947 Words Essay on Market Research and Advertising



In case of market-oriented goods, the advertiser/salesman must have the fullest possible information about the product to be adverti­sed and if already upon the market, the reaction to it of the trade and consumer.

It is equally important to have intimate knowledge of all competitive products, of their selling claims, their distribution prices, trade discounts, trade and consumer acceptance etc.

To these ends, market research enters early into the picture. Some specialised sales agencies have their own fully staffed market research section. Others employ the services of one of the several purely market research organisations which exist. In either case the procedure is similar.

The Marketing Strategy:

In the days of the past, the distribu­tion of products and the advertising campaign to promote consumer demand had very heavy elements of 'hit or miss' in them. But the modern approach is to carry out intensive preliminary research into the potential market, in the early stages of campaign planning, and on the basis of facts established by this research, the marketing plan is drawn up.

This defines the broad objectives of the advertising campaign in a manner that aids its smooth dovetailing into the total marketing strategy. It is also an important factor in deciding the advertising appropriation necessary in order to achieve a certain sales target based on the possibilities indicated by the research.

Much of the information made available will be of assistance to the space buyer in the selection of media and, of course, of the greatest possible help to the copywriter in deciding the angle of approach to the consuming public, as market research will have established the socio-economic group, age, purchasing preferences, etc. of the market.

Market research not only provides data for the initial marketing plan but also provides periodical check on the operation and efficiency of that plan. Thus the manufacturers and his advertising agents, working in close liaison, are able to keep a finger on the pulse of the market and to adjust marketing strategy and advertising policy to meet changing conditions.

Advertising Copy:

Your advertisement is as much a selling approach to your cus­tomer as the visit of your representative. Therefore, it must be well 'spoken', 'well dressed' and create as favourable an impact as that of your successful salesman.

Advertisement 'copy' can be compared to sales talk, 'layout', to personality and appearance. The copywriter must project himself into the mind of the reader of the advertisement. He must anticipate any possible negative reaction to any aspect of the copy-for example, the price factor (if it is higher than the average), and by logical argu­ment, which causes repulsion. Indeed, attack being the best form of defense, it may be used as a principal selling point, like 'it pays to pay for quality'.

The copywriter must tell as much of the story as he feels will interest the reader but tell it concisely and in as few a words as possible. This is a general rule but like all other rules, it has its exceptions and the copywriter whose subject is suitable and who possesses the ability to hold the attention of the reader may practice his art in less condensed form-provided always that he has the advertising space at his disposal. The motorist is prepared to read lengthy copy about the car he proposes to purchase, the average woman about the fashion and beauty and so forth.

Knowledge of competitors : The copywriter must be intimately conversant with all competitive lines whether advertised or not (infor­mation supplied to him by the market research section), as well as all competitive advertising, being careful to avoid any idea or statement, which should constitute plagiarism or could be regarded as 'knocking' copy. He must be quite conversant with the various Codes of Stan­dards and Merchandising Acts etc. Where highly technical copy is concerned the 'specialist' copywriter is employed.

The Layout :

In the preparation of the layout many factors have to be taken into account and carefully balanced. Should the advertisement, be illustrated or not, and if illustrated, what should be the nature of the picture? Should it be of the product of some extraneous eye ­catching device- or both? Sometimes the nature of the copy and the caption may have already predetermined this point and in any case the visualiser and the copywriter cooperate.

Product-Publication Harmony:

Having decided in favour of illustrating the advertisement, the question of technique arises. The nature of the product with which the layout must be in harmony is a big influencing factor. The kind of newspaper or magazine in which the advertisement is to appear and the process by which and the paper upon which it is to be printed are others.

On a good quality art paper, any illustration is it photo­graph, wash or pencil drawing, will reproduce well in monotone or colour. On medium quality paper (i. e., machine coated) photo­graphs and wash drawings will still reproduce well but the blocks from which they are printing must be of coarser screen, i. e., there will be fewer dots (the essential feature of half-tone blocks) to the square inch, so that the picture will lose a little in delineation. On newsprint, still coarser-screen blocks may be used, but when possible preference should be given to line or scraper-board illustrations (made by the line-block process) which will reproduce perfectly.

The principal printing processes are letter press, photogravure and litho, letterpress predominating and the above remarks applying exclusively to the letterpress process. When printing by litho or photogravure process, the necessary printing plates are produced by the printers themselves. Where long-term publicity is concerned, these processes are economical and excellent results can be obtained on almost any paper.