To survive in today’s competition, every business – large, medium, or small – needs to promote itself. It should make people aware of the products and services it offers. The availability of a variety of media sources like television, radio, print, outdoor media, the Internet, etc., offers businesses numerous opportunities to promote themselves with a little effort. Many businesses have already understood the importance of marketing and advertising. Businesses in US spent around $144 billion on marketing and advertising in 2011. Globally, it was $ 498 billion.
Marketing and advertising are not the same
Marketing and advertising are two unique concepts which are important for every business to succeed. Many people wrongly assume that they are the same. But, they are not. Marketing involves various activities like identifying the target markets, their needs and requirements; new product development, promotion, building brand image, etc. Advertising, on the other hand, is one of the marketing activities. It is a kind of promotion to make consumers aware of the products/services available under a brand.
In this article, we will discuss on how marketing and advertising help businesses.
• Marketing defines target markets: Target markets or target customers is a group of people who are more likely to buy products/services offered by your business. Unless a business identifies its target market, it cannot design its advertising strategy that is customized to serve potential consumers. Marketing helps the businesses effectively identify their target markets. Marketing involves research to identify people who you want to sell your products and people who need your products.
• Identifies customers’ needs: It is important to continuously monitor and produce products that suit the requirements of your target group. Marketing does this exactly. It identifies customers’ requirements by conducting various polls, campaigns and research, which enable the businesses to produce products that match the needs and wants of the consumers.
• Builds brand image: Good reputation makes a company stand-out from the rest. As marketing enables a company to produce products as per the customers’ demand, and helps it conduct various programs to promote the brand and its products, a kind of brand image will be established among the public.
• Advertising helps publicize company’s products and services: While marketing involves all the back-end operations like research, collecting opinions, identifying needs and requirements and so on, advertising is associated with publicizing the brand to the consumers. It creates an awareness of the brand as well as the products/services offered by it among people and thus makes the brand well known among the target markets.
Besides creating brand awareness, an effective advertisement does have the power to persuade the public to buy the products. The diverse means of advertising include non-electronic media like newspapers, brochures, journals, magazines, banners, posters, etc., and electronic media such as television, radio, the Internet, etc.
• Differentiates company’s products from others’ products: Another advantage of advertising is that it gives a company an opportunity to differentiate its products from its competitors’ products. Many of us might have seen advertisements which compare the effectiveness of their products with that of their competitors. A popular example is consumer product advertisements, which show comparison of the products. This kind of promotion helps people understand the specialty of your brand/product.
• Enhances your presence in the market: An advertisement campaign continuously reminds the prospective customers about the brand and its products. In a troubled economy, where so many companies are coming in and going out of business within months, an ongoing advertising strategy helps businesses reach their customers effectively. In the long run, it helps the companies build long term relationship with their target customers.
• Marketing and advertising both help a business increase revenues: The final goal of both marketing and advertising is the same – to improve sales and revenues of the company. While marketing improves sales by producing products that serve the needs and wants of the customers, advertising enhances the revenues by making people aware of the products offered by the company.