NEW YORK: There are sound reasons for co-promotion, the practice of promoting two or more products with one message, but marketers still do not fully understand how media planning and buying shape the results, a paper in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) has argued.

In the latest edition of JAR, The Dilution Effects of Media Strategy on Brands’ Co-promotion Efficiency: Identifying Best Practices for Co-promotion Media Planning demonstrates how brand custodians can maintain advertising performance with less investment by re-examining the media strategies that support co-promotion.

Among the findings from authors Kyung-Ah Byun (University of Texas at Tyler), Doori Song (Youngstown State University), and Mikyoung Kim (Hongik University, South Korea): Concentrated media use is more effective in improving co-promotion efficiency than extensive media use.

“In terms of media planning, the use of multiple media is not always desired,” they asserted. “Indeed, the brand with high advertising efficiency … employed concentrated (fewer) media,” they reported.

Additionally, the study showed, pulsing scheduling is more effective than continuous scheduling. “Understanding co-promotion efficiency provides a gauge on how well the mutually invested resources are being used for better performance,” the authors wrote.

Elsewhere, the analysis revealed that constructing long-term connections between products will require a similar commitment in terms of messaging.

Brand managers, the academics suggested: “Need to place media for multiple years to increase co-promotion efficiency, especially when a long-term relationship with partnered brands is desirable; the long-term, repeated exposure can help consumers develop brand schema.”

Overall, the authors proposed, marketers should redouble their efforts to understand co-promotion in order to maximise return on investment.

“Of the many factors that managers can control for co-promotion efficiency, media expenditure accounts for the major portion of campaign budgets,” they said.

“Media planning is particularly important, because channels are fragmented with a multitude of new advertising media, and consumers are able to customise the feed of advertising messages they wish to view.

“Investigating the role of media planning in a co-promotion strategy thus will provide important opportunities for marketers to be successful while minimising waste of shared resources.”

Data sourced from Journal of Advertising Research; additional content by WARC staff