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

Nowadays, companies need to use promotion techniques to increase sales of their products.
The promotion of a product consists on communication, information or recalls the existence of a product (including its characteristics, attributes and benefits), and persuade or induce the public to decide to buy it. The promotion includes, in addition to the well-known “Four Ps” (product, place, promotion and price) a specific combination of promotional methods such as advertising, public relations, personal selling and sales promotions.

Each of the promotional tools has its advantages and disadvantages.

Advertising is one of the most expensive ways to promote a product. Some companies set their ad budget at a certain percentage of current sales revenue. On the other hand, advertising shows a high percentage of the audience exposed to the ads.

Secondly, public relations (PR) try to improve the image of a product. Also, PR must create and maintain a good relationship between business and the general public. The most important task of the PR is the publicity, which in contrast to advertising, not paid. Is believed that publicity is more likely that the advertising.

Other promotional tool is sales promotions. Sales promotion is a combination of free samples, discounts on the price … Usually, this type of promotion is used in the maturity stage of the product. The disadvantage of this promotional method is the reduction companies’ profits (the profit margin per product sold is reduced).

Finally, there is personal selling, which is the most expensive promotional method. Is a promotional tool that is close to the costumer, often providing valuable information to clients. Personal selling is a good way to solve customer problems with product.

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