This research investigated the relative effects of marketing communications on a chain of “marketing-productivity” measures—metrics that evaluate the influence of marketing at the consumer, market, financial, and company levels. Results of the study, which combined five industry data sets, revealed that publicity—specifically, via newspaper and magazine articles—and advertising spending have unique and different relative effects on the so-called marketing-productivity chain. On average, publicity had a stronger relative importance compared with advertising for several indicators, although the effects for any individual company can vary. These findings have implications for the marketing-communications environment, which increasingly is saturated with publicity from a variety of sources.
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