10 Ways to Beat Competition: Way 10 – Using Advertisement
There is this saying that “a business owner that fails to advertise his business product(s) will eventually advertise the same business for sale as a product of his failure”.
According to Business Dictionary, “advertisement is a paid, non-personal, public communication about causes, good and services, ideas, organizations, people, and places, through means such as direct mail, telephone, print, radio, television and internet. Advertising is an integral part of marketing, advertisements are public notices designed to inform and motivate (towards a predetermined end). Their objective is to change the thinking pattern (or buying behavior) of the recipient (of the information), so that he or she is persuaded to take the action desired by the advertiser. ”
Advertisement touches on everything we have earlier discussed on beating competition; price differentiation/discrimination, media presence, product variety, sales support, promotions, incentives, branding etc. Advertising harnesses all these other ways and information then feed them to the people (potential customers) to influence their buying behavior. That is why advertising involves a lot planning and decision making; the business has to consider its cost effect on profit, its effect on the sales/revenue generation, the other goals of the business, most effective medium/media to use, the duration, how the impact is intended to be measured and the control measures in place to ensure the goals are achieved.
Advertising is a seal on beating competition. To stay ahead in business, you must create awareness, the more people know of what you offer, the more the patronage you will get. Having said that, it is also believed that advertising an homogeneous product or service is a waste of money and an unnecessary cost on gross profit, however if you go through all our earlier discussions, you would understand that your product is not an homogeneous product because you must have created your brand with your ‘USP’, which sets your product apart from others and make your product(s) ‘advertise-able’.
We can comfortably categorize advertising platforms/media into two; traditional advertising and modern advertising.
- Traditional Advertising Medium: prior to the commercial launch of World Wide Web (www) in the early 90’s, the most efficient form of advertising was the mass media majorly the televisions and radios. Some TV commercials are just unforgettable in Nigeria like; Joy girl, Planta margarine, Greensandy, Trophy beer before the epic movies etc. These were emotional adverts that just get you going for those products. Other forms of traditional advertising medium includes the print (newspapers, magazines, flyers, catalogues) and the billboards. Many customers still respond to this traditional means however, the response rate can rarely be measured in real-time.
- Modern Advertising Medium: Until the early 2000, the use of internet were still being learned, the first focus was the knowledge sharing possibilities, then came the communication aspect and games, however after the early 2000 the attention shifted to sales and marketing. Modern advertising medium centers round the use of internet; social media, general emails, direct messages, pop adverts that could be easily analyzed and the impact measured using Search Engine Optimization apps and activity analyzers. Now before watching your favorite clip on YouTube, you are most likely going to watch an advert, you click your link of interest but it takes you to an online shop first, the Instagram, the Facebook, the Twitter all now focused more on advertising using trends and location as against socialization and reunions. Modern advertising medium puts information about your product at the fingertips of your would be customers.
Depending on your class of target audience, care must be taken while choosing a means of advertising. While it is also advisable to mix the medium for the best results, feedbacks would be key in analyzing the impact because gone are the days of just putting out adverts for showboating sake. If the ultimate aim is to beat competition and stay in business profitably then your products must be advertised using the most frequent medium by your potential customers. You must advertise.
A typical effect of advertising on beating competition can be seen in this scenario, in banking in Nigeria, most people believe that modern banking (mobile, internet and other convenient cashless banking practices) were first introduced by GTbank but the reality is, they were first introduced by FirstBank (Firstmobile, Firstcredit ‘credit card in conjunction with Glomobile’, Deposit receiving ATMs etc) but they failed to advertise these products, maybe because they felt Nigerians were not ready for them yet. However, these were the same products GTbank explored, owned and advertised that made them household name we know today. Such is the power of advertisement.
Competing in business market requires focus on your organizational goals, first and foremost, then keeping abreast with what competitions are doing; new tricks, new mechanisms and change in policies. Also, your business has to be proactive as against being reactionary, to dictate the market trend, your business has to be first, setting the pace but not losing sight of how others are reacting.
Thank you for reading this article, kindly watchout for my comprehensive book on ways to beat competition.