Lecture 4 (business)
Listen to part of a lecture in a business class.
Let’s get started. Uh, last time we were talking about the need for advertising. Now let’s look at how you can successfully call attention to the service or product you want to sell. To succeed, you’ve got to develop a systematic approach. If you don’t come up with a system, a…a plan, you risk making decisions that waste money or even drive away potential customers. But what does a systematic advertising plan look like? Well, it covers what we call the four Ms.
The four Ms—market, media, money, message—all are important areas to focus on when creating your advertising plan. We’ll look at them one by one.
The first step is to look at your market, at the people who might become customers, buyers of your service or product. You need to know all about your possible customers. Who are they? Uh, what age group are they?
What do they like or dislike? How do they shop? So…you got that? A market is a group of potential customers. Next, media.Obviously, the major media are television, radio, newspapers, magazines,um, billboards and so forth. They are all avenues of communication. And you need to figure out which media you should advertise through, which media will reach your intended audience, your market. So you do research, trying to determine which media will reach the most potential customers for the lowest cost.
For instance, if you have a product that…oh, say, teachers would like, then teachers are your market, so you ask yourself, what magazines do the majority of teachers read? What TV programs do teachers watch? Do teachers listen to much radio? At what times of the day? Say…now your research turns up two magazines that teachers read, and it also shows that the majority of teachers, say ages 20 to 30 read the magazine about classroom activities while most teachers older than that read the other magazine, the one about, oh, let’s say, educational psychology.
You think your product will appeal most to teachers’ ages 20 to 30, so you decide to put your advertisement in their favorite magazine, the one about classroom activities. You don’t waste money advertising in the… the educational psychology magazine, you know, the one that the younger teachers generally don’t read. And since you are reaching the majority of teachers in your target age group, you are probably spending your money well, which brings us to the third M - money. You have an advertising budget to spend, but how do you spend it wisely? Again, research is the key. Good research gives you facts, facts that can help you decide, well, as we already mentioned, decide the right market to target, and the best media to use, but also when to advertise or…or how to get the best rates.
Like… maybe you are advertising sports equipment, and you’ve been spending most of your budget during the holiday season when people buy gifts for each other. Now, in theory, that…that would seem a great time to advertise, but maybe research shows that you are wrong, that the customers who buy sports equipment tend not to give it as a holiday gift, but wanna use it themselves. In that case, advertising during a different season of the year might give you better results, and…uh…maybe at even lower non-holiday rates, so you actually save money. But you need to get the facts, facts that come from good research to…to be certain and know for sure that you are getting your money’s worth.
OK, finally, there is your message. What you want to say about your product? Why buying it will make the customers’ life easier, or safer, or better somehow. Whatever the message is, make sure you get it right.
Let me give you an example of not getting it right. You are gonna love this one. There was this soup shop.
The soup was really tasty but there weren’t a lot of customers. The owner thought that maybe if they gave something away for free with each purchase, then more people would come buy soup. So they got some cheap socks, and they advertise to give a pair away with each bowl of soup. But then even fewer people came to the restaurant. Well, you can imagine why. People started to associate the soup with feet. They began to imagine the soup smelt like feet. The advertising message—soup means free socks—was a bad choice. It…it was a waste of money, and worse, it cost a loss of customers. Now, I want everyone to get into small groups and come up with some examples, not of good advertising messages, but of truly disastrous ones. Think of real examples or make some up and um, talk about the reasons those messages are unsuccessful and then we’ll get back together and share.