There is evidence to suggest that Romans practiced advertising. The potentiality of advertising multiplied when the hand press was invested at the end of 15th century. By Shakespear’s time the posters had made their appearance and there is evidence to prove that advertising had assumed the function of fostering demand for existing products.
It was in the latter half of the 19th century that mass advertising, as we know it today, evolved. Mass production became a reality and channels of distribution had to be developed to cope up with the physical movement of goods creating a need for mass communication, to inform customer of choice available to them. This development was accurate by increasing literacy.
In India, advertising as a recognized means of sales promotion as accepted only two decades ago. This decay is obviously attributable to late industrialization in our country. But today India has also emerged as an industrial country which is quite evident from the nature of advertisement that appears regularly in local as well as national papers.
Advertising and Salesmanship
Advertising & salesmanship both are closely related with each other. They are in fact inseparable. The function of advertising is to bring the customers to the shop and on the other hand the function of salesmanship is to persuade the customer to buy. In this way the advertising and salesmanship are designed to achieve the same objective i.e., to promote or increase the sales. One cannot replace the other, rather they are complementary to each other. Both are to be simultaneously used so as to achieve desired results.
However, salesmanship differs from advertising on the following grounds.
- Advertising methods except mail advertising are generally owned and controlled by many other agencies such as newspapers, radio, television, wall writing etc. On the contrary, salesmanship methods are mainly controlled by the company itself.
- The function of advertising is to bring the customer to the shop. On the other hand, the function of salesmanship is to persuade the customer to buy who has arrived to the shop.
- The scope and area of advertising is wider than salesmanship.
- Advertising neither answers the questions nor satisfies the eagerness of the customers. On the contrary, salesmanship performs both the activities quite effectively.
- Advertising is an impersonal and indirect method of selling while salesmanship in purely personal and a direct method of selling.
- Advertising is addressed to the masses while salesman is concerned with individuals who come in his contact.
- A salesman talks to a person before him where as the advertising influences and appeals group of persons.
- In advertising, it is not possible to convey the exact message to an illiterate person, except in certain cases only. On the contrary, a salesman talk to the person concerned whether he is literate or illiterate. He can explain him fully and remove the doubts, if any.
- Advertising concentrates mainly on giving the information about the quality and utility of a product. On the contrary, salesmanship gives emphasis on emotions, purchasing capacity, desire and need of the prospective customers besides the quality and utility of a product.
- In short, the ultimate purpose of advertising and salesmanship is the same i.e., to increase the sales. Thus, both are complimentary to each other. Advertising supports the salesmanship and vice versa.
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