Marketers have at their disposal four major methods of promotion, which taken together comprise the promotion mix. On this page, a basic definition of each method is offered while in the next page a comparison of each method based on the characteristics of promotion is presented.
This form of promotion involves non-personal paid promotions often using mass media outlets to deliver the marketer’s message. While historically advertising has been a one-way form of communication with little feedback opportunity for the customer experiencing the advertisement, rapid developments in computer technology and digital networks are presenting customers with more options to provide their opinions on the ads they experience.
The promotional method involves the use of special short-term techniques, often in the form of incentives, to encourage customers to respond or undertake some activity. For instance, the use of retail coupons with expiration dates requires customers to act while the incentive is still valid.
Also referred to as publicity, this type of promotion uses third-party sources, and particularly the news media and those with a strong online presence, to offer a favorable mention of the marketer’s organization or products without direct payment to the third-party sources.
As the name implies, this form of promotion involves personal contact between company representatives and those who have a role in purchase decisions (e.g., make the decision, such as consumers, or have an influence on a decision, such as members of a company buying center). Often the contact occurs face-to-face, over the telephone, or via online video conferencing.
Each of these methods will be covered in much greater detail in later tutorials.