Advertising vs Promotion – Difference and Comparison

What is Advertising?

Advertising is the process of showcasing a product and displaying it to the targeted people so that they would buy it from you. The advertisement can be for both services and products. In an advertisement, a “reason” is provided to the potential buyers why they should buy a product. Advertising is the key to attracting actual consumers for a business in the long run.

Advertising requires a medium. It can be physical and abstract. As for the former, signboards, billboards, and print media are examples. Some non-physical mediums are social media, electronic media, emails, telecommunication, etc. Advertising not only introduces the product to the pre-selected audience but also gives a glimpse of its manufacturer or provider.

Most of the time, advertisement is not directly involved in generating sales. Its purpose is to create brand awareness among people so that they would be compelled to buy. Since it uses multiple tools like media, it is relatively expensive. Advertising takes time to accomplish its goals, but if it is done wisely and strategically, it yields exceptional results.

A successful advertising plan is focused not on asking people to buy but on convincing them that something should be bought. It is, therefore, more about persuading the audience than luring them into buying something that they may not need (the most).

What is Promotion?

In business promotions, an incentive is offered to the targeted audience so that they would be moved to buy the product. The sole purpose of promotion is not to build your sales but to disrupt the sales of your competitors by offering leverage to buyers. For example, offering coupons, giveaways and discount codes, cashback, etc. Promotion directly boosts the sales of a company.

Promotion does not necessarily target buyers; it also attracts wholesalers and other beneficiaries. It makes a product look comparatively cheaper and readily available. In this way, customers start to show interest in buying that product. Promotion is not a pretty expensive task. All it requires is a lowering of prices.

Promotion is a quicker way to give a boost to your sales. However, this does not remain the same and starts declining in considerable numbers once you end the promotion. Brand awareness comes as a secondary target to achieve in the promotion. Different interesting and engaging benefits are created to offer to the audience.

Promotions are run for a fixed period of time, so their effects do not last so long. Promotions do play a role in the marketing of a business; however, they are not exclusively reliable if a business wants to make a long-term client base to sell its products.

Difference Between Advertising and Promotion

  1. Advertising is about brand awareness, product marketing, etc, whereas promotion is about generating immediate sales.
  2. Advertising is persuasive in reaching out to the audience, whereas promotion is tempting to make people buy a product.
  3. Advertising achieves long-term goals, whereas promotion is helpful in short-term benefits.
  4. Advertising focuses on the self-growth of a brand, whereas a promotion cuts the sales of your competitors.
  5. The cost of advertising is relatively higher, whereas promotion is cheaper.

Comparison Table Between Advertising and Promotion

Parameters of ComparisonAdvertisingPromotion
PurposeTo introduce a brand and its productsTo raise immediate sales of a brand
DurationAdvertising is a campaign that spans a longer period of timePromotions are occasional and end after a fixed time