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Open access

Lev Muchnik and Jacob Goldenberg

Abstract

Most analyses of the social structure of a network implicitly assume that the relationships in the network are relatively stable. We present evidence that this is not the case. The focal network of this study grew in bursts rather than monotonously over time, and the bursts were highly localized. Links were added and deleted in nearby localities and are not randomly dispersed throughout the network. Also changes in structure lead to simultaneous changes in self-stated interests of its members. For SNA marketing applications the findings suggest interesting improvements. Local bursts around a seed can change the structure of the network dramatically and therefore a marketer’s influence and his chances of success. Therefore, network measurements should be carried out more frequently and closer to the actual implementation of a seeding campaign. To detect these abrupt, dramatic local changes marketers also use a finer resolution. Further, recommendation algorithms that simultaneously account for changes in network structure and content should be applied.

Open access

Andrew Stephen and Yasmeen Ahmad

Abstract

In the good old times shop manager knew their customers personally and were able to tailor offerings to their needs and desires. But how can we create meaningful moments for connected consumers in global markets? Yasmeen Ahmad explains how in digital times data fill in. Smart algorithms help generate insights and enable real time action to provide the right product and service to the right customer at the right time. Companies that don’t want to be left behind a digital elite need to remain close to their customers across multiple digital touchpoints. Being capable of reading, interpreting and acting upon consumers` traces is a prerequisite.

Open access

Yakov Bart

Abstract

In a classic seeded WOM marketing campaign, a company sends product samples to a selected group of influencers, and encourages them share the product information and their own opinions with other consumers. Positive effects include more WOM for the focal product in the target segment, but also in additional segments. But there are additional spillover effects on the brand and the product category level and they are negative. More conversations about the focal product reduced the “off-topic” conversations about other brands in the same category as well as other products of the same brand. These negative brand and category spillover effects are stronger when the focal product is of a more functional nature. Marketers tend to consider only positive spillovers to be beneficial for a company, but negative spillovers should not be immediately classified as “bad news.” There are upsides to this effect that managers can use in their favor.

Open access

David Dubois

Abstract

Many social media handbooks recommend targeting customers’ close connections and encouraging consumers to spread the word about their products and services among friends. But according to the findings of this research this strategy might not be the most effective way to build positive momentum. In fact, it might just do the opposite. The feelings of closeness that WOM senders experience toward their recipients determine what they share. Being close instills the desire to protect a recipient from having a bad experience. Therefore, communicating negative information, which highlights potential negative outcomes or attributes of a product, becomes more likely to be shared among close friends. In relations with loose acquaintances the motive to impress is more prevalent. Therefore, communicating positive information, which is more likely to shed a positive light on the WOM sender, is more likely to be shared in such instances. To encourage positive WOM for seeding campaigns, marketers should select the right platform and monitor closeness. Further, by framing the context of the campaign in the right way, they can also insure more positive WOM for a brand.

Open access

Marko Družić and Martina Majstorović

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to further the research of the connection between material well-being and happiness in transition economies. We analyzed panel data obtained from the World Database of Happiness and Eurostat. Our results indicate that out of all the major macroeconomic variables (GDP, employment, inflation, taxes etc.), the most significant (and the only stable) predictor of changes in happiness in transition countries is the level of employment. The results are consistent with a hypothesis of a still prevalent “socialist mentality” in the analyzed sample of countries which are all formerly socialist economies that typically place high (or full) employment as the highest economic priority (as opposed to GDP growth, low inflation etc.). Our results differ from the conclusions of the few studies done on this sample of countries, which suggests additional research on the subject is likely required.

Open access

Julijana Angelovska

Abstract

The aim of this study is the empirical investigation of the long-run relations and the short-term dynamics between two Balkan stock markets: Macedonian and Croatian. The presence of long run common trend between the Macedonian and Croatian stock market indices is identified by applying Johansen’s cointegration maximum eigenvalue and trace tests, while potential causal relations are examined by employing Granger’s causality tests. Data sample spans from January 3rd, 2005 to March 31st, 2017. The stock market indices were found to be co-integrated with significant relationships. A bi-directional pattern of causality is documented between the Macedonian and Croatian returns. This pattern is remarkably stable and suggests significant economic ties between the investors in Macedonian and Croatian stock markets. The findings are important for the investors meaning that they cannot gain diversification benefits of investing in the Croatian or Macedonian stock market.

Open access

Michelle Andrews

Abstract

To avoid overtargeting consumers or targeting them at the wrong moment, mobile ads need to be relevant. Geographically, consumers have been shown to be more responsive to promotional offers from shops that were located close to them. For the lead time of promotions, insights are similar: The closer in time, the better the response. When considering the interplay of time and space, though, the picture becomes more complex. Recipients need enough time to respond given their distance from the promoted venue, but too much time may reduce response rates. It appears that people do not plan too far in advance for events such as movie watching or with small-screen devices such as smartphones. Another context that can affect people’s response to mobile ads is that of the environment - what is going on around people. In a study of mobile promotions during subway rides, mobile campaigns turned out to be more effective on more crowded trains. Even if this finding cannot be generalized to all forms of crowded environments, it clearly shows that context matters. Understanding its impact can help marketers become better gatekeepers by delivering the right mobile ad to the right person at the right time at the right place in the right context.

Open access

Andrew T. Stephen

Abstract

Consumers have become always on and constantly connected. Search costs have plummeted, individuals’ abilities to digitally express themselves and their opinions increased, and the opportunities for superior business and market intelligence for companies have skyrocketed. This has given rise to more, richer, and new sources of consumer data that marketers can leverage, and has fueled the data-driven insights revolution in marketing. But there is more to come very soon. In marketing, we are quickly moving from the age of the connected consumer to the age of the augmented consumer. New technologies like wearable devices, smart sensors, consumer IoT devices, smart homes, and, critically, artificial intelligence ecosystems will not only connect, but will substantially and meaningfully augment the consumer in terms of their thoughts and behaviors. The biggest challenge for marketers will lie in how they approach marketing to this new type of consumer, particularly personal artificial intelligence ecosystems. This means marketing to algorithms, instead of people, and that is very different to how most marketing work is currently done.

Open access

Sudhir Sharma, Priti Singh, Kratika Singh and Bhawana Chauhan

Abstract

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have stepped up towards commercialization and sustainability yet they face challenges in terms of transaction cost that limit their growth prospects. Transaction cost is incurred in forming the group of members, searching for the potential clients, monitoring, and administration, in providing training to the clients etc. Group lending has emerged as an effective tool in reducing this cost by transferring its burden on the group. Though the concept of group lending is not new in micro finance but in India it was introduced by NABARD in 2004-05 owing to its key advantage of income generation. This paper aims to analyze whether group lending programme has some role to play in reducing transaction cost of MFIs. It also discusses the concept of transaction cost, characteristics of group lending as well as process of forming a group. The results reveal that internal management of small and medium MFIs is not working efficiently which results in increased costs. Large MFIs do not face such problems.

Open access

Andrew T. Stephen