Reality and Future of Advertising
Here we are trying to discover the history of advertising development and marketing itself. At the end of the article we will discuss the future of advertising.
Over the last couple of years, the marketing industry has undergone several significant changes, mostly related to the shift in digital technology. Many people claim that the world is changing, technology is improving, but advertising techniques stay the same: we have the same media, radio, magazine commercial and outbound advertising. We are not going to refute this, but the changes we are going to discuss here are in another area. We will discuss the process of an adverting evolution as a means of staying competitive.
Advertising is considered to be very effective form of marketing and the greatest tool for lead generation. But lately, the effectiveness of advertising has been decreasing. Moreover it is hard to monitor interdependence between advertising campaigns and its effect on business. This is thanks to advertising changing and also because of shifts in the market. From 50s, advertising has undergone many changes.
The first changes included TV appearances and mass communication development. At this time, advertising had the greatest impact on the audience. Its success was thanks mostly to the lack of competitiveness on the advertising market. To whole demand on advertising products was unclear Bck to 50s demand exceeds supply.
The next step, with the growing competitiveness, was the change of approach to how good were produced and marketed. The new marketing approach, which differed from the previous approach (let’s call it the sales approach) can be seen with product development. With the sales approach, the first step is to develop the product, using existing industry capabilities, and only then to find customers for this product. Marketing takes the opposite approach, it begins with market research and customer needs, and only then we find the product development stage. By using marketing, the concept of advertising is utilized to get the competitive advantage. The concept of such advertising is simple: with growing competitiveness on the market, people are looking for products that suit them, so the advertising should promote the advantages products provide to consumers. This approach helps companies to lead have a competitive edge.
And the market is developing all the time, therefore the competitiveness is increasing, and companies are adjusting to new levels of market and new rules of competitiveness. In these markets, the marketing concepts no longer work, as it becomes impossible to produce advanced products, as competitors are always ready to copy your products.
Obviously, marketing itself is developing and improving its concepts, which allow us to push competitive levels to the new heights. That’s where branding comes in. When creating competitive products based on functionality or technological advantages becomes impossible, the competitiveness itself shifts to the emotional areas i.e. how do consumers feel about the products? Marketers learned how to created product associations, that how marketing impacts people’s preferences on a new level, rather than logical comparison of two products. Such emotional associations allowed producers not only to drive successful campaigns but also to increase prices on well-branded products. Branded products, accordingly customers’ attitudes brought much more pleasure and satisfaction. They were perceived as having more value over products with unknown brands. The appearance of branding in the 70s-80s brought another revolution into advertising business; new formats of advertising and marketing approaches to bring back the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Now we are now at the stage when competitiveness moves to the next level, while the advertising concepts remained in the same place.
First of all, we need to understand what we need advertising for. According to Wikipedia; “Advertising is a form of communication for marketing and used to encourage or persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners; sometimes a specific group) to continue or take some new action. In other words advertising is the source of media, which should spread the information about the product, service etc. In that manner to persuade the audience to take some action. During the whole history of advertising, the total concept of advertising remains the same, while the competitiveness is shifted from the product area to advertising itself. Now there so many different advertisements around us, that it becomes impossible to get all this information. Advertisers do not know how to reach audiences. In this case the work of developing products or services can be successful only when markers can reach their audiences.”
Before we offer a solution, let’s check the existing methodologies:
The first method is corporate ethics, or brand ethics where a Company is following it’s principles. The company image increases dramatically, as its customers and audience can see it taking care of social responsibilities, or when it acts ethically. For example; a company can become environmentally friendly, improve its ecological impact, or produce only organic products. The company can also choose to be patriotic and to keep all production facilities in the country of origin or hire only citizens instead of cheap foreign labor. While these ethical approaches are admirable, but they may cost too much.
Moreover this strategy could be limiting in terms of creating a highly competitive atmosphere with limited access to the information, company overviews or products. These kinds of companies could be easily outrun by more competitive adversaries who do not care about the environment and focus on providing cheaper products.
Another approach is through the community and social networking. This approach is to disseminate information via word of mouth. There are some advantages of this approach, like creating customers who are more loyal or utilizing the strength of a friend’s recommendation.
But there are several issues with using social networks. One issue which we have already covered is that you have no control of the message that is passed from one user to the next. People are speaking about their private business rather than your product/service.
The second issue is that people are not ready to discuss all products with the same enthusiasm.
Some of your products will be more popular than others. According to statistics, the least discussed products on social networks are beverages (especially non-alcohol), luxury goods or personal cosmetics or drugs.
The main issue here is that people usually only discuss well-known brands. According to the research, approximately 47% of brand discussions center on advertising. This means people are discussing commercials rather than products. Imagine how long the majority of social media users have to wait to hear news about new iPhone without commercial?
The third issue is involvement. Involvement is the consequence, but not an independent event. People are involved in the discussion or issue or commercial because they are interested and they seek out this kind of information. It is important to understand how involvement evolves in order to use it.
We consider that the main decrease in the effectiveness of the commercial is the lack of audience attention. People just lose interest in commercials, but we need to find ways to get that attention back.
To fully understand this principle we have to analyze the history of commercials.
The history is significant because we can see that advertising is more about explaining the value of the product/service to the customer from different prospectives. In the beginning, it is the simple functionality and competitive advantage, while later on it’s the branding, image, style, options, customization, personal orientation, and mix of styles. Any product that becomes more and more complicated in in terms of value, functionality, brand positioning and advertising is following this trend. Nowadays, advertising isn’t adding value to the product; advertising is part of the product or service, and sometime it is the most significant part.
The idea is clear, if the advertising is valuable to the audience, the audience will pay attention to it.
So advertising is not something we may or may not to include, it is necessary and it is the most important part of your product.
Modern market is very hectic and moreover it is diversified, which means advertising should be created to satisfy very different needs.
The modern marketing world in the digital development can offer many more ways and platforms for advertising. Media advertising is more available because of the internet, word of mouth is faster thanks to social media.
Also the concept of “Advertising Value” includes the idea of creating something useful and interesting for people. Create advertising which people like to see, listen to or watch. It could be an amazing art-style billboard, or cool article, or an e-Book with useful instructions, a nice looking presentation, or a free event for your audience, coupons, etc. There are an unlimited number of ways to create useful advertising.
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