Advertising vs Sales Promotion: Difference and Comparison

For marketing and promotion, companies and brands take the help of several tools and strategies. Advertising and sales promotion are two of those strategies.

Both aim at the profit of the company. However, they use different methods, and they get used for different purposes.

Key Takeaways

  1. Advertising aims to create brand awareness and persuade customers to buy products, while sales promotion focuses on stimulating immediate sales through incentives like discounts or special offers.
  2. Advertising uses various media channels, such as TV, radio, print, and online, whereas sales promotion employs coupons, rebates, and contests.
  3. Advertising is a long-term strategy for brand building and market share growth, while sales promotion is a short-term tactic to boost sales and clear inventory.

Advertising vs Sales Promotion

Advertising is a paid, non-personal communication designed to promote a product, service, or idea. Advertising aims to create awareness, build brand recognition, and persuade consumers. Sales promotion is a short-term marketing tactic that encourages customers to take immediate action.

Advertising vs Sales Promotion

Business Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to business

1 / 10

Which country's currency is called the Baht?

2 / 10

In order to gain a competitive edge on the competition, some companies focus on:

3 / 10

Shares traded through stock exchanges are called __________.

4 / 10

Membership in a Co-Operative Society is?

5 / 10

Modular furniture __________.

6 / 10

Whose Liability is limited to the extent of his capital to the firm?

7 / 10

Economic activities are related to ___________.

8 / 10

Who is not entitled to the share of profits?

9 / 10

A person who risks both time and money to start and manage a business is called ___________.

10 / 10

Which of the following speculators expect fall in the prices of securities in the near future?

Your score is


Advertising is a very common promotional tool. It is a very old way to make people aware of the brand as well as the offerings of the brand.

However, it is not a cheap tool. It is the best fit for big companies.

Sale promotion is intended to improve the sales of an organisation or company. It is best for small companies.

It is a short term plan that gives the brand instant sales. It is also a good start for the new business to attract customers. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAdvertisingSales Promotion
PeriodIt is a long-term plan.It is a short-term plan. 
Expense Comparatively, it is costly.It is not very costly.
Fit forIt will be suitable for medium and large companies and organisations.It will fit organisations and companies that are small as well as medium and large.
Purpose It builds the name of a brand while increasing sales.It is only meant for an improvement in sales.
OutcomeThe outcome of advertising might take some time to show.The outcome of it can be seen soon. 
Methods Here advertising in digital media or print media is the strategy. Giving away coupons, discounts and free products are some of its techniques.

What is Advertising?

Advertising is a technique to promote the brand or a particular product or service of the brand. It aspires to hit the target customers.

Also to make aware and attract the new customers. It has been the oldest method of marketing. Before, it used to get printed on paper or broadcast on the radio. 

In the current scenario, it gets the edge with the digital platforms and internet. Video advertising tries to entice the audience. It wants to influence the audience to become a customer.

Sellers use it as a tool to communicate with the audience for the first time and try to highlight the best features of the product or service.

Advertising can be meant for a target audience that is small in number. If we consider the present time, then advertising can be divided into two parts.

One is putting the advertisement in a newspaper, magazines and flyers. And the other is television advertising and billboards. 

Digital media has made it very easy to reach the audience who are looking for something like that.

Social media advertising is the newest thing, and the brands can reach anyone’s phone and social media platform to inform about the company.


What is Sales Promotion?

The term sales promotion does not spin away from its meaning. It is exactly what the name suggests, a device to promote sales.

It is a short time thing. Here the company will offer some special offers to increase their sales. 

Companies target a time when the demand is higher than an ordinary day.

This is the reason you come across so many discounts and offers during the holidays. This time can be vulnerable for customers to buy things. 

You can get free trials, discount offers and even free services.

It does not consume a lot of money. In addition to that, it shows faster results. The offers are temporary, but the goodwill of the company stays for a long time.

sales promotion

Main Differences Between Advertising and Sales Promotion

  1. Advertising is a long term plan. When a brand makes an advertisement with the help of a firm, they use it for a long time. On the contrary, sales promotion is a short term plan that is applicable for only a few days. However, it can re-occur when the brand needs it. 
  2. Advertising also includes a whole lot of expense. It is costly to make and then promote an advertisement. But sales promotion is not that expensive when it is compared to advertising. 
  3. As advertising is costly, it is not the best fit for small companies. Only big and medium brands opt for it. Sales promotion is best for small brands. Although medium and large brands can undertake this promotional strategy as well. 
  4. In advertising, an advertisement gets made, and it gets published in printed form as well as gets released on digital platforms. But sales promotion is much simpler. It includes stuff like giving discounts and free products to allure customers. 
  5. Being promoted on every platform helps in the creation and emphasization of the brand name. This way, the sales of the brand will also have the potential to increase. But sales promotion only intends to improve the sales of the company.
  6. Advertising does not show instant results. It takes some time. But sales promotion will give you fast results. 
Difference Between Advertising and Sales Promotion

Last Updated : 24 July, 2023

dot 1
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!