Your small business’s marketing campaign has four elements -- product, place, price and promotion -- known as the “4Ps.” The promotios aspect includes all communications aimed at your customers to influence them in their purchasing decisions and to increase visibility for your business. You will design your promotions to support your overall marketing objectives; for example, if one of your objectives is to get 20 new customers a week, you might design a direct mail campaign that offers a special price within a specified time period in order to solicit action.

Public Relations

The public relations element is your relationship and image builder. It includes press releases, which are used for announcing a new product, service, sale, special event or major customer. It also includes community networking, such as with local chambers of commerce and speaking to local business groups. You can secure an interview on a local radio talk show or host special events, such as an open house or a product demonstration.


Unlike public relations, advertising uses paid channels to promote your business. You pay a magazine or newspaper to run your carefully designed advertisement or a radio station to run a 30-second spot about your business. Other advertising channels include out-of-home advertisments, such as billboards or signs on public transportation vehicles, and Internet advertising.

Direct Mail

Direct mail builds relationships with targeted prospects. You can pay a company to generate a mailing list that meets certain criteria, such as geographical location, income level and buying habits. You can simply send pieces to residents within a specific zip code. Direct mail allows you to get creative and elicit a specific behavior. For example, you can mail a simple coupon that is good until a certain date, or you can “brand” an item with your logo, such as a sponge that expands when wet, to use with a cleaning product that you sell.

Sales Promotion

A catalog that depicts your business’s products is an example of a sales promotion piece. Sales promotion also includes in-store displays, sampling, or point-of-sale displays that advertise special offers or that encourage impulse buying. Sales promotion also can used internally, offering incentives for your sales and distribution channels to carry your product, or for meeting a sales target.