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As we begin to examine how advertising works and how we may best make it work for us, it’s important that we first view in proper perspective this marketing activity that has been going for so many centuries. Let’s look at advertising in the past, at the part it has played historically in our lives. Advertising has changed, as we have changed. If you had been a young Roman soldier in the occupation army in Gaul, spending an afternoon at the chariot races at the stadium at Names, you would have been exposed to advertising.
If you, in your former life, were a tall straight-nosed Grecian
beauty strolling the streets of Corinth, with your market basket on your
ears would have assailed by the cries of street vendors broad calling their
wares for sale. On walls and buildings you would have read advertisements
of a wide variety of products and, most likely, there would have been some
“lost – and – found” notices too.
Because the notices on Roman walls often began with the Latin words
si quis (If anyone) as in ‘If anyone has information’, or, “If anyone
wishes to obtain”, for many centuries afterward any poster advertisement in
England or in America was known as a siqui?
The Advertising Broker
It was in this time of the growing attractiveness of periodicals to the national advertiser that the modern advertising agency had its beginning. Brokers purchased space from publications at whole sale rates, and resold space to the advertiser at whatever markup the cold demand.
In a larger sense, however, the agency’s chief service in this early period was to promote the general use of advertising, and to aid in discovering cheaper and more effective ways of marketing goods.
The shift from “advertising broker” to “advertising agent” was very important; the emphasis had been changed from working for the interests of the publication to serving the interests of the advertiser. Thus today all of the advertising agency’s services are directed toward helping the advertiser achieve his marketing goals.
Advertising Grows up
In the fist decades of the 20th century, advertising underwent two marked and significant changes. The first was the recognition by advertising of its responsibilities to society and business. This recognition of responsibility was evidenced by the formation of numerous organizations whose goals were the improvement in the effectiveness of advertising and control over its taste and honesty.
The second significant development in the early 1900s was the emergence of the nation and regional advertising agency in much the same forms as we recognize it today. Advertising agencies are tightly geared just to provide the advertiser with all those services that will enable him to invest his advertising dollars most effectively.
The New Face of Advertising
The third development in modern advertising, and perhaps the most
interesting and significant of all, occurred in the first decades of the
last century. Their ingenuity, imagination, and restless curiosity changed
the face of advertising. It changed from something that was basically a
‘notice’ or a simply an attention-caller, to a logical, carefully thought- out selling tool fully integrated with the marketing strategy.
The Marketplace and What Happens in it
There’re as many definition of marketing as there are authors of textbooks on the subject. Let’s look at a couple of them:
Richard R. Still and Edward W. Cundiff call it “the business process by which products are matched with markets and through which transfers of owner ship are affected”.
William J. Stanton calls marketing “a total system of interacting business activities designed to plan , price, promote , and distribute want- satisfying products and services to present and potential customers” (more precise definition).
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as being made up of ‘the performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from producer to consumer or user’.
This is a simple explanation of what happens. The key phrases are:
‘from producer to consumer ’, and ‘the flow of goods’.
This is the fate of every product as it makes its way from the
manufacturer’s loading platform to its final destination – into your hands.
A great many things happen to it.
Advertising is one of the things that happen. These forces all work together.
1. The quality, appearance, and performance of the product.
2. How much it costs.
3. Where you can buy it.
4. The promotional efforts, including advertising, that help to sell it.
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