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Advertising: how to make your company more visible right from the start?

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How do you make your business visible right from the start? Are there several advertising methods? What exactly is advertising? All these questions (and many others) are at the heart of the questions asked by Pierre-Raffaele, a 10-year-old future entrepreneur. To help him build his business project, he receives Karim Debbah, an advertising specialist. With him, he not only retraces the history of advertising but also discusses the methods, within everyone’s reach, to make oneself known. Karim talks to him in particular about word-of-mouth, a thousand-year-old technique.

Advertising is as old as the commerce itself.

“It’s fresh my fish, it’s fresh!” “Rather than to have fish brought directly from Massilia by ox-cart. My son prefers to go and fish it himself! That’s how you destroy a brand image.”

The first thing Pierre-Raffaele is going to learn is that advertising is not new. When the merchant Ordralfabetix praises the merits of his fish in the Asterix comic strip, he’s ” promoting ” it, and that’s already a form of publicity.


Advertising and Art, an ancient love story

Karim also explains that advertising can be Art.

Painting has been a privileged means of educating and transmitting stories. In this sense, the Catholic Church was undoubtedly one of the first multinationals in advertising, imposing codes and stories (a “story-telling”) visible on the places -of worship- in its area of influence. Religions have always used images to spread their dogma and propagate their ideas. It was already advertising.

At the beginning of the 20th century, artists put their talent to the service of advertising. It was the time of advertising posters, a revolutionary medium for the time because it was innovative. We will remember Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, whose posters contributed significantly to his fame. But there were many others.

A distant heir to the Dada movement, Andy Warhol turned consumer society and the advertising object into a work of Art, following the principles of Duchamp’s ready-made.

As you can see, the image, in all its forms, has from time immemorial been the basis for the dissemination of messages, in short, advertising.

Today’s Advertising

Today, advertising is, of course, increasingly digital, but the traditional media (radio, TV) remain essential for building brand awareness. Indeed, studies show that an exclusive investment in digital leads relatively quickly to a loss of brand awareness. The brand is no longer “top of mind” as we say in the industry. Multi-channel strategies are, therefore, the ones that need to be adopted to reach different consumer segments at different times. This complementarity of advertising channels is the brand of our time. As uses are increasingly atomised, there is no turning back.

On the other hand, we can anticipate that the traditional media (the press is already paying the price) will continue to decline and lose market share to digital. As Bruno Liesse explained in one of our podcasts, advertisers are looking for insights, data on those who come into contact with the brand. Until the traditional media can provide this data to the market, the salvation will come from digital and advertising budgets will continue to flow from one channel to another.

How can you advertise when you don’t have any money?

How can you raise awareness about yourself when you don’t have a lot of money? Of course, you can create a buzz by surfing on an outrageous, scandalous communication. That’s what happened with the Bicky Burger ad, to which we devoted an analysis and a podcast (also with Karim Debbah). But there are many other, more positive methods of making people talk about oneself. Karim advises Pierre-Raffaele to use word-of-mouth, a technique that is also a thousand years old. It is the customer’s satisfaction that prompts him to talk to others about his purchase and convince them. As Karim says, it is others who advertise for you.

How can word-of-mouth become an advertising lever and a component of your marketing strategy? Well, first, you have to make sure that customer satisfaction becomes the focus of your business strategy. Satisfying customers, making them happy, creating a unique customer experience, are ways to create positive emotions. These positive emotions are the catalyst for positive word-of-mouth (just as negative emotions are the catalyst for negative word-of-mouth).

If you want to learn more about customer satisfaction, start by consulting this page. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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