Research Seminars

Does the Opinion of the Crowd Predict Success? Evidence from Crowdsourcing

Marketing

Speaker: Anirban MUKHERJEE
Assistant Professor of Marketing , Lee Kong Chian School of Business - Singapore Management University

7 July 2017 - Room T015 - From 10:30 am to 12:00 pm


Does the Opinion of the Crowd Predict Success? Evidence from Crowdsourcing

By:

Anirban Mukherjee
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University

Ping Xiao
Assistant Professor of Marketing, Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing
Business School of the National University of Singapore, NYU Shanghai

Li Wang
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Noshir Contractor
Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences
McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Communication and the
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

Abstract

“Crowdsourcing” is the sourcing of organizational functions from the “crowd”: a large, undefined community of a firm’s consumers, partners, and collaborators. A crucial challenge in crowdsourcing is to determine the quality of crowdsourced submissions. To help screen submissions, crowdsourcing portals use crowdvoting: they ask the community to vote on submissions. Our study investigates the informational role of crowdvoting on design submissions on Threadless, a pioneering crowdsourcing website. We collect and examine a novel, large scale dataset tracking over 150,000 designs, submitted by over 45,000 designers, voted on almost 150 million times, by over 600,000 different users. We focus on two questions. First, what is the conventional wisdom—how does crowdvoting influence Threadless? Second, does the conventional wisdom stand up to scrutiny—does crowdvoting systematically predict commercial success? We document several new empirical findings relating crowdvoting to revenues. We conclude by discussing the implications of our research for designers and firms seeking to ride the crowdsourcing tide.

Keywords: crowdsourcing, crowdvoting, new product development, big data.

Technology and Consumer Behavior

Marketing

Speaker: Jonathan LEVAV
Associate Professor of Marketing , Stanford Graduate School of Business

12 May 2017 - Room T015 - From 10:30 am to 12:00 pm


Technology and Consumer Behavior

By Jonathan Levav

Electronic devices are assumed to make markets more efficient and to create a distribution channel for market information. These devices and the applications that run them allow people to engage in commercial transactions on the go, to access information from all parts of the globe, and to communicate through voice and video from anywhere. In the series of papers that make up this talk I will show that people's interactions with these devices can evoke psychological processes that influence the judgments and decisions that people make when using them. Specifically, in multiple field and lab studies I examine how the physical interaction with electronic devices influences psychological processes in systematic ways.

Online Streaming and its Effects on Society

Marketing

Speaker: Hannes DATTA
Assistant Professor - Department of Marketing , Tilburg School of Economics and Business

21 April 2017 - Room T015 - From 10:30 am to 12:00 pm


Online Streaming and its Effects on Society

By Hannes DATTA
Joint work with George Knox and Bart Bronnenberg (both Tilburg University)

Digital streaming is set to take over as the dominant business model in industries like music (e.g., Spotify), movies (e.g., Netflix), books (e.g., Kindle Unlimited), and games (e.g., Steam). Instead of purchasing individual content, streaming allows users to rent access to a vast library of digital content that is free at the margin. Using a panel data set of individual consumers’ listening histories across many platforms, we study how the shift from purchasing to streaming affects society.

Prior work has established that the adoption of online streaming leads to a sizeable effects at the individual level. For example, consumers discover more new content, and tend to favor less popular artists over superstars. However, it is not clear how online streaming affects consumption behavior at the societal level (i.e., across consumers). On the one hand, consumer tastes may become fragmented when choosing among less popular and newer artists. On the other hand, consumer tastes may become more homogenous if recommendation systems and curated playlists on streaming services push users to the same new content.

From a public policy perspective, too much fragmentation is bad news because it can diminish social capital, as fewer people share the same experience. However, too little fragmentation may signal a lack of diversity, favoring superstars and damaging independent labels. We examine several possible drivers of fragmentation, and use our data to test competing explanations.

Valuing Non-Contractual Firms Using Common Customer Metrics

Marketing

Speaker: Daniel McCarthy
Ph.D. candidate in the Statistics Department , Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

3 March 2017 - Room T04 - From 10:30 am to 12:00 pm


Valuing Non-Contractual Firms Using Common Customer Metrics

There is growing interest in the notion of “customer-based corporate valuation,” explicitly tying the value of a firm's customers to the firm's overall financial valuation. While much progress has been made in building a well-validated customer-based valuation model for contractual (or subscription-based) firms, there has been less progress for non-contractual firms (e.g., retail, travel/hospitality, and mobile gaming). Non-contractual businesses have more complex transactional patterns than contractual ones for a variety of reasons, including (1) they are characterized by latent attrition instead of observable churn behavior, (2) they often have irregular purchase incidence timing and spend amounts. These factors make it harder to reconstruct granular purchase behaviors from aggregate data, and to understand what metrics would serve as the best inputs for such a model. Despite this lack of guidance, a number of non-contractual firms regularly report a variety of different aggregate measures to their shareholders (e.g., the number of active users). We use a novel methodology based upon “indirect inference,” a well-established generalization of generalized method-of-moments procedures, to draw a connection between these common aggregate metrics and the underlying parameters of latent variable models for repeat purchasing. We show how the overall predictive validity of the models varies as a function of the combination of metrics used to train the models; this allows us to better understand both how many and which metrics are needed to achieve adequate predictions of future revenues. We apply this methodology to quarterly data from the largest subsidiary of an e-commerce retailer, valuing the subsidiary as a whole, decomposing this valuation into existing and yet-to-be-acquired customers, and analyzing the profitability of newly-acquired customers.

To Look Like a King or Feel Like a King? Power and the Desire for Experiential vs. Material Luxury

Marketing

Speaker: David DUBOIS
Assistant Professor of Marketing , INSEAD

26 January 2017 - Room T030 - From 10:30 am to 12:00 pm


To Look Like a King or Feel Like a King? Power and the Desire for Experiential vs. Material Luxury

By David DUBOIS

This work proposes that power shifts consumers’ desire for different types of luxury options (i.e., experiential vs. material luxury) due to a change in sensitivity to the kind of benefit consumers expect a luxury option to deliver (i.e., the experience or appearance of status). Specifically, building on findings that high power activates a propensity for agency and performance, we posit that high power increases consumers’ sensitivity to status experience. In contrast, because low power activates a propensity for communion and visibility, we posit that low power increases consumers’ sensitivity to status appearance. As a result, we hypothesize that high power triggers a desire for experiential luxury (but not material luxury), and that low power triggers a desire for material luxury (but not experiential luxury). Six studies provide converging evidence for the effect across online, lab and field settings using multiple power manipulations and measures. They also show that the effect is muted when consumption options are nonluxury, and unexplained by differences in feelings of financial deprivation, expected feelings of uniqueness, or options’ perceived riskiness or longevity. Finally, a causal chain design and a mediation provide evidence for the underlying shift in sensitivity to status experience vs. appearance.