MSI Competition Winners Aim to Impact Mobile Marketing Practice
September 6, 2013
MSI’s research competition, “Mobile Platforms, Location-based Services, and Their Impact on Customers,” sought to stimulate academic research on marketers’ questions about how to operate effectively in the mobile ecosystem. In June, six research proposals were selected to receive MSI funding.
In their research study, Alan Cooke and Peter Zubcsek of University of Florida and Keith Wilcox of Columbia University will address a critical question for mobile advertisers: How do smartphone tasks such as communication, gaming, and taking photos influence the impact of embedded mobile display advertising?
They will use a mobile research lab to examine clicking behavior on mobile phone ads. “The mLab architecture offers a great opportunity to study issues related to real-world attention allocation and media multitasking,” they write. “We can, for example, ask participants to read a passage, incidentally show them a display ad on the page and then later retrieve information from the passage. We can also compare their retrieval after responding to texts, reading other passages, playing games in their browser, or watching a video.”
In their study, University of Connecticut’s Nicholas Lurie and Hongju Liu, and Sam Ransbotham of Boston College will compare restaurant reviews created on mobile devices with those created on desktop platforms.
Their early results show that there are important differences in terms of content and perceived usefulness and persuasiveness on desktop versus mobile platforms. For example, mobile reviews display more emotions—positive and negative, and overall, the average rating is lower for mobile reviews than for desktop reviews. Their findings also suggest that mobile reviews have a smaller influence than desktop reviews.
With data from a major mobile advertising company in China, University of Maryland’s Liye Ma and Baohong Sun of Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business will examine how contextual factors affect application usage and advertising response behaviors.
For example, when a consumer opens an application in the morning, she may not be interested in ads. Should the firm deliver the ad or forgo the opportunity? A dynamic ad insertion strategy must find an optimal balance, Ma and Sun note. Their study will offer guidance on targeting strategies that can provide real-time recommendations based on consumers’ application usage and ad exposure history.
While redemption rates for mobile coupons are high relative to paper coupons, many retailers view them as unprofitable. In their research study, Joseph Pancras and Bin Li of University of Connecticut and Rajkumar Venkatesan of University of Virginia will investigate the profitability of mobile loyalty programs. They will use a mobile app that offers points-based loyalty programs for more than 5000 U.S. retailers to examine how reward program structure, goal progress, exposure to ads, and coupon offers affect consumer store choice, trip spending and reward redemption.
Paul Mills and Cesar Zamudio of Kent State University are investigating the effects on shopping behavior of “snap coupons”—when consumers “request” coupons by scanning bar codes at the shelf. Using a smart phone app linked to a store’s POS system, they will collect longitudinal data to understand the longer-term trends in snap coupon redemption and changes in shopping behavior. They will also be able to model scanning, brand choice, and scanning decisions. With data from a focal retailer, their findings will offer insights on the impact of in-store product scanning on consumers’ shopping basket.
LMU Munich researchers Stephan Daurer, Dominik Molitor, and Martin Spann, and Puneet Manchanda of the University of Michigan will use a dataset from a large European mobile product guide provider to better-understand customer search behavior. For example, what triggers a customer’s decision to search using a product information app on a smartphone? What types of information do customers search for via location-based barcode scanning? Their findings should help marketers to proactively target “search prone” consumers and tailor marketing programs to better retain existing customers.
These 6 proposals were chosen from 35 submissions to the MSI research competition. “We are delighted with the quality and relevance of the winning proposals,” says Research Director Ross Rizley. “The mobile ecosystem is growing rapidly and marketers need evidence-based guidance on how to operate effectively. These important research studies will provide crucial input to a new stream of marketing knowledge.”