Determining the message and the communication platform

The advertising message is often a major factor affecting the success or failure of the advertising campaign. To start with, the retailer needs to determine what to say. This is largely dependent on the advertising objectives and the target consumer, but the appeal has to be finalized. At this point the retailer needs to consider who the potential customers are: their demographic economic and psychological characteristics how many of such customers exist and who influences their purchasing decisions, the frequency of their buying and the type of merchandise frequently purchased.

After determining what to say, the retailer needs to determine how to communicate the message. Some platforms that may be used are listed below:

1) Stressing the unique features of the product/s sold in the store.
2) Reflecting a lifestyle or desired lifestyle by showing people shopping in a particular environment.
3) Testimonials from celebrities: A frequently used message tactic is to have a spokesperson that champions the brand in an advertisement rater than simply providing information. When a position of advocacy is taken by a spokesperson in an advertisement this is known as a testimonial. In most cases, television, film or sports personalities with whom the target customers can identify are used for testimonials.
4) Association formats – This format uses analogies to convey the message by creating the mood and communicating the psychological benefits by way of exciting associations.

A retailer may also use an advertorial. An advertorial is a special advertising section, designed to look like the print section in which it appears. They are so named because they have the look of the editorial content of magazine or newspaper, but really represent a long and involved advertisement for the brand.

The main media used for advertising are: press, television, radio, cinema, posters, hoarding and direct mail. Advertising may also be done on bus shelters, buses, road dividers, kiosks, balloons etc. The kind of media vehicle chosen by the retailer largely depends on the reach of that particular medium to the target audience. For example a Food bazaar or big bazaar may advertise on a bus in a city, however, a store like Beautiful Boulevard may need to advertise in an up-market magazine.

The changes in technology have also made an impact in the area of communications. Internet has emerged as a legitimate option for the marketers. The web allows the marketers a new method of selecting precise markets, and to focus on specific interest areas, geographic regions etc. It also allows users to track how users interact with the various brands / advertisements. On line advertising allows the marketer to advertise twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, at the convenience of the consumers. As most retailers today, have a web presence, web advertising can be integrated with other forms of advertising.

Advertising on the Internet may be in the form of banner advertisements – where the advertisements are placed on sites that contain editorial material. It allows the browser to visit the web site by merely clicking on the advertisement. A pop up advertisement may also be sued. This is an advertisement that appears when a web page is being loaded or after it has been loaded. Lastly, communication on the internet may be by way of an e-mail message sent to the receiver. Certain websites ask permission from the users to send e-mail updates on new items of interest. This is called permission marketing. After the advertisement has been created the timing and scheduling has to finalize and then the evaluation has to be done.