What Is an Advertising Model?

Hand-written signs are a form of direct advertising.
Hand-written signs are a form of direct advertising. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

An advertising model is a strategic method of reaching consumers with advertising messages. Advertising models determine which media an advertising campaign will use, how frequently it will use it and the geographic reach of the campaign. Advances in communications technology continue to create new possibilities for innovative advertising models, while savvy marketers continually learn new ways of leveraging existing models.

Mass Media Model

Companies marketing products to fairly heterogenous audiences can do well to utilize mass media channels. The mass media advertising model utilizes television, radio, newspapers and magazines to reach large audiences spread across relatively large geographic regions. This model can be effective in boosting a brand's overall recognition in the marketplace, as well as positioning brands with widely accepted images. Mass media channels can lack the focus of other advertising models, however, exposing ads to large numbers of people outside advertisers' target audience.

Online Models

The Internet facilitates a range of innovative and effective advertising strategies, many of which can be much less costly than traditional advertising. Online advertising models rely on interacting with consumers while they explore the Web. The key to effective online advertising is to get your ads in front of the right people at the right time. Contextual advertising solutions can solve this problem by using advanced algorithms and cookie tracking. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help to connect your target customers with your website and marketing messages. Banner and link swapping can place your advertisements in front of consumers who visit complementary businesses' websites.

Direct Advertising Models

Advertisers who wish to add a more personal touch to their messages can utilize a direct advertising model. Direct advertising relies on putting physical ads directly in front of consumers, rather than displaying them through an electronic medium. Direct advertising techniques include mailing campaigns, telephone advertising — which can be paired with sales — in-store signage and roadway banners. Direct advertising makes marketing messages a part of consumers' daily routines, connecting with them in a more personal way than mass media or the Internet.

Integrated Strategies

The most powerful and effective advertising strategies combine elements from various advertising models to create a comprehensive, multi-outlet campaign. Using multiple models at once can maximize consumers' exposure to your brand, while reinforcing marketing messages by meeting consumers at several points in their daily routines. An integrated advertising strategy can reach the same consumers while they watch television, surf the Internet and shop in retail stores, for example, using three distinct models at once.

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