Five M’s of Advertising

The five M's of advertising are described by Philip Kotler in his book Marketing Management, Eleventh Edition (Prentice Hall). Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor. In developing an advertising program, always start with identifying the target market and the buyers motives. After that, make the five major decisions in developing the advertising program known as the Five M's of Marketing. They are: mission, money, message, media and measurement.

Target Market
Before developing your advertising plan you need to have already decided on your target market and their characteristics. It is also important to know where in the product life cycle your offering lies. Your advertising mission will depend on your target market and your market offering's  stage in it's product life cycle.

The mission has two parts: specific sales volume goals for a period of time and the advertising objective. Advertising objectives are specific communication tasks to be accomplished with a specific audience in a specific period of time. In other words, who and how many will believe what when? For a new retail clothing store, the mission may be to increasing awareness of the store’s existence by people living in the surrounding area who have household incomes in a certain range. A more specific statement than this would be even better. If you knew by what percentage your increase of awareness would be and by when, it would make your communications more effective. The above statement should also be more descriptive of the target market. What about your competition? Advertising can attempt to stimulate primary demand for the product category itself or the specific brand you are selling. If your ad mentions your brand name, should it also mention the competitor's brand name specifically, or should it just reference those "other brands" or should it not hint at the competition at all? New brands entering a competitive market often choose to just talk about their own brand and it's benefits.

Advertising Objectives
There are four possible objectives of an advertisement: to inform, to persuade, to remind and to reinforce. Normally an advertisement only uses one of these objectives at a time. What you are advertising is your store. Focus on that. The brands in your store are important too, so mention those as you see fit. Since your store is new, your main objective will be to inform and to some extent persuade.
Inform: Advertisements of this type are often used for new stores, to create awareness among consumers. This type of ad provides the consumer with information about a store, its image, its type of customer and the location and contact information. To some extent all advertising must inform the consumer. New brands entering the market will either focus on informing or persuading customers. Later on they may switch to reminding and reinforcing.
Persuade: This advertising attempts to create appeal, liking and preference. Some advertisements do this by aiming to convince the target market through comparison to others. What makes your store different? What makes it better. If price is the primary feature, be sure to also include something else about the store that is attractive. Price alone may not be enough. How you have positioned your store in the marketplace will drive the content of this type of ad.
Remind: Once a store is established, the public has already been informed and some have been persuaded. Some customers may be loyal customers. Now you just want to keep the store brand visible and remind the public of the benefits of shopping there. People do forget.
Reinforce: This advertising aims to convince purchasers that they made the right choice. Advertisements may show satisfied customers using the product.

It is difficult to know exactly how much you should spend on advertising. Any amounts of money spent are written in the accounting books as an expense in the period that the expenditure was made. Advertising expenses are not capitalized. To capitalize means to record as an asset and then depreciate that asset over time. Money spent on advertising builds the intangible asset called brand equity which exists in the minds of the people in the market. There are five factors to consider when setting the advertising budget as described by Philip Kotler in his book Marketing Management, Eleventh Edition, as he references Strategic Advertising Campaigns by Donald E. Schultz, Dennis Martin and William P. Brown. They are: the stage in the product life cycle, market share and consumer base, competition and clutter, advertising frequency and product suitability.

Before discussing the process of generating a message, it should be noted that there are two main types of advertising: product advertising and institutional advertising. Product advertising attempts to sell a product or service that is aimed at either final users or distribution channel members. Institutional advertising attempts to sell an organization's image, reputation or ideas. The objective is to promote organization's goodwill.

The process of developing the advertising message involves message generation, message evaluation, message selection, message execution. The objective here is to create an effective message. With the target audience in mind, the message should be something that they can relate to and believe. For example, some ads show people solving problems with the product. Some ads simply show people having a good time using the product. It helps if the message is memorable and unique. The message should be easily understood and be more than just the facts. In the fashion industry, many advertisements for high-end designer fashions include social and status benefits of wearing a particular brand of clothing. A product is portrayed as being exclusive. For lower-end clothing, an ad might focus on the product's comfort while wearing it or it's low price. How the message is delivered is also important. Ads are often designed to appeal to the emotions with a positive tone, appealing music,
attractive colours, appealing images, humour or a testimonial. Caution must be observed that the ad does not cross social or legal norms. The ad should not be offensive to anyone including ethnic, racial and minority groups. The ad should not be false or deceptive. If you are advertising a product for a certain price, you must be willing to sell it for that price. Also, if an item is ticketed at a certain price, you must be willing to sell it at that price.

The method of message delivery is made after you have decided on the message. Choose media that will reach your target audience. That media must also be able to reach and create an impact on the consumer. An ad for ladies designer purses will likely have a greater impact in a fashion magazine than in a home gardening magazine. Also, to create an impact, the message must be well-designed and it may have to be repeated several times. It may be in more than one media form. The media mix is the use of two or more different media forms in one advertising plan that are usually scheduled either simultaneously or close to each other. It must also be within your budget. One of the other decisions you have to make is who will actually do the work. For example, if you are confident with your computer and design skills, you can create your own ad on a computer and send it to the print media company for publishing. To "farm out" is to give work out to people other than yourself or your own employees. This is also called outsourcing.

There are several terms that an advertising agency will use that are useful to know. An advertising agency is an organization that typically creates advertising messages on behalf of its advertiser clients and then places those messages on various media forms. A full service advertising agency will do the above functions and more. They will be able to conduct marketing research, develop marketing and media strategies, develop the message content itself by either doing it themselves or outsourcing the work and supervising the process and report back to the client the progress and success of the advertising campaign.

To better plan for future advertisements, many companies have set up formal measurement systems that attempt to evaluate an ads effectiveness. Larger companies will develop an ad campaign and test it in a certain geographic region before launching it nationally. To do this research, marketers ask two different questions. First, they ask if the message was effectively communicated to the target audience. Secondly, they ask if the ad generated additional sales volumes. Effective communication could be measured by conducting primary market research to ask if the audience remembers, understands and believes the advertising message. They could also be asked how they feel about the ad and if it might influence their purchasing decisions in the future. Measuring changes in sales volumes can be more difficult because there are many factors that influence a person's decision to buy a product. A competitor may have also just launched an aggressive ad campaign. Simply looking at your sales figures for the period of time in question does not tell the whole story.

Advertising Honesty
In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is tasked with monitoring advertising and taking legal action against organizations that break the law. The FTC is commissioned with protecting the interests of all consumers and to fight against deceptive and unfair practices. As an advertiser you do not want to mislead consumers. Relevant information that is left out of the ad could be considered misleading. All performance claims must be substantiated. Claims about consumer product and service preferences must also be substantiated.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *