Unit 18 Advertising and Promotion in Business

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The aim of this unit is to provide learners with the understanding and skills for using advertising, promotion and marketing communications effectively. Learners will put this into practice by planning an integrated promotional strategy.

Unit abstract

The effective use of advertising and promotion is a fundamental requirement for any business seeking to succeed in the modern business world. As they progress through the unit, learners will build up their understanding of advertising and promotion, which they can use to plan an integrated promotional strategy for a business or product. The unit introduces learners to the wide scope of marketing communications and how the communications process operates. It includes a study of current trends and the impact that ICT has had on marketing communications. Learners will explore the marketing communications industry and how it operates. They will also develop some knowledge of how the industry is regulated to protect consumers. Advertising and the use of below-the-line techniques are core components in the development of an integrated communications strategy. This unit covers both in detail. Learners will be introduced to the theory, as well as the practice, that is fundamental to understanding advertising and below-the-line techniques and how they can be used to their greatest effect. On completion of this unit learners will be able to plan an integrated promotional strategy for a business or product. This will include budget formulation, creative and media selection, and how to measure the effectiveness of their plan.

Learning outcomes

1 Understand the scope of marketing communications

  • Communication process:nature and components of marketing communications; models of communication; selection and implementation process; consumer buying decision-making process; influences on consumer behaviour: internal (demographics, psychographics, lifestyle, attitude, beliefs), external (cultural, social, environmental factors); response hierarchy/hierarchy of effects models; integration of marketing communications
  • Organisation of the industry: structure and roles of marketing communications agencies; (advertising agencies, marketing agencies, creative agencies, media planning and buying agencies); media owners; advertisers; triangle of dependence; types of agency (full service, à la carte, specialist agencies, media independents, hot shops and boutiques, media sales houses); other supporting services (public relations (PR), sales promotion, marketing research)
  • Regulation of promotion: Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations, Sale of Goods Act, Supply of Goods and Services Act, Distance Selling Regulations, Consumer Credit Act, Data Protection Act; statutory authorities (Trading Standards, Ofcom, the Office of Communications); self-regulation (Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP)); ethics, consumerism and public opinion as a constraint
  • Current trends: media fragmentation and the decline the power of traditional media; ambient/out-of-home media e.g. product and brand placement, posters, stickers, car park tickets, till receipts, petrol pumps; new media e.g., texts, use of mobile phone, web-based media, pop-ups; brand proliferation; niche marketing/micro-marketing; media inflation; maximising media spend; increased sophistication and use of marketing research; responding to globalisation (global marketing, global brands, global media); ethical marketing e.g. fair trade, cause-related marketing; e-commerce; viral marketing; use of social networking websites; search engine optimisation; web optimization
  • The impact of ICT:role of ICT, internet and on channels of communication; global media reach; cyber consumers; online shopping (interdependence, disintermediation, reintermediation); the use of customer relationship management (CRM); online security issues

2 Understand the role and importance of advertising

  • Role of advertising:definition, purpose and objectives of advertising; functions of advertising (remind, inform, persuade, sell); advantages and disadvantages of advertising; advertising process; role of advertising within marketing mix, within promotional mix; characteristics of advertising media (print, audio, moving image, ambient, new media)
  • Branding: definition, purpose, objectives, benefits and dimensions of branding; brand strategies (individual, blanket, family, multi-branding, brand extension, own brands, brand repositioning); brand image, personality and equity; brand value, brand evaluation techniques
  • Creative aspects of advertising: communication brief (positioning, targeting, messages, message-appeals); creative brief (advertisement design, visuals, copy writing, creative strategies and tactics testing); impact of ICT on advertisement design and dissemination; measuring advertising effectiveness; key media planning concepts (reach, duplication, frequency, flighting); principles in measuring media effectiveness (distribution, ratings, audience share, awareness, cost per thousand)
  • Working with advertising agencies: agency structures; role of account handler and account planner; process and methods of agency selection; agency appointment including contracts and good practice guidelines; agency/client relationships; remuneration (commission, fee, results), media planning; key account management and the stages in developing key account relationships

3 Understand below-the-line techniques and how they are used

  • Primary techniques: sales promotion; public relations; loyalty schemes; sponsorship; product placement; direct marketing; packaging; merchandising; for each of the techniques detailed (consideration of role, characteristics, objectives, advantages/disadvantages, appropriate uses, evaluation measures)
  • Other techniques: an overview of the role and uses of corporate communications; image and identity; exhibitions; word-of-mouth; personal selling; use of new media

4 Be able to plan integrated promotional strategies

  • Budget formulation: budget determination process; methods (percentage of sales, per unit, cost-benefit analysis, competitive parity, task, customer expectation, executive judgement); guidelines for budget allocation; overview of media costs; relative costs of various promotional techniques; comparing low and high-budget campaigns; new product considerations
  • Developing a promotional plan: situation analysis; objectives; communication goals, target audiences; creative strategy; promotional strategy and tactics; media selection; inter and intra-media decisions; scheduling; burst versus drip; budget allocation; evaluation measures; planning tools (AIDA, DAGMAR, SOSTT + 4Ms, SOSTAC, planning software)
  • Integration of promotional techniques: benefits; methods; role of positioning; positioning strategies; push and pull strategies; importance of PR; corporate identity and packaging in aiding integration; barriers to integration (company and agency organisational structures; cost); methods of overcoming these barriers; levels of integration; award-winning campaigns
  • Measuring campaign effectiveness:comparison with objectives; customer response; recall; attitude surveys; sales levels; repeat purchases; loyalty; cost effectiveness; degree of integration; creativity; quantitative and qualitative measures


Essential requirements

Learners must have access to the internet in order to carry out research. They will also require access to a range of current advertising and promotional media – print, audio, moving image, ambient and new media. Tutors must build a bank of resource materials to ensure there is a sufficient supply of relevant information across a range of business types and sectors.

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