Advertising has a long history in the marketing world. In whichever direction you look, you will encounter some form of advertisement in the form of banners, commercials, billboards, pop-ups, etc. We have come a long way from the days of traditional advertising to digital advertising. Yet what remains true is its continuing reign at the heart of the marketing industry.
Wherever you go today, businesses are constantly trying to draw your attention. In this competitive space, advertising has become an influential tool for businesses to promote their brand, goods, and services to the audience. Advertising is a form of paid promotion where the sponsor (generally, a business) controls the content and the message. The aim is to reach out to the audience and influence some facet of their attitude and behavior.
Let’s better understand advertising and its importance as a marketing tool.
Advertising has a history as long as civilizations and commercial activities. The earliest evidence of advertising has been traced back to the ancient civilization of Egypt. The written advertisement on papyrus found in the ruins of Thebes is known to be the first known written ad. The preserved ruins of Pompeii also show evidence of commerce, advertising, and even endorsement. Advertisements were manifest in diverse mediums such as wall paintings, oral advertising, and papyrus in the ancient world. It was the pre-printing era of advertising.
Modern advertising follows soon after with the advent of the printing press. It brought on the printing revolution and the systematic printing of uniform texts at an unthinkable rate. The invention of the Gutenberg press was the beginning of the printing revolution that, in turn, fundamentally transformed the advertising world.
Since then, there has been a rapid growth in newspaper and magazine publications beginning in London. Newspapers became a popular medium to make announcements promoting products through advertisements. Printed ads began to promote books and medicines.
As the nations’ economies expanded with the consumer society in the 19th century, advertising became increasingly popular, and newspapers continued to be the preferred medium for advertisers. The establishment of the first advertising agency in 1843 in Philadephia, the US, founded by Volney Palmer, further changed how the industry functions.
As the products in the market were diversifying, producers and brands felt the need to establish their own brand identity. So arose brand advertising. The Sears direct mail campaign of 1892 is the first known instance of direct marketing in modern advertising. It helped generate brand awareness, recognition, and brand loyalty among consumers.
The 20th century saw the advertising industry expand further. It is known as the golden age of advertising. Print advertising countered challenges arising from other mediums- radio and television advertising. Advertising agencies began to play an even bigger role in the industry. The field’s reliance on professionals such as psychologists and researchers and big data made advertising a scientific exercise since this period.
Nonetheless, it was the 21st century that led to a tectonic shift in advertising. The World Wide Web took the globe by storm, and online advertising became the mainstay of the advertising industry. The origin of digital advertising can be traced back to the world’s first digital banner advertisements in October 1994. The HotWired (present-day Wired.com) ad campaign saw 14 corporations participate in revolutionizing online advertising. They included prominent corporations like Volvo, IBM, Club Med, and AT&T, to name a few.
The dynamism of online advertising came to fruition with social media advertising which took targeted advertising to new heights. Social media platforms have become ubiquitous in the digitally-driven world and are at the forefront of digital media advertising. Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are known for providing access to the target audience with accuracy and ease not possible before the advent of social media platforms.
We have come a long way from the word-of-mouth and papyrus advertising of the ancient world. Technological advancements like the printing revolution and the popularization of radio and television were boosts that introduced the golden age of advertising. But the Internet age has unleashed the full potential of advertising and its importance in a consumerist society.
Now that we have briefly outlined the long and illustrious history of advertising let’s understand what it means.
The term advertising comes from the Latin word ‘advertere’ that translates ‘to turn toward.’ Advertising is a marketing technique to communicate with an audience to promote and sell a good, service, brand, or idea. An advertiser aims to influence the audience to take action that is generally beneficial to the business. It is a promotional activity that may target a specific niche audience or the general public regarding the subject of the advert.
Technological innovations have led to the rapid growth of advertising. New technology has introduced new mediums for its transmission. An advertisement (adverts or ads, for short) may come in many forms- newspaper ads, banners, video ads, radio, television ads, magazine ads, social media endorsements, catalogs, and leaflets.
The advertiser (or sponsor) has absolute control over the advertisement’s content, no matter its form. It is their way of one-way communication with the audience through paid promotion. The advertising industry continues to consolidate its power with each historically significant transition that has taken place over its long history.
This ancient marketing technique continuously adapts and adopts new technologies to stay relevant and valuable. So let us learn more about the use of advertising.
For a marketing technique to survive over the centuries, it has to make itself invaluable. Advertising has done so, and it continues to adapt to changing times to remain useful.
Advertising has three main objectives- to inform, persuade, and remind. These objectives make advertising valuable in several ways, as we will find out in this section.
Given the many uses of advertising, it is not surprising that both small and big businesses allocate substantial resources to advertising.
Now that we have covered the use of advertising, it's time to explore the different types of advertising. Today advertisers have a range of options to choose the type of advertising that would benefit them the most. They range from print advertising to broadcast and online advertising.
Here we outline some of the most important types of advertising. We first look at the classification of advertising based on its audience reach.
Types of advertising are also differentiated based on the medium of advertising. They can be broadly classified as traditional and digital advertising.
Traditional advertising - This type of advertising uses traditional mediums to market to potential consumers like television, radio, newspapers, billboards, and pamphlets.
Broadcast advertising - It involves using mass communication media like television and radio to advertise the brand, products, or service. They are most likely to address the general audience. Nonetheless, it can be an expensive medium.
Direct mail advertising - In this type of advertising, the advertisement is mailed directly to the audience’s home or office as catalogs, brochures, and newsletters.
Print advertising - Before the emergence of digital advertising, print advertising was the most popular form of advertising, especially for small businesses. It includes magazine and newspaper advertisements, brochures, flyers, and leaflets.
Outdoor advertising (or out-of-home advertising) - Any form of advertising that you encounter outside your home is outdoor advertising. It includes billboards, transit ads, ads in venues with huge footfalls like sports stadiums, etc.
Digital advertising - Digital advertisement entails using the internet and social networking channels to communicate with the target audience. It became wildly popular with the invention of the World Wide Web.
Social media advertising - Social media platforms have an enormous reach. They have become essential for the advertising industry to reach a highly targeted audience. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all provide the means for big and small businesses to communicate with their existing and potential customer.
Display advertising - Pop-ups and banner ads on websites help businesses reach new audiences. These ads aim to convert the audience quickly through their call to action (CTA) feature.
Native advertising - It is a type of advertising where the advert's content matches the website's general content. The advertisement is very subtle in presenting itself as an ad and takes away the disruptive element of advertising.
Mobile advertising - The pervasiveness of mobile phones in society has made them the most omnipotent medium to reach potential customers anywhere and anytime. A mobile device with network and internet connectivity can help businesses communicate with their audience through SMS, videos, display ads, search ads, video ads, and social media.
Paid search advertising (or pay-per-click advertising) - Businesses can bid on specific keywords to appear at the top of search results when consumers enter them in the search engine. The business has to pay only when a person clicks on the ad.
The objective of an advertisement is abundantly clear- promote and sell a product, service, brand, or idea. So how does advertising go about fulfilling the intent of the advertiser? 1. Recognizability - The first step that enables advertising to work is creating awareness of a business and its products among the audience. This first step in the sales funnel results from sharing information about the subject of the advert with the audience.
2. Research - For advertising to work, it is critical to research the audience, their interests, and the content they are actively searching for. Advertisements often share informative content that is of value to the consumer and promotes the subject of the advert.
3. Persuasion - The content of an advertisement should be able to persuade the audience to see value in the product and make a compelling argument in favor of purchasing the product.
4. Emotional appeal - The dimension of advertising relies on capitalizing on the audience’s emotions to influence them to act. The idea is to evoke a positive emotional response to the brand or product through the ad.
5. Engagement - A positive association with a brand or business can create long-term relationships with its audience. Advertising can play a vital role here in shaping these positive associations.
The objectives of advertising are three-fold- to inform, persuade, and remind. Let us look at each in some detail. Inform - Advertisers concern themselves with generating awareness about a brand, its products, and services with an audience. It helps get the exposure that aids in developing brand recognition and image.
Persuade - Advertisements aim to persuade the audience to take specific actions. It may involve persuading them to buy the company’s products or services or even building and modifying the brand’s image.
Remind - Brands seek to retain customers by drawing attention to themselves and their products through advertising. They reinforce the brand values and remind the audience of their existing line of goods and services.
Together, these three objectives align to grow the business and establish an identity that separates them from competitors.
There are many advantages of advertising. It is a highly effective tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Its long history is evidence of the many benefits advertising has to offer.
Let us explore them.
As with any marketing tool, advertising has disadvantages too.
The scope of advertising is immense in creating a one-way communication with the audience to promote and sell a product, service, or idea. The scope of advertising can depend on the following factors -
The scope of advertising additionally covers the following grounds-
The modern world is a highly competitive space. Today’s consumerist society offers numerous choices to consumers. Businesses must compete with each other to grow their business and retain their existing customers. As a result, advertising has become an essential marketing tool for companies by which they establish their brand image and distinguish themselves from their competitors.
Advertising performs several functions that contribute significantly to businesses in the modern world. Let’s outline why advertising is so significant in the contemporary world.
A last-click attribution model is when the last or final touchpoint in the consumer’s journey is attributed as being the ultimate factor influencing the conversion of a lead to an actual buyer. The final touchpoint before a customer makes a purchase may be anything like a blog, web page, display banner, etc.
Also known as multi-channel attribution, this model seeks to analyze the contribution of the multiple touchpoints which the customer interacts with before making their purchase. The aim is to decipher which channels or campaigns contributed to the conversion process.
It is a financial metric to understand the ratio between the net income (over some time) and investment. It evaluates the performance and profitability of the investment.
It measures the total volume of a product or service successfully sold compared to the estimated total value of the existing market of said product or service.
The maturity stage in a product’s life cycle follows the growth stage. At this stage of maturity, the sales of the product or service level off, and companies may begin to reduce prices to stay competitive. Companies focus on differentiating their product from their competitors rather than creating awareness. This stage represents the height of the product’s adoption.
It is a situation in which the sales volume of a product or service stagnates due to achieving maximum sales volume in a given market condition. No new customers can be added to the customer base as all potential customers have already undergone conversion to actual buyers.
A customer value proposition is a marketing statement that outlines why a customer should buy a company’s product or services instead of their competitor’s. It is a statement of the value a company will provide its customer in return for their payment for a product or service.
CTR is the ratio of clicks to impressions in advertising. It measures the number of users who click on an ad to the total number of people who view the page, advertisement, or email.
CTA is a marketing term that refers to a marketing tactic that encourages the audience to take immediate action that aligns with the advertiser’s campaign.
For any business, keeping an open channel for communication with their customers is vital to building and maintaining a relationship. Advertising bridges this gap between the business and its consumers. Companies can share and communicate any message with a large audience through multiple mediums and forms of advertising. Advertisers control the ad’s content and even target specific audiences through it. Ads serve the functions of educating, informing, and generating awareness regarding products, services, and brands. They are the best way to communicate with customers.
Advertisements contain informative content regarding the brands and their products and services available in the market. Advertising is the best way to inform and educate customers regarding the values and beliefs of brands, the products available in the market, and information about their features and uses. In a competitive market, sharing valuable content that the customers find relevant can establish the brand and its products in the market. It can help differentiate them from their competitors and increase their market share.
Age is no bar to an audience in advertising. Ads can be for the general audience or tailored to a specific age group. The messaging of the advertising reflects the audience it wants to address. The objective of the brand and the subject determine who the ad is addressing. Today, everyone is a prospective customer, and the advertising industry recognizes this truth. Consequently, ads cater to members of all age groups.
Advertising has adapted and adopted modern technologies to remain relevant. Technological innovations have always been advantageous to the growth of the advertising industry. Today, the Internet and new digital technologies contribute to making advertising easier. The reach and ubiquity of modern technologies like smartphones, laptops, etc., have given advertisers access to prospective customers at all times. The mediums and forms of advertising have exploded, providing advertisers with new formats and avenues to explore to communicate with the audience.
Advertising Courses can be either in the form of online or offline courses. Let us understand what the two modes of learning mean.
Now let us outline why advertising courses online are better than offline ones.
Flexibility - Online advertising classes afford flexibility of time and location. The lessons are accessible to students from anywhere and at any time.
The pace of learning - The learner controls the learning speed. They can allocate time to different sections depending on their individual needs.
Cost-effective - Online courses are less expensive than offline ones. It also includes the transportation costs and cost of resources that are non-existent or negligible in an online course.
Reusable course material - Course material is readily accessible to students who can reuse it multiple times. They can also download resources and lectures for future reference from the internet.
Increases choice - A student can opt to enroll in any university or college course regardless of the location. As a result, the options available to students are vastly more numerous than offline ones.
The syllabus of advertising courses can vary depending on who they are for and the purpose of the course. Nonetheless, all of them deal with the fundamentals of advertising.
Here we outline the basic syllabus of advertising courses.
Advertising courses also offer specializations in conjunction with other related courses like- media and advertising courses, advertising and public relations courses, marketing and advertising courses, and advertising and marketing management courses.
The advertising industry is booming. The crucial role of advertising in business growth is a well-established fact. Digital advertising has played a critical role in the meteoric rise of the advertising industry. The potential of social media advertising has been phenomenal in opening new avenues of advertising for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Global advertising spending is expected to grow by around 10% in 2022. In India, e-commerce advertising spending is expected to grow by 36% in 2022. Social media and online videos remain the frontrunners in digital media advertising. The Indian advertising industry is expected to increase its revenue by 15% in 2022. According to a report by FICCI and EY, the Indian advertising sector is positioned to reach its 1 trillion mark in advertising revenue by 2024.
The growth of the advertising industry in India is the reason behind the accelerating demand for advertising programs and advertising certification. The advertising is here to stay for good. The recognition of the business world has made it a lucrative sector for those who want to advance their career. All businesses rely on advertising making advertising professionals a much sought-after asset.
Several factors can affect the salary of an Advertising Specialist in India. Let’s explore some of them.
Location of employment - The place of occupation plays an essential role in determining the salary package of an Advertising Specialist. Here are some salary packages based on the city of employment.
Work experience - Industry experience is consequential in determining the pay package of an Advertising Specialist. Like all professions, more work experience translates to a higher salary package.
Sector or field of employment - Advertising Specialists are employable across industries. They may hold positions in advertising agencies, digital marketing firms, industry-specific marketing teams, etc. The sector they are working in can influence their salary package.
Employer - The company that an Advertising Specialist works for plays a significant role in their pay package. The size and reputation of the employer will affect how much they pay compared to the industry average.
The salary of an Advertising Specialist can vary from country to country.
Here we chart out the salaries of Advertising Specialists abroad.
Salary per annum (US$)
The United States of America
Several factors can affect the pay package of an Advertising Specialist abroad.
Here we outline these factors.
Country of employment - The pay package of an Advertising Specialist depends on their place of employment as it reflects the cost of living and demand of the profession.
Work experience - The number of years working in the industry is a critical determinant of the pay package you can command as an Advertising Specialist.
Skill or specialization - Specific specializations and skill sets are more valuable than others. As a result, it may affect the pay package of an Advertising Specialist.
Average Salary Hike
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Advertising is a marketing technique that uses one-way communication to promote and sell goods and services to existing and prospective customers. They are a form of paid promotion where the advertiser controls the message. The content may be for a general audience or a niche group.
Advertisements communicate informative content to the audience that generates awareness and educates them regarding brands, goods, and services available in the market. As a result, the prospective consumer can make an informed decision regarding their choices and help boost sales of businesses.
Advertising has a three-fold objective: to inform, persuade and remind. The content and form of advertisements seek to influence audience action or perception towards a brand and its offerings. The ultimate objective is to promote a positive association between a brand and its customers.
Advertising performs several functions essential to the growth of a business. It introduces new products, helps build brand image, boosts sales, develops customer trust and loyalty, differentiates products, helps reach a large audience, and expands the consumer base.
There are several different types of advertising based on the medium. These include broadcast advertising, direct mail advertising, print advertising, television advertising, radio advertising, outdoor advertising, social media advertising, display advertising, native advertising, pay-per-click advertising, mobile advertising, retail advertising, podcast advertising, product placement advertising, and guerilla advertising.
Advertising has changed with time. The medium of advertising has seen many shifts. The beginning of modern advertisement began with the printing revolution that made newspaper and magazine ads commonplace. The popularisation of mass communication followed, making radio and television ads popular. Ultimately, the birth of the Internet and the widespread use of social media revolutionised online advertising.
Firstly, it helps increase awareness about a brand and product/ service. Secondly, businesses can use advertising to set themselves apart from competitors. Third, it educates and informs the audience regarding the brand and its products. Next, advertising can create and boost brand image. Additionally, ads can help to attract potential and existing customers. Sixth, it can increase sales volumes and return on investment (ROI). Further, advertising can effectively reach a wide audience simultaneously as it has a mass reach and supports sales.
Foremost, advertising is expensive and increases the cost for businesses and consumers. Secondly, advertising can deceive buyers through misleading or false claims which promote inferior products and services. Next, the cost of advertising encourages monopoly and pushes out small businesses. Fourth, ads promote unnecessary consumption and unfulfilled desires. Lastly, advertising can confuse buyers due to the vast number of similar options they are exposed to through ads.
Advertising campaigns can take several steps to optimise a business. First, identify and target the right audience to optimally utilise the advertising budget. Second, use advertising channels that the target audience use. Further, get the timing of the advertisement right and identify the business's specific goals. Fourth, track and measure the advertising campaign's success using performance metrics. Finally, using re-marketing strategies can help to engage with the right audience.
Advertisers use several effective advertising techniques, including promotional advertising, emotional appeal, bandwagon advertising, repetition, endorsements, facts and statistics, colour psychology, composition, rule of thirds, storytelling, social proof, questioning technique, social media influencers, and nostalgia.
The metrics to measure advertising performance are return on ad spend (ROAS), reach and impression, bounce rate, engagement rate, conversion rate, cost per acquisition (CPA), cost per click (CPC), and cost per lead (CPL).
Advertising can be expensive as it relies on paid media. Depending on your distribution channels, like TV, social media, and banners. Some platforms are more expensive than others. The advertising budget also includes the advertising professionals you hire and the software and tools you use.
Advertising and marketing are related to each other but different. Marketing is a long-term process of planning, implementing, and executing activities to promote or sell goods and services to potential and existing customers. Marketing uses different media types: paid media, owned media, and earned media.
Advertising is a part of a business’ marketing strategy. Advertising in the short term supports the marketing goals by promoting the business and its offerings. It is generally the most expensive part of a marketing plan and is typically limited to using paid media.
Advertising is a part of the overall marketing plan and works in coordination with other parts of the marketing strategy. Businesses use advertising as a marketing tool to promote their products and services to a large audience through paid channels to create the desired impact on them. Advertising helps businesses draw attention to their products and services. Ultimately, the objective of both is to increase sales and revenue.
Advertising specialists are responsible for planning, developing, executing, and managing the advertising campaign of a business or client. They create and customise advertising campaigns for different platforms. Advertising specialists strategise with the marketing team and the business or client. Additionally, they help to monitor and analyse the performance of ad campaigns. They also provide suggestions and feedback to optimise and improve the performance of future advertising campaigns.
For a successful career as an advertising specialist, you must possess the following skills: research skills (market research, customer research), creative skills (storytelling, writing, innovating content), communication skills (collaboration, networking, interpersonal skills), project management skills (coordination, decision-making, problem-solving, budget management, time management), media skills (media planning, media strategy, brand strategy, search engine optimisation, search engine marketing), and marketing skills (customer focus, sales, public relations, analysis).
The scope for career growth in advertising is tremendous. There are several typical career options in advertising. You can be an advertising manager, advertising account executive, advertising copywriter, advertising art director, social media manager, advertising sales representative, advertising photographer, graphic designer, event planner, marketing coordinator, market researcher and analyst, production manager, creative director, public relations specialist- to name a few.
Advertising specialists can use several tools to make the process of advertising easier and more effective. The tools can be divided into ten categories: social media marketing tools (Sendible, Stiddle), content marketing tools (Hubspot, Buzzsumo), SEO tools (Ahrefs, Semrush), email marketing tools (MailChimp, Aweber), marketing automation tools (Marketo, Copper), website analytics tools (Google Analytics), and many more.
There are several future trends in advertising to look out for. Firstly, ads are becoming more personalised and interactive. Advertising channels are becoming more integrated. Moreover, artificial intelligence (AI) will play a dominant role in advertising. Short videos will be the trending mode of advertising. Authenticity will be valuable in determining advertising content.