What Influences Advertising

There’s no doubt about it.. advertising greatly influences people. Otherwise, why bother creating ads? But being in marketing, we also know that on the flip side, people’s behaviors also tells us what influences advertising. After all, ads are created for people.. for specific target markets. 

Ads are strategically created and distributed to entice people to buy. That’s why ads are based on people’s behavior. For this reason, market research is the foundation of every ad. Marketers study their target market’s demographics, psychographics, buying behavior, market awareness, places they hang out (whether online or offline), people or things that influence them, etc. They go to great lengths identifying and defining ideal customers based on:

  • Personal factors: an individual’s age, gender, culture, etc.
  • Psychological factors: an individual’s perceptions and attitudes toward events, situations, etc.
  • Social factors: an individual’s family, friends, social media preferences, education, career, etc.

What affects consumer behavior also influences advertising – from its messaging down to the medium used, storyline shown, emotions evoked. In this post, we talk about 5 things that affect consumer behavior, what influences advertising, and, in turn, influence how ads are created.

1. Consumer Behavior: Habits and Hangouts

Before, the first thing people do in the morning may be to grab a cup of Joe, exercise, and shower. Today, most people grab their smartphones even before getting out of bed. And many are even glued to their mobile devices all day (and night) long. Hence the rise of digital mobile marketing. With more people using their phones for online shopping, banking, and social interaction, the world is now shifting from e-commerce to m-commerce (or mobile commerce) and potentially kicking the dollar and other currencies to obsolescence.

In today’s attention economy, where people hang out on social media, everything is vying for people’s attention. Whereas before, constantly exposing the brand to the mass market through mass media brought in the sales. Today, consumers are getting smarter, wiser, and hold more power. They research and read reviews before buying. They “skip ads,” delete marketing emails, and rate ads. That’s why it’s important to also find out the market sophistication stage for advertisers to know how to approach them in your promotions – – – whether to use comparisons, unique mechanisms or stories, and relatable identity. Features and benefits no longer suffice. And they no longer respond to antiquated ads like this:

First-ever banner ad.

In relation to people’s behavior, marketers also look at society as a whole – its culture and what has been happening in their world. That’s what we’re covering next . . .

2. Societal Issues: Culture and Current Events

The Internet and tech – especially mobile tech nowadays – have changed the way people live and interact, and transformed the culture of mankind. It made it much easier for small businesses – and even individuals doing business – to tap and reach global markets. The internet hosted digital inventions of viral, video and influencer marketing, memes, gifs, blogs, and vlogs, and other stuff pre-Internet people won’t understand. And it’s but logical that it also changed the way marketers advertise. 

Not so long ago, TV played the lead role in advertising, with newspapers and magazines playing supporting parts. But in the last decade, digital media has been upstaging the long-time advertising stars in terms of revenues and even in ad spend.

With Youtube becoming the younger generation’s TV, video advertising became their TV commercials. And even these video ads are affected by culture and current events. Check out our post How Culture & Current Events Influence Video Advertising to find out about the impact of cultural changes to video promotions.

What’s going on in news headlines can also affect advertising especially if its impact is lasting. Take for instance the Covid-19 pandemic. It has changed the way people live. We work at home. We shop at home. We stayed home for over a year and relied on the digital world to connect with friends and loved ones, to conduct business with co-workers, customers and prospects, to shop for essentials and indulgences, to bank, invest and pay bills, to consult doctors and other experts we needed, and for our kids to continue attending school. 

Naturally, advertising on billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising didn’t make sense for marketers because people were at home. Instead, digital ads exploded. Video ads, digital ads, email marketing, social media marketing, SMS marketing, and other forms of digital marketing became the go-to strategies of advertisers. Because that’s where the people were – – online. And more than a year of “living online” is enough to make these online activities into a habit.

Thankfully, we have the internet and all those digital marketing armamentaria. Can you just imagine what people were doing to cope with the 1918 flu pandemic when “digital” probably only referred to the fingers? That’s why tech is another major factor that affects consumer behaviors, thus, also affecting advertising. Although we’ve already talked about some technological developments that transformed our culture, thus influencing advertising, it made a huge dent, that’s why let’s talk about tech some more . . .

3. Tech: Targeting, Personalization and Screen Evolution

As we’ve already mentioned, advertising has evolved and digital technology changed the way people live and the way they consume media. Mirroring that market change, marketers also changed the way they advertise.

Digital technology – via social media and various marketing software – allowed marketers to employ more targeted approaches to promoting brand awareness to their target markets. They no longer have to drop a marketing bomb that blasts anyone in the way with their marketing message. They just peep into their marketing rifle scope and aim at identified target markets. Thanks to this targeting capability, cheaper but still effective and more targeted and personalized marketing options are now in the marketing arsenals of brands across practically all industries.

From TV to desktop to mobile, the marketing world is now presented with newer options: advanced TV – which allows more personalization, segmentation and targeting; and multi-screen setting – which can involve TV, desktop and mobile devices. And in the not-so-distant future, who knows what AI can bring to the advertising space.

4. Company Specs: Branding, Budget and Other Business Points

Perhaps the only advertising factors that don’t directly involve the target market when discussing what influences advertising are those concerning the company creating the ad. Crucial company factors to consider include branding, budget, marketing and advertising objectives, competition, and company values.