The four articles in this supplement show just some of the ways retailers have varied their use of marketing channels and tools to make their investment work harder.

While marketing budgets must have looked a tempting place to start making cuts through the recession, actually most major retailers not only ring-fenced what they were spending, but in many cases increased it. And what they are achieving with their budgets has grown by even more.

From Olympic sponsorship, co-branded point-of-sale material, social media competitions, outdoor advertising to personalised and targeted emails, retailers have a bigger choice of where to spend their marketing funds than ever. The four articles in this supplement show just some of the ways retailers have varied their use of marketing channels and tools to make their investment work harder.

Much of the most innovative marketing is taking place online. Best Buy sees social media as a key priority and Next says Facebook is helping it re-establish itself as a fashionable shopping destination. But more traditional channels are still proving an essential part of a retailer’s marketing mix. Dixons Retail says outdoor advertising is particularly effective, and retailers are still keen on cardboard point-of-purchase material.

However retailers choose to spend their marketing cash, in almost every case what is key is that they are closely analysing the results.