Since the eighties of the last century the functions of advertising and marketing have experienced major changes. If previously the coordination of the product promotion process was not paid much attention to, and different marketing and advertising functions were divided between different departments and advertising agencies, today the situation has dramatically changed.
Dispersion of marketing functions results in disintegrating of a company's image and communicative messages giving people contradictive information. Centralization of control over elaboration and realization of marketing strategy was called Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC).
Advertising as a communication tool is the indispensable part of IMC. It communicates information to consumers. Advertising is closely related to other components of marketing strategy and depends on them.
The main goal of advertising as a communication tool is to build up awareness of the brand and shape consumers' preferences in regard to the product. Advertising cannot be neutral. It is the most essential tool of promoting products and services and it is closely connected with other marketing elements such as personal sales, sales motivation and public relations.
Though personal sale is one of the most effective methods of sales, it is too expensive as a method of product distribution. However, it is well used in B2B, and advertising function in B2B is aimed at facilitating personal sales.
Sales motivation and advertising complete each other. Ideally, sales motivation must improve short term sales while advertising is to form a brand asset and improve the level of product knowledge.
Public relations helps the target audience to get to know the company and accustomed to it. PR forms confidence in advertising and prepares the soil for it.
Using and distributing marketing and advertising functions in the right way, the advertiser can present the products and services to the target market and create a positive and integrated image of the company.