Promoting promotions? Do research…

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.

Chris Carter



Gerrards Cross


Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here