Difference Between Advertisement And Promotion

Marketing is the process of persuading consumers to buy a particular commodity. It is the function of the business to make goods available to the customers at the right time and at the right place. There are many tools used in marketing to make the goods popular among the potential consumers. Advertisement and sales promotion are the best methods to promote a product in the market. Even though we use these terms interchangeably, there are some difference between promotion and advertisement and some of those differences are as follows.

Basis of Difference Advertisement Personal Promotion
Mode of communication Impersonal communication Direct or personal communication
Objective Increase brand value Increase revenue in short term
Cost Involved Highly expensive Comparatively low

Mode of Communication

Advertisement is an impersonal mode of communication, that is, it is a method of communicating about a product or service through different medium like television, newspaper, magazine, etc. Social medial websites like Facebook and Instagram are also an excellent platform for advertisements. It is also a perfect mode of promoting a product to a large number of people with less time. It is a one way communication to inform the customers about a product. It can also be considered as a type of promotion.

On the other hand, sales promotion is a personal communication because it is the process of informing about the goods and services offered by the business by spread of words. Promotion is one of the four pillars of marketing mix. There are many methods for promotion like it can be done through agents moving from door to door, through promotional events, and also through sales persons in a store or market. Since it is done through actual people, mass communication will not be possible within a short time.


The basic objective of promotion and advertisement is increasing the sale of a commodity. However, there are some ancillary benefits in adopting these modes of marketing. Advertisement helps in building the brand value. A brand becomes popular when their products become well known among the people. To make the product and brand popular, mass communication is mandatory. Therefore, if a business needs to improve their reputation and fame and at the same time increase their turnover, adopting advertisement is the best choice.

However, sales promotion is also efficient in increasing the brand value of a business, but it will take a long time. The objective of adopting sales promotion techniques is to increase the short term revenue of a business. Since it is a personal mode of communication, this technique is efficient in persuading potential consumers personally by understanding their needs and preference. Another objective of adopting sales promotion is to obtain true and fair reviews and feedbacks from the consumers.

Cost Involved

The objectives, benefits and the method of implementing advertisement and promotion are different, hence, the cost involved is also different. Advertisements are highly expensive compared to personal promotion. The main reason behind the high cost is because advertisement is like a long term investment. Most of the advertisements will be having celebrities or graphics that can grab the attention of the viewers. This will also add on to the cost of this method. However, when we compare the expected life of an advertisement and the benefits it can bring to the business over the years, its huge cost becomes nominal.

In case of sales promotion, the money involved is very low compared to advertisements. Sometimes, the cost of sales promotion can also increase. For example, if we are running a business and we need to introduce a new product to the market and we are planning to market the commodity through personal promotion, it will incur a huge expense. This is because, we will have to recruit new employees, provide them adequate training and also deal with their expenses incurred during the promotion period.

Final Thoughts   

Advertisement and personal promotion are both effective in informing the people about a product or service offered by the business but promotion is more effective in persuading them within a short period of time. However, if you are running a large business for a long time, and you are planning to launch a new product, advertisement will be better to get the expected sales because, it will reach large population compared to personal promotion. If you are running a small business unit, promotion will be ideal for you because it can reach all your potential consumers within a short period.

In addition to that, advertisements will take a long time to provide expected results than promotion. Therefore, it would be better to use a combination of both advertisement and promotion to increase the turnover and profitability of a business. It will also add to the reputation of the business.

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