Many marketing problems, such as the design of marketing communication campaigns and the development of new products, require creative solutions. Such problems are typically weakly-structured and underspecified (open-ended). The authors investigate the potential of analogical reasoning as a decision support principle for this type of problems. They carry out experiments in a case-based reasoning (CBR) environment. The application domain is the design of sales promotion campaigns. The authors demonstrate that providing decision makers with analogies leads to more creative campaigns. Providing analogies is most effective for decision makers with a low creative ability. Furthermore, solutions become better when decision makers have a larger set of analogies to choose from. Far analogies have the potential of generating more novel solutions than near analogies, but there is a higher threshold for using them. Interestingly, decision makers do not recognize the contribution of the analogies to the quality of their solution. On the practical side, the authors provide an effective tool for supporting decision making in weakly-structured marketing problem areas.

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Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Althuizen, N., & Wierenga, B. (2008). The Value of Analogical Reasoning for the Design of Creative Sales Promotion Campaigns: A Case-Based Reasoning Approach (No. ERS-2008-006-MKT). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from