Promotion - Meaning, Elements & Characteristics

Before we start with the concept of promotion, let us have a brief idea of the 4Ps of marketing within which it belongs. 


Marketing mix captures all the components that are instrumental in the promotion of a brand and helps to differentiate it from the competitors. The major components of the model are – Product, Price, Promotion and Place. 


We will be focusing on the aspect of Promotion. 


Promotion Meaning 

Promotion involves the co-ordinated attempts to establish information channels for presenting its services or goods to the targeted customer base. It is understood to be the communication of the organisation with the marketplace through planned and controlled programs. 


Promotion mix comprises of multiple elements that should be taken under review at periodic intervals. Modifications may become necessary if the promotion mix is to be consistent with the existing business environment. 


Elements of Promotion 

The major elements of promotion mix include the following –

  • Advertising 

Advertising involves an impersonal mode of communication in lieu of payment for the promotion of products or services. It is one of the most commonly used elements of promotion. 

The characteristics of advertising are –

  1. Impersonality 

There is no face-to-face contact between the target customers and advertiser, which leads to the impersonal nature of the promotion.

  1. Paid Form 

The communication that is spearheaded by the advertising agency incurs a cost that is paid by the sponsors. 

Advertising can be done over various media. The dominant forms of advertising are seen in –

  1. Print Advertisement 

The advertising happens over physically printed media, for instance, newspapers and magazines. It is through these print media prospective consumers are reached.

  1. Television Advertisement 

These are the commercial advertisements that are aired over designated slots in television.  

  • Personal Selling 

In case of personal selling, there is direct interaction with prospective customers in the form of oral presentation for sales. By this method, salespersons increase product awareness. This communication is a paid form.

The characteristics of personal selling are –

  1. Personal Nature 

Both the buyer and the seller engages in a direct dialogue with respect to the particular product or service.

  1. Business Relationship Development 

The face-to-face interaction helps in building a relationship between the salesperson and prospective customers in the course of making the pitch. 

  • Sales Promotion 

The promotional activities that are particularly designed to lead prospective customers in making the immediate purchase of the service or goods are referred to as sales promotion. Sales promotion usually acts as a support for other promotional activities such as personal selling and advertising. 


The Characteristics of Sales Promotion are –

  1. Beneficial for New Product Launch 

In the course of launching a new product, sales promotional measures are likely to attract the customers to deviate from their usual purchase patterns, and opt for the newly launched product. 

  1. Retaining Attention 

Sales promotions are most likely to include different incentives that attract the attention of prospective customers.

  1. Assisting in Total Promotional Measures

Sales promotions make the total promotional efforts robust, making it far more effective.

Sales promotion activities can be undertaken in various methods. A few of those have been mentioned below –

  1. Discounts

The products are offered at a price which is less than the listed price. For example, Nike offers up to 30% discounts during season end sale.

  1. Rebates

Excess inventory is cleared off at a special price called rebates. For example, automobile manufacturers offer reduced prices at the year-end to clear off the stock.

  1. Product Combinations

The offer may include a combination of two or more products at the price of a single unit. For example, two hand towels can be bought at the price of one towel.

  1. Refunds

A part of the price may be refunded against the proof of purchase provided by the customer. For example, dark chocolate may be refunded if three empty wrappers of milk chocolates are provided. 

  1. Sampling 

A free sample may be offered to test the product quality or to induce a preference for the product. For example, before launching a new flavour of potato chips, potential customers may be offered free samples. 

  • Publicity or public relations 

It is a strategic communication method between an organisation and the concerned public. Public image of an organisation is favourably maintained in this process. 

Public relations efforts are critical for shaping the image of an organisation as well as building the brand. Within PR firms’, different persons have specialised roles for handling various organisational needs.


There are Various Ways to Maintain Public Relations –

  • Customer relations 

  • Community relations 

  • Investor relations 

  • Media relations 


Here is A Quiz to Test Your Knowledge - 

1. Which Among The Following is Benefit of Television Advertising?

  1. Audiences can be aimed at various times of the day

  2. Less expensive than all other advertising 

  3. The entire target audience will be able to see the advertisement 

  4. A most effective way of communicating consumer information

2. Which of The Following Does Not Fall Under the Ambit of Product Promotion?

  1. Offering discount vouchers for increasing sales 

  2. Product redesign to make it up-to-date

  3. Sales representative doing personal selling 

  4. Advertisement for a new product

3. Which is The Best Method for Advertising Product Technical Details?

  1. Radio 

  2. Business newspaper

  3. Cinema advertisements 

  4. Posters and billboards 


[Refer to the solutions of the quiz at the end of the article]

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Define Promotion.

Meaning of sales promotion is the method of persuading customers to purchase products or services. Promotions are usually short-term strategies for boosting sales. However, it may fall short of creating customer loyalty on a long-term basis.

What is Promotion?

Promotion involves the process which helps in communicating the benefits or the unique selling points of the service or products to the targeted customers. A well-designed and effective promotional strategy aids to acquire more customers leading to business profitability.