Promotion means communicating the information about the products and services and its uses to the target customers and then persuade them to buy or use the product or service. Promotion mix is the combination of various tools that are used for promotion such as advertising, personal selling, sales promotion etc. There are various factors that help in determining what kind of promotion should be selected by the firm based on the budget, objectives of the firm, type of the product etc.
Advertising is one such tool for promotion in promotion mix. It is the most common tool in the market. It means it is an impersonal form of communication which means it does not involve the conversation of the marketer and the consumer but is only a monologue of the marketer i.e. advertiser. It can be written advertisement such as in newspapers, hoardings, bulletin etc. or it can be oral such as radio, television etc. it is a paid form of promotion where the marketer who is also known as sponsor during advertisement, is the one who bears the cost of the advertisement or any outsider can be selected for paying for the advertisement in the market will make the advertisement efforts.
Benefits of advertisement
There are several advantages of this method of promotion. Such as:
Advertisement is a method through which the advertiser or the marketer can reach out to the potential consumer who are spread over a vast geographical area. For example: advertisement in newspapers and televisions.
Enhancing customer satisfaction
Satisfaction of customers is very important to gain more customers and to retain existing customers and this satisfaction and confidence over products will come when the customers are rest assured for the products as it will appear over a public platform.
Expression is very important for persuasion. This expressiveness has improved in these few years due to development in technology and art while helps in creating a better advertisement using animations, doodles, graphics, designs etc, making the message even more attractive.
When large numbers of people are to be reached who are spread over wide geographical area then it is an economical plan to go for.
Limitations of advertising
Advertisement does not come without limitations and they are as under:
We cannot judge the advertisement’s effectiveness because it is not forceful and we can never know how much impact it is creating on the potential customers because it does not involve any immediate feedback and it is not a compulsion for the viewer to focus on the advertisement.
Lack of feedback
Feedback is also not possible due to lack of feedback mechanism it becomes difficult to judge the impact.
There are various potential customers in the potential markets and they belong to different categories that would be convinced or persuaded by different kind of advertisement. But an advertisement will be standardized and cannot be made according to different categories of customers and thus becomes less flexible tool of promotion.
Due to bulk of advertisements in the market it is becoming difficult for the viewers to grasp the message as they start ignoring these advertisements and an advertisement loses its effectiveness because it is not forceful enough.
Objections to advertisement
There are proponents of advertisement and they would argue that advertisement is very useful and it helps the marketer to reach the vast geographical areas. On the other hand, opponents of advertisement have several criticisms for advertisement as a source of promotion. These criticisms are as under:
Adds to the cost
Some people believe that advertisement unnecessarily adds to the cost of the product due to its high price. Advertisement especially on television and radio runs for few seconds and the charge is really high. This advertisement cost is ultimately paid by the consumer in the form of price of the product.
While, the proponents would argue that it does adds to the cost but is the source of high demand of the product and is the only method to reach the vast geographical area as it is not possible to reach these areas individually. This persuasion helps in increasing the demand of the product and will lead to economies of scale.
Undermines social values
Advertisements are always looked down for promoting materialism. While, proponents would argue against this criticism as they believe that advertisements are the source of information for the new changes and new products which ultimately improve the living standard of people and bring lifestyle changes. Along with that, the advertisement is just an information and not a forceful activity and consumer can chose for himself whether he or she wants to buy the product or not.
Confuses the buyer
Buyers often get confused because of so many advertisements running I the market and the consumers are not sure which advertisement is making false claims and they get trapped into this and buy the products.
This criticism is not accepted by the proponents as they think a rational buyer would not make a purchase decision only based on the advertisement and would look for other qualities of the product too. Such as shape, size, brand, price etc are also important factors to look for.
Encourages sale of inferior products
A good advertisement with use of good designs, animations, art, graphics etc. will not let the buyer know about the quality of the product i.e. whether it is superior or inferior. Although, it is not right to make false and inappropriate claims for the quality of the products and thus it is a punishable offense.
They are in bad taste
Not all but some advertisements are in bad taste as they show things that are inappropriate according to the standard society norms. Such as: use of women as a tool to drive more people towards the product as in the case of perfume advertisements. These advertisements are offensive.