Learning about promotions

Date of publication: June 15, 1976


Ultimately we need to establish the effects which promotions have on the consumer- i.e. any increased purchasing in the short term, or changes in attitudes and loyalty in the longer term - and to relate this to costs. Where promotions are aimed at the retail trade, retailers can also be regarded as "consumers" in this context. In any case, consumer sales remain the final yard-stick. To learn about the effects of promotions might imply running controlled experiments comparing behaviour or attitudes with promotions arid without promotions. But controlled experiments for evaluating short-term effects in real life situations are difficult and expensive to mount, and virtually impossible in attempting to evaluate longer-term effects. Two other approaches are therefore needed. One is the use of theoretical norms for evaluating real-life marketing situations. The other the use of deliberately artificial or semi-artificial testing procedures. These two approaches will be discussed here.

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