As we noted in the Promotion Decisions tutorial, marketing promotion, which includes advertising, can be used to address several broad objectives including: building product awareness, creating interest, providing information, stimulating demand and reinforcing the brand. To achieve one or more of these objectives, advertising is used to send a message containing information about some element of the marketer’s offerings. For example:
- Message About Product – Details about the product play a prominent role in advertising for new and existing products. In fact, a very large percentage of product-oriented advertising includes some mention of features and benefits offered by the marketer’s product. Advertising can be used to inform customers of changes that take place in existing products. For instance, if a beverage company has purchased the brands of another company resulting in a brand name change, an advertising message may stress "New Name but Same Great Taste".
- Message About Price – Companies that regularly engage in price adjustments, such as running short term sales (i.e., price markdown), can use advertising to let the market know of price reductions. Alternatively, advertising can be used to encourage customers to purchase now before a scheduled price increase takes place.
- Message About Other Promotions – Advertising often works hand-in-hand with other promotional mix items. For instance, special sales promotions, such as contests, may be announced within an advertisement. Also, advertising can help salespeople gain access to new accounts if the advertising precedes the salesperson’s attempt to gain an appointment with a prospective buyer. This may be especially effective for a company entering a new market where advertising may help reduce the uncertainty a buyer has about a new company.
- Message About Distribution – Within distribution channels, advertising can help expand channel options for a marketer by making distributors aware of the marketer’s offerings. Also, advertising can be used to let customers know locations where a product can be purchased.