persuasive promotions are harder. They are aimed at getting customers to select one particular company or ―brand‖ over those of competitors, and to actually make the purchase. Advertisements that compare one company‘s services to another, and most sales promotions, fit into this category. Persuasive promotions work best in intermediate/late stages of product life cycle (growth and maturity) and the buying process (evaluation of alternatives and purchase).
Reminder promotions are used to push customers‘ memories about advertising they may have seen, and to stimulate repurchases. They are most effective in the late product-life-cycle (maturity and decline) and buying process stages (postpurchase evaluation).
12.The five communications mix elements are;
2. Personal selling
3. Sales promotion
5. Public relations (PR)
Advertising is any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor. The three key words in this definition are ―paid‖, ―nonpersonal‖ and ―identified sponsor.‖ Paid - hospitality and travel organizations always have to pay for advertising, either in money or in some form of barter (e.g., free meals from a restaurant in exchange for a radio ad). Nonpersonal - neither the sponsors nor their representatives are physically present to give the message to customers. Identified sponsor - the paying organization is clearly identified in the advertisement.
The media advertising is mainly two types as printed media advertising (newspapers, magazines, brochures, direct mail and billboards), and broadcast media advertising (radio and television). Direct mail which is used extensively by tour operators, is postal communication by an identified sponsor. And this promotional tool is classified as direct marketing.
Because tourism is an intangible product, a great deal of promotion includes the production of printed communications such as brochures or sales leaflets. The design, organization and printing of tourism brochures is one of the most important promotion functions. Printed communications are often costly. In fact, the printing and distribution costs of brochures comprise the largest part of most marketing budgets within the tourism industry.
Advertising is used to achieve a whole range of objectives which may include changing attitudes or building image as well as achieving sales. However, advertising messages do not always have to be aimed directly at creating a sale. Sometimes it‘s the sponsor‘s goal simply to convey a positive idea or a favorable image of the organization (often called
―institutional‖ advertising). (Sponsorship is the material or financial support of a specific activity which does not form part of the sponsor company‘s normal business) For example,
IBM has sponsored ads during the Atlanta 96 Olympics.
Advertising is often described as above-the-line promotion (where the media space is paid by the company) with all other forms of promotion (where space is not paid) being termed below-the-line.
Personal selling involves oral conversations. These are, either by telephone or face-to-face, between salespersons and prospective customers. This sort selling may be used by a non-profit-making museum as well as by a conference manager of a large hotel. Perosnal selling is very important in the sense that it has the ability to close a sale.
Sales promotions are approaches where customers are given a short term incentive (encouragement) to make an immediate purchase. Sales promotion campaigns add value to the product because the incentives does not normally accompany the product. Like advertising, the sponsor is clearly identified and the communication is nonpersonal. Examples include discount coupons, contests (trial), samples and premiums (prize, bonus). Free wine or free accommodation offers are frequently used in sales promotion campaigns for hotel restaurants which need to increase demand at certain periods.
Merchandising (point-of-purchase advertising)
Merchandising, or point-of-purchase ―advertising‖ includes materials used in-house to stimulate sales. These include menus, wine lists, signs, posters, displays, and other point-of-sale promotional items (in-room materials). It is a common practice to categorize merchandising as a sales promotion technique, because it does not include media advertising, personal selling, or public relations. In this course, merchandising is separated form other sales promotion techniques because of its uniqueness and its importance to the industry. Merchandising is important as a means of creating impulse purchase or remind the consumer of what is on offer.
Public Relations (PR)
Public relations includes all the activities that a hospitality and travel organization engages in to maintain or improve its relationship with other organizations and individuals. In other words, public relations try to provide commercially significant news about the product or service in a published medium, or obtaining favorable presentation in a medium that is not paid by the sponsor. Publicity is one public relations technique that involves nonpaid communication of information about an organization‘s services.
Each of the above promotional elements has capacity to achieve a different promotional objective. Personal selling has high potential for achieving communication objectives, however, only a small number of people can be contacted. Therefore advertising is a better method of reaching a high number of people at low cost. Public relations is more credible than advertising, but there is more control over advertising messages and they can be repeated on a regular basis. When it is difficult to raise advertising budgets, public relations is a lower cost alternative, but it is difficult to control the timing and consistency of PR coverage. Sales promotion may produce an initial trial for a product, but this type of promotion can only be used over a short period.
Each part of the promotion mix has its own strengths and weaknesses. While these may include the factors of cost, ability to target different groups, and control, there are other important considerations. On the following figure, they are compared on the basis of the level of awareness of the communication, and its comprehension (understanding, realization), as well as on whether it can build conviction (confidence, certainty) and succeed in creating action.
14.Factors affecting the promotional mix
Choosing a promotional program for a coming period requires very careful research and planning. The stage of customers‘ decision processes and product life cycle stages affect the promotional campaign decisions. However, there are some other factors that also affect promotional mix decisions.
The effectiveness of the five promotional mix elements varies according to the target market. For example, in promoting its convention/meeting facilities, a lodging property might find that personal selling to key meeting planners is much more effective than advertising. On the other hand, using personal selling to attract individual pleasure travelers would not be feasible.
The geographic location of potential customers also has an impact. Where they are widely dispersed, advertising may be the most efficient and effective way to reach them.
The promotional mix selected should flow directly from the objectives for each target market. For example, if the objective is to build awareness by a certain percentage, the emphasis may be placed on media advertising. If, on the other hand, it is to build sales significantly in a short time period, the focus may be put on sales promotion.
Competition and promotional practices
There is a distinct tendency in certain parts of the hospitality and travel industry for most competitive organizations to use the same ―lead element‖ in promotional mixes. Fast-food chains focus on heavy television advertising, hotels and airlines focus on frequent-traveler award programs, and cruise lines put a heavy emphasis on personal selling to travel agents.
It is difficult and extremely risky for one competitor to ―break from the pack‖ in this respect.
Promotional budget available
Obviously the funds available for promotion have a direct impact on choosing promotional mix elements. Smaller organizations with more limited budgets usually have to place greater emphasis on lower-cost promotions, including publicity and sales promotions. Larger organizations can better afford to use media advertising and personal selling.
Creating specific promotional messages
When the objectives which promotion is to fulfill have been decided in relation to an identified segment of buyers, the crucial step in the advertising process is to create memorable pictures and words. Creative execution captures attention, expresses the essence of a product in a few words that say it all, and provides key information. In travel and tourism good examples of creative executions are:
―We try harder‖ (Avis)
―We speak your language‖ (British Tourist Authority in the USA market)
―I love New York‖ (New York State)
―The World‘s favorite airline‖ (British Airways)
―Only one hotel chain guarantees your room will be right‖ - ―Everything in your Holiday
Inn room will be right. Or we will make it right. Or we will refund the cost of your room for that night‖
One of the member of an international advertising agency quoted;
... people can‘t believe you if they don‘t know what you‘re saying, and they can‘t know what you‘re saying if they don‘t listen to you, and they won‘t listen to you if you‘re not interesting.
And you won‘t be interesting unless you say things freshly, originally, and imaginatively.
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