Promotional Elasticity of Demand

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SLMtitle.png Promotional / Advertising Elasticity of Demand

SLMinto.png Introduction

In today’s competitive, globalized world, promotions of products and services have become very important. We wonder how much do companies spend on such aggressive marketing and whether it is worth it. Do they get returns on such advertising expenditure?

To understand this, the concept of advertising elasticitywhich is also known as promotional elasticity of demand is useful. This concept was popularized by a noted Economist – John Hicks.

John hicks.jpg

SLMobj.png Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you are expected to learn about:

1.Comprehend the concept of promotional elasticity of demand.

2.Calculate the coefficient of advertising elasticity of demand.

3.Learn the applicability of this concept in decision making of firms.

Meaning of Promotional Elasticity of Demand or Advertisng Elasticity Of Demand

AED measures degree of change in demand brought about by change in advertising expenditure.

Definition: Proportionate change in demand brought about by a unit change in advertising expenditure.

AED can be expressed as

AED = ( Δ Dx)/( Δ AE) x AE/Dx

Where Dx = Original (initial) Demand for commodity x ΔDx = Change in demand for x AE = Original Advertising Expenditure Δ AE = change in Advertising Expenditure It can also be expressed as

AED = (% change in Dx)/(% change in AE)

Relatively Elastic Demand

If AED > 1, it is relatively elastic demand.
It means that demand is more sensitive to the advertising expenditure and proportionately giving more than proportionate increase in demand.

Promotional expenditure is exerting more than proportionate effect on demand e.g. When this soft drink company ‘ Cool ‘ has raised its promotional expenditure by 25%, demand may rise by 50%

AED = % change in Dx% change in AE

= 50 %25 % = 2

AED = 2 (> 1, Relatively Elastic Demand)

Relatively Inelastic Demand
If AED < 1, it is relatively inelastic demand.

It means that change in advertising expenditure brings about less than proportionate change in demand. E.g. when this soft drink company ‘Cool’ spends 25% additional expenditure on promoting its new product, demand rises only by 5%

AED = % change in Dx% change in AE = 5 %25 % = 0.2

AED = 2 (< 1, Relatively Inelastic Demand)

Perfectly Inelastic Demand
If AED = 0 it is Perfectly Inelastic demand.

It means that increase in advertising expenditure has no effect at all on demand e.g. When the company ‘ Cool ‘ spends 25% additional expenditure on advertising, its new product demand remains rigid or constant. In such a case, advertising strategy is ineffective.

AED = % change in Dx% change in AE = 0 %25 % = 0

AED = 0 (Perfectly Inelastic Demand)

Factors Influencing AED

1.Type of product i.e. whether the product is already existing or new product
2.Brand name.
3.Number of competitors and substitutes in the market.
4.Strategies of competitors
5.Frequency of advertisements.
6.Mode of advertisements.
7.Time of advertisements.
8.Other factors influencing demand like tastes, professions, income etc.

Applications / Uses of AED

1.Helps in evaluating success of adverting campaign.
2.Helps the firms in deciding advertising expenditure or budget.
3.Helps in choosing more effective media for promotion.
4.Helps in withdrawing ineffective promotional campaigns.
5.Helps in strategic management to respond to competitor’s promotional policies.
6.Helps in building brands.

Limitations of AED

1.Value of AED does not help in analyzing effect of advertising a single product.
2.Difficult to analyze the effectiveness of promotional strategies at a particular period of time, especially when the campaigns are over a long period of time
3.The Purpose of campaigns may be to create brands, rather than only influencing size of demand.
4AED does not take into account effect of other factors influencing demand.

Values of Advertising Elasticity of Demand and their significance

Numerical Values of Advertising Elasticity of Demand will vary from zero to infinity.It would mean that if AED is zero,advertisng expenditure has no effect on demand at all.

Unit Elastic Demand

If AED = 1, it is unit elastic demand.

It would mean that advertising expenditure is giving just exactly proportionate returns in terms of demand e.g. This means that if a soft drink company has increased its advertising expenditure by 25%, the demand will also rise exactly by 25%.

AED = (% change in Dx)/(% change in AE) = (25 %)/(25 %) = 1

AED = 1 (Unit Elastic Demand) }}

Quiz on the Topic

SLMact.gif Activity
1. Observe different advertisements on TV.

2. Listen to advertisements on radio.

3. Try to recollect an effective advertisement in the newspaper or magazine.

4. Collect information about cost of advertising campaign and its returns in terms of demand or revenue.

E.g. • Cost of changing Airtel logo and increase in sales after it.

• A soft drink company sponsoring the college festival and increase in sales of that soft drink in the college canteen.

• Cost of inviting a brand ambassador for the event.

• Number of times (frequency) and the time interval if advertising on TV. (For sports items during international cricket matches).

• Brands / Products associated and marketed in the films.

• Promotional expenditure of popular films and revenue earned.

• Expenditure increased by the youth channel on the talk shows and increase in TRP.

• Expenditure on commercial hoardings in public places.

• Expenditure increased by the popular newspapers on events/competitions and increase.

SLMsaq.gif Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs)

State whether the following statements are True or False:

1.Promotional elasticity of demand measures the sensitivity of income to changes in advertising expenditures
2.Unit Advertising elasticity of Demand brings more than proportionate change in demand in response to advertising expenditure
3.When AED >1; 1, the advertising campaign is effective
4.If AED < 1, the campaign is not successfully utilizing its promotional expenditure.
5. AED does not give us precise effect of advertisements on sales of the specific product at the specific time.

Calculate AED for the following situation

The ‘Big Style company selling T shirts increased its advertising expenditure from Rs 5 Lakhs to Rs 10 Lakhs per annum. Sales of shirts increased from 20 Lakhs shirts per annum to 30 Lakhs shirts annum.

1. Comment on the effectiveness of the advertising situation of the above company.

2. Could there have been any other factors besides advertising influencing demand for shirts? List such other factors.

SLMsaq.gif Lets Sum Up

● AED is the degree of responsiveness of demand to changes in advertising expenditure or promotional expenditure.

● Value of AED ranges between zero and infinity

● AED = % change in Dx% change in AΔ

Value of AED Type of elasticity Effectiveness of Advertising campaign
1 Unit Neutral
>1 Relatively Elastic Effective Advertising
<1 Relatively Inelastic Ineffective Advertising
=0 Perfectly Inelastic No effect on demand or sales

● D depends not only on promotions but also on other factors which are assumed to remain constant

SLMsaq.gif Key Terms


● Relatively Elastic AED

● Relatively Inelastic AED

● Unit Elastic AED

● Perfectly Elastic AED

● Perfectly Inelastic AED

SLMsaq.gif Bibiliography

1. Dominick Salvatore, Principles of Microeconomics, Fifth Edition, Oxford International Student Edition.

2. Paul G Kent, Phillip K. Y. Young, Sreejata Banerjee, Managerial Economics – Economic Tools for Today’s Decision Makers, Fifth Edition, Pearson Education.

3. George E. Belch & Micheal A. Belch, Advertising and Promotion- An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective, Sixth Edition, Tata McGraw Hill.

SLMsaq.gif Further Reading

● Kenneth E. Clow, Donald E. Baack, Integrated Advertising Promotion and Marketing Communications Third Edition, Pearson Education.

● Kanugi Sreenath (Edited) Advertising Trends and Cases ICFAI University.