Consumer behavior and advertising are closely related because the main goal of advertising involves using the behavior of potential buyers. The art of advertising is to use visual images and convincing copy to give consumers a sense of longing or need for products or services. This also ties in with the study of marketing, the means by which advertising is delivered to consumers through networking, advertisements, and other means of communication.
Advertising refers to ways in which marketers, retailers, and other professionals communicate with potential consumers or prospects. It usually involves the use of paid printed media communications, television spots, or Internet radio ads. Marketers must have a good grasp of consumer behavior and advertising of the way the two are connected before an effective campaign can be implemented. Studies of past consumer behavior and public opinion on certain products should be performed well in advance. Advertisers must understand their potential customers in order for their efforts yield a good return.
The goal of any ad is to persuade consumers that they need a particular product or service. To do this, the message of any form of advertising must appeal to the product's key demographic, an ad must speak directly to the person most likely to need or want the product being sold. For instance, advertisers probably wouldn't use slang in an ad directed at investment brokers, nor would they use images of scantily clad women to try and sell to new moms. In this way, advertising is heavily linked to consumer behavior, since no ad will influence a person's behavior if it seems irrelevant to his or her desires.
Studying consumer behavior and advertising is also useful in other ways. Advertisers may go back and study the response rates and reactions to previous ads to determine overall public opinion about them. This may include studies on what people think of a particular brand's image or what they thought about the ad in particular. By determining what consumers respond to best, more effective advertising can be delivered.
The study of consumer behavior and advertising is typically a case of trial and error. Some ads, even when they follow conventional wisdom, simply do not sell products. Many ineffective advertising comes as the result of not appealing to the right demographic. Others bomb because they don't address any demographic at all, but they focus solely on the product or service being offered instead of on consumer needs.