What is Advertising? Definition, Objectives, Types, Process

  • Post last modified:17 December 2020
  • Reading time:10 mins read

What is Advertising?

Advertising is a paid form of communication in which the sponsor or the brand owner has made payments to the media to carry the message through their set of media vehicles.

Advertising Definition

Any paid down non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by business firms identified in the advertising message intended to lead to a sale immediately or eventuallyAmerican Marketing Association
Advertising consists of all the activities involved in presenting to a group, a non-personal oral or visual, openly sponsored message regarding a product or service or idea, this message is called an advertisement, is disseminated through one or more media and is paid for by the identified sponsorWilliam J. Stanton
Advertising is a paid form of non-person presentation of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsorRichard Buskirk
Advertising is a paid form of non-person‘s presentation of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsorWheeler
Advertising is any paid form of communication intended to inform and/or influence one or more peopleJermy Bullmore, Chairman of J. Walter Thompson

Objectives of Advertising

Objectives of advertising are:

  1. To inform
  2. To persuade
  3. To remind

To inform

  • Telling the market about a new product.
  • Suggesting new uses for a product.
  • Informing the market for a price change.
  • Explaining how the product works.
  • Describing available services.
  • Correcting false impressions reducing consumers fears.
  • Building the company image to persuade.

To persuade

  • Building brand preference
  • Encouraging switching to your brand
  • Changing customers perception of the product attributes
  • Persuading customers to purchase now
  • Persuading customers to receive a sales call

To remind

  • Reminding consumers that the product may be needed in the near future
  • Reminding them where to buy it
  • Keeping it in their minds during off-seasons
  • Maintaining its top of mind awareness

Media of Advertising

Media of advertisement means any object or any device, which is used to communicate the message, either written or oral, to the potential consumers.

For the convenience of study, means of advertisement may broadly be divided into four parts:

  1. Press advertising
  2. Outdoor or mural advertising
  3. Advertisement by mail
  4. Other media

Press Advertising

Press is considered the most popular media of advertisement these days. It is also considered the cheapest and the best media because of its wide circulation.

Press advertising may be divided in two forms;

  • Newspapers advertisement: All the advertisements made through newspapers are called Newspapers advertisements. A newspaper may be of national level, state level or district level. It may be daily, weekly or fortnightly and in any language.

  • Magazines or journals advertisements: When an advertisement is published in a magazine or a journal, it is called magazine or journal advertisement.

Outdoor or Mural Advertising

Outdoor advertisements are the advertisements, which attract the customers when they are out of their home. These advertisements are displayed on roads or otherwise.

Direct Mail Advertising

Direct mail advertising means the form of advertising, in which the advertiser sends personal message in writing through post to some selected persons.

Salient features of direct mail advertising:

  • The advertisement messages are prepared in writing.
  • These messages are addressed directly to some selected persons.
  • The message may be different for different persons

Other Media of Advertising

Some other forms of advertising may be explained as under:

  • Fairs and exhibitions: In India, various fairs and exhibition are organised in different parts at different times. By taking part in this fairs and exhibitions, businessmen and manufacturers can display their goods.

  • Cinema: Cinema is considered the cheapest and the most popular medium of entertainment these days. Advertisers get their cinema slides prepared and these slides are played in the beginning and during interval.

  • Radio and television: Radio and television have become very common these days. Advertisement through radio and television is becoming more and more popular these days.

  • Loudspeakers: Under this form of advertising, a rickshaw or a Tonga or a car, etc. is hired. A loudspeaker is placed on it and the message is announced in different localities of the city.

  • Free samples: Under this method, some samples packing are prepared and distributed among consumers. These samples provide an opportunity to the consumers to use these samples and then adopt these products.

  • Competition: Some producers announce a competition in it, consumers are required to reply to some questions and to give a slogan about the product. They are also required to send some wrappers or cartoons or cash memo that may prove that they have purchased the product. It increases the sales of the product.

Types of Advertising

Since advertising is one of the popular mediums of brand communication, it is used in many forms and for many purposes. It is possible to classify types of advertising into various forms as mentioned below.

Types of Advertising are:

  1. Brand Advertising
  2. National Advertising
  3. Local Advertising
  4. Retail Advertising
  5. Nation and Destination Advertising
  6. Political Advertising
  7. Social Advertising
  8. Directory Advertising
  9. Direct Response Advertising
  10. Business to business Advertising
  11. Institutional Advertising
  12. Public Services Advertising
  13. Interactive Advertising
  14. Outdoor Advertising
  15. Electronic Advertising
  16. Film Advertising
  17. Unconventional Media

Brand Advertising

This is the most popular form of advertising as all
possible media including television is flooded with brand advertising.
Brands like Surf Excel, Pepsi, and Coke in India are shown more
frequently on Indian televisions. These kinds of advertisements are
done to build brands and develop a unique brand identity for the firm.

National Advertising

These advertisements are uniform across the nation and are released through national media covering the nation.

Local Advertising

These advertisements are carried out in local and vernacular media to promote the product in a local region.

Retail Advertising

These advertisements are brought to promote retail outlets and dealer points.

Nation and Destination Advertising

These advertisements are brought out to promote a nation as a tourism destination. These are also used for promoting states, cities and tourist attractions.

Political Advertising

These are done for political parties, politicians and individual candidates during elections and referendums.

Social Advertising

These advertisements are brought out for a social cause like against AIDS, sexual exploitation, women trafficking, child labour and other critical issues in a society.

Directory Advertising

These are the advertisements done in directories and yellow pages and followed by people while collecting a telephone number or a home address. People normally refer to these directories to buy products and services.

Direct Response Advertising

These advertisements are used in any medium, which tries to stimulate sales directly. The consumer can respond by mail, telephone or Internet.

Business to business Advertising

These kinds of advertisements are carried out targeting business and organisational marketers. These messages are directed towards retailers, wholesalers and distributors. These advertisements are placed in professional journals and trade association publications.

Institutional Advertising

Institutions like colleges, universities, missionary of charities and large corporates bring out these advertisements. When these are brought out by large corporates we call them corporate advertising. The purpose of such advertising is to create a positive goodwill, which will ultimately contribute towards achieving the overall marketing and brand-building goal of the organisation. Many companies use such advertisements to build positive image in the eyes of the consumers and general audience at large.

Public Services Advertising

Government and governmentsponsored institutions bring such advertisements for the benefit of general public. They communicate a message on behalf of some good cause. Advertising professionals create these advertisements for public relations department of large corporates, highlighting a social cause.

Interactive Advertising

These are typical Internet-based advertisement, which is delivered to individual consumers who have access to the World Wide Web. Advertisers use web pages, banner ads, spots; pop-ups and email programs to reach the target audience.

Outdoor Advertising

These are forms of advertising in which the marketer uses out of the home media like wall paintings, hoardings, bulletins, kiosks and mobile vans for communicating with audience.

Electronic Advertising

These forms of advertising use electronic media like television, radio, video and audiocassettes, electronic display boards, CDROMs for promotion of products and services.

Film Advertising

These are new forms of advertising in which brands are placed inside the film and actors are shown using these products during the movie for increasing its usage among the audience.

Unconventional Media

These forms of advertising are of recent origin and use traditional art forms like jatraa, puppet dance and other local dance forms to communicate about products and services to the audience.

Advertising Management Process

As an advertising manager one needs to know how to decide on and design an effective advertising campaign.

  1. Overall Promotional Goal
  2. Setting Advertising Objective
  3. Communication Objective
  4. Sales Objective
  5. Setting up Advertising Budget
  6. Develop Advertising Campaign
  7. Evaluate Campaign and Provide Feedback

The advertising management process is shown in Figure

Overall Promotional Goal

The most obvious objective marketers have for promotional activities is to convince customers to make a decision that benefits the marketer.

Setting Advertising Objective

Promotion or brand manager should set objectives for an advertising campaign and also for each ad in each medium used.

Communication Objective

Marketers strive to influence how prospective customers think. To do that, they need to understand how and when to guide them.

  • First, they must be aware of to whom they are offering the solutions.
  • Then they want to hook customers and engage them as they become interested.
  • Next, they need to build understanding and become a credible source of information.
  • Finally, should entice customers to take action and purchase the products and services.

Sales Objective

A critical decision is to define the target market for the product or service. This would involve finding and precisely defining those variables that indicate who and where the best prospects are

Consumer research may be needed to find out:

  • Who buys the product?
  • What do they really buy?
  • When do they buy?
  • How do they use the product?

Setting up Advertising Budget

The objectives determine what is expected of advertising to accomplish in a defined period of time. The budget controls all proposed expenditures by fixing a limit.

  • Affordable method: Promotion budget is set at the level management thinks the company can afford.

  • Percentage-of-sales method: Promotion budget is set as a specified percentage of either past or forecasted sales.

  • Fixed-sum-per-unit method: Promotion budget is set as a predetermined dollar amount for each unit sold or produced.

  • Meeting competition method: Promotion budget is set to match a competitor’s promotion outlays on either an absolute or relative basis.

  • Task-objective method: Once marketers determine their specific promotion objectives, the amount (and type) of promotional spending needed to achieve them

Develop Advertising Campaign

Media Decisions: Media planning is quite complex because of the nature of different kind of media. Media plan determines the best way to reach the audience with the advertiser’s message.

Message Decisions: An excellent advertising message is estimated to be ten times or more effective than an average message in influencing consumer attitudes, preferences and purchase decision for the product.

Evaluate Campaign and Provide Feedback

Post-testing is done to evaluate the final results of the campaign. These results are concerned with measuring the effectiveness of the ad.

Post-testing is done at the end of the campaign to determine to what extent the advertising campaign objectives have been accomplished and then to make any appropriate changes. It provides feedback to promotion managers and helps future planning.


  • V. S. Ramaswamy, S. Namakumari; 2009; Marketing Management; MacMillan Publishers Pvt Ltd.
  • Kotler, Keller, Koshy, Jha; 2009; 13th Edition; Marketing Management: A South Asian Perspective.

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