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Research Articles

A collection of research articles from C-CUBES scholars, as well as suggested further reading.

Social Media and Customer-Based Brand Equity: An Empirical Investigation in Retail Industry

By | Research Articles

Anatoli Colicev, Ashwin Malshe , and Koen Pauwels

As customer-brand engagement progressively shifts to digital domains, understanding social media effects in branding has become a vital issue. Social media effectiveness is especially
important for the US retail sector due to intense competition among retailers for consumer attention and engagement on digital channels. Yet, the research on the effectiveness of social media in the retail industry remains sparse. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how social media affects US retailers’ customer-based brand equity (CBBE) which is an important indicator of brand success. Using a dataset of 15,717 retailer-day observations, the authors empirically test the dynamics between owned and earned social media and CBBE using panel vector autoregression (PVAR). The authors find strong impacts of owned and earned social media on CBBE across the board. However, they find that owned social media harms CBBE of retailers dealing in hedonic and high involvement products. Whereas owned social media helps general retailers in building CBBE, it reduces CBBE of specialty retailers. 

Colicev, Anatoli, Ashwin Malshe, and Koen Pauwels. “Social Media and Customer-Based Brand Equity: An Empirical Investigation in Retail Industry.” Administrative Sciences 8, no. 3 (2018): 55.

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Marketing Department Power and Board Interlocks

By | Research Articles

Peter Ebbes, Frank Germann, and Rajdeep Grewal

Although the level of power held by the marketing department can determine key organizational outcomes, including firm performance, this power often is modest and, in many firms, diminishing. To address this apparent disconnect, the authors propose that the board of directors is a critical but overlooked driver of marketing department power. In particular, directors’ marketing exposure through board service at other firms (i.e., board-interlocked firms) may affect the marketing department’s power in the firms on whose boards they also serve. With a sample of 4,422 firms, spanning 2007–2013, this study reveals that marketing department power in board-interlocked firms significantly and positively drives marketing department power in the focal firms. Consistent with an information sharing view, the magnitude of this effect varies with the focal firm’s network position in the board-interlocked network, such that it strengthens as the focal firm’s network centrality (information amount) and network brokerage (information quality) increase. These robust results suggest that board members and their social networks significantly influence marketing department power; if marketing wants to increase its power, it should get the board “on board.” 

Ebbes, Peter, Frank Germann, and Rajdeep Grewal. “Marketing Department Power and Board Interlocks.” Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative Research Paper (2019).

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Uncle Sam Rising: Performance Implications of Business-to-Government Relationships

By | Research Articles

Brett W. Josephson, Ju-Yeon Lee, Babu John Mariadoss, and Jean L. Johnson

This article uses multimethod approaches to develop a conceptual foundation for and empirical evidence of the performance implications of business-to-government (B2G) relationships. In-depth interviews reveal unique characteristics that differentiate B2G exchanges from commercial exchanges (e.g., procurement mission; regulations and oversight; scale, scope, and planning
horizon) and highlight the resultant cost–benefit trade-offs for firms in this environment. Empirical longitudinal analyses of secondary data show that a firm’s government customer emphasis (firm revenue dependence on B2G relationships) exerts a positive nonlinear effect on firm value but also increases firm risk (idiosyncratic and systematic). Government customer breadth and depth are two critical customer portfolio characteristics that moderate these effects. High government customer breadth creates more costs associated with an increasing government customer emphasis, mitigating the positive nonlinear effect on firm value. However, breadth provides diversification benefits that alleviate the increase in idiosyncratic risk that comes with greater government customer emphasis. Deep B2G relationships give firms key customer domain knowledge and insights, which help counteract the increased idiosyncratic and systematic risks of government customer emphasis. The authors discuss the implications for marketing theory and practice.. 

Josephson, Brett W., Ju-Yeon Lee, Babu John Mariadoss, and Jean L. Johnson. “Uncle Sam Rising: Performance Implications of Business-to-Government Relationships.” Journal of Marketing 83, no. 1 (2019): 51-72..

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Effects of Channel Members’ Customer-centric Structures on Supplier Performance

By | Research Articles

Andrew T. Crecelius, Justin M. Lawrence, Ju-Yeon Lee, Son K. Lam & Lisa K. Scheer

The authors examine the upstream impact of a firm’s customer-centric organizational structure on  its supplier, including both positive effects of greater revenue and negative effects of demanding services that raise the  supplier’s costs. These countervailing effects on supplier profit are moderated by characteristics  of the firm’s buying center and the firm–supplier relationship, in accordance with the value capture literature. Study 1 examines the proposed firm-level financial effects of the dual processes, using surveys of industrial firms matched with secondary data from their supplier. Study 2 assesses the supplier-level net impact of the dual processes, using publicly available data to shed light on the upstream financial impact of firms’ customer-centric structures across a broad sample of Fortune 500 suppliers. Findings highlight the need for a supplier to proactively assess the structure of each buyer-firm, as a supplier can take steps to mitigate cost effects and enhance revenue effects. 

Crecelius, Andrew T., Justin M. Lawrence, Ju-Yeon Lee, Son K. Lam, and Lisa K. Scheer. “Effects of channel members’ customer-centric structures on supplier performance.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 47, no. 1 (2019): 56-75.

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Scheduling Content on Social Media: Theory, Evidence, and Application

By | Research Articles

Vamsi K. Kanuri, Yixing Chen, and Shrihari (Hari) Sridhar

Content platforms (e.g., newspapers, magazines) post several stories daily on their dedicated social media pages and promote some of them using targeted content advertising (TCA). Posting stories enables content platforms to grow their social media audiences and generate digital advertising revenue from the impressions channeled through social media posts’ link clicks. However, optimal scheduling of social media posts and TCA is formidable, requiring content platforms to determine what to post; when to post; and whether, when, and how much to spend on TCA to maximize profits. 

Kanuri, V. K., Chen, Y., & Sridhar, S. (Hari). (2018). Scheduling Content on Social Media: Theory, Evidence, and Application. Journal of Marketing, 82(6), 89–108. 

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The Fall and Rise of Strategic Planning

By | Research Articles

HENRY MINTZBERG

When strategic planning arrived on the scene in the mid-1960s, corporate leaders embraced it as “the one best way” to devise and implement strategies that would enhance the competitiveness of each business unit. True to the scientific management pioneered by Frederick Taylor, this one best way involved separating thinking from doing and creating a new function staffed by specialists: strategic planners. Planning systems were expected to produce the best strategies as well as step-by-step instructions for carrying out those strategies so that the doers, the managers of businesses, could not get them wrong. As we now know, planning has not exactly worked out that way.

Mintzberg, Henry. “The fall and rise of strategic planning.” Harvard business review 72, no. 1 (1994): 107-114.

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Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty Behaviors, and Firm-Financial Performance: What 30 Years of Research Tells Us

By | B2B: Research Articles, Education: Research Articles, Energy: Research Articles, Research Articles, Retail: Research Articles

CARLY FRENNEA AND VIKAS MITTAL

The authors synthesize research on the relationship between customer satisfaction (CS) and customer- and firm-level outcomes in a meta-analytic framework. Overall, the results point to positive associations between CS and customer behaviors, financial performance, and shareholder value. However, the magnitude of the relationship between CS and firm-level outcomes is smaller than that between CS and customer-level outcomes. Moderator analysis shows substantial variability in the effect sizes reported across customer-level studies, which can be partially attributed to contextual factors and measurement characteristics. The authors conclude with a discussion of the theoretical and managerial implications of these effects and propose future research directions. Although strength of the association with CS differs across customer behaviors, research has rarely examined multiple customer outcomes simultaneously. In addition, there is an opportunity to specify mechanisms that drive the differences in effect sizes across contexts. Finally, the results reveal that the still-emerging literature on the impact of CS on financial performance would benefit from a systematic investigation of moderators and the means through which CS affects firm performance.

Frennea, Carly and Mittal, Vikas, Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty Behaviors, and Firm-Financial Performance: What 30 Years of Research Tells Us (July 2, 2017).

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Buy American: A User’s Guide for Measuring Customer Motivations

By | Research Articles

VIKAS MITTAL

Rather than a fad, buying American is a consistent and persistent motivation for many consumers. But which consumers are more likely to buy American and why? How can companies better cater to this need among their current and potential customers? This note reviews how companies can proactively respond to consumers’ buy-American motivations and increase customer satisfaction, loyalty behaviors, and financial outcomes. Four distinct motivations drive people to buy American: country branding, country animosity, consumer ethnocentrism, and local identity. This note identifies specific scales that can be administered via a survey for implementing a buy-American branding strategy based on these four motivations. Specific examples illustrate how companies use these four pillars to support their buy-American branding strategy.

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How United Airlines Can Change Course, According To The Latest Research

By | Research Articles

VIKAS MITTAL

“As board members, we only meet infrequently and are not engaged with the front line,” confessed United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz last year during the annual meeting in June. But this spring, when footage of passenger Dr. David Dao being dragged off a United plane swept the internet, it became clear the airline’s leadership needed to engage far better in situations with unhappy passengers. What, exactly, should United Airlines do? Recent research can help school the airline on how to improve.

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Measuring customer satisfaction: Fact and artifact

By | Research Articles

ROBERT A. PETERSON AND WILLIAM R. WILSON

Self-reports of customer satisfaction invariably possess distributions that are negatively skewed and exhibit a positivity bias. Examination of the customer satisfaction literature and empirical investigations reveal that measurements of customer satisfaction exhibit tendencies of confounding and methodological contamination and appear to reflect numerous artifacts. Implications and suggestions for research and practice are discussed.

Peterson, Robert A., and William R. Wilson (1992). “Measuring customer satisfaction: fact and artifact.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 20 (1), 61.

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