ADVERTISEMENT IN BUSINESS
In doing business, you have to make people aware of the good(s) and/or service(s) that you offer, as patronage is intricately linked to awareness. If your business is situated in a specific location, you may begin by putting up a signpost indicating what you offer. The signpost, or signboard as it is more often called, may seem a crude form of advertising, but it is a highly effective one. Can we remember how many times we have been guided by a signpost to the availability and location of a hair-dressing or barber shop, a mechanic’s shop, a “relaxation” spot or any of the daily utility shops? Who among us has never been helped by a “Food is ready” sign when we needed somewhere to buy prepared food?
We all must have learnt in one way or another that advertising is one of the aids to trade (business). It is a tool used to communicate with end-users about the product of a business. It contains a message, oral, written or pictorial, about what your business offers.
Advertising can be done through a specific medium or a set of media, depending on such factors as availability/accessibility, target audience, affordability vis-a-vis size of business, among others. The idea is to let your customers/ clients know about the existence and operations of your business, and that you offer the best of what you do. Every avenue where there is contact of any kind with people is a potential platform for advertising. Advertising does not have to be restricted to just one medium, and we shall talk a bit more about this later on.
Advertising media include radio; announcements at open locations over a Public Address System; newspapers (which help promote a business to a wide range of customers); magazines; television, flyers/handbills/posters/billboards etc. It is just important to identify your specific needs, factor in the considerations around your business, and select the option that is most viable and feasible for your business. For instance, advertisement on television costs more, as they are done in-between programs, especially those that are widely watched, such as football matches, the Big Brother reality show etc. Other forms of advert are direct mails, catalogues, directories and brochures.
While exploring those advert options that you pay for, you may use other cost-free ones such as conversations or discussions in public places/gatherings, or even very brief, casual meetings with others where you can politely and tactfully steer the conversation in the direction of what you do. To execute this more effectively, you need to have a business card or any related material handy at all times. Social media accounts, rather than used for idle socializing, can be exploited as advert opportunities.
The objective of advertisement is to inform, persuade and remind customers about your business. Your customers/clients need to have an understanding of your business, so you have to reinforce your efforts with the most catchy and exciting advert contents.
A common form of advertisement in this 21<sup>st</sup> century is the Display Ad, which is a form of creative, pictorial advertisement that should be self-explanatory. Most times, people consider it a waste of time to look at or read advertisements in lengthy text formats, so creative ads become an important option to attract the attention that benefits the advertiser. You may use an attractive image, as exemplified on my articles whereby each one has an image that corresponds with its topic. Other examples of this kind of advert are the images on big long buses with brief captions.
Advertisement in business is mandatory, because when you advertise, you are building your business, expanding its market, creating demand and engaging customers/clients actively. The goal of advertising is to promote your business, attract new customers and keep existing ones refreshed with information.
Advertisement is the best way for you to communicate to your customers, and the importance of communication among humans and in every endeavor cannot be overemphasized.
DOING BUSINESS WITHOUT ADVERTISING CAN BE LIKENED TO THE CASE OF A MAN WINKING AT A GIRL IN THE DARK; HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING, BUT NOBODY ELSE DOES.