Advertising explained

Advertising is a marketing activity that can help you to reach out to potential customers and encourage them to buy your products or services.

While advertising is usually a paid promotion done through print, visual or digital channels, there are also free or low cost options.

The purpose of advertising is to market and promote your business to:

  • create awareness
  • communicate information
  • educate your audience
  • enhance sales
  • create demand

Benefits of advertising

A successful advertising campaign can provide a range of benefits for your business and your customers, including:

  • increased sales
  • enhanced brand recognition
  • increased customer reach
  • educating your customers
  • repeat sales
  • competitive advantage

What to include in your advertisements

For your advertising to be successful you need to set yourself apart from your competitors and grab your audience's attention.

You’ll need to identify your target market and focus on connecting with those customers. You can then tailor your message to those who have a need for your product or service.

When creating your ad make sure you:

  • use a powerful headline
  • tailor your message to suit your target audience
  • talk about the benefits
  • have a call-to-action
  • use exciting images
  • use testimonials if relevant
  • always deliver on what you promise

Types of advertising

With a range of media choices, finding the best advertising mix for your business can be challenging. The advertising you choose should depend on:

  • your business
  • your budget
  • the types of media your target audience accesses

If your audience is mainly elderly customers, you should focus your advertising campaign on traditional media such as their local newspaper or radio station. Targeting the younger generation will probably see you engage with things like blogs, apps and social media.

Traditional media

Traditional media sends messages in one direction to a mass audience. It includes:

  • television ads
  • radio advertising
  • print advertising
  • cinema advertising
  • billboards and off-site signs
  • banner ads
  • mail order advertisements
  • cold calling
  • door-to-door sales
  • transit advertising

In the past, traditional advertising was the only way to spread your message. With newer media types, you can also focus your efforts on your ideal buyer and build a community around your product or service.

New media - digital advertising

Digital advertising is a popular form of online advertising for businesses. Digital channels (digital media types) allow you to reach your core customers in creative new ways, allowing customers to engage with you and your brand in a two-way format.

Digital advertising allows you to reach a larger target audience and has the potential to reach customers all over the world. You can:

  • track your customers
  • analyse their buying behaviour
  • customise your message to their preferences

Types of new media are:

  • online advertising – retargeting, banner ads, display ads, keywords, native, video
  • online streaming – radio and television
  • social media advertising
  • mobile app advertising
  • email marketing

While the internet is a powerful medium, you can benefit from using a mix of traditional and new media to reach your target market.

Advertising therapeutic goods

Advertisements to consumers for therapeutic goods (including medicines, medical devices, diagnostics and digital health technology) are subject to the requirements of the therapeutic goods legislation, including:

The Code sets the requirements advertisers must meet to ensure advertising for therapeutic goods is socially responsible and does not mislead or deceive the consumer.

Advertisements also need to comply with other relevant laws, such as the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Before you advertise therapeutic goods, it is your responsibility to understand the legislative requirements.

Use the Is my product a therapeutic good? decision tool to help you identify whether your product is a therapeutic good and falls under the legislation.

Check out Therapeutic Goods Administration advertising hub.

Watch the SME assist video on Advertising to help you understand the advertising requirements of therapeutic goods.

Read next

Understand more about marketing and your legal obligations.

Follow our steps to marketing your business.