Promotion vs Advertising
Promotion and advertising are marketing tools that are used by an organization and are aimed at increasing the sales of the organization while at the same time getting the product established as a brand in the eyes and minds of the public. The two terms are closely interrelated and at times it becomes difficult to find out difference between promotion and advertising. When you are advertising, you are also promoting a product or service, and when you are promoting, you are advertising at the same time. However, there are differences in functions, scope, time involved, and of course the real objective.
Both advertising and promotion aim at somehow telling the intended or targeted audience about the product or service. Both consist of activities that aim at creating awareness about the product among the public. As such there are bound to be overlapping actions in advertising and promotion. Both come under the broad category of marketing which makes use of many other techniques in conjunction of advertising and promotion to achieve the objectives of a company.
As a marketing tool, advertising is utilized by middle to higher level of companies. It is actually paid form of communication with the public and involves buying slots on radio, cable TV and newspapers and also putting up billboards at prominent places of the city to let maximum people know about the product. Internet is these days being increasingly used as a wonderful medium for advertising. The goal of advertising is to create awareness and also to lure people into buying the product by telling them the features and unique selling point of the product.
Advertising is a long term concept and has to be taken up on a consistent level to achieve results for a company. This is one marketing tool that even the most successful companies resort to. You must have seen the ads of giant cola makers PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. Despite having created a niche for themselves in the cola market, they keep on advertising as they know the importance of branding through advertising. People tend to have short memories and ‘out of sight is out of mind’. Things that are visible are the things that sell more and this is what prompts even very successful MNC’s to keep on advertising.
Promotion is a marketing ploy that has shorter goals than advertising. Though creating awareness about the product and establishing it as a brand in the minds of the targeted audience is a goal of promotion also, this is not a paid form of communication like advertising. The biggest objective here is to generate more sales for the company. There are various ways of promoting a product or a service such as distributing free samples, giving away two for one campaigns, press releases, holding events to generate awareness about the product and so on.
Promotion is easier than advertising and also involves lower costs. As such it is more suitable for companies that have just started out. However, from time to time, even large companies make use of promotion because of its cost efficiency. These days, distributing coupons carrying heavy discounts are being placed on websites to use the power of internet for promotional purposes.
Differences between Promotion and Advertising
Talking of differences, it is clear that though advertising is more expensive of the two techniques, it also generates more profits despite taking a longer time period. Promotion is used more as a short term strategy and is more cost effective than advertising. While advertising is utilized by medium and large companies, promotional activities are undertaken by small companies. Advertising is a paid mass communication, whereas promotion involves distributing free samples or ‘two for one’ campaigns.