Is No Marketing the New Marketing? -A Quantitative Study of the signaling effects of marketing vs. non-marketing
Abstract: In a world where we are constantly surrounded by advertisements and companies are doing everything in their power to cut through the media clutter and reach their target audiences it is surprising that some brands manage to reach significant success without marketing at all. There are fashion brands that have become household names without ever buying a magazine ad and restaurants that are fully booked months in advance even though most people have never even heard of them. The objective of this thesis is to find out whether or not a "non-marketing strategy" can perhaps be a viable choice for brands in certain industries or if the examples above have just been lucky. We also wanted to investigate whether or not brands that have never previously used marketing may be perceived as desperate if they suddenly start to use marketing. An experiment was conducted in order to test the difference in brand perception between brands that do use marketing and brands that don't in the restaurant and fashion industries. The results of the experiment show that brands in the restaurant industry in particular may in some cases enjoy more positive brand perceptions if they do not market than if they do. This suggests that "non-marketing" may actually be an effective way to signal quality and that word-of-mouth marketing is just a powerful a tool as say expensive TV ads.
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