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A set-theoretic approach to identifying effective configurations ofpromotional attributes

Suntong Qi (Faculty of Business, Lingnan University, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong)
Ling Peng (Department of Marketing and International Business, Lingnan University, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong)
Yu-Jen Chen (Department of Marketing and International Business, Lingnan University, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 18 August 2021

Issue publication date: 22 September 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

Most previous studies have indicated promotional attributes separately (e.g. time pressure, giveaways, price discounts, exclusivity) and found controversial effects. This paper aims to explore how different attributes can be aligned with each other and integrated with different levels of brand strength to influence sales or purchase intention according to the fit logic.

Design/methodology/approach

Both field data and controlled experiments are used to understand the effectiveness of promotion configurations. This paper first conducts an exploratory study using qualitative comparative analysis, based on 625 online promotion campaigns. This paper identifies several effective configurations of promotion attributes, leading to the development of two hypotheses. Three experiments are then designed to test the validity of these two hypotheses.

Findings

The results show that strong brands should adopt nonmonetary promotion, whereas weak brands should adopt monetary promotion; exclusivity and time limitation should be used separately.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides empirical insights on how promotion elicits sales in terms of the configuration of promotional attributes and brand strength. This paper examines the integrative effect of types of giveaways, promotion duration and promotion target as well as brand strength on promotion effectiveness. Future research can explore other promotional attributes. This study is a first attempt to introduce and apply the set-theoretic approach to address strategic research issues and inform strategic decisions and managerial actions.

Practical implications

The findings can facilitate marketers’ understanding and predictions of deal recipients’ responses to promotions.

Originality/value

This paper adopts a holistic view to investigate how different promotion attributes interact with one another to stimulate sales. It explores the integrative effect from field data and finds converging evidence through a set-theoretic approach and controlled experiments.

Keywords

Citation

Qi, S., Peng, L. and Chen, Y.-J. (2021), "A set-theoretic approach to identifying effective configurations ofpromotional attributes", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 626-637. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-06-2020-3875

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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