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Advertising and Branding

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Advertising can be a cost-effective way to disseminate messages, whether to build a brand preference or to educate people (Kotler, Cunningham, & Keller, 2008). Successful advertisements build an appetite in consumers through viewing, listening, and reading. Advertising also gives the consumer the necessary instructions to fulfill those needs that were created. Since there are so many goods and services available, organizations must use convincing approaches in their advertisements to increase the chances that ad budgets will have a positive return. There should be a specific communication task and achievement level to be accomplished with a specific audience in a specific period of time which is called an advertising objective or goal (Kotler et al., 2008). This paper is written to compare and contrast a product offered by Marriott International Incorporated through the advertising platforms of traditional, tradigital, or digital. It will also recommend the advertising type that is most effective and offer an investigation into the return on investment (ROI).
Advertising media platforms can be categorized into three different types: traditional, tradigital, and digital. Traditional advertising is what most people think of when talking about advertising or marketing and includes the “usual” venues for media placement, such as newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable television, or outdoor billboards (“Types of Advertising,” n.d.). Traditional advertising medias are deep-rooted, easy to find and place, and very quantifiable in terms viewership through subscriptions and audience market shares. However, it is expensive, especially in larger markets, and often more regulated while meeting the norms and standards of the media in which it is placed (“Types of Advertising,” n.d.). Traditional media has a proven track record and high success and penetration rate. Anyone with a newspaper, mail service, television, or radio can learn of a business because rather than going online, organizations bring their information to potential consumers with print advertisements or other traditional methods (Higuera, n.d.). Some disadvantages of traditional advertising to consider are the lack of response time available to market changes, difficulty in targeting the audience, and the delivery of information is limited by space or time.
Tradigital refers to the melding or combination of the traditional and computer based (digital) methods used in design (“Tradigital,” n.d.). Originally referred to the techniques used in creating images using both traditional and digital methods, the term has been adapted in various fields, like marketing (“Tradigital,” n.d.). Tradigital marketing combines traditional advertising such as direct mail, TV, newspaper, magazine, and radio ads with digital marketing to create stronger results than either could do on its own (Garcia, 2014). The beauty of tradigital advertising is that when the offer is presented properly, it does not alienate the other 95 percent of people in the market, who may not be ready to buy right now (Garcia, 2015). The first step in creating an effective tradigital advertising campaign is to know the specific group of people within the target market at which a marketing message is aimed at. Targeting an advertising campaign to the wrong demographic or to everyone can be a costly mistake. The second step is to be creative. A well-crafted ad will put a smile on someone’s face, a tear in their eye, or make everyone think "That’s a really smart idea." (Lee, n.d.) These types of creative advertising campaigns are sometimes known as guerrilla marketing (Lee, n.d.). The third step is to drive as much traffic to the digital destination. The vanity URL website’s should be easy to remember and has the purposes of welcoming visitors, showing off products or services, and allowing visitors to quickly and easily find and act on current promotions (Garcia, 2014). The fourth step uses social media to tie into an organization’s products and services. A custom Facebook page can equally serve as a “landing page” if the organization’s website does not attract enough attention (Garcia, 2014). Facebook is social in nature so it enables page sharing and allows the ability to simply come across other offers associated with profile connections. The last and important step is not to forget about using email as marketing. The way to maximize this marketing vehicle is to prospect all of the leads generated from the organization’s website and landing page. With many social media sites now charging to sponsor an ad, email marketing remains the most effective way to close a consumer who is in the decision making process of buying a certain product or service (Garcia, 2014).
Digital advertising refers to marketing media that is only digitally displayed. This type of technology exists on the Internet, on smart phone and hand-held media devices, and even on automobiles and billboards (Scott, n.d.). To be successful in today’s era, organizations must advertise digitally to disseminate information. It allows marketers and advertisers to reach and appeal to their core audiences in new ways and with more precision (“The Definitive Guide”, n.d.). Another advantage is with the Internet's vast reach, advertisers can influence significantly more people than traditional advertising media at a fraction of the cost and as a rule, the more people served, the more cost-efficient internet advertising will be (Ingram, n.d.). A disadvantage is that copywrited intellectual properties are automatically available for anyone to duplicate as their own. Logos, images, and trademarks can be illegally used for commercial purposes or to slander an organization (Ingram, n.d.). Another big disadvantage is the large amount of Internet based ads intruding on users so much that they have begun to ignore most of them just like traditional junk mail. In the end, the Internet does offer high-impact opportunities to leverage word-of-mouth marketing and the ability generate buzz for a product or service (Ingram, n.d.).
In 2012, Marriott Rewards launched the largest ad campaign in the program’s history which includes in-home advertising in some of the country’s most popular publications and out-of-home advertising in major airports across the US and Asia Pacific (Marriott International Inc., 2015). The campaign featured stunning images of Marriott Rewards vast portfolio of hotel brands from Lifestyle brands, such as the Autograph Collection, to modern essentials, such as Courtyard by Marriott (Marriott International Inc., 2015). Today, Marriott International’s main objective is to attract the millennial and next-generation traveler which do not usually engage in traditional advertising, banner ads, or anything else that interrupts what they are trying to enjoy at that moment. In response, in 2014, the hotel giant launched the Marriot Content Studio, an in-house production studio that resides within the company’s global marketing department (“Checking In,” 2015). The studio is responsible with creating consumer-facing content across Marriott’s 19 brands. One such boutique brand within the portfolio are the Moxy Hotels. Marriott’s newest brand focuses on the rapidly growing 3-star-tier segment, millennial traveler, who understands that style can be delivered at attractive prices (“Moxy,” n.d.). The main distribution channel for the Moxy brand is through the Amadeus Global Distribution System (GDS) (Cunningham, 2014). GDS is the reservation tool travel agents use when making an air, hotel, car, or other travel service booking (“About GDS,” n.d.). Because Marriott is planning on promoting Moxy as a stand-alone brand and without Marriott’s brand name support, it will be heavily reliant on Marriot’s GDS sales distribution system (Cunningham, 2014). To create some brand recognition for Moxy among bookers, the hotel will be running an ad campaigns in the main markets through the Amadeus GDS, so every time bookers use the system, they will see a digital ad for Moxy (Cunningham, 2014). Along with GDS, Marriott has launched digital video campaigns that highlight the benefits of booking rooms directly on Marriott.com. The videos feature the comedians, actors and actresses, and YouTube celebrities jumping into different situations to teach people why it makes sense to book direct (“Checking In,” 2015). The hotel chain is distributing the spots via digital display ads and through the Marriott YouTube channel with shorter outtakes on the Marriott Facebook page (“Checking In,” 2015). To further push the digital platform, the Marriott Content Studio is helping the hotel chain activate its partnership with the NFL, NBA, Universal Music Group, and other properties with digital content initiatives (“Checking In,” 2015).
Advertising through social media has allowed new originality because creativity has found a new canvas and new playground to explore (Temin, 2013). The advertising profession is being altered through a whole new breed of inventiveness. The best advertisers are leveraging the interactivity, visual and video capabilities, and multi-platform availability of social media with some powerfully effective and often amazingly entertaining advertising (Temin, 2013). These ads nudge us toward products, services, and actions through the power of their unique take on life (Temin, 2013). And the public does seem to accept ads on social media with open arms that demonstrate real creative quality, and the ability to amuse, entertain, or add value to lives (Temin, 2013). By following this process, organizations add to their perceived brand value, while also adding value to those consumers that view or interact with the ads.
Return-On-Investment can be measured in a variety of ways: through customer acquisition, lead generation, clicks, revenue, and contest entries, but ROI is very goal dependent (Eckerling, 2014). Before tracking and measuring the ROI, goals need to be set so that measurable factors can be chosen and compared. Social media goals and resulting strategies must align with an organization’s platform because some consumer platforms are primarily on Twitter, while others may be on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram (Eckerling, 2014). For example, Marriott may have a goal to see how many clicks it received for a specific room promotion or possibly a projected revenue goal from ads only through Twitter. Once advertising goals are set, an organization must track and report findings within a specific time frame. To get the proper results, it is important to track the time spent, cost of ads, etc., as well as other activities and campaigns launched as part of the social media marketing (Eckerling, 2014). Those results must be properly reported and campaign goals must be reset and improved if the results are less than successful.
There is always room to improve any advertisement campaign by reviewing the strategies compared to the reported results. Marriott is strong in it social media presence and has been able to develop a vogue persona within its upscale and boutique class of hotels. Where Marriott is lacking is the ability to offer local promotions and deals that may be redeemed at any branded location within the certain terms. Marriott has been solely focused on their international reach that most local consumers may feel they do not have the qualifying status attributed to experiencing the Marriott brands, unless an infrequent extravagant trip is planned. Marriott’s digital media presence should be funneled down to smaller targeted audiences and tailored to specific geographic locations. Since digital advertising, like email, is cost-conscious, it would be very manageable to overlap numerous unique campaigns that sends the same message to their target markets. In summary, Marriott International has switched their advertising focus from traditional media to a tradigital strategy to reach the millennials and next-generation traveler. This transition has been the media of choice base on the advancement of technology in business. Business reports have suggested that total spending on social media advertising has increased worldwide with $17.74 billion in 2014 versus $11.36 billion in 2013. (Kumar, Bezawada, Rishika, Janakiraman, & Kannan, 2016). Social media seems to be the most effective due to its cost-effective measures and its ability to compound word-of –mouth advertising. All organization, including Marriott, must be organic in its advertising so that it can change as the needs evolve for their consumers.

References
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