Few studies have considered the relative role of the integrated marketing mix (advertising, price promotion, product, and place) on the long-term performance of mature brands, instead emphasizing advertising and price promotion. Thus, little guidance is available to firms regarding the relative efficacy of their various marketing expenditures over the long run. To investigate this issue, the authors apply a multivariate dynamic linear transfer function model to five years of advertising and scanner data for 25 product categories and 70 brands in France. The findings indicate that the total (short-term plus long-term) sales elasticity is 1.37 for product and .74 for distribution. Conversely, the total elasticities for advertising and discounting are only .13 and .04, respectively. This result stands in marked contrast to the previous emphasis in the literature on price promotions and advertising. The authors further find that the long-term effects of discounting are one-third the magnitude of the short-term effects. The ratio is reversed from other aspects of the mix (in which long-term effects exceed four times the short-term effects), underscoring the strategic role of these tools in brand sales.
Keywords: marketing mix, long-term effects, brand performance, dynamic linear models, empirical generalizations