Business houses advertise to acquaint the largest number of people about their products and services. For this purpose, business concerns and advertising agencies have journalists as Public Relations Officers who specialise in advertising.
They write the advertisements copy or story to present the products and services of the organisation in a prestigious manner. They carry out publicity campaigns to popularise the products by employing scientifically planned, psychologically based techniques.
The manner of advertising, of course, differs from organisation to organisation. Advertising must be tailor-made, if it is to be fully effective. The scope of the story (advertisement copy) is determined by individual circumstances.
A concern producing goods, largely for foreign industrial market, with a limited domestic appeal, would not wish to embark upon a big campaign aimed to attract the attention of the country’s housewives nor would they embark upon any prestigious advertising on a national scale. Such a concern would like to advertise in professional or trade journals concerned with the goods produced.
There is no set formula for successful advertising. Advertising has, in fact, an individual approach although its appeal is to the masses through repetition.
The scope of the activities of a business concern catering to domestic market demands national advertising on two fronts-home and industrial. It involves teaching the housewife and others interested in consumer goods. The publicist must see that the company’s important range of products is kept constantly before the consumers. This is also done to maintain the prestige of the company in the eyes of the general public.
Usually advertising and publicity appeal can be grouped under four main heads: (i) domestic consumer goods; (ii) industrial products; (iii) goodwill and prestige; and (iv) public relations. A publicist has to build his advertising publicity plan under these heads.
In the domestic consumer field, there is an extensive range of packaged goods for the housewife and for the man-in-the-street. Then, there are products for the businessmen and specialised clientele like institutions, hospitals, gymnasia, etc.
The advertising story must tell about the virtues of the product. Its basic appeal may be the same but the shades and variations of the sales message must match the variety of the products. The sales approach must be light and simple but retain enough responsibility to ensure fullest acceptance. An important aspect is the primary sales appeal of the message to the consumer. Is this to be based on price, quality, packaging, service or new advantages? Where there is no price advantage and the product is- not new, it is always worthwhile to highlight the quality of the product. This is a factor which attracts the consumer in any field.
Basically, any advertising plan in the domestic consumer market sets out to do two jobs: (I) to ensure that every potential customer is made aware of the nature and advantages of the product advertised and (2) to create in the customer an urge to buy.
Herein lays the magic of good advertising-through words and visual image it creates in the minds of the readers a desire to buy the advertised product in preference to others. It is upon the successful creation of this urge to buy that the work of advertising is assessed.
Besides the housewife, the publicist creates demand for domestic consumer goods with the all-important retailer-the man who finally sells the goods. If the products themselves are right and the service to the retailer is satisfactory, advertising in retailers’ trade papers is preferred to inform the retailers about the products and services.
This form of advertising provides a direct and vital link between the firm and the man who can make or mar a sale. Good retailer advertising is tangible evidence that he has a definite place in the selling plans of the firm, that his position as a principal salesman for the product is being acknowledged.
This type of advertising not only helps sales but builds and maintains retailer goodwill-a vital factor in successful selling. While dealing with advertising in the domestic consumer field, the publicist must make mention of the quality of the product, why it is popular and how good packaging it carries.