Effective advertising influences your small business' sales and profitability. Advertising agencies offer expertise in designing and implementing promotional campaigns. The objectives of a campaign depend on the product or service, as well as your company's overall strategy. Terence A. Shimp, author of "Advertising, Promotion, and Supplemental Aspects of Integrated Marketing Communications," notes that advertising objectives should be measurable and realistic. Shimp also states that advertising objectives should be precise, consistent and written down.

Advertising Functions

Advertising has five main functions, four of which are informing, persuading, reminding and assisting other company efforts. Informative advertising communication creates awareness of the product or service. Persuading inspires consumers to try the product. Advertising that reminds consumers helps maintain interest in the product, keeping your product or company's brand name in the forefront of your customer's mind. Some types of advertising support other strategic objectives, such as changing negative perceptions or directing customers' attention toward promotional contests.

Direct Objectives

Direct advertising objectives try to illicit a response from customers; direct objectives try to get customers to do something, such as purchasing the product or requesting additional information. For example, an advertising message containing a mortgage lender's phone number invites consumers to call the company. In a similar fashion, advertising for retail stores about weekend or one-day sales prompts foot traffic. Coupons are a form of promotional advertising that entices customers to try new products or repurchase existing ones.

Indirect Objectives

Indirect advertising objectives seek to influence attitudes and perceptions. In contrast to direct objectives, they do not try to get the customer to act. Indirect objectives try to convince consumers that the product or service is their best choice. An ad that informs consumers about the purpose of a product is an example of an indirect advertising objective. Most indirect advertising objectives seek to place the product or brand in the consumer's mind. For instance, most consumers are aware of which car brands they would consider purchasing as a result of advertising.

Campaign Strategy

Advertising objectives clearly define who will receive the message, what the message will be and how it will be delivered. An advertising agency helps your company define its target consumer. Many products and services appeal to distinct groups or segments of the larger population. Once you define a target market, the advertising message should emphasize the product's features and benefits. The emphasis must appeal to the needs and values of the target consumer. An advertising agency also determines where to place advertising (e.g. television, radio, print) and how often it will appear.