Advertising gives businesses the tools they need to create consumer awareness for their products and services and -- ultimately -- to increase sales. Businesses have the opportunity to choose from several advertising types, including print advertising, broadcast advertising, digital advertising and outdoor advertising. While each of these types presents its own pros, a savvy advertiser chooses the one type or combination of types that best suits the company's product, target consumers and advertising budget.
Print advertising covers advertisements placed in newspapers, magazines and newsletters. The print ads can be published as display ads next to regular editorial content or as classified listings. Although the number of Americans who regularly read a newspaper is in decline, businesses can buy ads in papers with either national or local circulation to achieve the desired results. Magazines and newsletters have a longer life than newspapers; they typically lie around for months where they can be seen.
Broadcast advertising includes advertising on radio and television. Businesses buy local or national ad spots on their preferred stations and then create short commercials, which are aired to viewers and listeners. Although the establishment of many TV and radio stations has led to audience fragmentation, broadcast advertising mediums still have a wider reach than print advertising mediums. Audience measurement metrics for TV and radio are readily available, meaning businesses can determine the station with the highest number of viewers or listeners, as well as estimate ad effectiveness.
Advertising outdoors involves putting ads on billboards erected strategically along highways, mounted to buildings, or placed on the exteriors and interiors of business vehicles such as taxis and buses. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, outdoor advertising suits businesses targeting consumers in specific geographic regions. Compared to television advertising, outdoor advertising is inexpensive, making it particularly suitable for small businesses with limited advertising budgets.
Digital, online or Internet advertising uses Internet technologies such as social media sites, email and search engines to deliver promotional messages to targeted customers. This rapidly growing advertising type is expected to show a 38 percent increase by 2018, with Statista, an online portal for statistics, reporting that Internet ad spending will reach $82.24 billion in 2018, up from $50.71billion in 2014. Internet advertising fits businesses that target a young, well-educated and tech-savvy audience. In 2014, Pew Research Center established that 97 percent of people between 18 to 29 years old and 93 percent of folks between 30 to 49 years old actively use the Internet.
Other Advertising Types
Product placement and telemarketing are alternative advertising techniques that businesses can employ. Product placement involves promoting a product though appearances in film or television. For example, a soft drink manufacturer can strike a deal with a film company so that actors are filmed drinking his product instead of that of a competitor in an upcoming movie. This type of product placement is beneficial to businesses that sell luxury goods. Displaying a company's logo on the uniforms of a neighborhood baseball team is a low-cost and affordable branding approach that works for local businesses.
Telemarketing involves having sales agents make direct calls to existing and prospective customers to inform them about a company's products or services. Because telemarketing is interactive, businesses can use it to develop a rapport with customers.
Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.