Promotion refers to the methods used by a business to make customers aware of its product. Advertising is just one of the means a business can use to create publicity. Businesses create an overall promotional mix by putting together a combination of the following strategies:
Advertising, where a business pays for messages about itself in mass media such as television or newspapers. Advertising is non-personal and is also called above-the-line promotion.
Sales promotions, which encourage customers to buy now rather than later. For example, point of sale displays, 2-for-1 offers, free gifts, samples, coupons or competitions.
Personal selling using face-to-face communication, eg employing a sales person or agent to make direct contact with customers.
Direct marketing takes place when firms make contact with individual consumers using tactics such as ‘junk’ mail shots and weekly ‘special offer’ emails.
There is no one right promotional mix for all firms. The combination of promotional elements selected takes into account the size of the market and available resources. Large businesses have the resources to use national advertising. Small firms with limited resources and a local market may instead opt for leaflet drops to promote their activities.