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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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The concept of advertising is taking a new dimension in the business world because of the changing technologies. The understanding of how advertising took place in the past differs from the one people are witnessing today. Some of the international advertising platforms that are making waves include television, radio, and social media. Nike, Apple, the Coca–Cola Company, and H&M are just a set of small examples of well-known companies that use the most up to date advertising strategies in their campaigns when promoting their products. This assignment will include an analysis of the advertising theories and techniques that will help establish an understanding of various concepts in the marketing field such as reasons for advertising, communications, promotional mix, behavior and cultures, and advertising methods that are essential in the process of understanding how marketing works.

Why Advertise?

Advertising aims to achieve certain effects on the part of the customers that normally takes place through six steps whose aim is to achieve the purchase of the product. This is the case when we consider any media advertisement platform. For instance, Coca-Cola's first step in advertising is to ensue that it creates a brand awareness concerning the existence of the product. The next stage in this process is linking where one ensures that the customer develops a liking for the product with what makes them develop a preference in the product line. Convicting the customers enhances the arousal of a desire in them to purchase the given product. Lastly, the customers who successfully undergoes the above stages will end up buying the product. The buying stage should be simple enough not to put off the customer (Batra, Myers and Aaker 145).  

Promotional Mix

The promotional mix is the exchange of marketing information between the company and its stakeholder. It is very costly because it shapes how the customers perceive the company and their products. In other words, the promotional mix refers to the tactics that a business uses in the move towards gaining an advantage of the market (Pride, Ferrell, Lukas, Niininen and Schembri 63). The proper way to understand the effective marketing mix is the consideration of four following factors that include: the product in question, place where that product is readily available for the customers, price, and promotional methods for it.

In order to maintain a strong brand image, Nike depends on its effective product promotion that deals with the tactics the firm uses in order to communicate with its target market. Firstly, Nike relies on its advertising as its primary tactic to attract customers by endorsing professional famous athletes and different sports teams like Andy Murray, Cristiano Ronaldo, and LeBron James help attract new potential customers and maintain current customers as well. The other tactics in Nike's promotional mix include: personal selling where the company hires sales personnel to persuade visitors to buy Nike products first hand in retail outlets and Nike stores, direct marketing which involves sponsoring sports teams and organizations around the globe, and sales promotion by offering discounts and special offers in order to generate larger scales of sales and profit.

Advertising Strategy

An effective marketing plan includes seven essential components. They include market research, target market, positioning, competitive analysis, market strategy, budget, and metrics (Blythe and Megicks 52). The first step in the advertising planning process is to review the marketing plan and business objectives in which marketers must understand the company's brand positioning in the market and where it intends to go. Moreover, the marketing plan consists of 5 essential steps: a detailed situation analysis, specific marketing objectives, a marketing strategy, a program for implementing the strategy, and finally a process for monitoring and evaluating the company's performances. Overall, the advertising strategy is the most effective thing that any business should actively consider if it wants to achieve success in its dealings. Therefore, working towards the realization of an effective strategy will govern the quality of results that a company is bound to receive from the endeavors.

Sony Electronics is a worldwide organization that is known for its electronic products, mainly audio and video electronics. The corporation has a wide range of products to offer ranging from television screens to gaming consoles each aimed at different market segments with a main objective of benefiting its consumers, meaning that Sony Electronics is in balance between being a product and customer oriented company “As product features and customer needs evolve over time, they will adjust their product communications accordingly to best serve their customers” (Sony Corp. Info, 2009). Moreover, Sony deliver their advertising messages through direct mail, TV advertisements, newspapers and magazines. I believe that Sony has influenced people worldwide, and I am certainly one of them as I regularly watch football games. Sony is the Champions League's biggest sponsor in which they have created an anthem for their product line “Sony Bravia” while linking it with such a big sporting event. I believe that this enabled the company to target people who are attracted to watching high definition football games on TV in order to maximize the footballing experience.

Communications

For the growth of any company or worldwide organization, a communication strategy is one of the most important aspects that aid in its development. The communication strategy includes the brands directions and goals to its employees as it establishes its position among the general population. The demonstration of excellent marketing communications is the primary focus of the refined promotional strategies that organizations try to build on. Moreover, communications entail the use of methodologies with the aim of achieving marketing success that help in the effort of achieving tremendous success in the communicative endeavors, MACROMS entails the use of promotion within the target market or audience (Kitchen 2). The DRIP framework (differentiate, remind, inform, and persuade) is also a strategy that most companies use in order to reach out to their target audience. In fact, there are 8 steps that need to be followed in order to ensure that a company achieves effective communication which are the following: identify target audience, determine objectives, design the message, select communication channels, and to establish a communications budget. The establishment of the effectiveness of any communication model in all advertising platforms such as radio and cinema make a business attract many potential customers.

Colgate-Palmolive is a company that reminds and informs us about their products on a regular basis through television ads and different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. They have had a strong and consistent growth over the past couple of years as they aim to strengthen their brand position. However, this does not come cheaply as they spend on average, around 15% of their advertising budget on digital media that is still on the rise in the UK and US markets. Digital marketing and TV advertising play a big role in engaging with the customers by helping them understand the message that is being portrayed when releasing their products. The chief marketing officer of Colgate was quoted by saying “We sell 7 billion tubes of toothpaste a year. This is a mass business so we need to reach a lot of consumers to make sure they are aware of and engaged with the brand…TV is still the most efficient way to reach that many people”. Another communication strategy that Colgate has adopted recently is the regional “hubbing” strategy that groups countries according to their geographical and cultural similarities, thus helping them concentrate their investments in leading markets.

IMC

Integrated Marketing Communication is an approach to brand communications where the different modes of marketing work together to create a seamless experience for the customer. They are presented with a similar tone and style that reinforces the brand's core message. In other words, IMC is a concept that enhances the proper linkage of communications and messages. This means that the customers should possess the ease of understanding those messages if the advertisement endeavors are to have any impact on them. The components are meant to achieve a high level of effect in terms of attracting many customers to purchase their products. Equally, the customers should be willing to take in the messages positively for enhanced capacities in the communicative practices.

Coca-Cola sets a great example with its IMC strategy as it has done an exceptional job to achieve and maintain a long-term relationship with its customers while driving the brand forward. Some of the key components for integrated marketing communications that Coca-Cola use include the use of strategies such as print media; direct marketing, emailing, social media advertising, organic search, paid search, and banner advertisements. Their advertising campaigns always include famous athletes, singers, and actors in accordance with the different geographical locations they operate in often have major impacts on cultures and society. One Coca-Cola advertising campaign was very popular worldwide, and one that I remember quiet well, in which you get to customize and personalize your own Coke bottles. I believe that this enabled the customers to develop more of a personal relationship with the company rather than just looking at as “just another” beverage. Coca-Cola has also developed company partnerships that are designed for exclusivity that aided in eliminating any direct competitors in the market, for example, when restaurants and movie theaters only offer Coke (and not Pepsi).

Consumer Behavior and Culture

When thinking about consumer behavior and culture, one has to put into consideration the cognitive, affective, and conative factors (Batra, Myers and Aaker 145). The cognitive relates to personal thinking that the consumer applies to establish some awareness and gather significant information concerning a product. On the other hand, affective thinking refers to the feeling that makes the customer develop a linking for the product brand while conative is the behavior that motivates the consumer to buy a given product brand. The three stages of consumer behavior emanate from Lavidge and Seiner's six steps of the hierarchy of effects.

In this case, let us take H&M's strategies and techniques when dealing with consumer behavior and cultures. There is no doubt that H&M has established itself as a worldwide brand with a strong foothold in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. due to their persistence through service marketing and branding. That being said, it is required of them to produce and sell their products differently in accordance with the different geographical locations they operate in. For example, in Europe H&M relies on their department stores to sell clothes, however, in the U.S. they practice target market techniques that involves the marketing and selling of products to a particular category of the population. More precisely, according to some studies, the female American population is more fashion oriented compared to their male counterparts, therefore, H&M has always approached the American market by focusing more on clothes that are female oriented. H&M maximizes on the consumer behavior and culture to come up wit the most comprehensive ways of marketing it products, therefore, it takes advantage of the market in various dimensions that help it in the implementation of its advertising agenda.

Advertising & Branding

Branding in business is a strategy that entails the creation of a name or image for a given product in the mind of the consumer through effective advertising campaigns with some level of consistency. Therefore, the Coca-Cola brand must exhibit certain characteristics for it to have a high level of influence on the customers. Some of the characteristics include having knowledge of the audience, consistence, uniqueness, and passion. The features are the ones that make the brand reputable in various dimensions irrespective of the advertisement medium. On the other hand, brand associations entails anything positive that has an effect on the consumers' mind whenever they hear people talk about it. This means that they are in a position to relate issues significantly. Branding is beneficial because once a brand has established itself; it becomes a dominant player in the market. For instance, Pepsi immensely relies on the branding aspect to make sales because its benefits are gradual. It may have taken the company a long time to develop the brand, but that does not limit its potential of taking advantage of it to achieve success. However, the most significant challenge when it comes to branding is the concept of the best methodologies for achieving effecting branding. The existing views on branding reveal that the use of the best branding mechanisms will lead to the achievement of the best promotional methodology in the sector without consider the platform that one applies. However, using all the platforms simultaneously is the best decision that one will make.

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