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What is advertising?

Advertising is a form of mass communication that companies and organizations use to promote or sell products and services.

It is considered a fundamental part of marketing and its main objective is to convince users, creating awareness and generating demand.

Advertising can be explored in many ways and through various channels, including:

  • Television
  • Radio
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Advertising Posters
  • Internet and social media

Each of these channels is chosen based on the target audience, the message and budget of the advertising campaign.

There are several types of advertising, such as print advertising, online advertising, television advertising, radio advertising, external advertising, among others.

Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages and is used according to the campaign goals.

The creation of an effective advertising campaign usually requires a mix of creativity, market research, and data analysis to understand the target audience and how it can be persuaded in the most effective way.

Although advertising can be an effective marketing tool, ethical responsibilities are too.

Companies must ensure that their advertising is truthful and not misleading, and that it respects the laws and cultural norms of the places where it is disseminated.

History of the evolution of advertising

Advertising has been present since the beginning of civilization, although not the way we know it today, of course.

In ancient cultures, it was common for merchants and artisans to promote their products and services through rudimentary advertising or word of mouth.

The true advertising revolution began with the invention of the press created by Johannes Gutenberg in the fifteenth century.

This advance allowed the massive production of printed materials, which resulted in the use of newspapers and brochures as a new advertising tool.

As printed media became increasingly popular, printed advertising has become an important way to promote and generate income for people and companies that printed these materials.

The twentieth century brought with it a series of technological advances that transformed advertising.

The invention of radio in the early decades of the 20th century allowed companies to reach a wider audience through audio advertisements.

This means was quickly followed by television, which added the visual element to advertising and allowed companies to create more attractive and persuasive ads.

With the arrival of the internet in the 1990s, advertising underwent another revolution.

The internet has allowed companies to reach a global audience at a relatively low cost and also provided ways to segment and address specific audiences in a way that was not possible with traditional media.

Nowadays, advertising continues to evolve with the advent of new technologies and platforms, such as augmented reality, virtual reality and social media.

Although methods and channels can change, the fundamental goal of advertising remains the same: to influence people’s perceptions and behaviors so as to promote products and services.

Traditional vs. digital advertising

Advertising has been an essential tool for companies throughout history, but the way it is used has changed significantly over time.

Currently, advertising can be divided mainly into two categories: traditional advertising and digital advertising.

Traditional advertising

Traditional advertising refers to the media that existed before the arrival of digital technology.

These are the traditional methods we know such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, brochures, posters and billboards.

These advertising channels have the advantage of reaching a broad and diverse audience and can be especially effective in local areas.

However, traditional advertising can be expensive and doesn’t always allow for accurate audience targeting or detailed measurement of results.

Digital Advertising

On the other hand, digital advertising refers to all forms of advertising on the internet or through digital technologies.

This includes search engine advertising, social media advertising, email advertising, mobile advertising, and programmatic advertising, among others.

Digital advertising offers several advantages over traditional advertising

It offers more accurate segmentation options, as advertisers can address users based on details such as:

  • Their geographical location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • And online behavior

In addition, digital advertising allows companies to accurately measure the performance of their ads and optimize their campaigns in real time.

However, digital advertising also has challenges such as excessive information and increased online competition.

Furthermore, protecting user privacy is becoming an increasingly important issue, which can limit the targeting and monitoring capabilities of digital advertising.

Types of advertising

Advertising is an essential marketing tool that can be classified in many ways.

Today, some of the most common types of advertising are as follows:

Printed advertising

This type of advertising is published in printed media, such as newspapers, magazines, leaflets, pamphlets and posters.

Despite the rise of digital media, printed advertising remains effective, especially to promote companies that offer services locally and in certain demographic groups.

Advertising on television and radio

Television and radio advertising uses audiovisual and audio ads to reach a large audience.

This type of advertising can be effective in building brand awareness and reaching a large number of potential customers, but it can be expensive and doesn’t always allow for accurate audience targeting.

Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is conveyed through the internet and digital technologies.

It includes search engine advertising, social media advertising, email advertising, mobile advertising and programmatic advertising, among others.

This form of advertising allows for precise audience segmentation and detailed measurement of results.

Advertising on social media

Here, advertisers use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Social media platforms can be very effective due to algorithms that allow them to reach users based on a wide range of demographic and behavioral data.

Outdoor advertising

Outdoor advertising includes any type of street advertising, such as billboards, advertisements on buses and trains, and point-of-sale posters.

This type of advertising can be effective in increasing brand recognition and reaching a local audience.

Direct response advertising

This type of advertising aims to induce direct consumer actions, such as making a purchase, registering to receive more information or visit a store or website.

Direct response ads usually include a call to action and a means for the consumer to respond.

Email marketing

Email marketing is a type of digital advertising that implies sending email to a list of contacts or subscribers.

These emails may contain promotional material, company news, reminders, useful content and more.

One of the main advantages of email marketing is its ability to build and maintain customer relationships over time.

Emails can be highly personalized and targeted at specific segments of the subscriber list, allowing the creation of campaigns with a high degree of relevance and efficiency.

Advertising strategies

The development of an effective advertising strategy is crucial for any company that seeks to promote their products or services.

It is necessary to pay attention to the following points:

Set advertising goals

It all starts with defining what you hope to achieve with the advertising campaign.

Objectives may vary widely, from fostering brand recognition, promoting a new product, increasing sales to attracting more visitors to the official website, among others.

The objectives of advertising should be clear, measurable, attainable, relevant and defined over time, following the Smart structure.

Understand the preferences of your target audience

Understanding for whom advertising campaigns will be directed is vital.

This implies investigating and developing customer profiles to understand their needs, behaviors, preferences and demography.

A deep understanding of the target audience allows companies to project advertising messages that will resonate with their audience.

choosing the appropriate advertising channel

Each advertising channel has its own advantages and disadvantages and will reach different audiences.

Decisions about which channels will be used depend on the target audience, advertising goals, message and budget.

Channels may include traditional media such as television, radio and press or digital channels such as search engines, social media and email marketing.

Create effective messages

Advertising messages must be persuasive, relevant to the target audience and consistent with the brand.

This may involve telling a story, solving a problem, providing a unique advantage or appealing to the emotions of the target audience.

Measuring and optimizing

Advertising strategies are not static, they must be analyzed and adjusted as the results are obtained.

This may include A/B tests, monitoring the main performance metrics (KPIs) and the use of analyzes to understand what is working and what needs to be improved.