AS level business studies revision notes: Promotion methods

Here’s our one-stop AS Level revision guide to Promotion methods in business studies.


Promotion is another ‘P’ of the marketing mix – promotion is about communicating, informing and developing an image (of the company or a product) with both current customers and potential customers.

Businesses promote themselves and products for a number of reasons:

  • increase and maintain demand for their product(s)
  • increase and maintain the market share of their product(s)
  • ‘make noise’ and raise awareness for their product(s)
  • create or enhance a brand image

Promotion methods

There are two advertising techniques businesses may use: Below the line (BTL) and Above the line (ATL). The technique and method a business decides to use to promote its product depends on a number of factors:

  • the type of product
  • their budget
  • the product’s stage in the product life cycle
  • the target audience (who the business wants to reach)
  • legal issues (whether a business is allowed to promote their product in a certain way, e.g. tobacco and drugs)

Below the line (BTL) promotion

Below the line promotion includes promotion methods which are more personal, traditional and allow the company control. They can include:

  • PR – public relations – when a business communicates directly with it’s public through press releases and speaking at conferences
  • Sales promotions – such as 50% extra free, buy one get one free or coupons and gifts
  • Sponsorship – where a business will pay to be associated with another product, person or event. Sportspersons are often sponsored by sports companies.
  • Direct sales – when a representative of the business will visit potential customers

Above the line (ABL) promotion

Below the line promotion includes promotion methods using “mass media”, for example TV and the internet. Such techniques are usually seen as impersonal, designed to reach as many people at as little cost as possible. They can include:

  • TV, Radio and Cinema – allows businesses to target a large group of people
  • Newspapers – allow advertisers to reach specific groups of people
  • The web – allows businesses to reach a large international audience at a very low cost.
  • Outdoor/transport – advertisements on the side of busses, outside shops and on billboards enable