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Developing and Managing an Advertising Program

Advertising can be a cost-effective way to disseminate messages, whether to build a brand preference or to educate people. Even in today’s challenging media environment, good ads can pay off, as they did for P&G.

In developing an advertising program, marketing managers start by identifying the target market and buyer motives. Then they can make the five major decisions known as “the five Ms”: Mission: What are our advertising objectives? Money: How much can we spend, and how do we allocate our spending across media types? Message: What should the ad campaign say? Media: What media should we use? Measurement: How should we evaluate the results? These decisions are summarized in Figure 15.1 and described in the following sections.

Setting the Advertising Objectives

An advertising objective (or goal) is a specific communications task and achievement level to be accomplished with a specific audience in a specific period of time.2 We classify advertising

FiGURE 15.1 The Five Ms of Advertising

objectives according to whether they aim to inform, persuade, remind, or reinforce. These goals correspond to stages in the hierarchy-of-effects model discussed in Chapter 14.

Informative advertising aims to create brand awareness and knowledge of new products or new features of existing products.3 Persuasive advertising aims to create liking, preference, conviction, and purchase of a product or service. Some persuasive advertising is comparative advertising, which explicitly compares the attributes of two or more brands. This works best when it elicits cognitive and affective motivations simultaneously and when consumers are processing advertising in a detailed, analytical mode.4 Reminder advertising aims to stimulate repeat purchase of products and services. Reinforcement advertising aims to convince current purchasers they made the right choice. Automobile ads often depict satisfied customers enjoying special features of their new car.

The advertising objective should emerge from a thorough analysis of the current marketing situation. If the product class is mature, the company is the market leader, and brand usage is low, the objective is to stimulate more usage. If the product class is new, the company is not the market leader, and the brand is superior to the leader, the objective is to convince the market of the brand’s superiority.

 
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