In order to develop a brand awareness or increase sales, an enterprise could basically use four promotional tools: advertising, public relation, personal selling and sales promotion.
Advertising informs consumers about a product existence and persuades them to purchase it through mass media as TV commercials, billboard, sponsorship and so on.
The best way of advertising is by ‘word-of-mouth’ (when consumers spread positive information about products). Companies can develop a media plan by themselves or ask an advertising agency to do so. The second option is usually more effective, because these agencies have got more resources. Nevertheless, it is normally rather expensive and the threshold effect is difficult to reach, but it has got a great advantage: it reaches a large potential market.
On the other hand, publicity, which is the main element of PR, (opposed to advertising) is any mention of a product or brand in mass media without paying for it. Frequently, it is more effective, due to the fact that when you see a something new about a company you suppose that it is written objectively. Thus, people rely more on it. Furthermore, it is less expensive. However, it has got two problems: it is not as persuasive as advertising and sometimes the new one can be unfavourable.
As a complement of advertising we can find personal selling, which means that salesmen give information to the customer individually. In addition, they offer assistance for technical services. This tool does not enable the company to reach a large target market. Nevertheless, customers often feel more confident with it. Moreover, it is very important, because a company knows the opinion of its customers through its salesmen. Yet, it is very expensive and cannot be used alone.
Finally, sales promotion is a temporary tactic used for increasing sales. E.g.: free samples. They are very popular, but can be ineffective if it is not combined with advertising

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