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Consumer attitude metrics for guiding marketing mix decisions

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Dominique M. Hanssens
  • Koen H. Pauwels
  • Shuba Srinivasan
  • Marc Vanhuele
  • Gokhan Yildirim
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Marketing Science
Issue number4
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)534-550
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date7/03/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Marketing managers often use consumer attitude metrics such as awareness, consideration, and preference as performance indicators because they represent their brand’s health and are readily connected to marketing activity. However, this does not mean that financially focused executives know how such metrics translate into sales performance, which would allow them to make beneficial marketing mix decisions. We propose four criteria – potential, responsiveness, stickiness and sales conversion – that determine the connection between marketing actions, attitudinal metrics, and sales outcomes.
We test our approach with a rich dataset of four-weekly marketing actions, attitude metrics, and sales for several consumer brands in four categories over a seven-year period. The results quantify how marketing actions affect sales performance through their differential impact on attitudinal metrics, as captured by our proposed criteria. We find that marketing-attitude and attitude-sales relationships are predominantly stable over time, but differ substantially across brands and across product categories. We also establish that combining marketing and attitudinal metrics criteria improves the prediction of brand sales performance, often substantially so. Based on these insights, we provide specific recommendations on improving the marketing mix for different brands, and we validate them in a hold-out sample. For managers and researchers alike, our criteria offer a verifiable explanation for differences in marketing elasticities and an actionable connection between marketing and financial performance metrics.