The Impacts of Advertising in Business . ‘Is advertising relevant to my business? Should my business invest more in advertising?’ These are some of the questions that many business owners or those who intend to own a business often ask. It’s quite normal and in fact necessary.
Consider this illustration; a whole room could only be illuminated if the light were to be placed on an elevated stand. The same goes with advertising; a wide sphere of interest and influence on the market could only be captured if businesses publicised their product and services ‘on the roof top’.
Without doubt, advertising has become a household name popularly associated with businesses since time past. It is an art and phenomenon that has constantly developed or say evolved to a high powered industry in modern times. What though is advertising? What are the challenges and its impact on businesses in our modern times?
What is advertising?
In the business context, advertising is public communication with consumers about product and services with the purpose of influencing their choice and opinion.
It is an aspect of marketing and considered one the lifeline of a business because it is capable of sustaining and growing the market.
It can be traced back to ancient times when people passed information by word of mouth. Over the years in mid-19 century, newspapers and magazines became primary means of publicizing businesses.
In modern times, however, we see the steady graduation from television and radio commercials to complex networking with the emergence of the World Wide Web.
Advertising has become more and more complex by the day; not just focussing on product information but community building and brand awareness inclusively.
In Nigeria, there is a wide variety of advertising businesses can take advantage of. A few of example is:
- Online advertising – it is a very cost effective way of advertising and provides easy access to check available online business directories
- Covert advertising – an indirect advertising usually done in movies.
- Outdoor advertising – consists of street parades, billboard displays, advertising in trade and events etc.
- Broadcast advertising – through radio jingles television ads
- Print advertising – through print media such as newspaper, hand bills, weekly and monthly magazines etc.
The Challenges of Advertising
Advertising has its challenges. Finance, whether large or small, is sacrificed to print ads in newspaper, commercialise on radio and TV, purchase online advertising service, design ads and copy etc. Because advertising aims to present products to consumers in the best light possible, businesses face the problem accompanied with unrealistic expectations and distrust from consumers.
How successful an advert turns out is usually determined by the sphere of influence it captures on the targeted mass. But what kind of ads appeals to the targeted consumers? Those answers most often are based on assumptions. Is the venture worthwhile? When a business stops advertising, the public assume the business has met its end. Granted the challenges involved, advertisement remains a risk or an uncertainty that businesses undertake. Why so? The answer lies in the rewards it brings if carefully strategized.
The Impact of Advertising in Business and The effectiveness of the powerful influencing tool of business
Advertising aids businesses by reminding customers and prospects about the benefits of your products and services. They promote businesses to both customers and investors, attract new customers and replace lost ones, enhance your business reputation, build sales and maintain your business identity etc. Let’s take a look at a few of the previously mentioned ways that advertising has impacted on businesses and its sphere of influence in more detail.
1. The power to influence personal choice and social behaviours
It is hard to think that we don’t observe the power of advertisement and its intrusion in our lives. Every way we go, what we eat , our choices and monetary expenditures, count it, has been influenced by powerful advertising whether we are aware or not.
Advertising not only influences consumers’ lifestyle, it has the power to shape cultures and social values. It’s not a coincidence when both adult and teenagers alike strife to keep up with the latest phones, cars or fashion kits or when behaviours become popular trends.
All these are born out of heavily, invested and commercialised adverts interrupting during favourite adult and children TV shows, large billboard displays in sports, pop- up images and displays on web pages, frequently printed brand images in magazines and newspaper etc.
Whether in a positive or negative way, advertising influences the way people think and feel because the images they see and the sound they hear make lasting mental impression that is difficult to forget. Let’s consider a familiar scenario that is peculiar to the Nigerian social background.
A woman buys a soap she saw previously used by a light skin African lady in an ad. She may or may not believe the ad but there is the pressure to keep the fantasy that the soap may work because of the glossy features she saw.
On the other hand, a man is attracted to light chocolate or fair complexion women simply because it’s the choice frequently used in the entertainment industry. These are not mere coincidence. It’s the power of ads employed by businesses to influence public opinion and set standards to moral and social values.
2. Product demand and brand loyalty
Advertising impacts on consumer demands for product or services in both positive and negative ways depending on the message sent by ads.
As for marketing plans which aim at increasing sales among market segment or specific groups, changing the graphics, presentation or copy of an ad that sales similar product to the same targeted consumer for the same price at which it sells can increase product demand. As a result, potential customers are stimulated to action.
A business which employs sales promotion, a form of advertising, not only increases product demand but creates brand loyalty inclusively. Sales promotions are used to determine what type of customers a business draws and where they could be found. It includes product giveaways, discounts, contest and games, loyalty programs etc. this form of advertising has the advantage of sustaining interest of targeted consumers.
3. Company Image and brand awareness development
A successful business has good company image and brand recognition. Institutional or corporate advertising promotes a company’s image versus its product line.
This form of advertising has the aim to create and strengthen a brands image and reputation instead of its products and services, then the created image is used to assist businesses derive specific benefits. It is especially helpful for new businesses and provides long-term benefits.
For example, a new door manufacturing company desired targets are high income earners. Its ads may feature numerous symbols of affluence, a door in a fancy home opened by a middle age affluent looking man.
The masses, both rich and poor, may perceive the company as a high-end manufacturer producing quality doors. In this case, increase brand awareness through advertising influences potential consumers to seek for the manufacturer’s door in the market.
As for those who can’t afford to buy it, they could speak about it or recommend the product. Some businesses choose to focus more on advertising the brand more than the product in order to counter negative public image.
4. Facilitation and diversification of business networking and integration into the global market
Businesses not only advertise to consumers, they also advertise to other businesses with targeted consumers outside its frame of interest. In this case, strategic and focussed advertising have positive effects in business to business commerce which cuts across borders.
Today’s dynamic world is rapidly evolving by the day and reduced to a ‘global village’. Therefore, international business is unavoidable. What happens in business of one part of the world would have rippling effect in other business transactions spread across the globe.
Of course, it means that advertising encourages continued network diversification with business outside the frame of targeted consumers around the world. Advertisement in trade journals and through direct mails in the form of proposals is effective for business partnership and distribution of supplies.
It has the benefit of providing acceptance, confidence, relevance and rapport which are essential for integration into the international market.
Businesses engaged in international marketing of products and services recognise that people all over the world have differing needs and cultural values.
Therefore, it seeks to employ advertising agencies which create and sell ads that appeal to citizens in different countries. Because consumers perceive ads in terms of their own culture, there is no room for linguistic and cultural blunders.
Should you engage in advertising?
Yes! Yes! It’s encouraging to do so because its benefits far outweigh the challenges and fears to overcome in business. A strong power of influence on your consumers, an enhanced brand image, a boost in sales, and the spread of your products and services across the globe are certainly among the ends you need in your business. Don’t hesitate to give your business a good start. Advertise! Advertise!
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