According to the typical classification used in marketing textbooks, there are four standard ways to promote the company’s products or brands: advertising, sales promotions, public relations (or PR), and personal selling.

First of all, advertising is the way to transmit a message using a mass media (radio, TV, newspapers, magazines …), paid by a certain company in order to try to influence the consumer behaviour. It has two basic functions: providing information about the characteristics of a particular product or brand, and persuading the consumer to buy it. The main advantage of advertising is that increases the catchment area of customers. On the contrary, it is usually an expensive way to get to know (because it is a complicated sector and companies tend to use the services of advertising agencies) and the excessive use of publicity is counterproductive (it can get tiring and irritating to the consumer).

Secondly, public relations are the whole range of activities undertaken by the company to create, build or maintain an image that has been planned for the brand or product. As main advantage there is the benefit that the firm achieves indirectly with a "good image".

The third way is the sales promotion, all commercial activities performed by the firm in order to increase the sales of the product for a short period of time. There are many kinds of sales promotions such as free samples, coupons, price reductions, increase the size of the usual container of the product without changing its price, and so on. In principle, sales promotions are an expense without benefits because the company is losing money, however, through this expense the firm is going to obtain new customers.

Finally, personal selling (whose main disadvantage is its high cost) is rather similar to advertising; in fact it’s used as a complement to it, but with the direct contact between customer and sales representative.

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