Companies use marketing to research needs and preferences of target audiences and to develop promotional strategies that communicate the benefits of their offerings. Advertising is one of the most common forms of promotion, as it allows a company to control the message, medium and timing of the communication.
The purpose of marketing is to engage a target audience in a two-way system of interaction. Research is used to study what a marketplace needs or wants from certain types of solutions. Companies that effectively engage their audiences and identify their preferences are more equipped to develop or offer products and services that are marketable. It is also easier to promote the right benefits when the business has keen insight into the value customers want or expect.
A primary distinction between advertising and other forms of promotion, such as public relations, is that advertising messages are paid for. While companies value free publicity, they also want to present promotional marketing campaigns that are designed, strategic and well-executed. Advertising allows a new company to create awareness. It also allows companies to promote new products to appeal to current or new target markets. With advertising, companies have the ability to communicate through various media, such as TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, billboards, mobile devices and social media.