|dc.description.abstract||Purpose - The Bass model was created to analyse the product life cycle (PLC) in order to help sales and marketing departments in their business decision making. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the diferences between the clients assisted and sales variables, to discover which of the two variables is the more useful for the estimation of the PLC phases through the Bass model, thus aiding the managers of company sales and marketing departments.
Design/methodology/approach - In this research, the authors analysed the 223,577 clients assisted by a nationwide network of car dealerships, who acquired 36,819 vehicles, during a 24-month period. In the analysis, the Bass model was applied to define the PLC phases; and nonlinear regression models were used to carry out the estimations.
Findings - The results show that more consistent estimates of the PLC phases are obtained from the clients assisted variable. This work has theoretical and practical implications that can help business management.
Research limitations/implications - The most remarkable thing about this research is that we have shown that the functionality of the clients assisted variable is greater than the sales variable for the Bass model and, therefore, for PLC estimation.
Practical implications - The results of this research are very useful, since they allow marketing decision makers to obtain more consistent estimations of the PLC phases using the Bass model and the clients assisted variable. This is based on the fact that the use of this variable helps to detect if there is any deficiency in the design of the marketing strategy when the client does not make the purchase.
Social implications - The data on clients assisted are as easily available to companies as sales data. However, the use of this variable improves PLC analysis and this allows an improvement in company forecasting. Thus, making the clients assisted variable a tool to strategically plan investments in innovation and marketing would reduce uncertainty in business management.
Originality/value - The purpose of this paper is to analyse the diferences between the clients assisted and sales variables, to discover which of the two variables is the more useful for the estimation of the PLC phases through the Bass model, thus aiding the managers of company sales and marketing departments.||es_ES