Robert Lester’s article on sales promotion (MW November 18) raised a number of issues relating to poorly thought-out promotions and their questionable return on investment.
For me, this simply highlights how vital it is that, if agencies are to deliver promotional campaigns with impact, they are committed to research to stay on top of consumers’ core motivations. Such commitment should in turn lead agencies into the kind of fresh territory that breeds innovative and original campaigns.
Likewise, research is fundamental when it comes to proving promotional success – not least because it is often difficult to isolate the effect of promotions within sales data. This agency, for instance, conducts monthly quantitative, face-to-face research, measuring awareness and pull of its own and competitors’ promotions. This shows exactly what effect different promotions have had upon consumers. Three years of research data provides unequivocal proof that that, in the majority of cases, on-pack promotions do have a direct influence on consumers’ buying decisions.
Sadly, too few agencies invest sufficiently in research, either for planning or evaluation purposes. If they did, perhaps more clients would realise just what a good return on investment well-planned promotions can provide.