Question One: Advertising Clutter
Advertising is an evidence-based practice guided by changing consumer expectations, competitive rivalries, and emerging technologies. With many companies producing and marketing similar products to the same target group, advertising clutter has become a unique challenge that must be dealt with. The term “advertising clutter” refers to the existence of large volumes of messages in mass media that make it hard for companies to deliver the right message to the targeted customers. The average consumer has been bombarded with numerous messages and information. Consequently, the marketplace has become extremely overcrowded as more companies continue to compete for customers. Advertising clutter has become a major challenge for both advertisers and manufacturers. The current use of mass media has made it impossible for many firms to realize their objectives. Various tactics have emerged to combat clutter. Companies that use such tactics find it easier to maximize profits and drive business performance.
Tactics Used by Advertisers to Combat Clutter
Guerilla marketing is one of the widely used strategies to deal with the challenges of clutter. This strategy is characterized by the use of unconventional methods to promote specific services and products. One of the unique attributes of this method is that it minimizes the cost of advertising. A good example is the use of public places to inform the largest number of people about the targeted service or product. The ultimate goal is to ensure the biggest audience is attracted, sensitized, and informed about the targeted product. The use of online-based social media platforms has continued to support this strategy. Companies that use this approach find it easier to increase the engagement of different customers with the targeted service or product. Small businesses or startups can use the approach to inform more potential customers about their products.
The second approach that can overcome the challenge of clutter is viral (or buzz) advertising. This approach relies on the continuous use of existing technologies and social networks to maximize brand awareness. The strategy is coupled with several objectives such as maximizing sales, attracting more loyal customers, or propagating a brand name. The use of mobile networks, apps, social networks, and the internet has revolutionized how viral marketing is executed by many companies. Video clips, gaming practices, text messages, companies’ WebPages, and emails are some of the strategies used to support the viral marketing approach.
According to many experts, selective retention is another powerful strategy used to minimize the effects of clutter in the world of advertising. This kind of strategy focuses on the best measures to deliver specific messages to a given group. For instance, appropriate messages can be designed and communicated to individuals based on their beliefs, lifestyles, age, or income levels. The messages are then repeated through several avenues such as television channels, newspapers, social media, or the internet. The practice is embraced by many companies because it can inform more people about the unique benefits of the intended service or product.
Some marketers have gone further to identify new objects, places, and avenues that have not been targeted before. For instance, a company can decide to advertise its products in places where they can reach out to more people. For example, companies can use buses, restaurants, parking lots, and restrooms that can be used to advertise specific products or services. The marketer can go a step further to ensure the targeted customers are aware of the products.
Experiential marketing has emerged as a new trend that can minimize the implications of advertising clutter. According to many analysts, experiential marketing focuses on the best approaches that can attract and encourage more customers to be part of the targeted brand’s evolution. The customers are guided and empowered to become part and parcel of the marketing or advertising process. The individuals will present adequate ideas and concepts that can be used to improve the product and eventually make it successful in the marketplace.
Trends that Might Emerge in the Future
Advertising clutter has become a reality due to the intensity and quantity of information available to the consumer today. This problem will catalyze the emergence of new trends and practices that can sustain business performance. To begin with, social media networks that have been unexhausted such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and MySpace might become new avenues for communicating adequate information to the customers. This move will become a critical process that has the potential to minimize the impacts of cluttering.
Some of the solutions implemented to deal with cluttering such as viral, guerilla, and experiential marketing might become ineffective. This development will force companies to create powerful branding models that are characterized by passionate product ambassadors. Such ambassadors will act as evangelists whose role is to support the development, maturity, and success of the targeted product in the market. Additionally, more companies will come up with personalized marketing models that focus on different customers. This means that a single product might have more than two advertising models depending on the unique needs and expectations of each target group. These new changes will be aimed at supporting the performance of different products and eventually drive business performance.
Question Two: Ethics in Advertising
Business organizations can find it hard to survive without implementing powerful advertising strategies. Unfortunately, many companies have been observed to use unethical and unlawful approaches to inform their customers about the targeted products. Different governments and agencies have implemented stringent measures or laws to monitor the advertising industry. Despite the existence of such policies, advertisers have found loopholes in an attempt to engage in unethical practices.
Most Pressing Ethical Issue in the Advertising Industry
The ethical concerns experienced in the advertising sector have led to numerous challenges. Some of these issues include advertising to children, the provision of wrong information, promoting harmful products, and the use of cannibalistic methods. The most pressing issue that can have greater consequences on the industry is the provision of misleading or untruthful information. More often than not, advertisers and marketers can use deceitful methods and information to woe more customers and encourage them to purchase the targeted product. This malpractice explains why the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA) was implemented to promote truthful advertising.
Various reasons can be presented to explain why this issue is the most pressing in the industry. To begin with, the customer is an innocent citizen who relies on the presented information to make an appropriate purchasing decision. The misleading information can encourage the targeted consumer to purchase a substandard product or service. The FTC Act has been implemented to protect consumers from misleading statements that can affect purchasing behavior or decision.
The issue of truth throughout the advertising process is something critical. This is the case because the untruthful statement or information will have the potential to cause substantial harm to the consumer. Some products might be ineffective and eventually result in injury especially when using them. Many experts in the advertising industry believe strongly that many companies have been going ahead to present inaccurate information to targeted customers. For example, McDonald’s is one of the companies known to market fast foods to its clients. The company has been identified as unethical because it lies about the contents and compounds in its products.
The provision of wrong information to the consumer encourages him or her to purchase the targeted products. Consequently, chances of injuring or harming the consumer increase significantly. A good example is how fast food companies are believed to have contributed a lot to the obesity epidemic in the United States. That being the case, this ethical concern is of utmost importance because it has prevailed despite the existing laws and regulations. Many advertisers have been observed to offer wrong or inappropriate messages to targeted customers. This practice has become common as more companies focus on the best measures in an attempt to remain competitive and profitable. This analysis, therefore, shows clearly that truth in advertising is something that continues to lose meaning every day.
Potential Consequences of the Issue
Truthfulness in advertising is not a new phenomenon in the world of marketing. This is the case because many companies are expected to provide accurate and timely information to the consumer. However, more customers are equipped with inaccurate information than ever before. If the government ignores this ethical concern, different stakeholders will be affected. The unauthentic and deceitful information available in the marketplace will give advantage to some companies that have unscrupulous advertising strategies. The malpractice will encourage more firms to produce substandard consumer products and services.
Many consumer activists have argued that more companies in the future will be willing to use the malpractice in an attempt to inform more people about their products. This development is possible because the current laws have been unable to deal with the ethical issue. Consequently, more consumers will be at increased risks of purchasing and using various products that can affect their lifestyles. When this trend emerges in the food industry, chances are high that more people will consume unhealthy food materials and eventually record several health problems. The current obesity epidemic supports this kind of development.
Failure to address the issue will affect the rights and freedoms of many consumers. The customer is always unsuspecting and purchases products that promise to transform their experiences. With increased cases of untruthful advertising, the consumer will be on the losing end and eventually fail to realize his or her goals. These facts, therefore, explain why there is a need for different governments to take this issue seriously than ever before. Powerful and stringent laws will be needed in each industry. By so doing, the laws will discourage the malpractice and punish companies that embrace it. The main goal should be to protect the consumer and promote a fairground for all competitors in different industries.