Department of Marketing & Entrepreneurship

Fall 2014 Seminar Series

Time: Friday 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 Noon
Location: 365B Melcher Hall (Enter through Suite 365 Lobby)
Open to Public: No reservation or registration required.

Note: Topics and Abstracts will be added to this page throughout the semester

Date Speaker Topic
Sept. 12 Gerry Tellis
    "Crowdsourcing Innovations"
  • Click to read Abstract

    Due to the growth of Web 2.0, crowdsourcing ideas for innovation has now become important for ideation. The success of crowdsourcing depends on the number and quality of ideas generated by ideators (participants) in the contest. With few exceptions (e.g., Bayus 2013 and Girotra, Terwiesch, and Ulrich 2010), research is sparse as to what characteristics of ideators lead to good quality ideas. We test for four such characteristics, prior success, time in contest, social learning, and productivity. Our theory come from experimental studies while our data come from 9 crowdsourcing competitions conducted for large corporations in real markets.

    We find that social learning has a significant positive influence on success. However, the measure of social learning that best associates with success is betweenness centrality not network centrality. Contrary to Terwiesch and Ulrich (2010), productivity per day is negatively related to success. After controlling for other variables, time has a negative effect on success. This means merely sitting in the contest and not participating in order to take and not give hurts success. Most importantly, contrary to Bayus (2013), prior success is positively related to current success This result suggests that talent rather than fixation is an important driver of ideator’s success. We discuss theoretical and managerial implications.

Gerry Tellis
Sept. 26 Barbara Bickart
    "Sharing Secrets with Strangers on Social Media: Can You Make Word-of-Mouth More Persuasive via Intimate Self-Disclosure?"
  • Click to read Abstract

    Disclosure of intimate personal stories and self-relevant emotions is an essential part of many social media conversations. Yet, despite the frequent occurrence of such intimate self-disclosure on social media, its influence on the persuasive impact of a communicator is surprisingly limited. This research examines the influence of sharing a secret (i.e., the disclosure of personal information involving risk and vulnerability) on an influencer's ability to persuade others. Overall, we find that the effectiveness of sharing secrets as a persuasive tactic depends on the influencer's relationship (i.e., communal versus exchange) with the audience and the intimacy of the secret being shared. We test these predictions in the context of a health and fitness blog (Study 1 to 3) and replicate in a technology blog setting (Study 4). Specifically, in Study 1 we show that when influencers have a communal relationship with their audience, purchase intentions and willingness to pay for a recommended fitness book increase relative to a low disclosure control condition, while when the influencer has an exchange relationship with the audience, the opposite pattern is observed. These effects are mediated by trust in the communal condition and by the perceived violation of relationship norms in the exchange condition. In Study 2, we replicate the communal condition results from Study 1 and further show that when a secret is perceived as being too intimate, sharing backfires even in a communal relationship. In Study 3, we show that sharing a secret can be an effective persuasive tactic in an exchange relationship as long as the audience solicits the sharing. In this case, violation of relationship norms is no longer the mediating variable, but instead, the increased persuasion is mediated by a norm of reciprocity. Finally, Study 4 replicates the findings in a technology blog context. Results from these four studies extend our knowledge of the relationship between self-disclosure and persuasion and provide practical guidelines for when an influencer’s communication will be helped or hurt by the use of these tactics.

Barbara Bickart
Oct. 3 Jean-Pierre Dubé
    "Self-Signaling and Pro-Social Behavior: a cause marketing mobile field experiment"
  • Click to read Abstract

    We test self-signaling theory using two large-scale, randomized controlled field experiments. Mobile phone users are randomly sampled to receive promotional offers for movie tickets via SMS technology. Test groups are exposed to different pre-determined levels of price discounts and charitable donations tied to the ticket purchase. The main effects of price discounts and charitable donations increase ticket demand. However, the combination of both discounts and donations can decrease ticket demand. In a post-purchase survey, the same subjects self-report lower ratings of “feeling good about themselves” as the motivation for buying a ticket when discounts and donations are both large. These findings are consistent with a self-signaling theory, whereby the discount crowds out the consumer's “warm-glow” feeling from the charitable donation. Alternative behavioral explanations are ruled out. A structural model of demand with self-signaling is fit to the data using a constrained optimization algorithm to handle the potential multiplicity of equilibria. The estimated preferences reveal that consumers do not derive consumption utility from donations bundled with the ticket. However, they derive significant diagnostic utility: the warm-glow feeling of the self-perception of valuing charitable donations.

Jean-Pierre Dubé
Oct. 10
12-1:30 p.m.
Cassie Mogilner
    "It's Time for Happiness"
  • Click to read Abstract

    How should people spend their time to enjoy greater happiness? Cassie Mogilner will be presenting two projects that address this question. The first examines the happiness enjoyed from ordinary and extraordinary experiences, revealing age to play a critical role. The second examines the happiness enjoyed from spending time on highly varied (vs. similar) activities, revealing the interval of time within which the activities occur to play a critical role. Together these findings provide insight into happy ways to spend time and highlight time as a key ingredient for experiencing happiness.

Cassie Mogilner
Oct. 31 Leonard Lee
    "Price Promotions and Their Negative Effects"
  • Click to read Abstract

    The impact of price promotions has attracted substantial interest among scholars who seek to understand how people make everyday purchase decisions. While past research has shown that price promotions often translate into real economic savings, guide buying decisions, encourage trial of new products, and make consumers feel smart and good about themselves, other work has shown that price promotions can reduce perceived product efficacy, lower price expectations, increase price sensitivity, and negatively impact brand sales and consumer loyalty in the long run. In this session, I discuss a number of recent findings that highlight additional downsides of price promotions and their respective psychological mechanisms. Specifically, price promotions may decrease consumption enjoyment particularly when people consume the products that they have purchased at a discount after a delay (vs. immediately) following the transaction, increase consumer impatience, and reduce people’s willingness-to-buy by momentarily increasing their subjective importance of the prudent-spending goal.

Leonard Lee
Nov. 7 Qiaowei Shen
    "Upselling vs. Upsetting Customers"
  • Click to read Abstract

    Upselling is a common practice in business that is associated with high profit margin. Yet we find empirical evidence that upselling is negatively correlated with customer satisfaction. In this paper, we study the relationship between upselling and customer satisfaction in the framework of sales agents incentive. On the one hand, sales representatives are motivated to upsell by the monetary incentive in the form of commission. On the other hand, sales representatives have the intrinsic motivation to achieve customer satisfaction, which is not tied to monetary reward. As exerting effort is costly, an agent optimally allocates effort in the upselling practice and in serving customers to maximize personal utility. Using a comprehensive data set from a national car rental company that practices upselling, we estimate a model of customers' decision to purchase add-on products at the counter and customer satisfaction together with counter representatives' effort allocation decision. We conduct counterfactual analysis to evaluate the implications of different incentive schemes on upselling, customer satisfaction and future business.

Nov. 14 Puneet Manchanda
Puneet Manchanda

Spring 2015 Seminar Series

Time: Friday 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 Noon
Location: 365B Melcher Hall (Enter through Suite 365 Lobby)
Open to Public: No reservation or registration required.

Note: Topics and Abstracts will be added to this page throughout the semester

Date Speaker Topic
Jan. 23 Adam Duhachek
Feb. 13 Aner Sela
Feb. 20 Yi Qian
March 6 Dmitri Kuksov
UT Dallas
March 13 Leigh McAlister
UT Austin
March 27 Dinah Vernik
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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