INTRODUCTION

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An outsider’s perception of the work in an ad agency is one of glamour and glitz. It is  often  assumed  that  working  in  an  ad  agency  means  being  surrounded  by glam dolls and hunks. That it is a profession of high profile and high living with a lot  of   showmanship,  socializing  and  partying.  Till  a   few  years  ago  people would  have   ranked  it  second  only  to  the  world  of  films  in  terms  of  the “glamour” co-efficient. But ‘politics’ and ‘fashions’ world have pushed it down the ladder a bit since.

 

Well, the real world of advertising is most certainly a world of high and intensity but  in a different way. Though at a first glances  an ad agency would seem like any other  corporate office, often the similarity would end at the office reception. Once inside, you are in the battle zone.

 

The  decibel  levels  and  chaos  is  often  striking  arguably  second  only  to  the commodity and stock exchange pits. So is the pressure  of deadlines, client calls and  chasing of work and  people both  inside and outside the agency. Usually a working   day  in   the  agency  for  most   people  is  long,  hectic,  unpredictable, stressful, full of drama, yet loads of fun, often including the weekends.

 

FIVE M’s OF ADVERTISING

 

Advertising  is  an  important  promotional  tool  for  any  marketing  campaign.  So much so that whenever we think of marketing we think of advertising although it is  just  one  of the  marketing  tools. Today  government  bodies  as  well  as  non- government   organizations   go   for   high   profile   advertising   campaigns.   The purpose here is  not  to increase the sales figure but to increase the awareness of people regarding the  relevant topics. Today the marketing manager has a range of  advertising  options  to   choose  from-  from  interpersonal  communication  to Internet.  Deciding  on  a  correct  option  calls  for  detailed  analysis  aspects  like objective  behind  advertising  (Mission),  company’s  earmarked  budget  (Money), content  of communication  through  advertising  (Message),  advertising  vehicle (Media)  and   impact  of  advertising   (Measurement).   These  can  be  broadly classified as the five M’s of advertising.

 

MISSION

 

First of all the marketing manager must be clear on  the company’s  purpose for advertising.  “Increase  in  sales  figure”  will  be  a  very  broad  and  to  a  certain context a vague objective. According to Mr. Philip Kotler, a renowned authority in this field, there can be three possible objectives behind advertising:

 

Information- when a new product is launched, the purpose should only be to inform people about the product

 

Persuasion-  Persuading  people  to  actually  go  out  and  buy  the  product. This   objective   is   of   paramount           importance     because    of    cutthroat competition.  Any advertisement  must  be  persuasive  in  nature, attracting consumers towards the brand

 

Reminder: This objective is relevant for well-established companies. These types  of  advertisements  only  try  to  remind  the  consumers  of  the  brand existence.  For  instance  whenever  we hear or read  yeh  dil maange  more, we  tend  to   think  about  Pepsi.  Same  way  we  tend  to  associate  “two minutes” with Maggie noodles. The marketing manager should establish a clear  goal  as  on  the  purpose  of  advertising,  information,  persuasion  or reminder.

 

MONEY

After the objective has  been decided upon,  the next step is to  decide upon  the budget. There are several methods  for deciding on  the advertising budget. The most   common  among  them  is  the  percentage  of  sales  method.  Under  this method,  a  certain  percentage  of  sales  are  allotted  for  advertising  expenditure. Though this  method is used widely, there are some problems with this method. The first issue is  what percentage the company should take? Even if a company somehow decides a  percentage  figure, this would  mean  increase  in advertising expenditure when sales  are  up and less spending when sales are down. This in some ways is quite paradoxical, because logically the reverse should happen. The company  needs  to  spend  more  on  advertising  when  sales  are  down.  But  this method uses  circular reasoning  and views  sales as  cause for promotion. In fact sales are a result of promotion. Another method suggests that a company should spend as much as its competitors are spending. This method claims that it would prevent promotional wars.  But  then  like  each  individual each  company  is also different. It  may  not  make any sense in  spending like your competitor because competitor might be on a different footing.

 

MESSAGE

As  a  common  experience,  we  love  some  advertisements,  while  the  others  just irritate us. An appealing advertising will win consumers  and  will consequently induce  them  to  purchase  the product. On  the  other hand, irritating advertising will  create an adverse effect. This is why many companies hand over this task to advertising  agencies,  which  has  professionals to make impact  -making ads.  The message  that  company  wants  to  convey  should  be  put  in  a  manner  that  will arouse  interest.  Moreover  it  should  convincingly  highlight  upon  the  products USP. What is said is definitely important but what is more important is how it is said. The  tone should be appealing. Words used should be catchy and retentive. These  days  both  electronic  as  well  as  print  media  are  overflowing  with  ads. People have no time to read or see them, and therefore they have to be attractive enough to target audience’s attention. This is the job of message.

 

MEDIA

Selecting the proper media vehicle for communicating the message goes a long way in the success of any kind of advertising. Each media vehicle has its positive and  negative points with a different reach and impact. Therefore a company has to  be  very  clear  about  its  target  audience.  Choices  available  are  Internet,  TV, newspapers,  magazines, direct  mails,  radio and hoardings. Everyone of this has its  advantages  and  disadvantages. Companies  often  go  in  for a  media  mix, i.e. they select more than  one of the available choices. Timing is of great significance here.   Many   industries   face   seasonal   fluctuations   and   pass   through   cycles. Therefore advertising should be timed that way to take care of these fluctuations. A limited budget should be prudently allotted among these media vehicles.

 

MEASUREMENT

It is necessary that effectiveness of any advertising be judged. Only on the basis of this measurement, can further decisions regarding continuation or termination of  the  particular  advertising  campaign  be  taken.  An  ad  can  be  judged  on  the basis  of  its  reach  and  impact  on  sales.  Good  advertising  is  one  that  generates brand awareness  and consequently brand preference. How much of sales can be attributed to advertising, is a difficult question to answer. Sales are influenced by many   factors   besides   advertising.   It   is   not   easy   to   isolate   the   impact   of advertising on sales.  Nonetheless  there are some advanced statistical  techniques available that can be used with the help of computer software’s like SPSS. Thus a systematic and balanced  understanding of these five Ms of advertising will help in designing better advertising  campaigns  that create a favorable impact on the target audience.

 

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