Advertising provides a direct line of communication to your existing and prospective customers about your product or service. The purpose of advertising is to:
Your advertising goals should be established in your business plan. For example, you may want to obtain a certain percentage of growth in sales, generate more inquiries for sales, or build in-store traffic. The desired result can simply be increasing name recognition or modifying the image you’re projecting. Objectives vary depending on the industry and market you’re in.
All products and businesses go through three stages, with different advertising goals for each one.
1. The start-up business. You’re new in the market and need to establish your identity. Your company needs high levels of promotion and publicity to grab consumers’ attention.
2. The growing business. Once your identity is established, you need to differentiate yourself from your competition and convince buyers that yours is the service or product to try.
3. The established business. The purpose at this point is to remind consumers why they should continue buying from you.
No matter which stage your business is in, advertising follows four steps, according to the industry mnemonic, “AIDA: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action.” Your job is to make prospective customers aware that your product or service exists, pique their interest in what your product or service can do for them, make them want to try your product or service, and finally take action, by asking for more information or actually buying the product.