Academic Trustees Reading List

Carl Mela’s Journal Must-Reads from 2014

Carl Mela is the T. Austin Finch Foundation Professor of Business Administration at Duke University. His research focuses upon the long-term effects of marketing activity, customer management, and the Internet.

His recommendations for our 2014 reading list:

“Manufacturer and Retailer Strategies to Impact Store Brand Share: Global Integration, Local Adaptation, and Worldwide Learning” by Jan-Benedict E. M. Steenkamp and Inge Geyskens, Marketing Science, January-February 2014

Mela: Combining multinational scanner data with individual level survey data, the authors link store, market and manufacturer characteristics to the performance of store brands. In light of the ascendance of store brands, their results are useful to consumer goods firms or retailers in determining strategies to manage private label share.

 Free access to journal article

“Predicting Individual Behavior with Social Networks” by Sharad Goel and Daniel Goldstein, Marketing Science, January-February 2014

Mela: Tapping into a communications network of over 100 million people, the authors assess the degree to which social data afford incremental explanatory power relative to demographics and past behaviors (e.g., RFM) in forecasting consumer behavior. Results suggest that connections to an adopter lead to strong improvements in predicting adoption, especially when substantial behavioral data are not available. These results suggest that the expense of collecting social data is useful in targeting contexts where behavioral data are more limited.

 Free access to journal article

“Reviews Without a Purchase: Low Ratings, Loyal Customers, and Deception” by Eric Anderson and Duncan Simester, Journal of Marketing Research, June 2014

Mela: These authors document that 5% of product reviews at an online retailer come from those who never purchase. Moreover, these reviews tend to be more negative and deceptive. Surprisingly these false reviews often come from the retailer’s best customers with no monetary incentive to disparage products. Results further suggest these results are rationalized by major customers seeking to “help” the retailer by improving its selection of goods. These findings are material to online retailers who seek to manage the review process on the site.

 Free access to journal article until February 27, 2015

“Which Products Are Best Suited to Mobile Advertising? A Field Study of Mobile Display Advertising Effects on Consumer Attitudes and Intentions” by Yakov Bart, Andrew Stephen, and Miklos Sarvary, Journal of Marketing Research, June 2014

Mela: With the ascendance of mobile advertising, firms are increasingly seeking to enhance mobile ROI through better advertising targeting and design. The authors examine 54 campaigns and the responses of 40,000 customers. Findings suggest campaigns that emphasize high involvement utilitarian goods are most effective in changing attitudes and purchase intentions, but that the overall effect size of mobile advertising is quite small; most campaigns in the data had little effect.

 Free access to journal article until February 27, 2015

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