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Advertising Brings the Horse to Water But Sales Promotion Makes it Drink

In today's competitive world, where a new brand is born almost everyday, it is of prime concern for all marketers to promote their brand as strongly as possible to occupy the top-most position in the customer's mind.

Advertising and sales promotion are two of the most important components of the Promotion Mix. Even though both these tools are used to promote sales of products or services, the manner in which they achieve this is very different. Whereas advertising provides a 'Reason to Buy' (long term), Sales promotion provides an 'Incentive to Buy' (short term).

What is Advertising? Advertising is a paid form of non-personal, communication of ideas, goods and services by an identified sponsor. Each brand has its own Unique Selling Proposition (USP) & through advertising; brand managers aim at projecting their brands in the most positive light. Advertising helps to dramatise the products & catch the attention of prospects. It is widely used by all marketers to arouse a certain degree of interest in their product & catch attention of future customers.

 

Not only does advertising help to introduce a new product, it also helps in maintaining the demand for an existing product. Thus, advertising assists in informing, persuading and stimulating a trial from the customers, with time. It shapes long-term brand building.

Long Term Brand Building Vs Short Term Sales - Simply informing customers & making your brand visible is not enough. There is a strong need for something extra that can push sales of your products NOW and reduce the time gap between informing consumers & getting a desired action. Sales Promotion steps in Here!

What is Sales Promotion? Sales promotion refers to a diverse collection of incentive tools, usually short term, designed to stimulate quicker as well as greater purchase of a product. Since these sales promotional offers are short term, their aim is to coax the consumers to act NOW rather than later. Sales Promotion creates an urgent NEED for the product & gives a definite push to consumers to act now or miss out on an EXCEPTIONAL OFFER.

 

Incentives for Consumers, Retailers & Sales Team Sales promotion is a one-of-a-kind promotion tool that can be used to coax and persuade retailers, consumers and the sales team.

While customers love price-offs, discounts, coupon rebates, contests, warranties & exchange offers, retailers like price cuts, free goods & display freebies. The sales force of the company works hard to win prizes & special discounts.

For example, An advertisement may inform Miss X about a new brand of shampoo that can free her from hair trouble. Miss X plans to buy it next time she runs out of shampoo. But if the manufacturer supports his advertising with an offer of a free shampoo pouch or an enormous price-off if she presents a cutting of the newspaper ad, Miss X will be excited to try the shampoo today!

Undoubtedly, advertising provided Ms. X a reason to buy while sales promotion gave her a definite incentive and invitation to try the brand.

Sales promotion tools such as free samples, etc., enable consumers to use the product and satisfy themselves with the quality of the product. Such an active interaction with the product may convert the user into a regular customer of the product, further pushing sales in the long term too.

Both advertising and sales promotion are indispensable tools in the hands of marketers, despite the fact that both serve different short and long term goals. Advertising lets people know that there is a new brand that has come into the market, one you must try. Sales promotion provides customers a definite incentive to go & buy the product at the earliest as it works on consumer psychology & throws in a great bargain that every customer loves.

Thus, it can be concluded that Advertising Brings the Horse to Water, Sales Promotion Makes it Drink!

Contributing Author: Akanksha is a freelance content writer. An Advertising graduate, she writes articles on advertising, content writing, travel, home improvement, etc. akanksha.sinha@gmail.com

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