Many people think advertising is just a company telling everyone to buy something, but the reality is a bit more complicated.
Advertising is successful because it appeals to specific people with a particular message - rather than just shouting “BUY IT!” at everyone walking past.
To explain this idea in our new Social Media resources, we invented a company called Box that makes trainers.
If Box wanted to run an advertising campaign, they could choose to do lots of different things:
- They could encourage more people to buy Box trainers (but this could also result in people buying more trainers generally - of any brand)
- They could target people who prefer a rival trainer company
- OR Box may just want to keep their existing customers, for example, by explaining why their shoes are worth a high price
(see Lesson 2: Why is there advertising on social media sites?)
Each of those advertising strategies needs a different message to reach the different audience they want to target.
On Social Media some of that information is collected when someone first signs up to the App or platform when joining, which is why:
“It is important that we are mindful of the information we reveal online. We must be aware of who the organisation is giving our details to, how it may be used in the future and how to control our privacy settings.”
(see Lesson 3: Getting personal: a tailored advertising experience)
So while the simple view - that advertising is suggesting exactly the same thing to everyone - might be true on occasion, there are clearly times where it is a bit smarter than that!