Advertising falls under the promotional aspect of your marketing mix. It will support your business marketing plan so that all of your objectives are aligned. By making all communication objectives cohesive, you are engaging in integrated marketing communications. Advertising is paid persuasion designed to reach your target markets and get them to do what you want them to do. Like other objectives, the advertising communication objectives should meet the “SMART” test: be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-focused.

Awareness and Education

If you are a new company or are introducing a new product or service, you need to inform and educate your prospective customers. This act of creating awareness is the first step in a product's or company's life cycle. An advertising communication objective is often to support a broader public relations communications objective in creating this awareness. Your advertising at this stage will be largely informational, persuading your target market to like your company or products. This is considered a low-level communication objective.


Your company and products have a distinctiveness that make them different from your competitors. Your advertising communication objective is to communicate these distinctions to your customers. That establishes your positioning in the marketplace. For example, if you are the only food distributor that carries gluten-free products at a comparable price to products containing gluten, this is a distinction that will be important to a customer target looking for an affordable gluten-free food source.

Trial Period

Once your target market is aware of your product, you need to motivate them to try it. Your advertising communication objectives need to support the marketing and sales tactics for getting customers to try your product. This can include free trials, discounts, or a special event with free samples. For example, an objective at this stage could be, “communicate to prospective customers that if they try our gluten-free bread once, they will see how it can replace regular bread in their daily diet.”


Branding involves naming your product so that it is memorable; creating brand equity, so that the brand has an intangible value in the eyes of your customers; and creating brand loyalty, so that your customers are repeat buyers even if you have to raise prices in the future. At this level, advertising communication objectives should generate positive feelings about your brand. For example, one objective might be to communication to customers that when they eat your gluten-free product regularly, they will feel healthier and have more energy. They then have a positive association with your brand.