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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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