A promotion can be defined as an informative and persuasive effort put forth by marketers to remind and/or influence potential buyers about a product or service. Promotions can be useful for informing, persuading and reminding the target audience about a specific product or service sold by a company. The promotional mix, or main elements discovered in promotions tend to include sales promotions, public relations, direct marketing, personal selling and/or advertising efforts. Organizations often rely on promotions to improve their sales when competing with other companies with similar business models. Promotions can also serve as an excellent way for marketers to emphasize product differentiation or demonstrate brand differences to customers that are not easily recognizable.
Sales promotions have been found effective with increasing demand and catering to short term marketing goals. Examples of successful sales promotions consist of contests, free samples, and offering coupons or vacation giveaways to customers. Personal selling differs from sales promotions because it is a customized effort to influence a consumer to engage in the purchasing process. Research has discovered personal selling is more successful than sales promotions when closing complex decision sales, such as purchasing a car or house. Unlike personal selling promotions, advertising promotions are not typically personalized to a specific consumer. Advertising efforts are more focused on exposure to a large pool of potential customers and spreading information about a particular product or service.