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What Are Promotional Tools

promotion is a thing that is done to promote something. promotion is the act of advertising. In marketing, it is considered as one of the four p’s in marketing which are product, price, place, and promotion. promotional tools are the different means used for promotion. it makes us simply realize that how important these promotional tools are in marketing. promotional tools help in promoting products better. Nowadays there are several different promotional tools available for helping us in promoting our products.

The 4 Ps of marketing are a product, price, place, and promotion. All four of these elements combine to make a successful marketing strategy. Promotion looks to communicate the company’s message to the consumer. The four main tools of promotion are advertising, sales promotion, public relation, and direct marketing.


Advertising is defined as any form of paid communication or promotion for a product, service, or idea. Advertisement is not only used by companies but in many cases by museums, government, and charitable organizations. However, the treatment meted out to advertisement defers from an organization to an organization.

Advertising development involves a decision across five Ms. Mission, Money, Message, Media, and Measurement.

Mission looks at setting objectives for advertising. The objectives could be to inform, persuade, remind or reinforce. The objective has to follow the marketing strategy set by the company.

Money or budget decision for advertising should look at the stage of the product life cycle, market share and consumer base, competition, advertising frequency, and product substitutability.

Message’s development further is divided into four steps, message generation, message evaluation and selection, message execution, and social responsibility review.

Once the message is decided the next step is finalizing the media for delivering the message. The choice depends on the reach of media, frequency of transmission, and potential impact on customers. Based on this choice of media types are made from newspaper, television, direct mail, radio, magazine, and the internet. After which timing of the broadcast of the message is essential to grab the attention of the target audience.

Checking on the effectiveness of communication is essential to a company’s strategy. There are two types of research communication effect research and sales effect research.

Sales Promotion

Promotion is an incentive tool used to drive up short-term sales. Promotion can be launched directed at consumers or trade. The focus of advertising is to create a reason for purchase the focus of promotion is to create an incentive to buy. Consumer incentives could be samples, coupons, free trials,s, and demonstrations. Trade incentives could be price off, free goods, and allowances. Salesforce incentives could be convention, trade shows, competition among salespeople.

Sales promotion activity can have many objectives, for example, to grab the attention of the new customer, reward the existing customer, increase consumption of occasional users. Sales promotion is usually targeted at the fence-sitters and brand switchers.

Sales promotional activity for the product is selected looking at the overall marketing objective of the company. The final selection of the consumer promotional tools needs to consider the target audience, budget, competitive response, and each tool’s purpose.

Sales promotion activity should under-go pretest before implementation. Once the activity is launched it should be controlled as to remain within the budget. An evaluation program is a must after the implementation of the promotional scheme.

Public Relations

Companies cannot survive in isolation they need to have constant interaction with customers, employees, and different stakeholders. This servicing of relations is done by the public relations office. The major function of the public relations office is to handle press releases, support product publicity, create and maintain the corporate image, handle matters with lawmakers, guide management concerning public issues.

Companies are looking at ways to converge with functions of marketing and public relation in marketing public relations. The direct responsibility of marketing public relations (MPR) is to support corporate and product branding activities.

MPR is an efficient tool in building awareness by generating stories in media. Once the story is in circulation MPR can establish credibility and create a sense of enigma among salespeople as well as dealers to boost enthusiasm. MPR is a much more cost-effective tool than other promotional activities.

Direct Marketing

The communication established through a direct channel without using any intermediaries is referred to as direct marketing. Direct marketing can be used to deliver messages or services. Direct marketing has shown tremendous growth in recent years. The internet has played a major part in this growth story. Direct marketing saves time, makes an experience personal and pleasant. Direct marketing reduces costs for companies. Face-to-face selling, direct mail, catalog marketing, telemarketing, TV, and kiosks are media for direct marketing.

Advertisement, Promotional activity, Public relation, and direct marketing play an essential role in helping companies reaches their marketing goals.

Consumer Promotional Tools

Promotional tools are tactics or activities you plan and execute to persuade consumers to buy your products or services. As a consumer, you likely partake of these activities yourself without realizing it; as a businessperson on the selling side, finding effective tools is challenging. Try a combination and make note of what works. If what you’re selling is fairly generic, your promotional tools will typically be price-oriented, such as discounts. If you are a specialized seller, find tools other than price to persuade consumers to buy.


Offering a sample of your product or service is a tool to get your customers to try it, with the goal of them paying for it next time. This is typically effective if you position yourself as different from other businesses, where customers might be unwilling to pay for something new when what they are purchasing now is familiar to them and satisfying.

Discounts and Sales

Implement pricing strategies such as discounts and sales as promotional incentives for customers to buy. Discounts can be offered in advance, such as through direct-mail offers. You can also send quick response codes, known as QR or bar codes, to customers’ phones for instant discounts that don’t require a paper coupon or ad. Sales can be promoted in advance and also on location for retail businesses. These tactics can encourage sales during the offer period; devise customer follow-up methods to turn these into repeat buyers, particularly if what you are selling is similar to what your competitors sell.

Sweepstakes and Contests

Designing a sweepstake or contest can promote your product or services in a participatory manner, but they can be tricky. There are legal considerations with sweepstakes, such as not mandating a purchase to participate, and in some states, they may be banned completely. Subjectively judging contest entries can lead to disgruntled participants. You can mitigate potential issues by having multiple winners, such as first- through fifth-place winners in age categories. Having children draw a picture of your product or business and then displaying the entries is an example of a contest.


Prominent displays in retail stores and other business establishments draw attention to a product or service. Put the display in a high-traffic area, such as near a restroom or, in retail stores, next to the check-out register or other popular products. The display can advertise another consumer promotion tool, such as a sale. Service providers can integrate a continuous-loop video about their services, or offer instructions or advice.


Premiums can promote sales and build brands. Examples of premiums are loyalty programs, offering discounts or something free after a certain number of visits or purchases, and a bonus with purchase. For example, a bonus could either be an extra volume of the same product or an additional product. A toy hidden in a box of cereal is an example of a bonus premium. To enhance building your brand, consider offering a bonus such as a t-shirt or a hat with your company’s name on it.

Marketing Promotional Tools

Promotion is the aspect of marketing that involves the delivery of company, brand, or product messages to target customers. Traditional methods of promotion, like print and television ads, are nowadays augmented by new avenues of messaging made possible by digital communications. Several tools are used by companies to aid the delivery of both paid and unpaid promotional methods. Each tool contributes a different way to reach customers and achieve communication objectives.

Promotion with Traditional Media

Traditional mass-media advertising remains a prominent promotional tool for marketing. This includes paid messages designed and presented through television networks, radio stations, newspapers, and magazines. Additionally, companies use support media in ongoing campaigns, such as billboards, telephone directories, bus station ads, aerial displays (like those you often see at the beach), in-store and point-of-purchase displays. Local radio and newspapers tend to be most affordable for smaller companies.

New Possibilities with Digital Technology

The Internet and mobile technology have enabled the use of a host of digital and interactive promotional tools. Online and e-mail marketing are common elements of promotional campaigns. Social media and blogs offer additional interactive tools that companies can use to reach consumers directly. Mobile devices with applications for electronic communication and social media allow companies virtually 24/7 access to consumers on the move.

Digital technology has enabled the possibility of employing highly targeted promotional activities. By learning the online habits of individual users, and through text recognition technologies that identify the subject matter of websites and emails, advertisers can post precisely the types of ads that should be of greatest interest to the viewing audience.

Public Relations Tools

Several promotional tools are tied specifically to public relations, which is unpaid communication often presented through media exposure. Press releases, newsletters, press conferences, and news reports are common PR techniques. Some are used to proactively promote brands or products. Others are used to address negative publicity or events.

Small companies can often build relationships with local newspapers and TV stations for coverage of noteworthy business activities. Companies benefit from the coverage they receive, while newspaper and television reporters appreciated the ready-made content and human interest that your small business provides.

Events and Community Activities

Sponsoring major events and community activities serve as promotional opportunities for companies as well. Small businesses often gain public favor by active involvement in local events. A presence at local fairs, non-profit events, and school functions can all improve your rapport and goodwill with the communities in which you operate your business. It’s common, for example, for local businesses to devote a portion of a day’s sales to a community school or non-profit; the activity generates goodwill and, hopefully, an increase in sales that offsets any loss of income.

Salespeople and Influencers

Among the more direct promotional tools are salespeople and influencers. Salespeople are employees who contact or engage customers using assertive selling techniques. This often includes asking questions, listening to customer needs, and using persuasive efforts to sell product or service benefits.

Peer or professional influencers are prominent people in the public who favor your product. Companies often ask consumers or professionals to share company news, information, and experiences with others.


It is really important to have the correct promotional tools in the sales process. Without them, sales rarely happen. Check out our post on what are promotion tools and what you need to know about promotion tools in the marketing process.

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