We are surrounded and influenced by advertising with its overt or subliminal messaging. If I were to define advertising, I might say that its objective is to communicate an influencing message or to portray a message in an influential manner. A conclusive definition of advertising is not possible due to its scope in terms of its channels, content and audience.
We are very familiar with digital advertising in the context of TV and radio and are constantly bombarded by visual advertising on “in your face” billboards as well as advertisements in newspapers and magazines.
When we log onto the Internet we are introduced to promotions using banners and flashes, and those insufferable pop-ups for which we would like some solution to their permanent eradication rather than just delete them.
And that is the challenge of the advertiser, when they wish to introduce theatre to make their message more impactive, more memorable, aiming to establish a positive affinity between you and the message. The real problem here is to identify, as most often there is not an identifiable correlation between the advertising budget and the return on investment (ROI).
If you have familiarised yourself with my four personality working types you will immediately understand the different profiles advertising must embrace if it wishes to win over the mindset of the audience. The four disparate personality types outline the challenge for the advertiser when creating a new campaign. They must decide what is the optimum market segmentation on which to focus their message. When we shop for food, buy clothes, listen to the radio, watch television, read the newspaper, buy diesel or petrol, walk, drive or journey by public transport, we are constantly exposed to the medium of advertising.
And the challenge for advertising is on-going. Packaging design plays a crucial role in product advertising. Yet there is an equal focus on sustainability in terms of reuse and recycling which the advertiser must take into account. Loyalty cards are now expected and not an add-on and companies can, through the application of data mining, use the information to track the buying patterns of customers. This means they can develop more target campaigns. If my shopping pattern indicates that I only purchase red wine, it is a waste of advertising revenue to inform me of recent discounts on Chardonnay or Shiraz Rose.
Advertising can play a significant role in the propagation of good messages. Health is a typical example where it warns the public of the dangers of certain substance abuse. It may be sending a safety message concerning road use or fire prevention.
Advertising is the most important component of the marketing strategy and in today’s fast forward society it is a testing environment to be in. Get it right and you will be praised and popular, having significantly improved the bottom line. Get it wrong – well perhaps you should approach the headhunters rather than wait for them to approach you.
Skills for Advertising for the Analyst
Advertising embraces many specialisms and accordingly has a meaningful place for all four personality types.
The Analyst likes the facts – what you are saying and why you are saying it.
Analytical skills are prevalent in marketing where advertising budgets must be justified. Focused data analysis, qualitative and quantative, will ensure money is well spent. And in the current melee of new technological developments, developments which do not know their own destination or future whether it is twittering, facebooking, linking-in, texting or skyping, we need the analyst to superimpose their data calculators and tame these runaways (using advertising speak). Advertising is becoming more and more dependant on analysis where the dominance of SEO is a good example.