The 4P Marketing Mix: Promotion

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This article explores the role of promotions within the 4P marketing mix – including the purpose of promotions and different ways of promoting your product or service.

Key purpose of promotions

Promotions can serve multiple different purposes, and the form of desired promotion will likely vary depending on the objectives that you are trying to achieve. 

  • Awareness: Making customers aware of your brand and any new products that you are releasing
  • Change of perceptions: Potentially elevating the brand perception.
  • Encouraging adoption: Encouraging customers to try your product for the first time. 
  • Increasing sales with existing customers: Driving further sales with customers that already use your product or service. 

Different forms of product promotions

There are many different forms of product promotion available to marketers. Some of the most important include:


Advertising is an important form of promotion – allowing you to publicize your product or brand to a wide or targetted audience. Different forms of advertising include:

  • Television advertising
  • Newspaper advertising
  • Internet advertising (including both display ads and search ads)
  • Social media advertising

Product discounts

Another way of gaining interest in your products is discounts on the products themselves. Discounts can encourage the adoption of your product by customers looking for added value or a bargain. 


Coupons, whereby discount costs are offered on your products (both on paper or via emails) are another way of offering savings to customers. The advantage of coupons over product discounts is that they can be targetted – while customers who are willing to pay full price may do so, more cost-conscious customers are likely to seek out the coupons. 

Targeted promotions

Targetted promotions – where you offer specifically targeted customers a discount is another extension to coupons. You could for example look to re-target customers who placed an item in their cart but then decided not to buy or past customers who have not bought in a while. Just like coupons in general, this is a way of specifically providing discounts to certain potential customers, without that amount becoming the price that all customers pay, including those that would have bought the item at full price. 

Refer a friend promotions

Another opportunity for promoting your product is through refer-a-friend promotions. Such promotions can involve giving benefits to your existing customers to promote the product, to the new customer to sign up, or to both customers to increase sharing and sign-ups.

Free or discounted trials

Free or discounted trials can also be a good promotional tool, particularly for items that are sold on a recurring basis (e.g., fast-moving consumer goods products) or subscription services, where customers are expected to continue subscribing for many periods. While not all customers who take the offer will ultimately become customers, the ain is that the cost of the initial free or discounted product is offset by the returns from customers that do become regular or subscribing customers. 

In-store displays

A final form of advertising is in-store displays. Such displays, located right at the point where customers are making their decision of what products to purchase, can be an effective way of driving sales. They can help bring attention to your product, and especially if coupled with a discount, can help increase product sales. 

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