Advertising: Its Meaning, Objectives and Importance

Meaning of Advertising

Advertising is done in order to provide meaningful information about products. Advertisement is an important factor of promotion mix. Government organizations, business organizations, persons, groups, service oriented organizations etc. use this. As every product or service needs advertisement, this age is also called the
advertising age. Similarly, the business age of today is also the age of competition. Different substituting goods are found in markets. They keep on competing with one another. So, the main objective of producers is to attract the consumers' attention towards their products.

The task of providing all the necessary information to the consumers about the quality, features, price, utility and importance of goods or services through different means of advertisement such as radio, newspapers, magazines, television etc. is called advertising. Television, video, cinema etc. are audio-visual means of advertisement. Radio, newspapers etc. also can be used to advertise goods. Goods are advertised through suitable media according to their nature, condition, cost, time, availability etc.

Different experts and writers have defined advertising. Important ones are given as follows:
Prof. Philip Kotler has defined advertising as, "Advertising is paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor."
Mason and Rath have defined it as, "Advertising is a salesmanship without a personal salesman."
The above mentioned definitions make it clear that giving information to customers about goods or services through press, audio-visual media is advertising. Non-personal presentation of goods or services by well-known sponsor paying certain fee is called advertisement. It plays an important role in promotion of goods or services. In comparison to other factors of promotion mix, advertisement is very popular and effective factor used in all sectors. Small or big, governmental or non-governmental, sole or non-personal/joint businesses all use advertisement for sales promotion of their goods or services. The features of good advertisement are as follows:

1. Non-personal

Advertisement is of purely non-personal nature. In this interaction, face to face or contact or talks between person to person does not take place.

2. Message

In advertisement, the main content is message. It motivates/inspires the customers to buy goods. The advertisement message may be in any form such as oral, written, or symbolic or codes.

3. Sponsored

Advertisement is sponsored by any person, organization, or group. The sponsor should pay certain amount of money for advertisement.

4. Objective

Advertisement is done to achieve certain objective. Without objective, no advertisement of any product or service can be done. Giving assurance, information, notice, message, or reminding etc. is the main objective of advertisement.

5. Cost

Different expenses are needed for advertisement. It is called advertisement expense. Development cost, production cost, media cost, administrative cost etc. are the main examples of cost.

Objectives of Advertising

Although advertising seems simple, it is very challenging and difficult task. It motivates/inspires target groups to buy goods or services by making flow of information. Advertisement has some important objectives, which are given as follows:

1. To inform about product and organization

Many objectives of advertisement can be determined. One of them is to give information to potential customers about goods or services and organization. Information can be given about brand, feature, utility, price importance etc. of the product. It may also be about the location of organization and warehouse. Some short information can be given through press, audio visual, visual audio, etc. considering the availability, cost, situation, nature of product etc. The main objective of advertisement is to give knowledge to potential customers about products and their reliability.

2. To persuade potential customers

The second main objective of advertisement is to reassure/persuade potential customers. The customers do not become ready to buy only getting information about goods or services. So, the customers should be persuaded and made confident towards goods or services. For this, it needs to give comparative information about price, utility, feature etc. of the product. Confidence brings changes in behavior, feeling, thinking, trend etc. of the potential customers. So, the customers get themselves motivated to buy the advertised goods or services. Hence, the main objective of persuading the potential customers is to investigate them to buy products or services at least for experiment or make them give priority to certain brand.

3. To remind customers

The third main objective of advertisement is to remind customers of goods or services. As different advertisements about different products and services can be seen or heard through various means, the customers feel difficult to remember every brand. Similarly, thousands of competing producers advertise their products to divert customers' attention towards their own products. So, customers should be reminded of goods or services through regular advertisement. While reminding them in this way, place of availability, quality, features, price, utility, benefits etc. should be clearly stated.

4. To increase the value of product

The objective of advertisement is also to increase the value of product. There are some advertisements which can increase the value of products and organization. Special advertisement program should be conducted in order to increase value and respect of the product. This sets indelible impression on them about the quality of the product and reliability of the organization.

5. To reassure customers

The fifth objective of advertisement is to reassure customers. They may express concern over their buying decision or feel uneasy. In such situation, if advertisement makes them clear about quality, feature, utility and reliability and importance of the product, they become confident if they are reassured. Such assurance makes them feel, "I am buying the best quality goods." This makes them more loyal to the product as well as to the organization.

6. To add other promotional tools

Helping to different promotional method is also another objective of advertisement. At first, advertisement helps to bring effectiveness in personal selling. Advertisement provides different information about product to the potential customers. So, it is not difficult to persuade the customers to buy goods or services by giving true information. As the customers can get prior information about goods or products through advertisement, they become ready to buy. Similarly, advertisement helps to bring effectiveness in sale promotion. Different methods need to be applied to sale promotion. Sale promotion can be made effective by advertising goods or products, for example, if coupons have been provided, exhibition has been held, discount has been provided, and the customers can be informed about such facilities/chances.

Importance of Advertising

The modern age is the age of advertisement. This task reflects different activities of marketing. It provides information, instruction and education/knowledge to all the customers of target market. So, importance of advertisement has become greater than before. To prove this, it becomes contextual to discuss on the following points:

1. Facilitates mass production

Effective advertisement makes flow of necessary information to the customers. Accordingly, the goods are distributed and sold. Such distribution and selling increase demand for product in different market segments. As a result, the company gets opportunity of mass production of the goods. Production of goods in mass quantity, per unit production cost becomes less, due to which per unit price does not increase and profit margin becomes more.

2. Educates the customers

Good advertisement provides true information to the customers about product or services. Along with this, which product is used for what and for what purpose is also clearly stated. Some products need care while handling/using. Such information is also provided by advertisement. Doing so, the customers get information and can decide which product is suitable for them and which unsuitable.

3. Introduction of new product

An effective advertisement makes the new products familiar to the customers. Short information about quality, features, price etc. of the product contains in it. After the flow of such information, the customers may take buying decision. Besides this, advertisement makes the customers feel necessity of the new product and draws their attention to it. So, the task of advertisement is equally important to give introduction of new product.

4. Information to the customers

Advertisement gives information to the customers about new products and its introduction in market. So, the customers make plan which product should be bought to maintain life standard. All the composition of the product manufacturing, involved elements, handling/using method, manufactured and expiry dates, information about the usability of the product etc. are also given. Quality of the product, price, utility, place of availability, etc. are also included in advertisement. As a result, the customers get clear information about the product. So, providing true information is other important function of advertisement.

5. Maintains the image of organization

Advertisement pays special attention to the brand of quality goods. After such goods have been advertised, the customers get them. When they have once used quality goods, they do not easily change the brand or do not buy goods of other brands. In this way, advertisement makes the customers loyal to the brand and maintains it. Customers demand for the goods of certain company only. It raises the dignity, respect and good image of the company. So, advertisement becomes important for maintaining image, reputation, dignity and respect of the organization.

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