Promotion vs Advertising

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The common goal of advertising and promotion is to promote demand for goods and services. Advertising uses persuasive technology to promise unique user benefits that competitors cannot provide. Promotions drive demand through incentives to stimulate sales. Effective advertising establishes a brand name and connects users to their brand emotionally in the long run. Although business owners generally use promotion for brand promotion, the main goal is to promote short-term sales. Let’s look at some examples of promotion and advertising and discuss their purposes with that in mind.

Examples of Promotion and Advertising

The AIDA Principle

Effective advertising is an expensive and long-term job. Through the AIDA principle , you must repeatedly expose your audience to advertising information to be effective for the advertisement. AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) needs time to motivate people to try your product or service. In contrast, effective promotions usually trigger a relatively quick response. Therefore, promotions are often used to generate short-term sales to transfer excess inventory, generate cash flow, or as a strategy to disrupt your competition.


Most people will agree that today’s sales are better than tomorrow’s. From this perspective, it seems that promotion can generate immediate sales more so than advertising. However, marketers generally prefer advertising to promotions. Advertising that convincingly conveys unique and unparalleled user benefits is an effective way to create a strong brand name. In addition, strong brands usually demand higher prices. And consumers generally prefer brands that have an emotional connection with them and, thus, are willing to pay more. As such, brand promotion is regarded by most marketers as the ultimate goal of advertising because the brand is more profitable. Therefore, as a small business owner, if you cannot reasonably affix high prices for your products or services, you can increase profitability by simply branding the products you sell.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketers use promotional techniques in the digital space to build brands at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. For example, the word “free” is powerful in promotional marketing strategies. Everyone likes to get free things. Digital marketers build brand awareness by establishing their own “trusted authority” in their business expertise. They make videos, newsletters, white papers, and blogs and distribute them to their followers for free. They join conversations on social media such as Twitter and Facebook and provide helpful advice and tips on topics of interest to the social community. Please note that you should not give up traditional marketing plans. Instead, test some digital marketing programs to see if they work for you.

Brand Promotion

The widespread use of the internet and the introduction of digital marketing have led to the ambiguity of the intent and use between advertising and promotion. It turns out that this is a boon for small business owners. You no longer need strong financial resources to build a brand. Instead, you can use digital marketing techniques to promote your business, products, or services to build your brand. To start, create a Facebook page and open an account on Twitter. Before joining the conversation, though, you should listen to what people think of your business or industry. Provide useful tips and links to your website or blog, and create free things to give away, such as information content that people can use and would like to have. And finally, make sure that your website is optimized for search engines to get a high ranking among search results.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Both advertising and promotional activities try to influence buying behavior by using different attractiveness. Advertising usually uses persuasive appeals of an emotional nature to achieve its goals. Plus, promotional appeals are more rational. And they are time-sensitive because they are usually urgent.


It is important to know the differences between “promotional” advertising and “brand” advertising as a small business owner. Promotional advertisements usually use the same paid media as brand advertisements. This includes television, radio, and newspapers but focuses on “promotional offers.” Brand advertising attempts to promote consumer preferences through repeated exposure to information. This is usually centered on the promise of a particular brand to provide an unparalleled and superior user experience. Therefore, your brand advertising goal is to convince consumers through repeated exposure to emotionally oriented messages. Promotional advertising tries to influence behavior based on direct and rational purchase motives. A typical example of promotional advertising is a message like “Limited time offer.”


Brand advertising requires a lot of faith; that is, repeated exposure to information over time, the cumulative effect of which will lead to increased sales. Promotion, however, does not require such faith. Your promotion is either valid or invalid. Failed promotions usually fail because the value proposition is not sufficiently persuasive. For example, let’s assume that you have a product with a normal retail price of $300. Offering a $4 coupon is not a compelling value proposition. Due to the immediacy of promotions, marketers often use promotions to encourage consumers to try new products and services quickly. For most result-oriented marketers, it is unacceptable to rely solely on brand advertising to stimulate trials because it will take too long.


Traditionally, small business operators have used promotional activities as the main means of developing their businesses. Compared with brand advertising activities, the execution cost of promotional activities is much lower. In today’s media environment, this is no longer the case. You have multiple cable channels, the internet, social media marketing , and the emergence of targeted marketing techniques. As a small business operator, targeted marketing provides you with a cost-effective way to identify possible new customers. Media provides you with a way to target customers with brand information by using affordable media options on television and the internet.

The Benefits of Increasing Promotion and Advertising

Promotion refers to all marketing and communication strategies used to convey information about your company or brand. Advertising is the main component of promotion and includes all the information you pay through mass media. Increasing investment in advertising and promotion does not guarantee success, but an effective increase can bring positive results.

Higher Profit Margins

From a tangible business perspective, advertising aims to lead to increased buying activity and increased demand ultimately. This allows your business to charge higher price points, which leads to higher profit margins. High-profit margins are the key to long-term business success. In addition, you measure the success of advertising and promotion by return on investment, which means that you need to improve profit performance to make up for your investment in promotion.

More Traffic

The starting point of promotion and advertising is to increase visibility. For a new company or brand, the basic goal is to increase the traffic to the store or website or increase the store’s demand for products. There’s no arguing the fact that traffic is essential for creating sales. However — and more importantly — it’s also necessary for gaining customer commitment and loyalty. If you do not generate traffic and demand through your business advertising, you may have valuable products or services that the market is not able to discover or access on its own.

More Market Share

“Share of Voice” has to do with the percentage of promotional expenses you spend in the industry. Typically, companies will spend roughly equivalent to a percentage of their market share on promotions. In other words, if you have a 10% market share, then the general rule is that you should spend 10% of the industry’s advertising costs. By increasing your investment beyond your necessary positions, you can gain a greater voice in the industry among your customers. This will amplify your information and provide you with greater market share growth potential.


The long-term benefit of increasing advertising and promotion is to build a strong brand reputation. This is done by choosing the right messaging strategy and reaching your customers through the right media. Demonstrating a solid value proposition by emphasizing your core brand strengths is the effect of continuous and effective advertising. It is important to repeat over time. Quality, service, eco-friendliness, family friendliness, and value orientation are the brand characteristics that companies use to differentiate themselves from competitors. Effective brand building will increase the effectiveness of product sales efforts.

In Closing

Both promotion and advertising have benefits that the other doesn’t offer. As you become acclimated to running your business, you’ll better understand when to use one over the other. Of course, there’s much more to running a business than just the promotional and advertising side of things. To find more support for small businesses, be sure to head over to our blog page. There, you will find a vast resource of topics and discussions ranging from securing small business loans to accounting and more. Sources: Understand the Steps in the AIDA Model Hierarchy | AIDA Model SEO Starter Guide: The Basics | Google Search Central Social Media Marketing: The Ultimate Guide | Hubspot

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