Today, most advertising strategies focus on achieving three general goals, as the Small Business Administration indicated in Advertising Your Business:1) promote awareness of a business and its product or services;2) stimulate sales directly and “attract competitors’ customers”; and3) establish or modify a business’ image. In other words, advertising seeks to inform, persuade, and remind the consumer. With these aims in mind, most businesses follow a general process which ties advertising into the other promotional efforts and overall marketing objectives of the business.An advertising strategy is a campaign developed to communicate ideas about products and services to potential consumers in the hopes of convincing them to buy those products and services. This strategy, when built in a rational and intelligent manner, will reflect other business considerations (overall budget, brand recognition efforts) and objectives (public image enhancement, market share growth) as well. Even though a small business has limited capital and is unable to devote as much money to advertising as a large corporation, it can still develop a highly effective advertising campaign. The key is creative and flexible planning, based on an in-depth knowledge of the target consumer and the avenues that can be utilized to reach that consumer.STAGES OF ADVERTISING STRATEGYAs a business begins, one of the major goals of advertising must be to generate awareness of the business and its products. Once the business’ reputation is established and its products are positioned within the market, the amount of resources used for advertising will decrease as the consumer develops a kind of loyalty to the product. Ideally, this established and ever-growing consumer base will eventually aid the company in its efforts to carry their advertising message out into the market, both through its purchasing actions and its testimonials on behalf of the product or service.Essential to this rather abstract process is the development of a “positioning statement, a positioning statement explains how a company’s product (or service) is differentiated from those of key competitors. With this statement, the business owner turns intellectual objectives into concrete plans. In addition, this statement acts as the foundation for the development of a selling proposal, which is composed of the elements that will make up the advertising message’s “copy platform.” This platform delineates the images, copy, and art work that the business owner believes will sell the product.With these concrete objectives, the following elements of the advertising strategy need to be considered: target audience, product concept, communication media, and advertising message. These elements are at the core of an advertising strategy, and are often referred to as the “creative mix.” Again, what most advertisers stress from the beginning is clear planning and flexibility. And key to these aims is creativity, and the ability to adapt to new market trends. A rigid advertising strategy often leads to a loss of market share. Therefore, the core elements of the advertising strategy need to mix in a way that allows the message to envelope the target consumer, providing ample opportunity for this consumer to become acquainted with the advertising message.1. TARGET CONSUMER The target consumer is a complex combination of persons. It includes the person who ultimately buys the product, as well as those who decide what product will be bought (but don’t physically buy it), and those who influence product purchases, such as children, spouse, and friends. In order to identify the target consumer, and the forces acting upon any purchasing decision, it is important to define three general criteria in relation to that consumer, as discussed by the Small Business Administration:1. Demographics-Age, gender, job, income, ethnicity, and hobbies.2. Behaviors-When considering the consumers’ behavior an advertiser needs to examine the consumers’ awareness of the business and its competition, the type of vendors and services the consumer currently uses, and the types of appeals that are likely to convince the consumer to give the advertiser’s product or service a chance.3. Needs and Desires-here an advertiser must determine the consumer needs-both in practical terms and in terms of self-image, etc.-and the kind of pitch/message that will convince the consumer that the advertiser’s services or products can fulfill those needs.2. PRODUCT CONCEPT The product concept grows out of the guidelines established in the “positioning statement.” How the product is positioned within the market will dictate the kind of values the product represents, and thus how the target consumer will receive that product. Therefore, it is important to remember that no product is just itself, but, a “bundle of values” that the consumer needs to be able to identify with. Whether couched in presentations that emphasize sex, humor, romance, science, masculinity, or femininity, the consumer must be able to believe in the product’s representation.3. COMMUNICATION MEDIA The communication media is the means by which the advertising message is transmitted to the consumer. In addition to marketing objectives and budgetary restraints, the characteristics of the target consumer need to be considered as an advertiser decides what media to use. The types of media categories from which advertisers can choose include the following:o Print-primarily newspapers (both weekly and daily) and magazines.o Audio-FM and AM radio.o Video-Promotional videos, infomercials.o World Wide Web.o Direct mail.o Outdoor advertising-Billboards, advertisements on public transportation (cabs, buses).After deciding on the medium that is 1) financially in reach, and 2) most likely to reach the target audience, an advertiser needs to schedule the broadcasting of that advertising. The media schedule, as defined by Hills, is “the combination of specific times (for example, by day, week, and month) when advertisements are inserted into media vehicles and delivered to target audiences.”4. ADVERTISING MESSAGE An advertising message is guided by the “advertising or copy platform,” which is a combination of the marketing objectives, copy, art, and production values. This combination is best realized after the target consumer has been analyzed, the product concept has been established, and the media and vehicles have been chosen. At this point, the advertising message can be directed at a very concrete audience to achieve very specific goals. There are three major areas that an advertiser should consider when endeavoring to develop an effective “advertising platform”:o What are the product’s unique features?o How do consumers evaluate the product? What is likely to persuade them to purchase the product?o How do competitors rank in the eyes of the consumer? Are there any weaknesses in their positions? What are their strengths?Most business consultants recommend employing an advertising agency to create the art work and write the copy. However, many small businesses don’t have the up-front capital to hire such an agency, and therefore need to create their own advertising pieces. When doing this a business owner needs to follow a few important guidelines.5. COPY When composing advertising copy it is crucial to remember that the primary aim is to communicate information about the business and its products and services. The “selling proposal” can act as a blueprint here, ensuring that the advertising fits the overall marketing objectives. Many companies utilize a theme or a slogan as the centerpiece of such efforts, emphasizing major attributes of the business’s products or services in the process. While something must be used to animate the theme …care must be taken not to lose the underlying message in the pursuit of memorable advertising.”When writing the copy, direct language (saying exactly what you mean in a positive, rather than negative manner) has been shown to be the most effective. The theory here is that the less the audience has to interpret, or unravel the message, the easier the message will be to read, understand, and act upon. As Jerry Fisher observed in Entrepreneur, “Two-syllable phrases like ‘free book,’ ‘fast help,’ and ‘lose weight’ are the kind of advertising messages that don’t need to be read to be effective. By that I mean they are so easy for the brain to interpret as a whole thought that they’re ‘read’ in an eye blink rather than as linear verbiage. So for an advertiser trying to get attention in a world awash in advertising images, it makes sense to try this message-in-an-eye-blink route to the public consciousness-be it for a sales slogan or even a product name.”The copy content needs to be clearly written, following conventional grammatical guidelines. Of course, effective headings allow the reader to get a sense of the advertisement’s central theme without having to read much of the copy. An advertisement that has “50% off” in bold black letters is not just easy to read, but it is also easy to understand.
I don’t know a thing about you, but I’ll tell you if wanting to learn about skin conditions and vitamin D deficiency affects on your skin, you’ve certainly come to the right place. Those of us that are concerned about the negative affects that UV rays have on the skin’s health are in a bit of a quandary. How do we protect ourselves from wrinkles caused by sun damage and skin-cancer, without also risking vitamin D deficiencies? Here’s what I’ve learned.There are five layers of the epidermis, the outermost of the skin’s layers. Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is produced in the two deepest layers, when pre-vitamin D3, found in the epidermis, is exposed to UVB rays from the sun. UVB rays do not penetrate beneath the epidermis, but UVA rays do. Most sunscreens on the market, particularly the thinner ones that are found in many skincare products designed for daily use, only block UVB rays.Since UVA rays penetrate more deeply, they cause cancer in the dermis layer that is even more dangerous than squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas. Those types of cancers occur in the epidermis.So, the first point, if you are concerned about skin conditions and vitamin D, is to recognize that most sunscreens inhibit the skin’s ability to produce D3, but they do not block the hazardous UVA rays from the sun. It takes a broad spectrum sun-block like zinc oxide to do that.In light skinned individuals, it takes about 20 minutes of UV exposure to reach maximum D3 production. In darker skinned individuals, it takes 3-6 times longer. Although supplements can cause toxicity, overexposure to sunlight does not. Because, once equilibrium is reached the vitamin is degraded. In other words, the body will only produce what it needs.There is research concerning specific skin conditions and vitamin D supplementation. Psoriasis, for example, is known to improve with cholecalciferol supplementation. A chronic like of cholecalciferol intake plays a role in chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, tuberculosis, cancer, gum disease, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, depression, heart disease and Parkinson’s. In other words, this vitamin is extremely important to our continued health and well-being.To protect yourself from skin-cancer, without risking deficiency, use a broad spectrum sun-block when you expect to spend more than 20 minutes in the sun. Do not rely on sunscreens in cosmetics to protect you from skin-cancer. If you have very limited exposure to sunlight, take a supplement that contains D3.As far as age-related skin conditions and vitamin D are concerned, use a daily moisturizer that contains the antioxidants coenzyme Q10 and natural vitamin E. In most be specially formulated or it will not penetrate through the epidermis and into the dermis to fight cancers that can occur in those layers. Antioxidants are our best defense against cancers of kinds, but the natural concentration in our cells is lower as we age.Make no mistake about it. With an effective moisturizer and a reasonable amount of sunlight and/or supplementation, our worries about age-related skin conditions and vitamin D deficiencies are over. Aren’t you glad that you took the time to read this article?
Most dog owners know that the key to a healthy dog is a nutritious diet and lots of exercise. Although important, these two items alone do not make your dog completely impervious to disease or infection. Probably the most important you can do for your dog is to pay attention to them. If your dog develops diarrhea, quits eating as much as normal, or doesn’t seem to have the energy she usually has, she may be showing symptoms of a simple illness that will go away without any long term effects. These same symptoms are common in other more serious medical conditions, and if they worsen or persist longer than just a few days, you should take your dog to the veterinarian to have her checked for infections, parasites, or other illnesses.While unexceptional, diarrhea is an extremely dangerous condition to dogs, especially in puppies. It can be caused by something as simple as a diet change or stress, but can also be brought on by a viral, bacterial, or parasitic cause. One of the most serious consequences of diarrhea in dogs, more so in puppies, is dehydration. Dehydration can quickly claim the life of your dog, especially in the very young or very old.If your pet suffers from diarrhea for more than 24 hours, you should seek advice from a veterinarian. More than likely, your vet will ask you to bring a stool sample into their office so they can inspect it and see if a cause and potential treatment can be found. A very simple process for collecting the sample is to take a quart-sized zipper bag and turn it inside out. Place your hand in the bag and grab hold of the sample firmly. While keeping a good grip on the sample, pull the bag back over your hand and zip it shut.If you find your dog sneezing, coughing, or see discharge coming from her nose and/or eyes, she may have a respiratory infection. An Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) may cause your dog to lose her appetite and become lethargic. URI’s are contagious between dogs, but it cannot be passed from a dog to its owner. URI’s are treatable, especially if found quickly. Early detection of a URI is crucial, because overlooked dogs suffer from acute dehydration and can easily develop pneumonia.Another common respiratory disease is Bordetella, or “kennel cough”. Frequently caught in animal shelters or boarding kennels, Bordetella is a condition that is passed only from dog to dog. It is a short lived disease, and the majority of dogs recover within a few days with proper care and rest. If you are considering a vacation or extended absence from your home and intend on placing your dog in a kennel or “hotel”, you should have her vaccinated against Bordetella.Speaking of vaccinating your dog, there are vaccinations available to ward off more serious diseases such as distemper, parvovirus, and rabies. In fact, most counties and cities require pet owners to vaccinate their dogs. By making vaccinations mandatory, authorities hope to ensure the health and safety of dogs and humans alike. Rabies, unlike most other dog infections and diseases, is easily passed from animal to human. If you had your dog vaccinated as a puppy, you’re ahead of the game. Don’t assume though that just because she had her “puppy shots” that she is protected. Yearly boosters are required to help reduce the risks of these serious diseases to your dog.Dogs also act as hosts to many parasites. Sarcoptic mites and mange live on the hair follicles and the dog’s skin. Ear mites take up residence on the inside of your dog’s ears. Worms is also a very common parasite found in dogs. If you see something resembling a grain of rice around your dog’s anus, or where she sleeps, she is likely infested with worms. It is a good idea to take a sample of your dog’s feces with her to the vet for her annual check-up. Examining your dog’s fecal matter is one way the vet has to see if your dog is the victim of any internal parasites. Some parasites, such as mites, may be too small for you to see with the naked eye. If your dog is shaking her head more than usual, scratching or biting at her skin, or pawing at her ears, she may have a parasite, or a dog’s biggest nemesis, fleas. Even though you may not think it because they are so small, parasites can cause your dog tremendous amounts of discomfort.