• Abstract Linkage-advertising is the literature and related materials given to customers who respond to advertisers' offers of these materials. Most print and much broadcast advertising in the United States and Canada includes direct-response linkage-advertising offers. However, the impact of linkage-advertising on customers' cognitions, affections, purchases, and consumption behaviours is not well known. In this article we describe how quasiexperiments can provide a more valid approach to learning the impacts of advertising than the more widely used single-group case-study approach. A destination-marketing tourism strategy, its research method and results are described. This approach can be applied easily to other industry settings. A quasi-experimental design was used on data from a field study to test the central hypotheses of linkage-advertising effects. The results from the study are used to estimate the net return on investment of the total linkage-advertising marketing program. We conclude with suggestions for additional advertising research using quasi-experimental designs. Linkage-advertising is the literature and related materials given to customers who respond to advertisers' offers of these materials (Woodside, 1994). Linkage-advertising "links the up-front advertising to the sale with additional arguments and benefits which the up-front advertising [i.e., the print or broadcast advertisement that includes the linkage offer] didn't have space or time to include" (Rapp & Collins, 1987). In the United States in the 1990s most advertising expenditures include allocations for creating and sustaining direct links with customers, including such actions as linkage-advertising, learning and referring to customers by their names in database marketing programs, and creating "frequencymarketing" customer clubs (Cappo, 1992; Frequency Marketing, 1993). Rapp and Collins (1987, 1990, 1994), who have been the most outspoken advocates of linkage-advertising, say that Too often awareness advertising leaves the prospect dangling, with no idea of what to do next, where to buy, or how to obtain more information. At the very least, the ideal advertising and marketing process should bridge this gap between the advertising and the sale by offering-and providing-additional information. We call this 'linkage' (Rapp & Collins, 1987, p. 17). The use of linkage-advertising may be more valuable in some industries than in others. State/province tourism is a good example of such an industry. In this field, "[in creating image advertising] advertising agencies are thoroughly briefed on all the tourism wonders a state has to offer . . . and then are forbidden to mention them .... Presumably due to the political mine-field of highlighting individual cities, much less individual attractions, state tourism advertising is a bizarre enterprise wherein states attempting to lure visitors find themselves being ludicrously vague about why" (Garfield, 1994, p. 32). Rapp and Collins's proposal of linkage advertising may be useful for solving this dilemma. The following two-step advertising strategy is used often by some destinations (e.g., states and provinces): (1) image advertising in scheduled media that includes heavy emphasis on the availability of linkage-advertising with several easy ways to acquire it, and (2) very detailed linkage-advertising with both lots of reason-why and procedural information about how to go about doing it (e.g., travelling to and inside the destination area; attractions; things to do; specific accommodation by region; restaurants; and shopping and what to buy). While in later books Rapp and Collins (1990, 1994) provide many exciting and insightful case histories of the sales impacts of linkage-advertising strategies, these fail to include formal comparisons or discussions about drawing valid causal inferences of the impacts of linkage-advertising. Knowledgeable senior executives are likely to require stronger evidence than one-group case studies with no formal comparisons of sales impacts. … ()
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  • 2016-06-24 ()
  • 10.1111/j.1936-4490.1997.tb00131.x ()
  • 228 ()
  • 26 ()
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  • en ()
  • 2009-04-08 ()
  • Blackwell Publishing Ltd ()
  • 20918 ()
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  • Measuring Linkage-Advertising Effects on Customer Behaviour and Net Revenue: Using Quasi-Experiments of Advertising Treatments with Novice and Experienced Product-Service Users ()
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