Advertising and Promotion-Difference, Types and Importance

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 2659 , Published on 16 October 2013

Whenever a person opens his social account, he always finds advertisements on the page placed somewhere on the page and the person most of the times has a glance on them. People generally feel that advertising and promotion means the same, however there is difference between the two. 

Let us first understand this difference between advertising and promotion. Advertising is the process of marketing your product through various media in such a way that it can help you to gain maximum profit over long-term basis. It will also provide you with short-term gains but more importantly it will help you build your brand which will provide you with long-term benefits.


The various media can be newspaper, radio, TV and social media. With the help of advertising you can always make the customer remember your product for a longer period of time. Everyone remembers Airtel with the “Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai” Jingle and similarly Coke with “Haa Haa Mai Crazy Hun”. These are numerous ways by which you can get your product stuck in the mind of the consumer by creating awareness. Moreover, advertising done has to be cost effective and it depends upon the product being advertised and the brand advertising the same because advertising is the most important marketing tool that can help you sell your product as well as gain profits. On the other hand, promotion is majorly concerned with achieving profits on short term basis with the help of promotional offers, providing employees t-shirts with company logo, giving the esteemed customers benefits (such as discount cards, etc). All these help the organization to increase sales and build a larger customer base. For example, when Reliance Communications had started its GSM Mobile service, then the customers were provided with Rs. 10 as talktime everyday for first 3 months and

this offer was a huge hit.

Another point is that advertisement and promotion go hand in hand. You cannot promote a product until you advertise the same. When McDonald’s launched their Masala Grill Burger, they started advertising the product nearly 2 months in advance and on the launch, they had the promotional offer of bringing the newspaper cutting and getting the Masala Grill Burger free in the morning. The promotional offer serves to bring a surge of interest among the public, helping to make it more effective.


Now first let us look at the mediums used for advertisements.


First and the most common is Television. We all see various advertisements on TV. The Ads shown depend upon whether they are for local people or the whole nation. It is an expensive way of reaching the audience. Moreover, the time and the channel at which the Ads are shown are also important for reaching the target audience. For example, a sports company like Nike would prefer to advertise on a sports channel and at a time when some tournament is on instead of a channel showing daily soap operas.


Second is Radio. The Ads on radio need to be short and crisp so that the audience does not get bored by these Ads. Radio is the best medium for local and small scale industries as they would target the local market only and since now-a-days radio has become a hit means of entertainment so it is an effective medium.


Third is Print Ads. This includes Ads in newspapers as well as magazines. Most of the newer entrants in the market, utilize this means. Big Bazaar, Metro Cash and Carry, etc use this means very effectively by printing the Ads on  the first and the last page. The print Ads have a longer life and they can be used to effectively tell the importance of the product to the target audience.


Last but surely not the least is Social Media. It is cheap and the most effective means of reaching the target audience especially the youth.

The various ways of promotions are as follows:

First is online contests. We generally see contests being run on the social sites by various organizations where winners are given attractive prizes. This is a way to lure the customers so that they starting utilizing your product. Data of the people is also collected by such events and this data comes in very handy for the organization.


Second is providing free coupons and other services. This type of promotional strategy is generally used by the telecom companies wherein they provide free coupons as well other free services to their loyal customers. The clothing companies also come out with various promotional offers in order to lure the customers.

Third is redeemable coupons. This is generally used by organizations involved in e-commerce wherein when a customer has bought something from the online sites, then they are provided with coupons that can be redeemed on their next purchase. This is a very effective strategy for e-commerce because people tend to buy the product as they are getting the discount.


Advertising and Promotion play a very crucial role in the sales of a product and thus are very important. This is so because people tend to remember products by these Ads and promotions. A good Ad and promotion can do wonders for the product and at the same time if any one of the aspects is not upto the mark the product is bound to fail. Taking an example of automobile industry, Maruti Suzuki advertises its car Ertiga in a very beautiful manner saying it is LUV (Life Utility Vehicle) and the results are to be seen. It is running successfully. On the other hand another car of the same company, Kizashi of Grand Vitara (which has been stopped now) were nowhere to be seen because Maruti has not been able to advertise and promote these and Maruti has thus failed in the higher segment.


So, on the whole Advertising and Promotion play a very crucial role and this part of marketing need to be handled with utmost dedication as this is one of the ways in which your brand is projected in front of the customer.

And I would like to sum up with the lines of Mark Twain, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of Advertising and Promotion”.


The article has been authored by Lakshit Kumar Mahajan , IMI Delhi  and Himanshi Aggarwal, SIBM Bengaluru.


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