What Is the Relationship between Advertising and Promotional Strategy?

Osmand Vitez

Advertising and promotional strategy are two symbiotic marketing methods in business. In many ways, a promotional strategy is a subset of a company’s overall advertising strategy. Advertising uses multiple means to inform and educate consumers about a company’s goods or services. Promotional strategies can include things such as coupons, discounts and loyalty incentives. The purpose of connecting advertising and promotional strategy is to induce consumers to buy more goods than they were planning to buy.

A company can engage in an advertising campaign that results in billboards promoting the company’s goods and services.
A company can engage in an advertising campaign that results in billboards promoting the company’s goods and services.

Marketing and advertising are "pull" strategies that require a company to spend money to incur profit. For example, a company can engage in an advertising campaign that results in billboards promoting the company’s goods and services. This “pulls” consumers into the company’s location in hopes that they will purchase goods and services. The billboards might be part of a long-term advertising plan, but promotional strategies are short-term plans to boost sales. The company might need to alter the billboards or other advertising campaigns in order to execute a promotional strategy.

The key to a successful advertising and promotional strategy is to have a measurable system in place to assess the results. That is why many companies use coupons or discounts as a promotional strategy. For example, a company can place an advertisement in a local newspaper with a coupon attached. Consumers must bring in the coupon to receive the savings for the promotional strategy. The success of this campaign is measurable because the company can track how many customers used the coupon.

Another link in the relationship between advertising and promotional strategy is the partnership of two or more companies to increase profits. For example, a toy company might allow a fast-food restaurant to give toys away with its children's meals. This promotional strategy can increase profits for both companies. The toy company sells items to the restaurant company, making profits. The popularity of the toys can increase sales of the children's meals during the promotional strategy, increasing sales for the restaurant.

With all the perceived benefits of advertising and promotional strategy, drawbacks can exist. For example, the promotional strategy often lasts for a fixed period. After it is over, sales might go back down and result in lower profits from reduced sales. In other cases, competitors might also turn to promotional strategies, allowing them to increase their sales and affect each competing company's share of the market. This scenario can make it difficult to assess the success of an advertising and promotional strategy campaign.

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Discussion Comments


@pleonasm - I'd say that a good mix of advertising and promotion is the key for any advertising plan. Have a good product or service and then get people in the door and the rest will happen without your help.

I can't talk for bigger businesses, but honestly advertising has never done a thing for me that a good promotion hasn't done twice as effectively and usually at very little cost.


@Mor - Many individuals online should definitely look at their marketing strategy, though and not be quite so targeted. You can't make a living selling things to your friends and family, and they will quickly get sick of hearing about your amazing new book or art or whatever.

Building loyal customers who are attached to your brand because it does something for them is what you should be aiming for. And those kinds of customers usually come about through word of mouth and good reviews.


If you are trying to promote something small, like a small business or maybe even just an individual product, you can still take advantage of a lot of the same techniques that big companies do. In fact, in some ways you can be even more targeted with your advertising and get more bang for your buck.

If you're advertising a self published novel, for example, you can figure out what kinds of people are likely to want to read it and then buy advertising space on websites that those people will frequent. Often websites will have individual pricing plans that are well within reach of an individual's advertising budget, or may even only charge for click-throughs.

Your advantage in internet advertising is that you don't have to be generic because you know specifically who you're aiming for and where they tend to go.

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