Promotion is one of the four elements of marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and place). It is the communication link between sellers and buyers for the purpose of influencing, informing, or persuading a potential buyer’s purchasing decision.
The following are two types of promotion:
1. Above the line promotion: Promotion in mass media (e.g. TV, radio, newspapers, internet, mobile phones, and, historically, illustrated songs) in which the advertiser pays an advertising agency to place the advertisement
2. Below the line promotion: All other promotion. Much of this is intended to be subtle enough for the consumer to be unaware that promotion is taking place. E.g. sponsorship, product placement, testimonials, sales promotion, merchandising, direct mail, personal selling, public relations, trade shows
The specification of five elements creates a promotional mix or promotional plan. These elements are personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, and publicity. A promotional mix specifies how much attention to pay to each of the five subcategories, and how much money to budget for each.
A promotional plan can have a wide range of objectives, including: sales increases, new product acceptance, creation of brand equity, positioning, competitive retaliations, or creation of a corporate image. Fundamentally, however there are three basic objectives of promotion. These are:
1. To present information to consumers as well as others
2. To increase demand
3. To differentiate a product.
There are different ways to promote a product in different areas of media. Promoters use internet advertisement, special events, endorsements, and newspapers to advertise their product. Many times with the purchase of a product there is an incentive like discounts, free items, or a contest. This is to increase the sales of a given product.
The term “promotion” is usually an “in” expression used internally by the marketing company, but not normally to the public or the market – phrases like “special offer” are more common.
An example of a fully integrated, long-term, large-scale promotion are My Coke Rewards and Pepsi Stuff. The UK version of My Coke Rewards is Coke Zone.