Dagmar Approach – An Approach to Setting Advertising Objectives For effective advertising, setting the objectives of advertising is very important. Well defined objectives serve as standard with which actual performance can be measured. Advertising objectives serve as guidelines in appropriating advertising budget and in measuring ad-effectiveness.
DAGMAR Approach is related to setting of advertising objectives in such a way against which advertising effectiveness can be easily measured. DAGMAR means ‘Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results.’ This approach was given by Russel Collay in 1961. Russel Collay prepared a report for the Association of National Advertisers in the year 1961. This report was titled Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results’. In this report Collay developed a model for setting advertising objectives and measuring the results of advertising campaign. DAGMAR model is based on communication objective of advertising. DAGMAR model begins with awareness moves to comprehension, then conviction and ends with action.
Under DAGMAR approach the main objective of advertising is to communicate the desired message to the target audience. In this model main focus is on communication task of advertising. This communication task involves following four stages
- Awareness: making the consumer aware of the existence of the brand or company.
- Comprehension (Understanding): making consumer understand the product and its uses
- Conviction (Persuasion): persuading the consumer to buy the product
- Action: getting the consumer to actually purchase the product.
From the above stages, it is clear that initial task of the advertisement is to gain awareness of the brand presence in the market. The second step is to make the individual understand and learn about the brand, that is individual will learn about product features, uses of the product, method of using the product, place of availability, etc. The third step is to convince the individual to buy the product. For this the prospective buyer will be made to feel that advertiser’s brand is better than that of competitor. At this stage, the advertiser will highlight that his brand is better than that of competitor. In the last stage the individual will be made to actually buy the product. Thus, according to DAGMAR model, target audience pass through four steps while purchasing the advertiser’s product.
Characteristics of Advertising Objectives
(1) Well Defined Objectives – Advertising objectives should be clear, precise, measurable and specific. These clear, precise, specific objectives must be communicated to the copywriters/creative specialists who develop the advertising message. This will help the copy writer in selecting the appropriate advertising message and appeal. Well defined objectives will also help in deciding other steps of advertising campaign. It will help to direct our advertising activities towards attainment of ad-objectives. Objectives should be measurable. It will help in evaluating the advertising effectiveness.
(2) Benchmark and Degree of Change Sought – Benchmark means the present status of target audience in the communication model. It means to know how many target audience are at various stages of communication model, i.e. the advertiser must know the number of target audience who are at awareness stage, understanding stage, persuasion stage and at action stage. Knowing the present status of number of target audience at various stages is very important to design appropriate advertising goals. For example, selection of ‘creating awareness’ as a goal might be a mistake if level of awareness is already very high. Here the right goal should be to create understanding and persuasion and not awareness. If advertising goals are decided ignoring the benchmarks (present status of target audience), then whole of advertising campaign may go waste.
After knowing the present status of target audience, the advertiser should also decide the degree of change sought at each stage of communication hierarchy; e.g. if presently our 50 per cent audience are at awareness stage and if we want to increase this percentage to 80 per cent then degree of change sought is 30 per cent increase in brand awareness. Similarly change sought at each stage of communication hierarchy should be decided.
(3) Well Defined Target Audience – The audience to whom advertising message is to be communicated must be well defined. The advertiser has to identify the persons at each stage of communication hierarchy. The characteristics of target audience who are at each stage of awareness stage, communication process are identified. Some of our target audience are at some are at understanding stage, while some target audience may be at persuasion stage. The advertiser should identify the characteristics of target audience at all these stages, so that the ad message and ad objectives can be designed keeping in view the characteristics of target audience.
(4) Specified Time Period – The time period in which ad-objectives are to be achieved must be specified. Most advertising campaigns specify the time period from a few months to a year depending on the situation and degree of change sought. For example, if objective is to increase brand awareness, then it can be done in a short period of time through mass media. But if objective is to increase understanding or persuasion (creating brand preference and branch loyalty) then it needs much more time.