Promotion mix

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Promotion mix
See also

Promotion mix or promotional mix is a set of measures that make up the promotion system, differentiated in terms of their functions and internal structure. The instruments of promotion mix are:

  • advertising,
  • sales promotion,
  • personal selling,
  • public relations,
  • direct marketing .

It is also defined as a subset of marketing mix.


According to Philip Kotler and Gray Armstrong "advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor"[1](Kotler P., Armstrong G., 2008, p. 737).

Advertising is characterized as a type of marketing communication that is used by businesses to advertise or offer goods and services. The primary purpose of advertisement is to affect purchasing behaviour by supporting a good, service or business. Advertising relies on innovative positioning and media to accomplish this aim. It promotes awareness of company's offer. Assuming that consumers are aware of a brand or a product, in the promotional mix advertising is a building stone which fortify and reinforce messages in sales promotions and direct marketing.

Advertising types:

  • Informative Advertising - Builds knowledge of brands, goods, services and concepts. This introduces new goods and services and will inform users about the features and advantages of new or existing products.
  • Persuasive Advertising - The purpose is to persuade customers to take action and change brands, to pursue a new product or to stay loyal to the current brand.
  • Reminder Advertising - Reminder advertising is used mainly by proven brands or as a follow-up to a more lengthy promotional strategy to remind the customer of the product or service, or to inject a new dimension or trend into current advertisements.

Different types of advertising methods are:

  • Online Advertising (aka Digital)
  • Cell Phone & Mobile Advertising
  • Print Advertising
  • Guerrilla Advertising (ambient advertising)
  • Broadcast Advertising
  • Outdoor
  • Public Service
  • Product Placement

Sales Promotion

Sales promotion is any form of promoting sales where there is a call to action that results in a demonstrable sales promotion is any form of promoting sales where there is a call to action that results in a demonstrable benefit, whether tangible or not.”[2](Mullion R., Cummins J., 2008, p.1). It is an action or series of actions performed to improve the sales of a single product, for example by decreasing the price or promoting it.

Sales promotion consists of all those elements of the promotion that do not fall under the other elements of the promotion mix, such as direct marketing, advertising, public relations and direct sales. We can therefore distinguish here:

Consumer promotion:

  • price reductions
  • free goods samples
  • vouchers
  • purchase bonuses (i.e. adding free gifts)
  • stamps (for example used in loyalty programs)
  • competitions, lotteries, games

Staff promotion:

  • remuneration system
  • bonuses

Dealer promotion:

  • variable price
  • discounts
  • sales bonuses (they are applied in particular to products that are difficult to market and are intended to motivate agents and intermediaries to increase flows in the distribution channels)

Personal Selling

"Personal selling can be defined as the process of person-to-person communication between a salesperson and a prospective customer in which the former learns about the latter’s needs and seeks to satisfy those needs by offering the prospective customer the opportunity to buy something of value, such as a good or a service."[3] (Cant, M.C., van Heerde, C.V. 2004, p.3)

Personal selling characteristics[4](Yeshin T., 2006, p.3):

  • flexibility - it allows salesperson to adapt to client or a different situations, giving the opportunity to immediate feedback and better focus on customers needs
  • relationship building - it allows salesperson to built a close and real relationship with a customer by ensuring that buyers are provided with appropriate services
  • efficiency of communication between a marketer and a customer - it allows to go beyond one-way communication, which is associated to other elements of promotion mix
  • message tailored to a customer - unlike other media, especially mass media, it allows a salesperson to tailor the message and offer to the receiver and understand the needs of customer more appropriately
  • reduced amount of distraction - there is less likely to avoid distraction in one-to-one situation between a marketer and a client
  • direct feedback - it allows sender to get the feedback directly from the receiver, especially in body language
  • expensiveness - because of the need of one-on-one communication with the client and special training for salesmen, it tends to be expensive

Public Relations

"Public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behavior. It is the planner and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics."[5](Kermani F., 2006, p.1).

Common public relations tools include: media relations, press releases, newsletters, blogging, social media marketing, lobbing, corporate identity, employer branding, attendance at events, investors relations, crisis management, influencer marketing.

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing consists of direct messages addressed to carefully selected individual customers, often in a personal contact, in order to obtain a feedback.

Direct marketing allows consumers to buy products through the use of different advertising media, without direct personal contact with the seller. Apart from creating a brand image, the aim of direct marketing is to obtain a direct, usually immediate and measurable response from the consumer.

Successful direct marketing requires databases in the form of address lists. A customer database is a structured set of comprehensive data about existing and potential customers, including geographical, psychological and purchaser behavioral data. It can be obtained by drawing up one's own list of customers or posting surveys in the press or in the Internet, or by buying a list from other companies or institutions. In many countries, personal data protection legislation may restrict database building practices.

Basic forms of direct marketing:

  • mail order - consists of placing orders from catalogues provided by the company or available on the Internet.
  • telemarketing - consists in using the telephone for direct contact and sales. The phone is used to provide information about products, gives the opportunity to express an immediate opinion, while free numbers addressed to the company are used to collect orders from customers.
  • sales at the customer's house - consists, among other things, in the presentation of products at the customer's house and their sale.
  • marketing via television - involves the use of special television programs presenting a given product (teleshopping like e.g. Mango) and giving the possibility of direct response, e.g. via a toll-free telephone line, allowing for obtaining additional information and placing an order for the advertised goods.
  • internet marketing - is marketing in which companies use the Internet to present and sell their products, offer information and services, as well as enable dialogue via e-mail. It is the latest and fastest growing form of direct marketing. Almost every company currently has its own marketing website, the creation of which is aimed at establishing contacts with customers, providing them with information, both about the company and about new products.


  1. Kotler P., Armstrong G., Wong V., Saunders J., (2008), Principles of Marketing, Fifth European Edition, Pearson Education Limited, England, p.737
  2. Mullion R., Cummins J., (2008), Sales Promotion: How to Create, Implement & Integrate Campaign That Really Work, Kogan Page, London and Philadelphia, p. 1
  3. Cant, M.C., van Heerde, C.V. (2004),, Personal Selling, Juta Academic, Juta, p. 3
  4. Yeshin T., (2006), Sales Promotion, Thomson Learning, London, p.3
  5. Kermani F., (2006), Marketing and Public Relations, The Institute of Clinical Research, Marlow, p.1


  • Cant, M.C., van Heerde, C.V. (2004), Personal Selling, Juta Academic, Juta
  • Kermani F., (2006), Marketing and Public Relations, The Institute of Clinical Research, Marlow
  • Kotler P., Armstrong G., Wong V., Saunders J., (2008), Principles of Marketing, Fifth European Edition, Pearson Education Limited, England
  • Mullion R., Cummins J., (2008), Sales Promotion: How to Create, Implement & Integrate Campaign That Really Work, Kogan Page, London and Philadelphia
  • Palaniappan S.N., Ramachandraiah S.A.M., (2020),Training Program On Public Relations, Trainee’s Hand book, Anchor Institute, Chennai
  • Rivero O., Theodore J., (2014), The Importance of Public Relations in Corporate Sustainability, Global Journal of Management and Business Research: B Economics and Commerce, Global Journals Inc., USA, vol. 14
  • Roman M., Zgiep Ł., (2013), Promotion as part of the marketing mix and its application in enterprise activities , Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Polityki Europejskie, Finanse i Marketing, vol. 58
  • Yeshin T., (2006), Sales Promotion, Thomson Learning, London

Author: Wiktoria Tabak