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.
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.