4.13 Who’s the Audience for Advertising?

Advertising professionals have also developed a standard set of questions that they ask at the start of a message task, many of which specifically address audience considerations. These questions also address elements of the subject matter of the ads, the best approaches for creating the ad copy and placing the ads in the most appropriate vehicles. We will come back to many of these questions in subsequent lessons.

  • What should our advertising accomplish? Again, sometimes the audience member just needs to find a nearby place to buy a specific product, or

    An escalator
    LiveU4 – Montaña Rusa Hopi Hari – CC BY-SA 2.0

    the hours and phone number of a business. Filling that immediate information need for the audience member requires a different strategy than trying to encourage the audience member to change their brand loyalty, think positively about your service, purchase your product. You want to know if the ad is intended to fill an immediate information need or to include a “call to action” on the part of the audience member.

  • To whom should we advertise? Who was the target audience in previous campaigns and who has not been targeted yet that should be? Who are the competitors’ customers?

  • What should we say that will most effectively convince the audience to respond to our call to action? What have our client’s ads said to similar audiences in the past? What do our client’s competitors’ ads say?

  • How should we frame our message for this specific audience? How will our proposed creative strategies work for this client’s messages? How do our competitors position their creative strategies?

  • Where should we place or message to reach this audience most effectively? Which media will best reach our target audience?

  • How much should we spend in order to reach this audience in a cost-effective way? What has our client spent in the past? How much do our competitors spend?


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Information Strategies for Communicators Copyright © 2015 by Kathleen A. Hansen and Nora Paul is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.