What is the best way to advertise for a company? This might be the most common question asked by new business owners. It is not as simple as it sounds because if the wrong advertising method is used, the entire business could suffer in turn. The number of different types of advertising can be intimidating as well to someone inexperienced in the field. For this paper we will solely focus on advertising, and while marketing will be mentioned there will be no use of it. Advertising requires a company to take their target clients' demographics, the budget of the advertisement, the usefulness of the business, and how the advertisement will be remembered.
Advertising and marketing are used interchangeably, but there are distinct differences between them. Advertising is one small component of the overall machine that is marketing. Marketing is everything that goes into a product such as the package a product is in, the price, and promotions that can be had on the product. In short, marketing is done by a large company that makes the products and distributes them, while a small business that buys and resells their products is more focused on advertising their store and to move the product they bought that way. Just remember that the company is still a brand that must be sold, and marketing is needed before trying to advertise. The first point of decision will be is the target demographic of the company.
Demographic of the company is the most important because it can help decide whether the market is a niche market or a very broad market. Demographic is defined as a market or segment of the population identified by demographics by Webster dictionary. The definition can sound a little confusing but it all just relates to the point that every single aspect of a person falls under a characteristic shared by a percentage of the rest of the population, making groups of people to develop assumptions about the groups. Groups are created based on arbitrary and disconnected ways. The methods used to split people up are: age, gender, sexuality, class, race, income, religion, political affiliation, etc. Clearly when doing a demographic composition of a market it cannot be too detailed or it will not be effective. So, when composing the target demographic for the company there needs to be a broad and concise list that makes it possible for the most amount of people to be reached that will benefit from knowing about the company. Some companies use third parties like Facebook to crunch numbers for them and to spit out their target demographic. Facebook, for example, does it for free because it hopes that after telling companies the demographic they will use Facebook ads to target their audience. Even when a company does not use the ad space Facebook still makes out because they sell the company’s audience information for a profit. Once the target demographic is decided, there needs to be a decision on the type of market the demographic makes up.
There are two types of market advertising, niche market and target market. A niche market is a market inside of a normal market that is not served well and thus has another service pop up to satisfy the need; whilst, a market is just where people buy all the products daily. There are different types of markets like fast food and retail markets. Niche markets cannot exist without regular markets, but a company needs to decide before advertising whether it's in a niche market with few buyers and sellers or on a regular market with countless sellers and many buyers. This does not necessarily determine usefulness in a market, but it is a good indicator of how successful a business will be because they can determine the likelihood of staying in the market long term. The budget can be used to determine the entire platform for the advertisement.
There are many different platforms for advertisements to play on and budget is tightly related to where an ad will play. Television is one of the more expensive types of ads because there is so much demand and such little space between shows. On a local television broadcast, a 30-second ad will cost around 200 to 2000 dollars if it is during prime time, which can be from 6 PM to 10 PM. Which, surprisingly, is similar pricing for a radio spot on a popular drive-time radio in Cleveland. Both reach large markets of people but there is never any certainty (unless an expert is recommending it) that the time slot that can be afforded is going to be effective. Which does leave the newer, more targeted and affordable. The reliability of online advertising is surprising due to the direct back door showing of analytics provided from the website. This means that as soon as a person sees the ad, the company can see just how effective the ad was on the person's perception of the advertisement. The downside is that there is no real way to make the ad stand out from the rest of the vapid filled posts made by the user’s friends, meaning that it can be ignored much easier and forgotten. While online ads are hard to make memorable, there are a wide array of choices to make on radio and television to make an ad be remembered for years.
There have been plenty of memorable advertising ads like the "zoom zoom" that was a catchphrase for Mazda that has not been was introduced around July 2001, though 17 years later when there is a commercial for them there is undoubtedly a song saying, “zoom zoom zoom yeah yeah.” This song and the tagline are the epitome of making an ad that is memorable because it stays in people’s heads like an earworm making them want to seek out whatever it is and then get it. What makes the ad memorable does not have to relate directly back to the advertisement either. There are many ads that want to make an emotional connection through the relation of an ad's circumstances and the solution presented by their product. Duracell and Brickhouse child locator had a wonderful ad where Duracell saved a panicked mother from losing her son by powering the child locator, so she could find her lost boy. The emotional manipulation is wanting parents to put themselves in the position of the mother in the scene and instead of having to live the experience they can just see it empathize and feel the relief that she felt at the end of the commercial and then be influenced into buying the child locator and Duracell batteries to power it. The Duracell ad is remembered by most in much more infamy than Mazda’s ad because of the poor execution and the fact that it was an ineffective ad. There is one more advertisement style that is being used more frequently today than in years past, the humorous ads. Advertisements that are funny help to cement a brand in popular culture as a “cool” brand. Any advertisement that is shown during the Super Bowl has about a ninety percent chance of being based on a funny circumstance. The idea of a funny idea being the easiest to remember is based around the fact that funny grabs the attention of the viewers and if the joke is good it will keep their attention and the ad will be shown to all their friends and colleagues from work. The problem with humor ads is that they are so hard to do right and if one joke does not sit well, an all-out boycott could be looming for the company. So, what does this all add up to?
Basically, if a small business wants to make an affordable ad that can hit a vast amount of people use online advertising and wants almost everything done in house then stick to online advertising consisting of Google ads and Facebook ads that direct people to the website and make sales that way. If a company owner has a larger budget and an eye for what the company wants/needs, then a television or radio advertisement is what is needed. Though there are still so many choices to be made such as whether the viewer is going to laugh or cry and there will never be any certainty just how effective the ad was, so it is always advised to hire a person that went to school to make ads and get someone with the specialty that the ad requires. There is one final happy medium for the two advertising styles with the convenience and feedback of online advertising but the memorability of a television spot all while still being incredibly affordable. Hulu and YouTube are the best places to advertise on the current market. Not only are they affordable, but the business owner can even choose the demographics that they want to see the ads.
Advertising is not nor will it ever be as straightforward as it sounds when just being stated. Advertising takes knowing the target demographic, the company's budget, how useful the company is, and what type of advertisement is wanting to be made. Advertising can be done with little to no help or it could require all the help in the world and cost more than anyone could ever dream. That is why a company must know what they are getting into before pen ever hits paper.