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Understanding the Key Topics of Advertising and Promotion in the Class Sales Promotion

During the Winter Break, the opportunity to take the class, “Sales Promotion” opened and with no hesitation, that opportunity was taken by myself. One of the many of the key topics of the class was the term “advertising and promotion”. Merriam Webster defines the word Advertising as: “the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements”. Advertising has now become apart of our everyday lives, and has changed drastically as the years passed by. With the first American Newspaper advertisement in 1704, then in 1835 the first billboard, to the first advertisements in radio and television in the 20’s and 40’s respectively, up until today which comes in several forms. The cost of advertising has changed drastically for marketers, due to inflation and the possible exposure that an advertisement could bring these days, a recent example of how costly and beneficial advertising can be is the yearly tradition of costly but creative Super Bowl commercials. The cost of a thirty second advertisement in this upcoming Super Bowl is a whopping $7.7 million dollars.

In today’s society, advertisements are completely unavoidable, especially with the new technology innovations that are coming out every single day. Advertisements are still printed in magazines, and newspapers, billboards and used in radio of course, but advertisers and marketers are looking more in a non-traditional way these days. Non-Traditional Media, which is also called digital or new media, are the following: email marketing, social media, pay to click advertising, and search to click optimization. Like stated previously, with technology steadily advancing day by day, the amount of people that uses the internet daily growing rapidly, and the incorporation of technology in our everyday lives (smart phones, video games, etc) new media is helping marketers strike gold to find their market, and to find. potential new customers.

Along with promotion, which is defined by Merriam Webster as” the act of furthering the growth or development of something; especially: the furtherance of the acceptance and sale of merchandise through advertising, publicity, or discounting”. Advertising and Promotion are very similar to one another, but with advertising being more of a promotional strategy, whole Promotion being a marketing strategy. Advertising is also bringing long term effects to an organization, with lasting effects coming from commercials, billboards, and more planned out strategies which brings higher cost. Promotion only brings short term effects, are not as planned as advertising, and has a cheaper price tag.

However, one thing can be agreed on when it comes with Advertising and Promotion: that they both play a huge part in social and economic systems. Advertising and Promotion brings awareness to a brand, with the possibly that it could educate people about a product that they are unfamiliar about, and a product that could help a consumer in any circumstance. Just one of the few benefits and reasons why advertising is beneficial, is that also brings credibility to brand, with effective promotion and a product that could live up the hype, success would most likely come. Advertising and Promotion is of course, used by companies large and small, use advertising and promotion to promote their products and services that are provided.

The book that has come along with this course “Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective” by George and Michael Belch does a great job explaining the economic benefits that comes with advertising and promotion. As far back as 1980, “Advertising and sales promotion were the dominant forms of ma across the two was marketing communication used by most companies, and total expenditures in the United States across the two was just over $100 billion. Media advertising accounted for $53 billion while $49 billion was spent on sales promotion techniques such as product samples, coupons, contests, sweepstakes, premium, rebates and trade allowances, and discounts to retailers. (Belch and Belch, 6). Of course, this is a lot of money spent overall, and it is kind of shocking knowing that it is the 1980’s, but in current times those numbers have skyrocketed. According to the book, “By 2013, total advertising and non-advertising marketing communications expenditures in the United States were estimated to be $589 billion, with $198 being spent on media advertising $303 billion for consumer and trade promotions, $41 billion going to direct mail and other forms of direct marketing such as e-mail marketing, and $33 billion spent on sponsorships and experiential/event marketing” (Belch and Belch, 6). These numbers show the total amount that is used to bring exposure to products and brands. Among the 2013 numbers, mobile marketing has emerged as a new form of advertising, which is when advertisements and promotions are sent directly to devices like smartphones, tablets, etc.

The book reports that mobile marketing is accounted for almost $4 billion in expenditures (Belch and Belch, 6). The amount of money that companies will spend on non-traditional media will keep growing, and budgets will expand, however most budgets are still large for traditional media. The United States still makes up the majority of the world’s advertising expenditures, about half of global expenditures are happening in Western Europe and in Asian countries. Overall, the United States reigns supreme when it comes to money spent of on advertisements, traditionally and non-traditionally, and Japan, China, Germany, Brazil, and the United Kingdom follows after.

In order to gain insight, thoughts, opinions and insight on how to improve a product or service after advertising, firms begin to start the process of Integrated Marketing Communications better known as IMC. Belch & Belch’s book defines IMC as the “coordinating the various promotion elements and other marketing activities that communicate with a firm’s customers” (Belch and Belch, 9). And the American Association of Advertising agencies (4As), created one of the first definitions of IMC, which is “a concept of marketing communications planning that recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines” (Belch and Belch, 9). The 4A’s way to define IMC uses all forms of promotion to achieve a highly effective communication impact, but some opposition wants a larger view that thinks and talks about all sources of brand contact that can be provided for a customer. To summarize, Integrated Marketing Communication purpose is to take parts of marketing communication like direct marketing, advertising, social media, and public relations and make them one, to become consistent when trying to get something out to the customer. As a way make themselves different and diverse in the marketing field, companies are now starting to look past traditional advertising agencies and use different types of promotional specialist to create and use different components of their promotional plans. To do this, agencies are now starting to invest more in PR, direct marketing and sales promotion, Public Relations, and then start calling themselves as “IMC agencies” that gives customers one-stop shopping for all their needs.

The concept has become such an important aspect of a firm’s success that it is now seen a simple business process, that helps companies identify the best ways to communicate with employees and more importantly the consumers. In order to be efficient when it comes to communication, many have realized that there are more than just traditional marketing communication skills to use, so they started to use IMC. While some have not started the process to switching over and beginning the IMC process, it can be agreed upon the value and usage of IMC will continue to grow. Some reasons to why IMC and Integrated Marketing will continue to grow are marketers quickly adapting to the times, and marketers are understanding the value of strategically communication functions rather than operate by itself. Along with this and the growing reliability of the internet and technology companies, advertisers are using the internet to advertise in a more targeted way. Advertisements on websites can now feature items that are based on the consumer’s specific interest, due to their previous search history. This has garnered some controversy since some has seen this as an invasion of their privacy, but this form of advertising will stay due to the success of the tactic.

Belch and Belch’s book defines Promotion is “the coordination of all seller-initiated efforts to set up channels of information and persuasion in order to sell goods and services or promote an idea” (Belch and Belch, 16). Promotion and Promotional Mix has been seen as a tool for IMC, with Promotional Mix including four elements: advertising, sales promotion, publicity/public relations, and personal selling. Each element has been listed as a IMC tool that all plays a different role, and has several advantages. Advertising, is the most well known and talked about form of promotion, and plays a pivotal role in marketers IMC program. Media advertising is still seen as most cost-effective way to reach a large base of consumers, and is great way for building and creating brand equity. It is a way to be remembered by consumers by creating unique advertisements featuring songs, images, and more for products or services that are hard to separate from the rest.

To conclude this essay, the term “Advertising and Promotion” is such a broad term which the book “Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective” by George & Michael Belch explains that and the subtopics of the topic are explained very well. From it’s small beginnings in the 1700s to its huge growth and expansion today, advertising has come a long way. Traditional Media such as billboards, print, radio has always been used and today has grown along with technology, and by the looks of it, we haven’t reach its full potential. Not with just how advertising tactics how changed, the amount of money spent for consumers to be able to find and look for products has changed drastically. There are so many important topics and components of advertising and promotion to be talked about but one of the most valuable would be Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC). IMC has become a useful and effective way for a firm to communicate with their customers. Finally, two of the main tools for IMC would be Advertising and Promotion, which many companies are switching towards due to the changing of the environment, and trying to make themselves unique enough to separate themselves from others, to better market their product to you, the consumer.

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