How Do We Define Advertising Today?

As today’s media landscape continues to become more diverse, advertisers and companies are redefining what “advertising campaign” means. Once upon a time, a marketer that wanted a new ad campaign would call his agency and they would create a strategy to capture a targeted audience (based on demographics) with an innovative slogan  and imagery in print, broadcast or outdoor.

But today’s consumers are as diverse as the media landscape… Yes they can be define by demographics but that has little influence on their perception of a brand. Consumers want more than to be talked to, they have moved from being talked at to being talked with.

As Randall Rothenberg puts it in this article, “It’s broadcast, cable and streaming; it’s online, tablet and smartphone; it’s video, rich media, social media, branded content, banners, apps, in-app advertising and interactive technology products like Sherwin-Williams’ Chip It! It’s even physical interactive gear, like Nike+ Fuelband. Pushed an inch farther, the new Google Chromecast dongle could fit under that marketing classification, and the smart watches on the horizon will be yet another platform.”

So what does this change mean to advertising? Well, first it creates a lot of controversy. Some think it means advertising is social, some say it means mobile, while others insist on it being utility (serve consumers needs, not just inform). Or is advertising liquid – it must create experiences that cross media platform barriers to gain consumer awareness?

These perspectives are redefining what advertising means to companies and consumers. It’s more than just communicating, advertising today is interactive, engaging and, to be effective, must still influence attitudes and behaviors.

Today’s marketing professionals analyze media outlets, think outside the box and are always looking for the next innovative way to use technology to get their message across to their audience. To do that, they must be “experts” at everything, or at the very least be THE expert at something.

Regardless, today’s advertising is a diverse and growing industry. Successful campaigns reach across media platforms to engage consumers at multiple levels and use the latest data to develop hard-hitting messages.

If you were to define advertising today, how would you describe it?


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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

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