What is a Promotion Mix?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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Marketing uses many techniques to promote a new product or service. Utilizing all possible outlets for spreading the word on a product is known as its promotion mix. Using a combination of the seven major promotional tools, ranging from advertising to direct marketing, is the usual method for rolling out a product. How these tools are employed varies greatly from company to company and product to product.

Advertising is easily the most popular element of most promotional mixes. It involves paid promotional placement of a product. Advertisements come in a wide range of types, from print ads to television commercials, web page banners, and more. These usually are targeted to a specific audience.

Personal selling is another factor in the mix, but it is not used by every organization. It involves an interpersonal relationship between buyer and seller. Examples of this include telemarketing, door-to-door sales, and sales meetings with incentives.

A sales promotion usually involves a limited time offer to increase interest in a product and create a buzz. The most common form is offering coupons that reduce the price of a product. Contests, rebates, and free samples are more ways to increase a buyer's return on investment.


Public relations is another important element of the promotion mix and, frequently, it is the least obvious but most effective method. This is because information usually is spread to the media in hopes that it will generate news coverage and therefore result in a form of free advertisements. Press releases often are sent to editors, newsworthy promotional events are held, and charitable contributions are given as methods to get this attention.

Corporate image is a more fickle part of the mix, but it still is important nonetheless. This aspect is closely related to public relations but generally is its own category. This refers to the importance of a company keeping a good relationship with the public, avoiding scandal, and having a reputation for delivering quality. If an unknown product comes from a reputable company, the logic is that people will be more likely to buy it.

Along with direct marketing and exhibitions, these tools are the primary ones used by marketers to reach an audience. Many hours usually are spent deciding what combination of those methods and what attitude and message to use. A successful campaign is the result of careful planning and understanding an audience.


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Post 5

I think everyone enjoys getting something for nothing. Recently, a new Ben & Jerry's was opening up. They had a sandwich board out in front advertising one free ice cream cone per person for today only. The shop was packed and everyone was smiling. I'm sure these customers will return often.

Coupons and rebates work well too. I respond to coupons, but I try to make sure that I'm buying something I really want and had planned to buy. But, many go in for the "good deal" and come out of the store with extra items.

MacDonald's has had great success for many years by using toy giveaways as a promotion.

I'm afraid that companies are always steps ahead of the consumer in their promotion marketing mix.

Post 4

@everetra - That’s a good point, and I agree, the soft sell approaches are what work best. Part of that promotion strategy involves a concept call pre-selling, which many online businesses use to help qualify potential customers and warm them up to purchasing the company’s product or service.

In pre-selling the seller gives out bits and pieces of the product that they’re selling. I should make it clear that this mainly works for informational products-like an ebook on stock market investing for example.

The business selling that book may ask you to sign up for a free email course on the subject, during which they’ll give you tips and tricks on the subject.

These little tidbits are meant to tease you with enough information so that you want to buy the book. I’ve ordered ebooks before, and the pre-selling helped me a lot to know what I would be getting before I paid a dime.

Post 3

I think we’ve all been subjected to advertizing blitz campaigns of some sort or another, and have grown instinctively skeptical of direct marketing pitches. As a result, I believe that the subtle, soft sell approaches are the most effective forms of any promotional strategy.

Press releases fall into this category. While they are generally understood to be marketing materials, they are constructed as news articles and do often deliver news information that is of some value-that is, if they’re done right.

That’s why many companies online use press releases that they dispense through various outlets as part of their strategic planning to soft sell their products and services.

Some of the press release distribution outlets will get the releases out in front of news organizations, bloggers and major search engines; thus these tools are often a critical part of effective website marketing.

Post 2

During the time I spent working in retail, sales promotions were probably the strongest business strategy for our stores. Flyers were routinely sent advertising the promotion of the week. I saw a lot of customers come in with the advertisement in hand.

A customer looking around for the listed item usually led to them purchasing additional merchandise as well. If we could market an item that went well with other things we sold, it was a great way to boost sales of both. About once a month, our ads would include a coupon. That was a guaranteed way to increase sales for that time period, too.

Post 1

As a consumer, I like to be on the look out for promotional products. For me, it is a fun way to stay on top of new trends and items. I didn’t realize how much went in to the marketing end of promotions.

I have gone to many conferences and trade shows to walk out with bags of items. I have collected every kind of promotional item that comes to mind, all with a variety of logos for many different kinds of companies.

Promotional products are a great way for companies to get their names out there. I have looked up companies I would never have known about otherwise. Giving me promotional swag has gotten my business on more than a few occasions.

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