Expert comment: Promotion pioneers keep the classics to hand

Marketing academic Dr Ben Lowe, a senior lecturer in marketing at the University of Kent, has carried out extensive research into why consumers like coupons, and whether there is a mismatch between the expectations of consumers and the managers of the promotions when it comes to adopting new technology.

Ben was quoted in a recent edition of Marketing Week in an article looking at how a blend of new and traditional techniques are being used by innovative marketers when thinking about promotions.

“The theory tends to say that we ‘overweight’ things we are more involved in. So managers, for example, would put more emphasis on the benefits involved in an innovation and they might underweight the complexity because they have spent a lot of time working out how to use it.

“But you get the opposite with consumers: they tend to overweight things that they currently use and underweight the benefits of new things. This is because they are far more uncertain about new things and tend to be risk averse,” he says.

While new technology certainly has a part to play, Lowe cautions against overplaying its role in promotions. “You do get the innovators who are heavily involved in it but they are only a small proportion of consumers and these things take some time to diffuse.”

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