Are long-term effects possible or measurable?

Date of publication: June 14, 1978

Author: Tony Twyman


This paper brief reviews some evidence often quoted in relation to quantitatively evaluating advertising expenditure. The need to relate quantitative methods to facts and theories of consumer behaviour is emphasised. A view of consumer buying behaviour is discussed and related to three possible kinds of advertising effects which are distinguished; immediate, medium-term and long-term effects. It is suggested that medium and long-term effects may be intermittent and questions are raised as to whether they are currently able to be measured by econometric analysis. A recent hypotheses that long-term effects, even if ignored, are unimportant is discussed and questioned. It is finally proposed that some important aspects of advertising strategy are best approached via area experiment. A longitudinal approach to studying the role of advertising in a brands' development is suggested to cover the investigation of the effects of different levels of advertising early in the development of advertising and for very long periods of time.

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