Once the initial decision is taken to use advertisement as the promotion instrument, the second step is to design the specific advertising campaign. And in this task, the advertiser will have to closely work with the advertising agency appointed to do the job. Three specific questions are to be answered in this connection, viz.,
1. What to communicate?
2. To whom to communicate?
3. How to communicate?
Answers to those questions will depend on the basic objectives of the exporting company and its perception of the target market. While the ultimate objective of any product advertising campaign is to increase sales. The immediate objective may be the establishment of the brand name, indicate market presence etc. What to communicate therefore depends on the corporate objective related to the advertising campaign. Market segment identification is what is meant by the question of target audience. Identification of the market segment involves finding out who are the buyers, how, when and where do they purchase the strengths and weaknesses of the advertiser’s products Vs competing products etc. Segmentation base for consumers product may be age, sex, income and other relevant marketing variables.
When the theme of the campaign and the target audience has been identified the third question is how to link these two variables, i.e. to bring the advertising message to the target audience in a way so as take the greatest possible impact. There are various media available especially in the developed countries such as TV, radio, specialized journals and cinemas. Which particular medium should be selected for the campaign has to be decided on the basis of following criteria:
1. Coverage: How many potential buyers are exposed to the medium?
2. Selectivity: Is the medium heavily tilted on a particular segment viz., some journals may have a very large proportion of female readership some others may be favored by only professionals etc.
3. Regional flexibility: Does it allow advertising to be concentrated specific area or flexible enough to have a wider geographic dispersion?
4. Frequency: Does it allow the audience to see the advertisement often? Does it allow high concentration of advertising suitable for tactical advertising to seize a seasonal opportunity or to support a consumer promotion?
5. Creative scope: Does it allow the message to be developed as fully as necessary? Does it allow visual inspection? Does it allow colors? (some of these elements are especially important for fashion items).
Another very important factor in deciding the medium is the relative consists of each medium. The objective is not only to have maximum impact but also at the least cost. The real cost calculation is rather difficult and will also involve some managerial judgment. For example the cost of medium may be cheap but it may also be less effective. Therefore the real cost per unit will be higher. On the other hand, the cost of TV commercials may be high, but in many developing countries, where the entire family may sit down for a TV show, the real cost per unit will be lower. Therefore in deciding the relative cost effectiveness such relevant information will have to be considered.
Because of the advent of foreign TV networks in India, it is now possible to the products advertised in South East Asia and Middle Eastern countries and the payment of the charges could be made in rupees in India.
Other sociological variables also are important in the media section process. In a country where the literacy rate is low, the effectiveness of a printed advertising copy obviously becomes low. Commercial radio may be the proper medium in such a marketing situation.
There are some specific advantages of advertising in international magazines: (1) audited circulation and audience data, (2) quality reproduction of advertisements that reach an influential audience, (3) lending of the magazine’s prestige to company’s products advertised, and (4) advertisements can be placed and paid for at one source rather than through many separate national organizations.
Small enterprises cannot advertise in overseas markets in a big way because of high cost. They can, however, advertise in trade directories or some specialized journals. It would be better if they consult professional consultants regarding choice of media message etc. That alone would ensure getting their money’s worth.