The Usefulness of Marketing Strategies in a Regulated Market: Evidence from the Spanish Tobacco Market

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Technická Univerzita v Liberci
Technical university of Liberec, Czech Republic
This paper outlines possible useful marketing strategies for companies to develop in a regulated market. The empirical analysis aims to highlight whether companies can use marketing strategies to create competitive advantages and scale positions in sales leadership once regulation policies are introduced. To this end, we apply two econometric approaches to sales variables for 138 best-selling cigarette brands: the Bass Model (1969) to estimate the parameters that determine the way clients adopt, and the methodology proposed by Hartigan and Wong (1979) for a further cluster analysis that groups brands. The empirical results suggest that restrictions on demand introduced to the Spanish tobacco market during the years 2005 and 2006, have generated a new scenario in which innovation parameters have no effect on the process of adoption. Therefore, the imitation coefficient is the parameter which makes discrimination between brands possible, which demonstrates the existence of heterogeneity among brands based only on recommendation. The results show the inability of direct marketing strategies to create advantages and scale positions in sales leadership after the introduction of regulation policies, however companies have other marketing options such as imitation among clients and these have proven to be effective since imitation shows heterogeneous behaviour among brands across the diffusion process. This has implications that should be taken into account in markets which are on the verge of being regulated, specifically the modification of marketing strategies if the intention is to lead and scale position in a regulated market. In particular, in the case of Spain, policymakers must acknowledge that the measures implemented in law 28/2005 have had an effect on marketing strategies by cancelling, in practical terms, the diffusion of brands based on innovation and homogenizing the diffusion process based on direct marketing.
marketing strategies, tobacco market, regulated market, diffusion process, Spain