Break-even analysis in marketing is a special form of break-even point analysis for the arithmetical determination of the conditions under which the breakeven point is reached for certain sales-economic activities (i.e. equality of the attributable total costs and total revenues in a reference period, especially for New product projects).
Ein Neuproduktvorhaben gilt als akzeptabel, wenn die lt. Marktforschung tatsächlich zu erwartende Absatzmenge nicht kleiner als die Break-Even-Menge ist (Absatzmenge innerhalb des Referenzzeitraums zur Erreichung der Gewinnschwelle). Bei genauer Betrachtung zeigt sich, dass dieser einfach erscheinende Rechenansatz, der auf dem Direct costing beruht (Deckungsbeitragsrechnung im Marketing), mehrere inhaltliche Probleme aufwirft.
In particular, it must be carefully clarified what is to be included in the fixed costs during the reference period. It would be inappropriate to also charge fixed costs through arithmetical allocations, which are already incurred on the basis of previous decisions and are not changed at all in their amount due to the introduction or non-introduction of the new product (e.g. proportionate salaries of the existing sales management). A resulting high fixed cost amount could mathematically lead to such a large target sales volume that the new product is not launched, although this actually means that possible additional contribution margins are lost, while on the other hand the already existing fixed cost amount continues to be incurred.
In this context, it is important to pay attention to the principle of change calculation, which states that only those calculation values are to be assigned to a decision alternative that are effectively increased or decreased by the decision. Existing fixed costs, which could be reduced if the new product were not used, belong accordingly to the fixed costs of the break-even formula (e.g. depreciation on a production plant that can be used for the new product, but would otherwise be sold).
Likewise, all additional fixed costs due to the new product project must be included, e.g. the salary of a product manager who has to be hired first. However, it should be noted here (which is also not taken into account in the simple basic formula) that, in addition to one-off fixed charges (e.g. project planning costs), there are fixed costs that revolve every year (e.g. salaries). Depending on how long the reference period on which the break-even analysis is based, certain fixed cost amounts must be added up over several periods in the numerator of the formula.
If the new product can only be manufactured or sold in the event of a capacity bottleneck if the quantity of other products is withdrawn, the break-even analysis must include the corresponding opportunity costs per unit in the denominator of the formula as a supplement to the variable costs per unit of measure. In the case of break-even analyzes in marketing, the department controlling must ensure that adequate invoice information is provided and evaluated. This also includes the reference to the inadequacies of the static break-even calculation, in which the long-term success developments after reaching the breakeven point are ignored.