Advertising has many purposes, depending on the type of the business and the kind of products and services promoted. For example, a manufacturer’s advertising is designed to stimulate interest and increase sales in the line of merchandise.
A service firm’s advert is intended both to inform consumers of the various services the firm provides and to encourage consumers to use them.
As the purpose of attitude advertising is spread out over an extended period of time, the measurement of results can be more leisurely.
Some attitude advertising such as a series of adverts about the brands which the store carries can be measured at the end of 1 month from the appearance of the adverts or at the end of a campaign.
Whether you are trying to measure immediate response or attitude advertising, your success will expand on how well the adverts have been planned. The trick is to work out points against which you can check after customers have seen or heard the advertisement.
Effects of Advertising
Essentially, measuring effects means comparing sales with advertising. In order to do it you have to start early in the process before you even make up the advertisement.
In thinking about the kinds of result to expect, it is helpful to divide advertising into two basic kinds: immediate response advertising and attitude advertising.
Immediate response advertising is designed to cause the potential customer to buy a particular product from you within a short time.
Today, tomorrow, the weekend or next week. An example of such decision-triggering adverts is one that promotes regular price merchandise with immediate appeal.
Other examples are adverts which use price appeals in combination. With clearance sales, special purchases, seasonal items (for example, Xmas sales, Easter sales, etc.), and “family of items” purchases.
Such advertising should be checked for results daily or at the end of 1 week from appearance, because all advertising has some carry-over effects, it is a good idea to check also at the end of 2 weeks from appearances, 3 week from appearances, and so on to ensure that no opportunity for using profit-making messages is lost.
Attitude advertising is the type you use to keep your store’s name and merchandise before the public. Some people think of this type as “image-building” advertising. With it, you remind people week after week about your regular merchandise or services or team them about new or special services or policies.
Such advertising should create in the minds of your customers the attitude you want them to have about your store, its merchandise, its service and its policies. It is your reputation builder. To some degree, all advertising should be attitude advertising.
Attitude (or image-building) advertising is harder to measure than immediate response advertising because you cannot always attribute a specific sales to it.
Its sales are usually created long after the advert has appeared and are triggered by the customers sometimes after having seen the advert.
However, you should keep in mind that there is a lead time relationship in such advertising. For example, an advert or a series of adverts that announces you have the exclusive franchise for a particular band probably starts to pay off when you begin to get customers who want that brand only and ask no questions about competing brands.
In short, attitude advertising message lingers in the minds of those who have some contact with the advert. These messages sooner or later are used by people when they decide that they will make a certain purchase.
Certain things are basic to planning advertisements whose results can be measured. First of all, advertise products or services that have merit themselves. Unless a product or services is good, few customers will make repeat purchases no matter how much advertising the store does.
Many people will not make an initial purchase of a shoddy item because of doubt or unfavorable word of mouth publicity. The advert that successfully sells inferior merchandise usually loses customers in the long run.
Small marketers, as a rule, should treat their messages seriously. Humour is risky as well as difficult to write. Be on the safe side and tell people the facts about your merchandise and services.
Another basic element in planning advertisements is to know exactly what you wish a particular advert to accomplish. In an immediate response advert, you want customers to come in and buy a certain item or items in the next several days.
In attitude advertising, you decide what attitude you are trying to create and plan each individual advert to that end. In a small operations, the adverts usually feature merchandise rather than store policies.
Places the advert around only one idea. Each should have a single message. If the message needs reinforcing with other ideas, keep them in the background. If you have several important things to say, use a different and for each one and run the ads on succeeding days or weeks.
The pointers which follow are designed to help you plan adverts so they will make your store stands out consistently when people read or hear about it.
Identify your store fully and clearly, logo-types or signatures in printed adverts should be clean-lined, uncluttered, and prominently displayed.
Give your address and telephone number. Radio and television announcements to identify your sponsorship should be full and as a frequent as possible without interfering with the message.
Pick illustrations which are all similar in character. Graphics that is, drawing, photos, boarders, and layout-that are similar in character help people to recognize your advertising immediately.
Pick a printing typeface and stick to it. Using the same type face or the same audio format on radio or television helps people to recognize your adverts. Also using the same sort of type and illustrations in all adverts allows you to concentrate on the message when examining changes in response to adverts.
Make copy easy to read. The printed message should be broken up with white spaces to allow the reader to see the lines quickly.
Use coupons for direct mail advertising response as often as possible. Coupons give an immediate sales check. Key the coupons in some manner so that you can measure the response easily.
Get the audience’s attention in the first 5 seconds of the radio and TV commercial. Also, get your main message in the sentence if possible.
Measuring the Results of Advertisements
In weighing the results of your immediate response advertisements, the following devices should be helpful.
Coupons brought in. Usually these coupons represent sales of the products. When the coupon represents requests for additional information or contact with a salesman, were enough leads obtained to pay for the ad?
If the coupons are dated, you can determine the number of returns for the first, second, and third weeks.
Requests by phone or letter referring to the advert. A “hidden offer” can cause people to call or write. Include for examples, in the middle of a paragraph, a statement that on request the product or additional information will be supplied.
Results should be checked over a i-week through 6 months or 12months period because this type of advert may have considerable carry-over effect.
Spilt runs of newspaper. Prepare two ads (different in some ways you would like to test) and run them on the same day. Identify the adverts in the message or with a coded coupon so you can tell them part. Ask customers to bring in the ad or coupon.
When you place the advert, ask the newspaper to give you a spilt run that is: to print “advert A” in part of its press run and “advert B” in the rest of the run. Count the responses to each adverts.
Sales made of particular item. If the advert is on a bargain or limited-time offer, you can considered that sales at the end of 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, and 4 weeks came from the advert. You may need to make a judgment as to how many sales came from display and personal selling.
Check store traffic. An important function of advertising is to build store traffic which results in purchases of items that are not advertised. Pilot studies show, form examples that many customers who are bought to the store by an advert for a blouse also bought a hand bag. Some bought the bag in addition to the blouse, others instead of the blouse.
When advertising is spread out over a selling season or several seasons, part of the measurement job is keeping record. Your main aim is comparing records of adverts and sales for an extended time.
In attitude (or image-building) advertising, the individual ads are building blocks, so to speak, which make up your advertising over a selling season. The problem is trying to measure each advert and the effects of all the adverts taken together.
One approach is making your comparisons on a weekly basis. If you run an advert, for example, each week, at the end of the first week after the ad appear, compare that week’s sales with sales for the same week a year ago.
At the end of the second week, compare your sales with those of the first week as well as year-ago figures.
At the end of the third week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months from the appearance of the advert, repeat the process even through additional adverts may have appeared in the meantime.
For each of these adverts you will also make the same type of comparisons. You will ofcourse, be measuring the “momentum” of all of your adverts as well as the results of a single adverts.
After a time, you probably will be able to estimate how much of the results are due to the individual ad and how much to the momentum of all of your advertising. You may then make changes in specific details of the ad to increase response.
When comparing sales increase over some preceding period, allowances must be made for situations that are not normal. For example, your experience may be that rain on the day an ad appears cuts it’s pulling power by 50 percent. Similarly, advertising response will be affected by the fact that your customers work in a facility that is out on strike.
Factors Affecting Choice of Media
1. Coverage or extent of circulation
This refers to the number of people reached by the medium i.e. percentage of a given market covered.
This refers to the number of times the same viewers or reader may be exposed to the same advert.
3. Communication Effectiveness
This refers to the ability of a medium to deliver the impact as desired by the advertiser to the target market.
4. The Target Audience
The type refers to social group to which an advertisement is directed and their purchasing power must be taken into consideration.
The cost of using a particular medium will determine the one to be chosen by the advertiser.
6. Flexibility of a Medium
This refers to the number of different things the advertiser can do using the same medium e.g. direct mail allows the enclosure of money, coupons, pencils, etc.
7. Nature of the Goods
The nature of the products will determine the choice of media to be used for advertising.
8. Geographical Selectivity
This is the ability of the medium to reach out to homes in specific geographical areas such as villages and hamlets.
9. The Media used by Competitors
The media used by manufacturers of competing products must be carefully considered before making a choice of medium.
10. Consumer Protection in Advertising
Advertising is subject to restrictions in various media in order to protect the consumers. Some voluntary and statutory system of control can be applied. These are:
11. Code of Advertising Practice
The code must be accepted by all organizations operating advertising media e.g. press, cinema etc. The code states that no advertisement contravening it will be accepted. The advertising code covers the following:
- Public decency;
- Exploitation of superstition;
- Misleading description and claims.
In summary, in fact, advertising should be considered an investment rather than an expense. Owners should realize the value of advertising and that advertising on a regular basis will materially increase the possibility for growth of the firm in the highly competitive business environment, a well-planted advertising strategy is one of the most effective means of increasing sales.
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