Back in the 1980’s conventional wisdom had it that advertising built brands whilst sales promotion stimulated brand purchase. Improved brand image led to improved brand equity which in turn created an improved climate within which to sell. Sales promotions were designed to cash in on an improved sales climate.

The advent of “new media” changed this classical approach. Marketers expected that just by talking to (or is it at?) consumers and “engaging” with them in “conversations” about their brands it would no longer be necessary to follow the classical approach of building an appealing brand image and using tangible sales promotions to lubricate brand sales.

We are seeing strong evidence in many of our surveys of the fact that economically stressed consumers are bargain hunting, participating in sales promotions, looking for rewards for their custom and entering more competitions than they have since the 1990’s.