The simple answer to the question ‘why do we advertise?’ is that either we have something we want to sell, or someone else has something we want to buy. Alternatively, we may want to give something away, seek an exchange or invite donors of gifts. We advertise, or make known, our offer or need. We bring together people who would not otherwise know of the existence of those able
to supply and those with a demand, very often complete strangers.
Most people use advertising at some time, either privately or in business. And most people respond to advertisements and so enjoy the choices available to them in every sphere of life
This elementary answer applies whether we want to sell a private house, dispose of kittens, raise funds for a charity, sell the production of a million rupees business, buy a second-hand tape recorder. attract shoppers to our store, launch a new product, engage staff or simply find a pen friend. The technique is the same: there is merely a difference of magnitude and sophistication between an inexpensive classified ad. to sell one
budgerigar and a national campaign on TV to sell bird seed to hundreds of thousands of budgerigar owners. In short advertiser 8 is the means by which we make known what we have to seller what we want to buy
PURPOSES OF THE ADVERTISING
However, there are many special and specific reasons why we may use advertising, in one of its many forms, as the tool for the job and the following examples offer a broader idea of the .versatility and blue of advertising.
1. To announce a new product or service: Here, prospective buyers are presented with details of a new product and this usually means’ a costly and dramatic launch. Announcements for new brands of cigarettes, involving the use of full pages in full color in the national press, plus giant posters, are typical examples. So, too, are the much more comprehensive announcements of new forms of insurance and unit trust, These launches generally use large advertisements which are frequently repeated, and this ‘weight’ of advertising makes the campaign hard to miss or overlook
Is it necessary to spend so lavishly on the launch of a new product? To break into the market with a new product is not easy: the world simply does not beat its way to the better mouse-trap. Novelty is not enough. Nor is quality or obvious desirability. The buying’ public is conservative, apt to be skeptical, hard to shift from established habits. For decades people thought all doors should be painted brown because they were made of wood, that ice cream was to be eaten only in the summer, and that buses must have conductors. To promote something new the advertising has to be bold, dramatic, persuasive and convincing, whether it be for a complete innovation like a convenience food or an entirely new kind of car. A solitary big splash will not work: a sustained campaign is required. If a fire-engine sounds its siren only on Leaving the station this warning will not clear the road all the way to the rue. The siren has to be sounded persistently and insistently all the way, and so with advertising.
2. To expand the market to neut buyers. Good. examples of this are when a paint or a fertilizer has been ‘used successfully for industrial or commercial purposes, and is then packaged and promoted to the consumer market. The do-it yourself and weekend gardener markets are full of such products, put there by advertising. Alternatively the product may be directed at an extra market, as when sewing machines are sold to girls’ schools, cars to commercial fleets and domestic equipment to hotels. The advertising in such cases is likely to have greater impact because the goods have already been proved in professional, commercial or some other accepted use.
3. To announce a modification; An existing product i may be given a ‘face lift’ with an additive, a refinement, a new finish or casing, or perhaps even a new pack or container. The attempt may be made to revive the sale of a product whose life cycle is waning too quickly or because of competition. Detergents, toiletries, foodstuffs, confectionery, petrels and medicines come under this heading, as do such items as foundation garments, domestic appliances and garden tools. Merchandising schemes may replace traditional advertising to promote product changes.
4. To announce a price change. This was a more cornmeal form of advertising before resale price maintenance was made illegal and ‘recommended prices’ came about. But there are still occasions when this appeal can be used, as when fares are. reduced, or when a store announces cut-prices or a sale. It may be necessary, also, to announce a price increase, as happens with public transport.
5. To announce a new pa.ck. Pack identification at the point-or-sale is always important, and is a reason why packages are shown in advertisements. Color advertisements work well here. This becomes even more important if there is a change of pack-carton, container or label and new sales may be attracted by this ability to awaken new product intents or because the change benefits the customer. It may be lighter in weight, unbreakable, capable of preserving the product longer, or be in keeping with modem trends. Perhaps a very old-established and probably old-fashioned container or label has been updated and it is necessary to promote the new look while assuring customers that the product is the same or better in quality. Consumers are apt to suspect that a new pack means a different or inferior product, and the advertising–and the public relations-has to dispel such dangerous misgivings which could easily inhibit sales,
6. To make a special offer. For various reasons competition, slack season, policy to expand sales–advertising may be used to make a special offer. It could be a banded pack, a premium offer of a coffee table at a bargain price if so many packet tops are sent with the cash, a limited time price reduction or free gifts or samples. New products may be launched with ‘introductory’ special offers. Dry cleaners, driving schools and may make special offers when trade is quiet. Hotels may offer special low rarest to old-age pensioners during out-of-season weeks of the year
7. To invite enquirers. Businessmen as diverse 8.8 hoteliers, mail order traders, seeds men and travel agents rely on a flow of enquirers for their services. In response to these enquirers they dispatch tariffs, price lists and brochures and business is conducted by post. But .the potential customers are scattered and unknown–especially with a business which has to find new customers rather than repeat business-and prospects can be discovered through advertising. Most of these advertisements contain a coupon.
8. To sell direct. Department stores, book clubs and firms specializing in mail order trade-selling anything from foreign stamps to transistor radios-sell direct to customers who send cash with order in response to advertisements, chiefly in the press. The weekend newspapers, with their ‘bargain squares’, are popular media for this class of advertising.
9. To test a. medium. Some large advertisers prefer to test a new or untried medium rather than accept or reject the , claims made by the space salesman. Testing is usually achieved by Advertising a free gift–a food manufacturer may offer a recipe leaflet or a sample-and counting the requests received. This response is then related to the cost of the space to arrive at a cost per reply figure which will indicate the pulling power of the medium
10. To announce the location of stockists. To support dealers, to encourage ‘selling-out’ of the stocks which the company sales representative (or wholesaler) has ‘sold-in’ and to urge action on the part of readers, space may be taken to list the names and addresses of stockists. Addresses may appear in a display advertisement which promotes the product, or the space may be occupied primarily by the addresses in the form of a directory. The concessionaires for foreign cars tend to adopt the. first method, while paint firms often adopt the second at Easter when the do-it-yourself season opens
11.To obtain stockists. This is a subtle use of advertising whereby consumers are entreated to ask retailers for the product by name. Their demands encourage retailers to place orders with wholesalers or the advertiser’s salesmen. When a manufacturer is trying to get distribution for a new product this is a user method, but there is the risk that the consumer will accept a substitute. Obviously, the method is most likely to be successful when the product is novel or the of its kind. It unwise to expect such advertising to act as a substitute for an inadequate sales force, and it can be fatal to advertise something if its unavailability can only provoke frustration and ill will. That is awes full advertising, and bad PR.
12.To educate consumers. Rather unfairly it is sometimes said by critics of advertising that there are two kinds, informative and persuasive, and that the former is more socially acceptable or ethical than the latter. The educational advertisement is necessary when a commodity, service or an offer needs careful explanation. This technique can also be used to show new uses for a well-established product. The market can often be extended if extra uses can be suggested. Public transport is promoted by suggesting places to visit, while insurance encompasses and building societies seek to educate people about family responsibilities and the virtues of thrift. Or it may be that prejudice and ignorance are inhibiting sales of a product whose performance is doubted. Packaged holidays abroad took many years to popularize, .and it has taken fish and chips and bingo to overcome fears about funny foreign food and other doubtful pleasures. It is still necessary to educate some potential passengers about the merits of air travel
13.To maintain soles. Yes! One of the secrets of successful advertising is that it is continuous, in one form or another, however seasonal the main emphasis may be. To prove the point one has only to look at one of those old pictures of horse buses jammed together in a crowded street and to read the names of the advertisers whose placards were fixed to every available space on the buses. Many of them will be familiar as the biggest names in trade today
Not all advertising is aimed at. promoting new and exciting products. There are everyday products such as custard powder, salt, matches, toothpaste, aspirins and soap which have been on the market for generations.
14.To challenge competition. The specific purpose of a campaign may be to take up the challenge, as when a new substitute material comes on the market, to mention only man made fibers to which wool has had to give battle through the International Wool Secretariat, or rail versus air travel and then the reverse as Inter City trains rivaled domestic air services. Challenges are frequently seen at the point-of-sale where money off, premium offers, free gifts and other devices are used to capture or re-capture predominant market shares.
15.To remind. Perhaps this is similar to ‘maintaining sales’, but not quite. There are products which are bought repentedly–usually small unit items like razor blades, tea, margarine, milk, chocolate or cigarettes — and reminder advertising aims to remind customers to ask for the same brand again. Thus, while very similar products, and ones less frequently bought, need advertising to maintain continuity of sales, it is also necessary with repeat-purchase goods to encourage re-purchase of that brand .
Another kind of reminder ad. keeps the product or service in mind against some future need. when we go to buy a lawnmower, or a typewriter, a tea-or a pair of sheets, we are familiar with the makes and often already pre-sold on a particular one. For months we have said to ourselves: Next time I buy a 50- and-so I’ll buy a such-and-such.’ Reminder advertising encourages us to stick to that decision.
Much of this kind of advertising concerns brand names and it is worth noting that a brand is a valuable property which has to be constantly publicized. Moreover, a manufacturer stakes his reputation on his brand, and that involves goodwill. And goodwill is trading asset which must be cherished by repetitive advertising and also public relations.
16.To retrieve lost sales. Again, this in not unlike one or two previously discussed purposes except that here there is a much more urgent need to use advertising. It has to reverse a negative sales trend and not just compete. Sales may have been lost by default-maybe a foolish cut-back in advertising expenditure, as happened with a cigarette manufacturer who stopped advertising and then spent three years climbing back to popularity-or because the product has suffered from a fashion craze or has been temporarily unobtainable owing to strikes or restricted imports. The advertising will probably be linked with a special sales promotion exercise involving, say, a premium offer, a cut-price offer, or an in-store promotion and the use of commando salesmen and special trade terms. In this campaign we must not forget advertising to the trade through the media of trade press or direct mail
17. To please stockists: The trade press and direct mail advertising mentioned above is aimed at selling in; and consumer advertising and sales promotion seek to sell-out (not in the sense of a shop being ‘sold out’ but in helping the retailer to move goods off the shelves). The mark-up of most small-unit mass-market goods is so small that profitability for the retailer means rapidity of turnover which in turn means repeat purchasing as well as impulse buying. Thus, a successful retail trader in the grocery, confectionery or druggist fields depends on quick turnover so that the same capital is re-used as many times as possible. In contrast, the jeweler or the motor trader, selling high priced goods less often, relies on a high profit margin and accepts a much slower turnover
Nevertheless, whether one is selling corn-flakes or motorcars, the original manufacturer or supplier can maintain the optimum and profitable turnover of production or imports only by helping to promote sales at the retail end. He may do so by running big prize contests or giving away plastic toys, oro-inthe case of the motor-car manufacturer-by entering car rallies or by participating is the Motor Show
sealer support is critical with supermarkets and chain stores which have evolved techniques which permit only a certain area of shelf space to a limited number of accepted brands. Marketing Researcher’s go so far as to test sales of a new product in a single branch where sales are observed, before ordering stocks for their chain. It is therefore extremely difficult to break into a market which already has a large number of competitive brands. Consequently, it takes more than a persuasive salesman to sell goods ‘in’, and much of his success will depend on whether the retailer can be convinced that there will be adequate advertising support to sell the goods ‘out’. The modem retailer may add to this process with, say, Green Shield stamps, but with popular lines he is liable to ask ‘Will there be TV advertising
This does not mean that advertising appears on TV solely to please retailers, but it is the one medium seen by most retailers-as members of the great viewing publico-and they may be more impressed by this support (which they can see with their very own eyes) than by advertisements in women’s magazines which they may not see. They are also impressed by large advertisements in the Daily Express, traditionally the shopkeeper’s daily newspaper, and space is often taken is the DE just as much with the stockist in mind as because it pulls well with the buying public. Pulls of these ads. may be mailed to the stockists, or reproduced in broadsheets which tell the retailers about advertising support
The broadsheet may also refer to other advertising aids to mention .8nly display material, free blocks which the retailer can use in his own advertising is the local press, and offers to meet part of the cost of the retailer’s own advertising. The last two examples are called ‘co-operative’ advertising.
18. To please the sales force. Some companies with large field sales forces believe that a bold advertisement in a national publication seen by their sales staff will act as a mora let booster, Salesmen will tend to boast about their company’s whole page ad. in TV Times, the Financial Times or the Architect’s Journal as the case may be. If these advertisements are also relevant to the main advertising campaign, so much the better
Salesmen, constantly aware of the competitive advertising in the local press from local manufacturers, may appeal to their head. office for advertising support in their locality, not realising that they already have the support of much more influential national (or TV regional) advertising which the local firms cannot enjoy. Misunderstanding on this point can cause friction between field salesmen and national sales managers or marketing managers, and it is a subject which needs to be fully explained through sales bulletins, house magazines, sales training and sales conferences.
19.To recruit staff. Recruitment advertising has become much more sophisticated than the ‘situations vacant’ classifieds which used to be the normal way of seeking staff. Large employers are conscious of the PR effect of their ‘job ads.’ and use displayed classifieds which are not just nicely laid out with the company symbol but tell prospective applicants something about the employer and the conditions of employment. They sell the job. Although displayed, recruitment advertising space is bought from the classified advertising department of the publisher, hence the expression ‘displayed classified
20. To attract investors. Interest rates and security, ease of withdrawal of savings, the chance to spread a modest investment over a portfolio of major shares, the opportunity to invest in a. new or well-known enterprise, or the provident investment in equity-linked bonds or units, endowment life assurance and hospital benefit schemes-all these are forms of financial advertising just as much as the two-page prospectuses that’ “appear in The Times and the Financial Times. They are forms of financial advertising which are of ever growing variety.
How else could you tap the market of unknown investors and give the offer the substance which will create confidence? To this may be added the PR support of comments by City editors
21.To export. Here we touch on a very specialized field where export advice can be obtained from advertising agencies with overseas departments, branches or associates. Media abroad are usually quite different. A national press like the Brininess is rare–mostly it is regional or local–while radio is generally much more important than it is ever likely to be in Britain. Radio is especially strong in developing countries because people can listen even if they cannot read. Export advertising also requires knowledge of national idiom, traditions and religions, and translations are best made by a national living in his own country and familiar with the subject
22.To announce trading results. This is another form of financial advertising, and whether a full chairman’s report is published or a digest of essentials for the lay reader’s benefit, it is a necessary procedure to announce trading results. In a good year, it is an opportunity to boast, and there have been some original attempts to interest the lay reader by presenting an edited version of the chairman’s report, illustrated with simple charts, sketches or photographs.
In setting out these twenty two reasons for advertising it has also been possible to give a glimpse of the varied world of advertising, and its application to many undertakings.