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Managing Advertising and Promotion for Long-Run Profitability

Listed author(s):
  • Kamel Jedidi

    (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027)

  • Carl F. Mela

    (College of Business Administration, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556)

  • Sunil Gupta

    (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027)

Registered author(s):

    In recent years, manufacturers have become increasingly disposed toward the use of sales promotions, often at the cost of advertising. Yet the long-term implications of these changes for brand profitability remain unclear. In this paper, we seek to offer insights into this important issue. We consider the questions of i) whether it is more desirable to advertise or promote, ii) whether it is better to use frequent, shallow promotions or infrequent, deep promotions, and iii) how changes in regular prices affect sales relative to increases in price promotions. Additional insights regarding brand equity, the relative magnitude of short- and long-term effects, and the decomposition of advertising and promotion elasticities across choice and quantity decisions are obtained. To address these points, we develop a heteroscedastic, varying-parameter joint probit choice and regression quantity model. Our approach allows consumers' responses to short-term marketing activities to change in response to changes in marketing actions over the long term. We also accommodate the possibility of competitive reactions to policy changes of a brand. The model is estimated for a consumer packaged good category by using over eight years of panel data. The resulting parameters enable us to assess the effects of changes in advertising and promotion policies on sales and profits. Our results show that, in the long term, advertising has a positive effect on “brand equity” while promotions have a negative effect. Furthermore, we find price promotion elasticities to be larger than regular price elasticities in the short term, but smaller than regular price elasticities when long-term effects are considered. Consistent with previous research, we also find that most of the effect of a price cut is manifested in consumers' brand choice decisions in the short term, but when long-term effects are again considered, this result no longer holds. Last, we estimate that the long-term effects of promotions on sales are negative overall, and about two-fifths the magnitude of the positive short-term effects. Finally, making reasonable cost and margin assumptions, we conduct simulations to assess the relative profit impact of long-term changes in pricing, advertising, or promotion policies. Our results show regular price decreases to have a generally negative effect on the long-term profits of brands, advertising to be profitable for two of the brands, and increases in price promotions to be uniformly unprofitable.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mksc.18.1.1
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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Marketing Science.

    Volume (Year): 18 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 1-22

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:18:y:1999:i:1:p:1-22
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    1. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-362, March.
    2. Lee, Lung-Fei & Trost, Robert P., 1978. "Estimation of some limited dependent variable models with application to housing demand," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 357-382, December.
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    4. Leonard M. Lodish & Magid M. Abraham & Jeanne Livelsberger & Beth Lubetkin & Bruce Richardson & Mary Ellen Stevens, 1995. "A Summary of Fifty-Five In-Market Experimental Estimates of the Long-Term Effect of TV Advertising," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(3_supplem), pages 133-140.
    5. Anil Kaul & Dick R. Wittink, 1995. "Empirical Generalizations About the Impact of Advertising on Price Sensitivity and Price," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(3_supplem), pages 151-160.
    6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    7. Gurumurthy Kalyanaram & Russell S. Winer, 1995. "Empirical Generalizations from Reference Price Research," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(3_supplem), pages 161-169.
    8. Lung-Fei Lee, 1982. "Some Approaches to the Correction of Selectivity Bias," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 355-372.
    9. Lakshman Krishnamurthi & S. P. Raj, 1988. "A Model of Brand Choice and Purchase Quantity Price Sensitivities," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 7(1), pages 1-20.
    10. Robert P. Leone, 1995. "Generalizing What Is Known About Temporal Aggregation and Advertising Carryover," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(3_supplem), pages 141-150.
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