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The IUP Journal of Marketing Management
An Evaluation of Consumersí Deal-Specific Response to Sales Promotions Based on Their Product Involvement
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Consumer sales promotions (deals) are the key promotional strategies that marketers are employing today to provoke consumers for immediate product purchase. For effective use of deals, it is pertinent for the marketers to understand the consumersí response to various deals in a given product category. This research has examined whether the deal-prone buyers in a given product category are also the deal-prone buyers for other product categories. Consumersí deal redemption intention, tested in the case of eight types of deals, using a sample of 410 respondents, has been compared across a low-involvement FMCG product, e.g., shampoo, and a high-involvement durable product, e.g., apparel, to assess whether consumers are consistent, or vary, in their deal proneness across these two product categories. The results depict significant differences in consumersí deal proneness across the two product categories in the case of a majority of the deal types included in this study. The findings have important theoretical implication and are expected to enable the marketers to strategize the use of various deals effectively, specifically as per their product category.

 
 
 

Consumer sales promotion (deal) is an important marketing strategy today, applicable in all stages of the product life cycle, to encourage brand preference, induce brand switching and achieve brand loyalty (Prendergast et al., 2008). Deals are an important tool because the marketers are under severe pressure to achieve good bottom line results on short-term basis and sustain competitiveness (Stafford and Stafford, 2000). Other reasons include incessant clutter of advertisements and high proliferation of media costs (Shah and DíSouza, 2009). A deal is a short-term incentive that companies offer to stimulate purchase of their products (Pelsmacker et al., 2001). Rothschild and Gaidis (1981) use behavioral learning theory, specifically, Operant Conditioning theory to explain consumersí proneness to deals. According to this theory, deals serve as a reward that might generate immediate consumer response (Mowen and Minor, 1998; and Schultz, et al., 1998) as they alter the price-value relationship that the products offer to the consumers (Schultz et al., 1998). It has become a common practice in India to offer deals particularly during festivities, and consumers get attracted to the various deal offers (Kumar, 2009).

Sales promotion is a powerful tool when employed appropriately and effectively, so that the deals appeal directly to the target consumers, and is perceived by them to add value. For these reasons, the study of consumersí response to deals promises to be a fruitful area with several practical implications (Raju and Hastak, 1980). Consequently, several marketing researchers have addressed issues in this area, particularly to understand the underlying motivations of deal redemption behavior and profile deal-prone consumers on the basis of demographic, normative and psychographic variables. However, a majority of the earlier studies studied deals mostly offered on a single product category, mostly grocery items, and provided conclusions with the assumption that deal proneness is a generalized construct across product categories. If this assumption, that consumers who are deal-prone in a given product category will also be deal-prone in other categories, is correct, then it will be possible to predict deal proneness in a given category by using information about their responsiveness to deals in other product categories. Sales promotion campaigns could be directed at deal-prone consumers with equal effect across product categories. On the contrary, if consumers vary in their deal proneness across product categories, it may not be possible to predict a priori whether consumers found to be deal-prone in a given category will be responsive to deals in another product category (Bawa and Shoemaker, 1987).

 
 
 

Marketing Management,Consumer sales promotions (deals), Effective use of deals, Sales Promotions Based , Product category