We live in the digital era where everything moves fast and you have to keep up with the pace in order to get where you want to be. Digital marketing is nowadays found everywhere around. Social media took a very big step in helping brands create awareness and become successful. Brand endorsement and advertising are only two of the channels that sustain brands and propels them into this new era where everything one is interested in can be found a few clicks away only. Digital marketing has completely changed the way companies use technology and created extremely efficient solutions for their customers. It became one of the easiest ways to connect with clients thus the fact that people do use the media more and more.
‘‘What actually happened was that advertising became the crucial bridge between the activities of selling products and communication as both spheres expanded rapidly – a simple, but much overlooked aspect of its significance in modern society. A bridge is useful to extent that something crosses it; in the case of advertising, money, influence, and information crossed.’’, as Leiss, Kline, Jhally, and Botterill (2005, p. 123) emphasize. And it is extremely true, that advertising is playing a very important role in the marketing field right now. It has started to grow around the ’90s and it has reached a high level about 10 years later, being in continuous growth ever since.
Each market is different when it comes to needs, approaches, people, and ideas. For example, Kloss (2002, p. 33) stated that ‘‘During the Cultural Revolution, advertising, as the symbol of capitalism, was labeled as evil, deceptive and reflective of the practices of capitalist businesses, and was officially prohibited in China. The limited advertisements in those days were mainly used for the purpose of political propaganda.’’. Whenever entering a new market, especially a different culture, research is mandatory, hence the needs of a certain target group that belong to a certain culture are not necessarily the same as another market’s individuals. It is important for a marketer to find out and understand the regional disparities and besides this matter, when it comes to China, taking in advantage the geographical criteria, a marketer has to know that in order to produce a successful advertising campaign, consumers can not be treated all the same, because they are not (Kloss, 2002).
Advertising can be a very powerful tool if used by someone who knows what to do with it. ‘‘Advertising can cause you to stop and watch, or even stop and think. It can make you laugh, or squirm in your seat, or bring tears to your eyes. It can inspire you to read about a new product or remember a favorite brand when you’re walking down the aisle in a supermarket.’’, as said by Moriarty, Mitchell, and Wells (2009, p.10). They believe that advertising is only effective when they create an impact on the audience, and when it gets results that are measurable (Moriarty, Mitchell and Wells, 2009). They believe that there are some main types of advertising, such as brand advertising, retail or local advertising, direct-response advertising, B2B (business-to-business) advertising, and institutional advertising.
Once advertising has done its job of creating awareness among consumers, a website is absolutely indispensable. It is an easy, concrete, creative, and nevertheless, effective way of reaching your customers and potential customers and getting to know them better. By getting to know them better, the products give a more belonging sense to them. It makes them feel like the brand really meets their needs and expectations and by keeping the quality of the products, it creates loyalty between the business and the customer. ‘‘Online, interactive communication with your customers and prospects allows more direct feedback than ever. Each phase of product development, positioning, and promotion can include the most intelligent, experienced, and expert resource on earth – your customers. They become part of your team.’’ (Sterne, 1995, p. 5).
In order to make a brand more visible to the audience, Google came up with AdWords, where anyone can come up with context-sensitive advertisements that will appear on Google whenever opening a link (Holden, 2008). Although on social media, for example, users have started to get irritated by the hundreds of ads that they encounter anytime they access a page and have started to look for ways of getting rid of them, which will lead, in the near future, to using their social media pages less and less (Charlesworth, 2009).
‘‘Advertisements can be described as the ‘‘soap opera’’ mode of message delivery because they are subject to few reality constraints.”, as Minett (2002, p. 142) stated. Social media helps when it comes to providing businesses with important data on consumer behavior and habits. It is now quite easy for brands to get information regarding age, gender, and consumer traffic. “Generally it is claimed that social media gives more power to consumers, but social media applications on mobile give some power to companies to manage their business efficiently.’’ (Yadav, Joshi, Rahman, 2015).
Advertising is nevertheless one of the most popular and successful tools when it comes to marketing strategies. It helps both the companies/brands and the customers to get a better understanding of a product and to create brand awareness. Throughout the years, social media’s role in companies has grown, while TV, radio, and podcasts are slowly fading away. People nowadays tend to spend a lot of time on social websites and platforms and companies have found this and used it as an opportunity to create a channel through which it is easier for them but also for their potential customers.
– Max Menke, GrowthX Founder and former student of Lead Instructor Sean Sheppard