Advertising – Definition, Features, Objectives and Functions

Advertising is an important tool of promotion. Advertisement is a non-personal presentation of an idea or a product (where as personal selling or salesmanship help in personal promotional.) Advertisement supplements personal selling to a great extent. Advertising has, acquired great importance in the modern era characterized by tough competition in the market and fast changes in technology, and fashion and taste customers.

Advertising in Marketing Management

Advertising is used for communicating business information to the present and prospective customers. It usually provides information about the advertising firm, its product qualities, place of availability of its products, etc. Advertisement is indispensable for both the sellers and the buyers. However, it is more important for the sellers. In the modern age of large scale production, producers cannot think of pushing sale of their products without advertising them.

What is Advertising?

Advertising is the dissemination of information concerning an idea, product or service to induce action in accordance with the intent of the advertiser. According to William J. Stanton, “Advertising consists of all the activities involved in presenting to an audience a non-personal, sponsor-identified, paid-for message about a product or organization.”

Advertising is any paid form of non-persona: presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services of an identified sponsor. The message which is presented or disseminated is known as ‘advertisement’.

Features of Advertising

American Marketing Association has defined advertising as “any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas goods and services of an identified sponsor”. This definition reveals the following features of advertising:

  1. It is a paid foam of communication. Advertisements appear in newspapers, magazines, television or cinema screens because the advertiser has purchased some space or time to communicate information to the prospective customers.
  2. It is non-personal presentation of message. There is no face-to-face direct contact with the customers. That is why, it is described as non-personal salesmanship. It; is a non-personal form of presenting products and promoting ideas and is complementary to personal selling. It simplifies the task of sales-force by creating awareness in the minds of potential customers
  3. The purpose of advertising is to promote idea about the products and service, of a business. It is directed towards increasing the sale of the products and services of a business unit.
  4. Advertisement a issued by an identified sponsor. Non disclosure of the name of the sponsor in propaganda may lead to distortion, deception and manipulation. Advertisement should disclose or identify the sources of opinions and ideas it presents.

Objectives of Advertising

The fundamental purpose of advertising is to sell something – a product, a service or an idea. In addition to this general objective, advertising is also used by the modern business enterprises for certain specific objectives which are listed below :

  1. To introduce a new product by creating interest for it among the prospective customers.
  2. To support personal selling programme. Advertising maybe used to open customers’ doors for salesman.
  3. To reach people inaccessible to salesman.
  4. To enter a new market or attract a new group of customers.
  5. To light competition in the market and to increase the sales as seen in the fierce competition between Coke and Pepsi.
  6. To enhance the goodwill of the enterprise by promising better quality products and services.
  7. To improve dealer relations. Advertising supports the dealers in selling he product. Dealers are attracted towards a product which is advertised effectively.
  8. To warn the public against imitation of an enterprise’s products.

Functions of Advertising

Advertising has become an essential marketing activity in the modern era of large scale production and serve competition in the market. It performs the following functions:

  • Promotion of Sales. It promotes the sale of goods and services by informing and persuading the people to buy them. A good advertising campaign helps in winning new customers both in the national as wet] as in the international markets.
  • Introduction of New Product. It helps the introduction of new products in the market. A business enterprise can introduce itself and its product to the public through advertising. A new enterprise can’t make an impact on the prospective customers without the help of advertising. Advertising enables quick publicity in the market.
  • Creation of Good Public Image. It builds up the reputation of the advertiser. Advertising enables a business firm to communicate its achievements in an effort to satisfy the customers’ needs. This increases the goodwill and reputation of the firm which is necessary to fight against competition in the market.
  • Mass Production. Advertising facilitates large-scale production. Advertising encourages production of goods in large-scale because the business firm knows that it will be able to sell on large-scale with the help of advertising. Mass production reduces the cost of production per unit by the economical use of various factors of production.
  • Research. Advertising stimulates research and development activities. Advertising has become a competitive marketing activity. Every firm tries to differentiate its product from the substitutes available in the market through advertising. This compels every business firm to do more and more research to find new products and their new uses. If a firm does not engage in research and development activities, it will be out of the market in the near future.
  • Education of People. Advertising educate the people about new products and their uses. Advertising message about the utility of a product enables the people to widen their knowledge. It is advertising which has helped people in adopting new ways of life and giving-up old habits. It has contributed a lot towards the betterment of the standard of living of the society.
  • Support to Press. Advertising provides an important source of revenue to the publishers and magazines. It enables to increase the circulation of their publication by selling them at lower rates. People are also benefited because they get publications at cheaper rates. Advertising is also a source of revenue for TV network.

Publicity and Public Relations

Publicity is a part of marketing and customer relations. Publicity comes from news reporters, columnists and journalists. It comes to the receiver as the truth rather than as a commercial. Public relations and publicity taken together are one of the four major ingredients of promotion-mix. These activities are, however, not controllable by the firm. Every from tries to create a good public relations so as to get good publicity through press and electronic media. Publicity has a peculiar feature that it is not a paid form of communication. Publicity refers to the mention of company/product in any published or non-published media. For example, a new product is launched, and due to its unique feature, the product may become a point of discussion among various groups. This mention adds to the promotion and hence, the product gets publicized.This publicity is mainly due to good response of customers, or due to quality or can be even due to some controversies. Any way, such public exposure of a product forms a crucial part of promotion mix. If a product is able to draw a lot of attention by the media, the firm will have to spend less on advertisement and sales promotion activities.

Public relations is an important marketing functions in the present-day business environment. The total process of building goodwill and securing a bright public image of the company a called public relations. It creates a favorable atmosphere for conducting business. There are four groups of public : (I) customer, (2) shareholders (3) employees (4) the community. The marketers should have the best possible relations with these groups.Public relation, complement advertising by creating product and service credibility. Effective marketing communication is not without establishing and maintaining mutual understanding between the company and its customers. The lubricant making the wheel of marketing run smoothly is public relations. Bright image is created and maintained only by public relations. That is why, modern business houses attach great significance to the public relations activities.

Difference between Advertising and Publicity

Advertising differs from publicity in regard to the following points :

  1. Paid/non-paid from: Advertisement is a paid form of communication. Its cost is borne by the advertiser But publicity is any non-paid mention of an organization or its ideas or products in the news Media. Publicity cannot be purchased in the usual sense of the term. Any institution can come to the attention of the public by being newsworthy. It has not to pay anything for the publicity, but has to supply the necessary information to the news media.
  2. Identification of sponsor: Advertisement is issued by an identified sponsor. Publicity does not need an identified sponsor
  3. Control over message: In advertising, the advertiser exercises control over the type, size, duration, and frequency of the message But in case of publicity, the control lies with the publicity media.

Difference between Advertisement and Personal Selling

The points of distinction between advertisement and salesmanship are listed below;

  1. Personal/Non-personal form: Advertising is a non-personal form of communication. There is no contact between the advertiser and the buyer. But salesmanship means personal selling. The salesman has face-to-face contact with the buyer.
  2. Mass vs. Individual communication: Advertising is mass communication. It is addressed to a large number of people. But salesmanship is individual communication. The impact of salesmanship is visible on the buyer who come into contact with the salesman.
  3. Purpose: Advertisement may aim at enhancing the goodwill of the advertiser. It may have no immediate purpose to sell the goods or services. But salesmanship always aims at effecting sales.

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