Department of Marketing & Entrepreneurship

Fall 2010

Time: Friday 10:30-12:00 PM
Location: 126 Melcher Hall
Open to Public: No reservation or registration required.

Date Speaker Topic
September 10 Gaurav Sabnis
Penn State

    "Cable News Wars and the Internet: Modeling Competitive Interactions for Primetime Viewership and User-Generated Content"
  • Click here to read Abstract

    Academics and practitioners alike recognize that user-generated content (UGC), such as blog posts and YouTube videos, about a product help to not only predict, but also boost the product's performance (e.g., sales). Building on extant research pertaining to the UGC-performance relationship, this study models the competitive effects of the relationship between daily viewership of cable news shows and the daily volume of related blog posts and YouTube videos, using a multivariate Poisson log-normal mixture model. Data from a 30-week period describe viewership of competing cable news shows on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC during the 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 p.m. time slots. Although the volumes of blog posts and YouTube videos related to a show have a positive effect on its daily viewership, the strength of the positive effect changes according to the nature of competition, that is, the frequency with which the hosts of the shows criticize one another. Although UGC has a strong positive effect on viewership, as the frequency of criticism increases, so does the magnitude of this positive effect. Blog posts and YouTube videos related to a show's competitors also have a positive effect on the show's ratings when the competing shows criticize each other frequently; otherwise, this effect is negative. These findings demonstrate the importance of competitive effects when formulating and assessing UGC-related marketing strategies.

September 17 Seshadri Tirunillai
U of Southern California

    "Does Chatter Really Matter? Dynamics of User-Generated Content and Stock Performance"
  • Click here to read Abstract

    User-Generated Content (UGC) in various online media provides a new and valuable source of consumer feedback on the market performance of firms. This study examines whether UGC is related to stock market performance, which metric of UGC has the strongest relationship, and what the dynamics of the relationship are. The authors aggregate data from multiple websites over a four year period across six product markets and fifteen firms. They derive multiple metrics of UGC and use multivariate time series models to assess the short and long term relationship between the metrics of UGC and stock market performance (returns, risk, and trading volume). The findings reveal that UGC is moderately correlated with stock returns, risk, and trading volume. Of all the metrics of UGC, chatter (volume) shows the strongest relationship with stock returns and trading volume. The effect of negative and positive metrics of UGC on returns is asymmetric. Whereas negative UGC has a strong effect on returns with a short wearin and long wearout, positive UGC has a very weak effect on returns. Idiosyncratic risk increases with negative information in UGC. These results suggest what metrics of UGC that firms should track to assess consumer feedback on their products.

September 24 Ravi Mehta
U of British Columbia

    "Exploring the Role of External Rewards in Creative Cognition"
  • Click here to read Abstract

    Existing research examining the effects of external rewards on creativity lacks a clear consensus on the issue. While some research suggests that monetary (vs. social) rewards are detrimental to creativity, other research has found that monetary rewards can enhance creative performance. These disparate findings seem to stem from our very limited understanding of the cognitive processes through which external rewards affect creativity. We model the location and movement of ideas in an individual's mental space and demonstrate that monetary versus social recognition rewards prompt different search strategies and consequently affect creativity depending on the reward's contingency. Specifically, social recognition (monetary) rewards prompt a broader (focused) exploration, thus leading to higher (lower) creativity when no specific link is made salient between reward and creative performance. However, if rewards are explicitly made contingent on being creative, the nature of the monetary reward drives people to explore in a focused, but distant area away from conventional ideas, thereby leading to higher creativity than under social recognition reward condition.

October 1 Nicole Mead
Florida State/Tilburg

    "Social Exclusion Causes People to Spend and Consume Strategically in the Service of Affiliation"
  • Click here to read Abstract

    When people's deeply ingrained need for social connection is thwarted by social exclusion, profound psychological consequences ensue. Despite the fact that social connections and consumption are central facets of daily life, little empirical attention has been devoted to understanding how belongingness threats affect consumer behavior. In four experiments, we tested the hypothesis that social exclusion causes people to spend and consume strategically in the service of affiliation. Relative to controls, excluded participants were more likely to buy a product symbolic of group membership (but not practical or self-gift items), tailor their spending preferences to the preferences of an interaction partner, spend money on an unappealing food item favored by a peer, and report being willing to try an illegal drug, but only when doing so boosted their chances of commencing social connections. Overall, results suggest that socially excluded people sacrifice personal and financial well-being for the sake of social well-being.

October 8 Sunil Gupta
Harvard

"Customer Value in a Network Society"
October 15 Ronald Hill
Villanova

"Restricted Consumption: A look Across Impoverished Consumers"
October 22 Mengze Shi
Toronto

    "A Dyad Model of Calling Behavior with Tie Strength Dynamics"
  • Click here to read Abstract

    In this study, we investigate the effect of social networks on wireless phone service consumption. We argue that, unlike other products and services, phone calls require two parties to jointly and simultaneously consume. As both parties pay the fees for communication, and as phone calls are a way of strengthening a relationship, the calling activity between two parties can be viewed as the optimal outcome of a cooperative decision. Using a large wireless telecommunication dataset, we estimate a dynamic model that encapsulates the evolving relationship between pairs of consumers. We find that the number of calls and the call duration between a pair of consumers are positively affected by the number of their common contacts. We also find that the reciprocity effect is prevalent in telecoms consumption. Calling is a two-way street - the more one calls the other, the stronger the relationship becomes and, subsequently, the more the other will call back. We demonstrate the importance of accounting for these effects when assessing the returns on temporary call price cuts or the implications of new pricing schemes.

November 12 Lauren Block
Baruch



November 19 Young-Hoon Park
Cornell

    "Online Conversion Paths"
  • Click here to read Abstract

    This paper develops a multi-event timing model that captures the lumpy shopping patterns of online customers and infers the formation of latent visit clusters consti- tuting the arrival processes. Because the start and the end of each visit cluster are unobserved, we employ a changepoint modeling framework and statistically infer the cluster formation on the basis of customer visit patterns through data augmentation in Bayesian approach. Our model provides a set of novel inferences about the patterns underlying online shopping behavior, including (1) the number of visits constituting a visit cluster, (2) the interarrival time within a cluster, (3) the time length of a visit clus- ter, (4) the number of visit clusters in a given time period, and (5) the interarrival time between two consecutive visit clusters, at the individual customer level. We apply our modeling framework to the data of customer visits and purchases at Amazon.com and find that the proposed model offers excellent fit and predictive performance. The main results suggest strong empirical evidence of lumpy visit patterns by online customers with significant heterogeneity in the extent of the lumpiness. By linking customer visits to purchases, we find that on average a cluster with purchase conversions contains more visits than one without purchase, the likelihood of purchase conversions is greatest for a customer's second arrival in a visit cluster, and a considerable portion of purchase conversions occur in later visits in clusters.

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Department of Marketing & Entrepreneurship
University of Houston
334 Melcher Hall
Houston, Texas 77204-6021
Phone: 713-743-4555
Fax: 713-743-4572