Advertising Essay: Proving The Disagreement
It's May 2020. You are the brand manager for either Earth Initiative, Me, or Health by Habit (please select one brand for your answer). You launched a $200,000 advertising campaign recently, yet sales have been rapidly falling. The chief financial officer of Zuru Edge suggests that the company should cut back on all advertising investment until the pandemic crisis is over. His main arguments are that: a) all the other competitors seem to be doing the same thing because of the pandemic, and b) last year’s ad spending have done nothing to maintain, much less increase, sales of your brand. Based on the formula below, he says he can increase profits in the next financial year by simply cutting your advertising budget. Using the knowledge you have gained from this course, defend your advertising budget by using the same formula and explaining the importance of advertising for your brand in the long term. Also relate the formula to the five main functions of advertising.
PROFIT = Revenue – Expenses
Brand Manager of Earth Initiative and in disagreement to stop the advertising campaign
As per the research on advertising essay, with over 4.9 Million confirmed cases and loss of 323K human lives until now, the world is witnessing a disaster, for which none of the countries were prepared fully. The best one can do in this pandemic times is to “Stay Home & Stay Safe”, this is the only way one can contribute to the community and the world.
Being the brand manager for Earth initiative my prime responsibility lies towards maintaining the brand equity and brand image at any given point in time. I am responsible for creating out advertising budgets for my brand and rolling them out in action. It has come to the observation that the management, especially the CFO of the company wants to curtail the advertising spend and focus on the Profits of the company, which is a simple equation that if the expenses are reduced the Profits will increase subsequently. The same strategy as mentioned in this advertising essay has been used by other competitors offering same products and services. Being a brand manager of Earth Initiative, I strongly disagree with the point of view of the management. One of the most important and primary reasons for my disagreement on curtailing the advertisement budget is keeping in mind that the products have been rolled, the Target audience is either glued to their Smartphones, TV or newspaper.
They are exposed to the media vehicle more now, given the circumstances. Hence, with the number of eyeballs our product can get, and the mileage it can drive for the business once the lockdown gets over is beyond our thinking. However, it is stated in this advertising essay that I do agree that the content strategy can be tweaked from hard core selling to slowly building relevancy of the brand, looking at the current circumstances. If we stop the advertising campaign, we will be out of sight, which implies out of mind of our TG, and that will not do any good, rather just harm the business growth and its revenue in the longer run, further hampering the brand image. Steve Jobs once quoted, “ A company which does not advertise or spend in marketing is either dead or will be soon dead”, thus it becomes inevitable to advertise, no matter what the present circumstances are. In order to prove my disagreement through this advertising essay, I would take you through the primary function of advertising and explain how it would benefit the business organization and keep the brand value and equity intact.
Functions of Advertising and how they can be leveraged
Inform: The first and foremost function of advertising discussed in the advertising essay is to inform the potential customers or the TG of the brand. The information can be passed through different media vehicles such as online and offline. Here, I would like to tweak my media planning strategy and apportion the budget in the ratio of 70: 30, wherein 70% of the budget goes into online advertising and 30% into offline advertising. The simple reason for this is the time spent by the brand TG is over 3.5-4 hours on their smartphones, either surfing content online, social media or other OTT platforms. Thus, by being present in the customer online journey, we can easily brief them about our product features, its relevancy in their lives and how they can be benefitted by the use of it. Other competitors not doing advertising is a win-win proposition for the brand, as it is only our products which will be seen. Thus, no threat of substitute for the business. The content strategy here is to just introduce the product and its features, mostly on the online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.
Persuade: The second function of advertising is to persuade the TG and push them down the funnel. This has to be done using the influencer marketing strategy, wherein influencers are shown using the products in their environment. This will not only build a relevance with the TG, but also drive aspirational value amongst them. Influencers are the best source to persuade any individual, as they have followers which are the TG of my brand. Hence, persuasion is the key in my advertising strategy. Influencers by posting organic content on their social media feeds would appear in the timeline of the audience feed, thus building further curiosity about the product, from there the TG can be pushed to the third stage of funnel, which is termed as reminding them.
Remind: This step presented in the advertising essay is also termed as remarketing when it comes to media vehicles or channels. The strategy here is to remarket to those set of potential customers who have either interacted with any piece of content by the brand, or have visited the website. By dropping cookies on their IP, and using Pixels on the website ad social media feed, the remarketing campaign can be executed with no hassle. The biggest advantage of this marketing function is to remind customer constantly, keeping the frequency between 2-3 and further add to their curiosity about the product. This strategy would result in either of the two; wither they will come to the website to collect more information about the product, or they would speak with the sales representative asking for more information. Another advantage herein advertising essay is creating TOP OF THE MIND RECALL by exposing them to the content piece of the brand. So, next time whenever the advertisement pops up, they would already have good amount of information on the product.
Add Value: This is the second last step of customer sales funnel, herein through our advertising campaign the objective is to make the product desirable to the customers or the Target audience. This is done by showing them the use of product, its relevancy in their homes or offices and how effective the product is. All the marketing and content piece are to be used in this stage.
Assist: This is the last stage or it can be said in this advertising essay that is the Call to Action for the customers. By this time they are already aware about the product, they have shown their interest in the product by engaging with the content, desire to make the purchase has already been built by influencer marketing strategy, remarketing and other tactics. Now, they just need to know how they can buy the product.
Reasons in Defense of the Advertising Campaign
No Threat of Substitute: As it has been mentioned within this advertising essay that none of the competitors have been doing any spend on advertising is a blessing in disguise for our brand. It is like entering into a blue market and applying blue marketing strategy, wherein there is no competition and no cluttered market. Hence, more eyeballs for the brand, and increase in brand voice and brand equity.
Lesser spent on Digital Media Channels: Channels like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube are less expensive and more efficient in comparison to traditional media vehicles such as Print, TV, Radio, Hoardings and others. At the same time, it is easy to build engagement with the TG and analyze the customer online journey, buying behaviour using big data analytics, which can also be used for remarketing.
Building Top of the Mind Recall: When the product appears over and over in front of the customers, they start associating with the product. Thus building a top of the mind recall, so, whenever they are in the process of buying, looking at our brand it would automatically stimulate their brain which was conditioned by our advertising campaign initially. Thus increasing the chance of purchase, in the future.
Staying Relevant: Pushing the content only to the targeted audience will help in saving the amount to be spend on advertising and reaching out only to the buyer audience. This would also reduce the CPM & CPC for the brand (Cost per impression and Cost per click).
Initiating conversation in difficult times: As mentioned earlier in the advertising essay, that we do not have to hard sell, but we have to slowly penetrate the customer mind set, make them aware of our offering, its relevancy and building a relationship with them. In this pandemic era, we can also integrate what our brand has been doing for its community across the globe, by being a good global citizen. The potential customers would realize our efforts in these difficult times, which would help to further drive the emotional appeal towards our product and the brand.
Thus, towards the end, the advertising essay can be concluded by saying that advertising is long process or can be understood as the sales funnel. At no point, a brand should stop advertising, as out of sight is out of mind. However, the budget can be curtailed by using it on the Online or digital media channels rather than the traditional ones and focus should be on building relationship or conversation with the TG. It will only be then the customers will put our brand in their choice bucket when making a purchase decision. Subsequently the revenue would also increase and so would the brand value.