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Advertising, Marketing and Brand Management Report

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The role and functions of advertising within the context of the marketing mix

Apple with its recent advert for iPad dubbed we’ll always clearly shows potential viewers some of the various application of the gadget. The advert takes it is very clear that how we are going to carry out our day to day tasks has completely hanged. For instance, through photos, sharing memories will be a continuous thing, we can be able to get an opportunity to read our favorite book, cook dinner from guidance from the gadget, watch and cheer for our favorite teams in cricket, football, and other games, attend the meeting, make home movies among many more things. The advert is complemented with the visual demonstration this leaves no one with doubt of what the iPad can do for them (Aaker, 1997). It is also useful for children as they can use it to write and study. The effectiveness of the gadget can not be easily argued against. The advert also is crafted in a manner that pushes people or the target audience to see it as a very important gadget that enhances human life.

It is worth noting that advertising is a collection of various activities in which both visual as well as oral messages are utilized in making sure that certain information reaches a target group so that they are informed and influenced to purchase the product or service being advertised. Similarly, such efforts might be to make such individuals act in favor of the advertised ideas, persons, or trademark being featured. There is no doubt that advertisement is closely linked to the marketing mix (Beasley, 2002). The purpose of the marketing mix or promotion mix is to create demand for a given product or service and even ideas so that sales are achieved. Three main techniques used for promotion mix include advertising, promotion as well as personal selling. Based on the concept of the marketing mix, the four P’s which as price, promotion, product, and placement are central to advertisement. A well thought out advertisement will indeed constitute all of the four P’s. For instance, any advertisement should indeed have a product or services before such an effort is made (Aaker, 1996). A product is a tangible good or intangible services manufactured on a large scale or services such as tourism, hospitality services among others.

In line with the product, advertisement is aimed at ensuring that the target audience is well informed of what the product or service is, what it can do, how efficient as well as what it cannot do. This concept will thus attract the target audience to desire to know more about the item being advertised. In the case of iPad, recent ad parents who have children in preschool will be attracted to the bit where the iPad can be used as a learning tool by children (Wernick, 1991). This will prompt them to know more about the product and probably buy one for the family used based on the subsequent three aspects. In most cases, advertisement usually tales the target audience how much they are expected to pay for the product or service being advertised. This will help them decide whether they will buy the same or not. Based on the response from the target audience, the organization or firm will adjust the price accordingly. For instance, when the buying response is too low, a firm may resort to a slight cut down on the price. More importantly, advertisement usually ends up letting the target audience how they can get the service or product if they so wish. This bit is termed as placement and an advertisement that fails to do this is deemed ineffective (Aaker, Fournier & Brasel, 2004).

In the real sense, advertisement is aimed at bringing attention as well as tension to potential as well as present consumers of a given product or service. This is important in the situation where the company is new or the product or service at hand is a new one. Additionally, advertising is used to help increase sales, especially during slow periods. On the same note, the concept is used so that the public image of a firm is improved. This is particularly true in case a firm had a rough time at one point in time and it is only through an advertisement that they can gain public confidence. Last and more importantly advertisement is used to induce the current consumers to buy more (Petley & Julian, 2002). This is the case with Apple, they have developed very sophisticated gadgets already in the market and still entice the target population to buy more so that the consumers can feel what the new gadget brings to their lives. These aforementioned roles of advertisement clearly explain how advertisement fits into the communication mix. Advertising knowledge and application

Advertising is the most important contributor to brand and personality

It has been argued that advertisement not only creates awareness of a certain good, product, or service but goes further in impacting brand image as well as brand personality. Brand personality has been thought of as the set of human characteristics that are exhibited linked to a given brand. Literature has it that customers usually find it natural to be associated with personality traits, for instance, honest, cheerful, charming and the likes all this tend to be distinct. Traditionally, brand personality traits are believed to be associated with the target audience through those people who represent it for instance typical user of a product, employees of a company among others (direct brand personality). On the other hand, indirect brand personality where a brand personality is conceptualized based on the processes by which individuals attribute personality characteristics to others (Lears, 1995).

Advertisement through whatever means, radio, print, and television has the capability of positively impacting on the same. On the other hand, brand image has been defined as a unique differentiated set of associations within the mind of a target audience. Ideally, it usually shows what the brand is currently meant to the mindset of potential as well as current consumers (Berger & Mitchell,1989) Additionally brand image all about how a given brand is positioned in the market, the character of an organization. Ideally, brand image has certain elements which include a unique logo, reflecting the organization’s image, statements that describe the firm belief in the business. Brand image is indeed the overall impression in the mind of the customer usually formed from all sources advertising being one of them. Through advertisement, consumers tend to develop certain associations with a given brand (Schultx, William & Lisa, 1998). It is based on the linked association between what is in the customer’s mind that a brand image is formed. On the same line of reasoning, the subjective perceptions of specific association bundles help in forming the brand image. It is a fact that motor vehicles such as Volvo and Toyota are linked or associated with safety and reliability respectively.

Having in mind that consumers usually buy not only the service or product but also the image which is linked to the same, there is a need to create a positive, unique, and instant brand image. Through advertisement, it is possible if the whole idea is well thought out to help convey as well as develop the character of the product in a differentiated manner from its competitors. Advertisement usually brings with it the idea of the brand attribute to consumers. Here all those functions as well as a mental connection with the brand that the consumers have is created via the messages portrayed during the advertisement. Additionally, the concepts associated with all types of benefits which have been generally thought of as the rationale for buying a certain product or service are usually created through advertisement. During the advertisement, what an organization or its product does better is brought out. For instance, in the case of the iPad recent advert, he showcasing all those activities that are supported by the gadget makes one feel the urge to buy it.

Going back and talking about building brand personality, advertisement works well in doing so. Because brands usually carry in them a true persona, beliefs as well as experiences similar to a personality, a brand can be thus seen at a different and a higher level. Advertising as well as branding experts concur that it is indeed very difficult for one not to like someone who has a strong personality. Through advertisement, an organization can use personality development to help humanize a service or product that is inanimate this in the long run aid in making a prospect’s defense go down.

After publicizing an individual who has some good personalities, using such individuals to advertise the product at hand helps an organization to experience the advantage of the personality pre-selling their products or services before the actual purchase. In the long run, this ends up forging an emotional link between potential buyers and the brand. It is worth noting that through advertisement, the various sources of brand personality dimension are in one way or the other brought out very clearly. These dimensions include the following; company’s employees, directors, endorsers, typical brand users, product attributes, word of mouth, online consumer community, company’s moral values, country of origin, retail stores, price, brand logo, brand name, own experience as well as a product category.

Advantages and disadvantages of print media, broadcasting, and interactive advertising

Print media

Advantages

Among the advantages of print media include the following; Different types of print media (newspapers and magazines) have a loyal readership. This can be very useful for advertisers as compared to advertising on the Internet. Additionally, if you are targeting a particular geographical area, you can do so with ease through print media. For example, a local newspaper would be the best medium to advertise a new shopping complex. Similarly one can choose the size of the advertisement space. This will help to plan the budget of the expenses to be incurred while advertising. Also, certain forms of print media have a very loyal fan following in terms of readers. This would guarantee a firm advertising added readership. Magazines and newspapers are always in the eye of the public. Magazines are read for a month, which brings more attention to an advertisement. Lastly and more importantly one can even advertise through brochures or leaflets depending upon the target audience. If the information is in detail, a brochure can prove to be an apt option. A leaflet, in that case, would be useful for a brief message.

Disadvantages

Despite the advantages mentioned above, print media is linked to several demerits. The cost incurred can sometimes be expensive considering the medium you choose. The shelf life of any particular print medium is limited. Newspapers, for example, are in the public eye only for a day this means that individuals who cannot access the paper will have missed the chance to get the desired information. This medium may not always give you a wide reach. Internet, on the other hand, can target a global audience. There is a limitation in terms of the kind of people who may read your message. The particular newspaper may not be accessible every time to your target group, which means, your message may be missed! The Internet, on the other hand, can be accessed from anywhere. You may have to plan months to advertise in print media. It does not offer you flexibility when you are faced with a tight deadline. Advertisements may get lost in all the clutter of editorial and ads by competitors.

Interactive advertising media

Advantages

Among the advantages of interactive advertising, media include the following; it allows one to reach a huge number of people in a given geographic area, an organization intending to advertise has the flexibility in deciding the ad size and placement within the newspaper. Additionally, the ad can be as large as necessary to communicate as much of a story as you care to tell (Clow & Baack, 2007). More importantly, exposure to your ad is not limited; readers can go back to your message again and again if so desired. Free help in creating and producing ad copy is usually available hence making it more desirable. There is the ability of a Quick turn-around which will help the ad to reflect the changing market conditions. The ad one decides to run today can be in your customers’ hands in one to two days.

Disadvantages

On the other hand, this medium has some demerits or drawbacks. Among them include; advertising space can be expensive. Your ad has to compete against the clutter of other advertisers, including the giant’s ads run by supermarkets and department stores as well as the ads of your competitors (Trivedi & Minakshi, 1998). Poor photo reproduction limits creativity. Newspapers are a price-oriented medium; most ads are for sales expect your ad to have a short shelf life, as newspapers are usually read once and then discarded. Unfortunately, it may happen that one may be paying to send advertising messages to a lot of people who will probably never be in the market to buy from you. Additionally, newspapers are a highly visible medium, so your competitors can quickly react to your prices. Lastly and more importantly, with the increasing popularity of the internet, newspapers face declining readership and market penetration. A growing number of readers now skip the print version of the newspaper (and hence the print ads) and instead read the online version of the publication. This makes the print ad not to reach the target audience.

Broadcast media – TV, cinema, radio

Advantages

All kinds of programs are easily known thus bringing the advantage of viewers to be successfully targeted. One can enjoy the films while sitting at one’s own house, among the members of the family. It also helps in removing the social and political evils from society. Broadcasting helps in educating the people regarding the corruption, prevailing in the social and political spheres

Disadvantages

People become lazy and shirk work because they spend too much time listening to the radio or watching TV. Television affects the eye-sight hence people will only take time to see the programs they are interested in and take off when some ‘unnecessary things’ are being aired. Their repair is very costly and a man with ordinary means may not be able to afford it making it a biased way of advertising since the intended message will only be absorbed by a certain group of individuals, those with television sets.

Advantages and disadvantages of public relation, sales promotion, and direct marketing

Direct marketing

Direct marketing is where manufactures carry business directly to top consumers, this is with no middle men in between the two. It is worth noting that it is accomplished through mailing the consumer or contacting him directly, this is aimed at making sure that he or she knows about the products as well as services available (Graydon, 2003).

Advantages

This approach brings with it the advantage of covering a wider geographic area. An organization can segment the target audience in terms of region. Both local and international audiences can be approached easily and with specific messages. This in itself brings another advantage where target messages can be tailored to a specific group. With the availability of digital printing equipment, it is possible to display different images, design, and offer the same in direct mail based on the recipient.

Additionally, this method has been hailed to be the best when building a warm and long lasting relationship between manufacturers and consumers. This can be used to create dialogue as well as create a push-pull plan. Through this approach, it is also possible for an organization to continuously test what will work as a combination of best marketing tools. Last but not least, direct mailing allows for rapid delivery. On the same note, the method is indeed cost-effective because once a customer is met; the firm can still use him or her to take advantage of multiple sales.

Disadvantages

The drawbacks associated with direct mailing include the following; the target audience may time feel that their privacy is being infringed and may not endorse such messages. Although it is a rapid way of delivering information, it is usually challenging to get the immediate impact of the same. On the same note, some specific laws and regulations prohibit the use of fliers and street advertisements this will limit its application.

Sales promotion

Ideally, sales promotion is a marketing method that is intended to attract a buyer to take a specific action such as make a purchase or request more information. It takes place for a small period so that it can help create urgency amongst the target audience.

Advantages

The promotion has the capability of ensuring that the target audience is provided with more information with regards to a product or service. Such information can be very beneficial in helping potential buyers to decide to buy such products although they initially thought of them as being complex and unfamiliar to them. Additionally, it is one way to lure new customers with prices (Magne & Natalia, 2004). Sales promotion is usually characterized by lowered prices on certain products. This helps in luring customers away from competitors. Additionally, through sales promotion, it is possible to gain community favor. This is usually attained when the promotion is staged to support a worthy cause. On the same note, sales promotion can be used to encourage consumers to adopt the culture of repeat purchases (Kirmani & Zeithaml, 1993).

Disadvantages

One setback of sales promotion is that the ideas even though are new can be easily cloned by competitors. With more creativity and innovation, they can spice up the concept hence rendering the one who initiated it to be in trouble. Similarly, sales promotion is a concept that is carried out for a short period giving a boost to sales on a short-term basis. However, it has been established that such an event may negatively impact the firm in the future such as dilution of the quality of a brand image. On the same line of reasoning, consumers have mastered the way to milk this idea of sales promotion. For instance, consumers may wait till the day of the promotion so that they buy some products.

Public relation

Advantages

Public relation as a mode of communication has several advantages. Among them include; it offers the target audience more information. When a firm takes time to think about how to come up with a successful public relation, there are chances that the audience will be provided with more detailed information about the firm as well as the product. This will indeed help shape their thought about the firm and its brand (Blattberg & Scott, 1995).

Additionally, there are chances that the information can get to reach millions of people within a short period. Usually depending on the medium used, to share the information intended, the same may be picked by a large portion of the audience who may act as ambassadors and continue sharing the same messages. Lastly and more importantly, public relation makes it possible for a firm to successfully target a specific market segment based on certain market segmentation attributes such as age, gender, and occupation (Cook, 2001).

Disadvantages

It is worth noting that public relations can result in loss of control. Even though an employee of a firm is interviewed with a media house or a newspaper the experience is indeed wonderful but the one being interviewed has no control over what will be printed hence it may be possible for the intended information not to be conveyed to the target audience. On the same note, there is the possibility of the message to be changed; this is true particularly where a firm press release is re-crafted so that it can fit the media house editorial requirements. More importantly, there are chances that a story from a firm might be met with a more interesting story. This will lead the target audience to shift their focus to a more interesting story (Batra, Lehmann & Singh, 1993).

References

Aaker, D. 1996. Building strong brands. New York: The Free Press.

Aaker, J., Fournier, S. & Brasel, A. 2004. When good brands do bad. Journal of Consumer Research, 1-16.

Aaker, J.1997. Dimensions of Brand Personality. Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 34no.. 3, 347-356.

Batra, R., Lehmann, D & Singh, D. 1993. “The brand personality component of brand goodwill: Some antecedents and consequences”. In Aaker D.A. & Biel A.L. (Eds.), Brand Equity and Advertising (pp. 83-96). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Beasley, R. 2002. Persuasive Signs: The Semiotics of Advertising. Berlin, Germany: Walter deGruyter GmbH & KG.

Berger, I. & A. Mitchell, A.1989. The effect of advertising on attitude accessibility, attitude confidence, and the attitude-behavior relationship. Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 16 no.3, pp.269-279.

Blattberg, R. & Scott N. 1995. Sales Promotion: Concepts, Methods, Strategies. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Clow, E & Baack, D. 2007. Integrated Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Communications 3rd edition. London: Pearson Education.

Cook, G. 2001. The Discourse of Advertising. London: Routledge.

Graydon, S. 2003. Made You Look – How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know, Toronto: Annick Press.

Kirmani, A. & Zeithaml, V. 1993. Advertising, perceived quality, and brand image. In Aaker D.A. & Biel A.L. (Eds.), Brand Equity and Advertising (pp. 143-162). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Lears, J. 1995. Fables of Abundance: A Cultural History of Advertising in America, Basic Books.

Magne S. & Natalia M. 2004. “In search of the sources of brand personality. International Journal of Market Research, vol. 53 no. 1, Pp. 95-113.

McFall, Liz, Advertising: A Cultural Economy, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

Meenaghan, T. 1995. The role of advertising in brand image development. Journal of Product and Brand Management, vol.4 no. 4, Pp. 23-34.

Petley, Julian (2002) “Advertising”. North Mankato, Minnesota: Smart Apple Media.

Schultx, E., William A., & Lisa A. 1998. Petrison. Sales Promotion Essentials. 3rd ed. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Business Books.

Trivedi, E. & Minakshi, G. 1998. “A Communications Framework to Evaluate Sales Promotion Strategies.” Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 3 no2 pp. 35-47.

Wernick, A., 1991. “Promotional Culture: Advertising, Ideology and Symbolic Expression (Theory, Culture & Society S.)”, London: Sage Publications Ltd.

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