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Marketers employ different strategies for different advertising situations, such as targeting specific demographics or promoting a certain type of product. Many marketing strategies exist, but just a few basic rationales underlie most of them. The goal is usually to promote a good or service, but sometimes the goal is to draw attention to a political or social issue.
The goal of most marketing campaigns is to convince a targeted group of people to buy a product or service. With political and social issues, marketing campaigns might focus on promoting a candidate or helping an organization effect social change. Many marketing techniques exist, and advertisers mix and match them to target different demographics. For example, a political campaign might use direct-mail advertisements, television and radio commercials, and door-to-door volunteers to promote a candidate.
Some marketing strategies aim to achieve brand awareness. Customers are more likely to purchase a product with which they are familiar, so making your product a household name can increase sales. If the marketing is part of a political campaign, advertisements often display the candidate's name prominently to promote a feeling of familiarity.
Perhaps the most common marketing strategy is to form an association between a positive concept and the product or service. For example, if you wish to promote a vacation destination, your advertisements might try to convince people it is relaxing and fun by presenting images of couples contentedly soaking in the sun on a beach. Or, if you wish to promote a beverage, your advertisements might feature thirsty-looking people drinking your product. While this marketing strategy can be effective, it's important not to embellish claims, or people will find your campaign off-putting.
Using celebrities to promote products or services capitalizes on their popularity to promote sales. Star athletes, for example, often endorse sneakers and other sportswear for sizable fees. The goal is to give those products credibility. The hope is that people will imitate the celebrity by purchasing the product or service. Marketing campaigns for charities often adopt this approach, only their goal is to use the celebrity status to draw attention to an important need or cause.
Another common marketing strategy aims to entertain the target audience through humor or music. A clever joke pleases people and keeps them engaged even though they know it's a promotion. A catchy song also draws people in. The best jingles become iconic. This advertisement strategy is simple to recognize but difficult to achieve.
Stan Mack is a business writer specializing in finance, business ethics and human resources. His work has appeared in the online editions of the "Houston Chronicle" and "USA Today," among other outlets. Mack studied philosophy and economics at the University of Memphis.