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PRSSA Blog Post: Seven Components of a Good Advertising Plan

By: Audrey Cook

Contrary to how outsiders may think about creative advertising, a

successful advertiser strategizes their ad campaign down to a science.

Having a great idea means nothing if you don’t know how to sell it to your

target audience. In fact, the process is much more structured than one

might think and requires seven different components : the introduction, 1

situation analysis, objectives, budgeting, strategy, execution and

evaluation. These are the tools that will effectively communicate not only

your brand, but also the core values behind your brand. You are never

selling a physical object but instead the messages the object conveys.

1. Introduction

An effective introduction communicates the most important parts of

your plan. It is brief and succinct, and it should be memorable. Your

introduction is your chance to make your ad stand out.

2. Situation Analysis

After outlining your plan, you must provide more detail and

background. The situation analysis specifies trends that will be

important factors in the reception of the ad. This step basically

answer the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where and why) and gives

greater insight into the cultural context of the ad campaign.

3. Objectives

This component of an advertising plan explicitly states what the

advertiser means to accomplish by releasing their ad. Is it to

encourage more frequent use? Is it to capture the attention of a

specific target audience? Is it to make the audience curious?

Whatever the objective may be, it needs to be specific and


4. Budgeting

This is perhaps least exciting component (if you hate math like me),

but budgeting is the numerical key to ensuring the success of the

advertisement. Budgeting balances the cost of the advertisement

versus the potential profit and sets the financial plan in motion.

5. Strategy

The strategy component of an advertising plan sets out to determine

how the advertiser’s objectives will be accomplished. The strategist’s

determine the most creative and effective way to release an

advertisement within the limits of the budget and cultural climate.

6. Execution

The execution of the advertisement is where the fun begins. After all

the planning and strategizing has been accomplished, the

advertisers can then create the copy strategy (what the advertiser

will tell the consumer) and the media plan (how the advertiser will

tell the consumer).

7. Evaluation

After all has been said and done, the advertiser must determine the

measurable effectiveness of the ad. Did the ad efficiently

communicate its objectives? Did the ad reach the desired target

audience? Did the ad increase revenue or consumer involvement

with the product? These are the questions that determine

credibility, critical success and likelihood for profit within the

advertising industry. Evaluation is crucial to predicting the success

of future advertisements and teaching an advertiser how to better

translate his/her brand to future consumers.

1 Allen, O’Guinn, Scheinbaum, Semenik (2015) Advertising and Integrated Brand Promotion.

Boston, MA: Cengage Learning

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