Promotion is one of the “Four Ps” formulation of the marketing mix. Not only is it very important to know how to use the four main promotional tools (advertising, public relations, sales promotion and personal selling), but also to measure the importance of each of them related to the particular product being studied.

Advertising can be defined as a paid form of transmitting ideas or a product in the prime media. The advantages it has are mainly that it can be very persuasive as well as a very easy way to reach your target market. Moreover, it is easy to control and a good way to create or strengthen your brand name. Nevertheless, it is expensive and not always trusted by potential customers.

As far as public relations is concerned, publicity is its most important component. Publicity, unlike advertising, is any non paid form of announcing a product in the media. Of course it is cheaper, more objective and more credible than advertising, yet you cannot control its information or the target market it reaches.

Sales promotions, e.g. free samples, coupons and price reductions, are transitory incentives provided to customers, aimed to motivate the sales of a product. On the one hand, sales promotions are very attractive, luring clients to your store and stimulating consumption. On the other hand, this tactic can only be temporary, as it can damage the brand name, lowers your prices and raises doubts about the product’s quality.

Last but not least, personal selling is very important concerning customer assistance. Personal selling involves broadcasting and selling products and services, too. It is the most influential promotional tool, and highly interactive, creating confidence and relationship between customer and firm. Nonetheless, it is very costly and not suitable to many products, e.g. if there are many buyers.

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