Anything that you do must have a strong marketing plan for it work well. The reason social media works well? Because it is the best platform to reach a massive audience at once (plus free of cost!) The reason companies have huge budgets allocated for their marketing plan, from start to end? Because without it, any brand would not suffice in the 21st century.
Yet, when we talk about the broad aspect of marketing, two words instantly strike our minds, Advertising, and Promotion. Words which are commonly perceived to mean the same, represent the major chunk and network of marketing.
However, in reality, their differences and their sense of purpose are very different, leading to different uses and time cycles for each. Curious how? Read ahead!
Advertising usually looks at having a one-time TV commercial, newspaper print or a social media clip. Each of these directly relates to a particular product or a specific launch. Every advertising campaign that runs is directly linked to a unique good or service.
However, when we look at promotion, that is not necessary. When a company promotes itself by say giving online discounts, year-end sales or coupons, it usually happens in bulk for all their products or options.
Think about it, when Titan gives a discount in their stores, it is for all types of watches available, atleast a certain amount. However, advertisements for Titan Raga, Fastrack, and Sonata watches are separately made, launched and devised.
Considering the uniqueness and frequency of advertising in these changing times, their costs are also very high. Print media or finding brand ambassadors itself initiate a high cost whereas shooting videos or clicking pictures, drafting a campaign and ensuring quality itself incurs a big amount on the company.
However, with promotional activities, the cost is not this high, especially because they are more large-scale, not very niche and can be done by simple methods like discounts or offers.
Even though advertisements cost a lot as compared to promotional activities, the return on revenue advertising generates is seen in the long-run. It takes time to have advertisements impact consumer minds, links to their emotions and develops a brand image. However, once things work out, the process is extensively rewarding.
However, considering promotional activities are more incentive-based, providing opportunities for people to take a trial or rationally buy a product directly at a store, the return is highly short-run and sometimes short-lasting, especially considering how promotion is only an awareness tool while advertising in a loyalty tool.
Finding the right balance between advertising and promotional strategies, the right budget allocation and the right time for implementation plays an extremely vital role in any marketing department of any company. Well-renowned brands are successful today because they know these differences and utilize the functionality of each option accordingly.