February 28, 2011

Allenby scores triple-play in tier-one marketing journal

Greg AllenbyGreg Allenby, the Helen C. Kurtz Chair in Marketing, had three research articles published in the January-February 2011 issue of Marketing Science, a top-tier journal for scholars in the field of marketing.

“This academic ‘hat-trick’ is a very rare occurrence in a top journal,” said Walter Zinn, chair of the Department of Marketing and Logistics. “This type of achievement contributes to the overall reputation of Fisher.”

Allenby’s research focuses on the development and application of Bayesian statistical methods in marketing. All three articles use Bayesian modeling to examine various consumer preferences.

“My research deals with quantifying aspects of consumer behavior using data routinely collected by most organizations, and, more recently, its relationship to behavior prior to the purchase, outside the marketplace,” Allenby said.

The first article, “Identifying Unmet Demand,” was co-authored by Sandeep R. Chandukala of Indiana University’s Kelley School and Yancy D. Edwards of Saint Leon University in Florida.  Data from a national survey was used to sort out how consumers deal with products and features that are thought to be ineffective, and to distinguish this from product attributes that are not seen as important. 

“The ability to understand why demand for a product is low is fundamental to knowing how best to develop and position one’s products,” says Allenby.

“The Effect of Media Advertising on Brand Consideration and Choice,” was co-authored with Nobuhiko Terui, of the Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, and Masataka Ban, on the faculty of business administration, Mejiro University of Tokyo. This study combines household scanner panel data with media exposure information to analyze the effect of television advertising on brand choice.  Findings indicate that the effect of advertising on demand is mediated entirely by the formation of a “consideration set” of brands.  That is, once a brand becomes a finalist for purchase, television advertising has no additional affect on choice.  “Our finding is controversial but consistent with a growing literature on the mechanism of marketing variables on choice,” says Allenby.

The third article, “Bayesian Analysis of Hierarchical Effects,” was co-authored by Chandukala, Jeffrey P. Dotson, Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, Jeffrey D. Brazell, chief executive officer of The Modellers,  a Salt Lake City based market research firm.  The article examines the presence of multi-staged decision process in the luxury car market, and proposes tools for understanding the sequence of effects and events that precede purchase.  “Marketing is characterized by a multitude of variables that measure the inclinations and tendencies of individuals at various points in the decision process,” says Allenby.  “This research quantifies which variables play key roles in that process.”