For many businesses is not enough to have good products sold at attractive prices. To generate sales and profits they need communication with their target customers. This is known as promotional tools, which include the following mix: advertising, public relations, sales promotion and personal selling. It is also important to know the limitations and advantages of each one.

Advertising is very useful to promote ideas or products with the purpose to achieve a wide audience. Furthermore, because of repetition can be persuasive and build customer trust. In contrast, it is impersonal and not good at getting customers to make a final purchasing decision. Examples of this ad tool are radio, TV, billboard among others.

The second one, public relations, is often seen as more credible than advertising and is a very cheap way of reaching many customers, as long as the publicity is achieved through the right media. The main disadvantage is that you cannot control what people say or write about your product, therefore it can deteriorate the image provoking a decrease in sales.

Sales promotion is a very good short term tactical tool because it can stimulate quick increases in sales by targeting promotional incentives on particular products. Instead if it is used over the long-term, customers may get used to the effect. In addition, too much sales promotion can be counterproductive because this may damage the brand image.

Finally, personal selling consists of persuading one or more prospects to purchase through the use of an oral presentation. It is a very expensive tool for two reasons: firstly, you need a big sales force and secondly, it is not suitable if there are too many important buyers because of its time consuming. However is highly interactive and excellent for communicating detailed products.

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