Carroll, Vincent P.; Rao, Ambar G.; Lee, Hau L.; Shapiro, Arthur; Bayus, Barry L.
September 1985
Marketing Science;Fall85, Vol. 4 Issue 4, p352
Academic Journal
This paper presents research initiated in 1978 to examine the marketing effectiveness of the U.S. Navy recruiting program and to quantify the relationship between marketing efforts and enlistment achievements. The major component of the research was a one-year, controlled experiment in which levels of Navy recruiters and advertising were systematically varied and a detailed and comprehensive data base assembled. This paper describes the experiment and presents analyses of the experimental data. These analyses led to a number of conclusions regarding the impact of various factors on enlistment numbers and quality: (i) The number of recruiters had a significant impact. Effectiveness of recruiters depended on recruiter tenure with clearly discernable learning and delearning effects. (ii) Advertising expenditures of certain types were effective, while others were not. There was a wide variation in the impact of the effective media. (iii) Socioeconomic factors such as unemployment and urbanization had major impacts. (iv) Navy marketing efforts led to an expansion of the total market for enlistments in addition to their impact on Navy enlistments. The study was carried out in a highly collaborative mode, with frequent meetings and briefings with all levels of Command. This not only facilitated control and direction of the research, but also led to a number of adaptive initiatives undertaken by policy makers. These included reallocation of the advertising budget, development of a tenure-based recruiter incentive system and a change in emphasis from recruit accessions (deliveries) to contracts (sales).


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