1)What different way can companies use to promote their products or brands?
What are the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of each?

Companies promote themselves with the purpose to be their products known by the costumers.
They want to persuade them to buy their products informing them about their benefits, so we have more than one way to do it.
Generally the company can plan how to advertise itself in two ways: setting up its own advertising department or giving to an advertising company an agreed budget with the objectives of the campaign that it wants.

To generate sales, the company has to use promotional tools; being advertising one of them. Also we can find sales promotion,public relations and personal selling.
But actually a company can use all the promotional tools as they want, this is because they have a limited budget, so they must choose wich one they are going to use and in what proportion.

Analyzing each one of the promotional strategies, we can start from public relations (known also as PR): the prime feature of the PR is the publicity, not the same as advertising. The difference between them is that the purpose of publicity is to improve and maintain the name of the company or of one of the products. It can arrive to a huge part of the costumers without high cost and it’s also demostrated that a lot of people is more likely to believe to publicity than to advertising, talking about PR’s advantages. On the other hand, public relations could not have the same repercussion as an advertising.

We can also talk about sales promotion: for example, free samples, price reductions and so on. This are ways to improve sales, stimulating the costumers to buy the products. Starting the trial of a new product or having better promotions than competitors. Obviously one of the advantages of this promotional tool is that the costumer is persuade to buy more products of the company because they can find a price reduction for example or free samples, improving the benefits.It also improve the off season buying or to stock new items. But, there’s also an important disadvantage: that you loose a part of the original price, that is not always good for the company.

Personal selling: is the part of the company that the costumers can see, so personal selling has a huge importance in the process of sell products.
In this way the company gives to the client the possibilty to consult with someone the doubts about the buying, or to know better the features of the product as they are told by the salespeople to them.
The good part of this promotional tools is that is easier to convince the costumers to buy what they are selling because there is a personal relation with the client.
The most important disadvantage is that is the more expensive way to promote a product because you need a lot of employees to carry on this promotion.

Finally, advertising: the most expanded way to promote a product. Is every kind of promotion of the service: on television, radio and so on.
The advantage is that the company can decide directly how they want to sell the product and the target costumer they want to arrive to. Is the better way to show to the costumers the features of the product that they want them to know.
The bad side of advertising is that you have to pay and agency or your own advertising department.

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