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All About Advertising and Promotions

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

Before you learn more about advertising, you should get a basic impression of what advertising is. See What's "Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales?". Advertising is specifically part of the "outbound" marketing activities, or activities geared to communicate out to the market, for example, advertising, promotions and public relations. ("Inbound" marketing activities are geared to communicate in from the market, and includes, for example, market research to learn about customers needs and wants.) Now quickly scan the list of subtopics and their order on this page to understand even more about Advertising. Then scan the subtopics and their order in the topic Marketing, to better understand the relationship between advertising and marketing.

Sections of This Topic Include

Basics of Advertising and Promotions

Advertising Law (take a quick look to see what you should avoid)
Basics and Planning (always start with a basic plan -- goals, methods, etc.)

Preparing for Advertising and Promotions

Positioning (including writing your positioning statement)
Writing Your Ad

Various Methods of Advertising and Promotions

Major Methods of Advertising and Promotion
Using Direct Mail (this includes mailings directly to your customer)
- - -Mailing Lists (it's useful to have lists of people who are likely to buy your product)
Email Marketing
Signs and Displays
Classifieds of Newspapers and Magazines
Advertising on Radio and T.V.
Online Advertising and Promotions

Evaluating Advertising and Promotions

Measuring Results of Advertising

General Resources

A Primer on Advertising
Advertising Blueprint-Drawing the Blueprint

Also consider
Related Library Topics

Learn More in the Library's Blogs Related to Advertising and Promotions

In addition to the articles on this current page, see the following blogs which have posts related to advertising and promotions. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog.

Library's Marketing Blog
Library's Business Planning Blog
Library's Building a Business Blog


Advertising Law

Advertising / Marketing Laws

Basics and Planning


Advertising and promotions is bringing a service to the attention of potential and current customers. Advertising and promotions are best carried out by implementing an advertising and promotions plan. The goals of the plan should depend very much on the overall goals and strategies of the organization, and the results of the marketing analysis, including the positioning statement (these are described more in the topic of Marketing).

The plan usually includes what target markets you want to reach, what features and benefits you want to convey to them, how you will convey it to them (this is often called your advertising campaign), who is responsible to carry the various activities in the plan and how much money is budgeted for this effort. Successful advertising depends very much on knowing the preferred methods and styles of communications of each of the target markets that you want to reach with your ads. A media plan and calendar can be very useful, which specifies what advertising methods are used and when.

For each product or service, carefully consider:

  • What target markets are you trying to reach with your ads?
  • What would you like each target market to think and perceive about your products (this should be in terms of benefits to them, not you)? Realize that each target market might be different.
  • How can you get that target market to think and perceive that, that is, what message do you need to convey?
  • What communications media does that target market see or prefer the most? Consider TV, radio, newsletters, classifieds, displays/signs, posters, word of mouth, press releases, direct mail, special events, brochures, neighborhood newsletters, etc.
  • What media is most practical for you to use in terms of access and affordability for that target market (the amount spent on advertising is often based on the revenue expected from the product or service, that is, the sales forecast)? Use that preferred media to convey the message(s).
  • Who will communicate the messages in the most appropriate media to that target market.

You can often find out a lot about your customers preferences just by conducting some basic market research methods (see the topic Market Research). The following closely related links might be useful in preparation for your planning.
Basic Methods to Get Customer Feedback
Major Methods of Advertising and Promotion
Thought Leaders Then and Now -- Ogilvy on Advertising
Advertising Campaign Strategy
Your Advertising Budget
Seven Steps to a Successful Promotional Campaign
The Social Graph
Understand your Buyers’ Behavior: The Key to Effective Promotion

Also consider
Basics of Marketing
Basics of Planning


Writing Your Ad

Before you write your ad, you should know what you want to say.
Positioning: Deciding and Conveying Your Unique Selling Position
Naming and Branding
Share Your Business Success
Four Steps to Make Ads More Effective
How to Use Humor in Advertising
The New Rules of Writing a Memorable Slogan

Also consider
Business Writing


Overview of Major Methods of Advertising and Promotion

Using Direct Mail

10 Tips for Writing Better Sales Letters
Great Marketing Tactic to Increase Your Conversion Rate
Direct Mail Grows In Defiance Of Print Is Dead
2012 Response Rate Report

Mailing Lists

Building Email Marketing Lists -- Are Business Cards Fair Game?
Creative ways to Grow Your Mailing List With No Money!

Email Marketing

Email Marketing (Wikipedia)
General Resources
Email Marketing Tips
Email Marketing Best Practices
Email Marketing Best Practices -- Part 2 of 2
Newsletters That Work – Part 1 of 2
Newsletters That Work – Part 2 of 2
How to Write an ebook
Follow the Leader – Chris Brogan

Using Signs and Displays

Wikipedia -- about Billboards
Billboard Advertising
Try Mobile Billboards

Using Classified Ads in Newspapers and Magazines

Four Steps To Writing a Great Classified Ad
Using Classified Ads To Maximize Your Web Marketing Efforts

Advertising on Radio and T.V.

Television Advertising Pros and Cons
Radio Advertising Articles

Online Advertising and Promotion

Your Marketing Message -- Is it Timely?
Top Viral Ads of All Time
How to Make Your Online Ad Campaign Profitable
Mike Koenigs: Video Visionary
Free Online Stock Videos
Get More from Your Infographics

Social Networking (Online) for Marketing, Advertising and Promotions

Social networking involves a variety of online tools that can be used by people and organizations to quickly share a great deal of information at very little cost. Many people are now hearing of some of those tools, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Youtube. Experts are asserting that social networking is a must for people and organizations wanting to share information with others -- after all, that's what marketing is all about! For more information, see
Social Networking (Online)

Measuring Results of Advertising

Ways to Evaluate Your Marketing Program
Do You Know the Results of Your Advertising?

Also consider
Evaluation of Marketing Activities (scan down to Evaluating Your Marketing Efforts)
Evaluation of Sales Performance

For the Category of Marketing:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Related Library Topics

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