Promotions involving real people communicating with other people is considered personal promotion. While salespeople are a common and well understood type of personal promotion, another type of promotion, called controlled word-of-mouth promotion (a.k.a., buzz marketing), is emerging as a form of personal promotion. Unlike salespeople who attempt to obtain an order from customers, controlled word-of-mouth promotion uses real people to help spread information about a product but is not designed to directly elicit orders.
One key advantage personal promotions have is the ability for the message sender to adjust the message as they gain feedback from message receivers (i.e., two-way communication). So if a customer does not understand something in the initial message (e.g., doesn’t fully understand how the product works) the person delivering the message can adjust the promotion to address questions or concerns. Many non-personal forms of promotion, such as a radio advertisement, are inflexible, at least in the short-term, and cannot be easily adjusted to address questions that arise by the audience experiencing the ad.