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Showing posts from 2011

Just One Amazon Prime for Singapore...Please!

We left the USA last June and moved to Singapore. The life in upstate NY was pretty chilled. The cost of living was very low and even though we lived in a small town, we had access to most of the important retailers. For example, we had TJ Maxx, A&F, Macy's, Sears, JCP, Finish Line, Foot Locker, Gap, Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart Super Store, and Wegman's. But above all, being in the USA we had Amazon Prime!

For those who are not aware of Prime, it is an amazing service from Amazon. In a nutshell, for about $80 a year you get free 2-day shipping on the items sold from Amazon. But there are many more benefits to it and you should check them from the above link. Kid Dynamite, one of the bloggers I follow religiously has talked about Prime. You should check it out (both, Amazon Prime and Kid's Blog!)

When we arrived in Singapore, we were shocked to see the prices. Although as a professor I earn much more than as a PhD student, I was still taken aback by the prices. For exam…

Interesting Videos about Asia Supply Chain

Groupon Products

Groupon offers a number of products. Here is the description of their products from the S-1 they filed with SEC.

1) Featured Daily Deals    We distribute a featured daily deal by email on behalf of local merchants to subscribers using our targeting technology, which distributes deals to subscribers based on their location and personal preferences. We also have offered daily deals from more than 40 national merchants, including Bath & Body Works, The Body Shop, Hyatt Regency, InterContinental Hotels, Lions Gate, Redbox, Shutterfly and Zipcar across subsets of the North American market. We initially offered one daily deal to all subscribers in a given market but now offer several daily deals in most established markets. We launched this product in October 2008 and it is offered in all of our North American and international markets.
2) Deals Nearby     Daily deals that do not appear as a featured daily deal appear as Deals Nearby. Each Deal Nearby currently is summarized in fewer than …

A Few Videos on Consumer Behavior

Need Recognition

Information Search

Product Evaluation

Choice and Purchase





Understanding Consumer Behavior

Below you will find a small 4-minutes video of an interesting case of overlooking consumer behavior in Democratic Republic of Congo, an African country. The country, like many other in Africa, faces increasing HIV cases. However, the condom usage is a paltry 3%. There are several charities, NGOs, and top brands educating and pushing condoms to the men (via advertising, branding, and condom dispensers, etc.) without much of success. On the other hand, the local, generic condom brands are in great demand! How is it that the firms with top dollars and great insight backed by consumer research cant convince the DRC males to use their condoms, even when they are free, while generic brands achieve this easily? Check out the TED video for the answer!

A Few Examples of Ansoff Matrix

Here I give four examples of the commonly taught penetration, product development, market development, and diversification strategies.

When marketers try to sell the existing product to the existing customers, they engage in penetration strategy. It can be achieved in multiple ways. For example, by changing pricing, by adding minor features (new and improved!), changing the packaging (shampoo sachets), or highlighting alternative uses. In this commercial, we get to how Cadbury India is pushing for chocolates to be used as small gifts instead of more traditional sweets used during Diwali festival.

Product Development:
McDonald's introduced salads in their outlets in order to retain its existing customers, many of whom were becoming more health conscious.Salads are exactly opposite of what McDonald's is known for! However, regulatory pressures, changing consumer behavior, and negative media coverage forced them to introduce more healthy choices on the menu.

Market De…

Why do B2B Firms use B2C Advertising Channels?

Do people really care whether the aircraft they are flying is manufactured by Boeing or Airbus? The type of aircraft is not even a criterion listed while choosing your flights on Orbitz or other flight booking websites. Then why does Boeing (NYSE:BA) spend so much money on television advertising?

Before you read any further let me admit that I don't know why! But I can certainly speculate. One of the possible reasons is that it creates awareness about the firm among the individual investors. Now that just raises more question. For example, why should firms care about the type of investors?

Grullon, Kanatas, and Weston (2004) proposed that advertising gets more individual investors who increase the stock's liquidity level—the ease of buying and selling the stock. We use a similar argument and show that individual investors also reduce liquidity risk—the changes in the liquidity level. There seems to be some benefit of having individual investors around. As both these papers sho…

Marketing Startegy Meets Wall Street Conference

The last weekend I attended a conference on marketing-finance interface (Marketing Strategy Meets Wall Street II) at Boston University. This is a bi-annual conference that brings together the researchers who are interested in linking marketing to financial value. The main motivation behind it was to develop marketing performance measures that can be interpreted easily by the top management. This way the value of marketing effort is easily communicated within the firm.

A Few Key Observations

1. Researchers have started using more complex econometric models. Although many papers adopted some straightforward estimation methods from finance, they used them just as a base upon which to construct a more sophisticated model.

2. Abnormal returns as a performance metric have become a huge rage with around 30 (mine including) out of some 40 papers  incorporating them in the analyses. As an aside I think that abnormal returns are noisy and nobody can be sure whether they are really abnormal!

3. …