Concepts and Descriptions
Advertisement is a marketing strategy that companies use to encourage, manipulate, or persuade a specific or target group to adopt some new action or continue with the actions at present. In a nutshell, businesses communicate with their current or potential customers so as to improve sales, which ultimately reflect growth in profits (Bryman, 2001). According to Petley (2003), virtually, any media channel may be used for advertising; for example, television adverts, radio, printed flyers, cinema, web banners, magazines, mobile phones, bus stop benches, newspapers, posters, billboards just to mention but a few As reported by Noya, Wei, and Jones (2011), advertisement aims at improving business market base so as to achieve increased sales to products, services, and ideas.
In the present era of explosion of information and a media oriented world, advertisements play a crucial role in modeling the attitude and behavior of consumers towards a particular product(s) being advertised. Evidently, advertisement influences the way users consume the product and the perception of the consumers towards the product or service. In addition, Tirmizi, Rehman, and Saif (2009) reaffirms that advertisements influence the purchasing decision of users through bestowing particular attributes on the product and convincing the customers that their choice outdoes those of the competitors.
Again, advertising a product or service depicts a mechanism of brand promotion for the users to gain attention toward a particular good or service. As a result, Petley (2003) explained that the businesses create a tied relationship with the customers in a prolonged time bound with the objective of maintained or improved sales. Therefore, businesses must first understand their target audience and do a market analysis in terms of the user’s demands and the need, from which a strategy developed addresses what the consumers want or prefer. Since consumers’ behavior is a surrogate of human behavior, market analysis should focus on culture, social classes, religion, and other human behavior defining parameters.
Conceptually, consumer behavior relates to the emotional, mental, and physical activities, which people engage in during selection, usage, purchasing, and disposal of goods and services. Also, behavior of consumers inclines to their needs, desires, and preferences that dictate their willingness to pay or purchase (Petley, 2003). Likewise, a report by Abideen and Saleem (2001) argue that consumer purchasing behavior depends on the liking or disliking influence that an advert poses to the brand. Notably, an advertisement shapes consumer habits and trends of buying through initiating an emotional reaction. On the contrary, Bryman (2001) reports that most ads are controversial since they over exaggerate the benefits of the brand and misleads consumers choice; hence a deterrent to healthy competition.
Fundamental Principles of Advertisements and their Influences
According to Tirmizi, Rehman, and Saif (2009), advertisements must conform to some principles in order to accomplish the objectives of the business, which gears towards capturing a wider market base. First, any advertisement scores attention by persuading the buyers to favor the specified brand being advertised. Further, all promotional mechanisms arouse interest of the consumers by influencing their perception and psychological thoughts that manipulate buyers’ viewpoints towards a particular product in favor of the others. In this regard, Goldsmith and Lafferty (2002) added that consumers’ interests are not only developed but also sustained for companies to obtain new groups of consumers while at the same time retaining the existing ones. In addition, advertisements create desires as the consumers tend to believe that the product advertised shows the best option from a variety of many brands in the market. Again, advertisements incite actions by making the potential buyer to start buying a brand that otherwise they would not be bought without the advertisement. Therefore, any advertisement bases on a good will of persuading or encouraging consumers to choose the best alternative from several options of goods and services within the market (Eriksson, & Kovalainen, 2008).
The Mechanism of Influencing Consumer Purchasing Behavior
Advertisement aims at creating an understanding, selection ad liking of product and services by changing the attitudes of the consumers to create purchase intention and willingness to pay for the brand (Tirmizi, Rehman, & Saif, 2009). In a nutshell, advertising a particular brand creates a positive attitude of the consumer towards the ad; consequently, consumers acquire a behavioral disposition that enhances purchase. Further, Sharma (2012) confirmed that the emotions herald pleasure as the target group feels happy, good, or joyful when buying the brand, which arouses dominance and control for businesses that advertise as opposed to those that do not. A part from initiating emotional responses of the consumers, which shape their behaviors, advertisements also cause environmental responses that base on beliefs.
Petley (2003) reiterates that environmental responses create environmental attitudes that are based on norms or beliefs of the individuals’ opinions or perceptions. Social researchers show that environmental variables influence consumers’ buying behaviors through experiences. Therefore, through advertisement, consumers gain experience of the brand from the advertisement videos, songs, or pictures; thus leading to positive preferences to the advertised good or service. In support, Eriksson and Kovalainen assert hypothesizes that there is a relationship between consumer buying behavior and the environmental responses created through advertisements.
Again, advertisement acts as a reminder to the consumers that the product still exists in the market; hence all businesses repeatedly advertise. Furthermore, it serves as a way of disseminating information to the customer about the new product in the market. In this regard, consumer awareness is created by cognition and the message attracts buyer’s attention (Sharma, 2012). According to Bryman (2001), the purchase funnel starts with by ensuring that the consumers know the products in the market. By continual advertisement, the buyers become familiar with the brand attributes such as quantity, quality, name, price, shape, and packaging amongst others. Therefore, the buyers make considerations from the different brands to purchase the brand that suits their need. However, advertisement has to continue so as to win consumers’ loyalty. In summation, advertisement triggers any form of action that consumers have to take: for example, in making decisions and creating interest (Abideen & Saleem, 2001).
Fig 1: shows a consumer purchase model and circular model of decision making
In addition, Tirmizi, Rehman, and Saif (2009) opined that advertisements inform the consumers on the changes about a product; for example, if a company reduces its product prices, the price discount increases consumers’ purchase intentions or attitudes. Its, also worth noting in accordance to Sharma (2012) that buyers are not only sensitive to price changes, but; also the efforts that firms put in ads. Advertisements are classified as short, medium, or long term. In short-term, advertisement initializes the positive image of the firm to the consumers, however, a medium advertisement creates interest of the buyer to the brand and the target population start to disregard the competitive brands. Eriksson and Kovalainen (2008) affirmed that, when the advertisement persists, it creates long term effect and responses from the consumers mind; thus leading to increased sales, returns, and consumer loyalty.
Report by Tirmizi, Rehman, and Saif (2009) assured the audience that the behaviors of consumer purchase are affected by culture, social, psychological, and personal characteristics; however marketers do not understand the factors. However, business persons need to know and put customers into account when consumers make marketing decisions. Therefore, through advertisement, marketers influence customer’ behavior and attitude by influencing their way of consumption about how and what they purchase.
Consumer Buying Behavior
Abideen and Saleem (2001) reported that complex buying behavior puts consumers in high levels of involvement in terms of purchase decisions and where buyers choose from many different brands. Particularly, it happens in situations where the product is expensive or risky. Therefore, advertisers help consumers learn about these products, how to differentiate the brand attributes, and create a message, which influences consumer’s attitudes and beliefs. Similarly, in dissonance-reducing purchasing behavior, consumers experience high involvements but, have limited brands to choose. To win the customers, marketers use advertisement to conduct after-sale communication campaigns. These campaigns encourage and support buyers to choose the marketer’s brand. Again, Sharma (2012) added that the campaigns offer incentives and discounts so as to promote additional purchases and referrals.
On the other hand, habitual buying behavior creates a situation where the buyers undergo low involvement during the purchase and experience insignificant perception about brand difference. These products are used daily; for example, toilet paper and salt; hence consumers buy them but not considering the different brands (Noya, Wei, & Jones, 2011). Therefore, continual choosing of the same brand forms and habit and buyers become familiar with the product instead of being driven by belief and attitude. In such cases, advertisers use sales and price promotion for product trial. Abideen and Saleem (2001) concluded that advertisements emphasize on few key points, are repetitive with more visual symbols or imagery for consumers to easily remember.
Advertisement provides a communication mechanism where business persons can encourage or persuade current and potential customers to purchase a particular brand. There are several media through which advertisement can be passed to the users depending on the social, cultural, psychological, and personal characteristics of the target population. Explicitly, businesses use marketing to influence consumer’s attitude, perception, and belief by initiating emotional and environmental responses. Principally, ad is meant to attract attention, create desire, arouse interest, and incite action. In summation, advertisement triggers any form of action that consumers have to take: for example, in making decisions and arousing interest towards a particular brand; hence influencing the consumers’ purchasing behavior.
- Abideen, Z. & Saleem, S. (2001). Effective Advertising and its Influence on Consumer Buying Behavior. European Journal of Business Management, 3(3), 55-65.
- Bryman, A. (2001). Social Research Methods. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Eriksson, P. & Kovalainen, A. (2008). Qualitative Methods in Business Research. 1st Ed. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
- Goldsmith, R. E., & Lafferty, B.A. (2002). Consumer Response to Websites & Their Influence on Advertising Effectiveness. Journal of Electronic Networking Application and Policy, 12(4), 318-328.
- Noya, M. L., Wei, J., & Jones, C. A. (2011). E-business Solutions in the Mobile Advertisement. International Journal of Business and Systems Research , 5(5), 475.
- Petley, J. (2003). Advertising. North Mankato, Minn: Smart Apple Media.
- Sharma, R. (2012). Fraudulent Advertisement: A Skirmish between the Manufacturers and the Consumers. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 2(3), 27-30.
- Tirmizi, M. A., Rehman, K. U., & Saif M. I. (2009). An Empirical Study of Consumer Impulse Buying Behavior in Local Markets. European Journal of Scientific Research, 28(4), 522-532.