Research Statement

Broadly speaking, I'm interested in using quantitative methods to understand customer behavior and derive implications for managers. There are a few main areas of research that I currently pursue, followed by links to the papers to which they refer. My research has appeared in Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing, International Journal of Research in Marketing, and Manufacturing & Service Operations Management.

Customer Complaints: What should firms make of complainers? Are they lost for good or still invested in the relationship? Complaint management is an integral part of defensive marketing, yet little is known empirically about the effects of customer complaints and firm recovery actions (in response to those complaints) on demand. I also explore how a firm's ability to respond to complaints can build customer equity and is related to the concept of interaction orientation.

Customer Analytics / Big Data: How can we use customer purchase or shopping patterns to understand and forecast customer behavior? I look at whether simple patterns in customer cell phone consumption behavior over time -- level, trend and volatility -- can predict churn up to 40 weeks in advance. The short answer is that usage volatility is the strongest predictor. In another paper, I model the consumer's decision of whether to buy or rent a movie, and derive implications for the retailer's pricing problem.

Direct Marketing & Latent Attrition: How should we measure the impact of direct marketing when we know it has been targeted to heterogeneous customers who are potentially changing their behavior over time? Latent attrition ("buy-til-you-die") models assume that customers go through two stages -- alive then dead -- in their relationship with the firm and have a long history in marketing. In an ongoing project, I'm exploring how should firms optimally schedule direct marketing in the presence of heterogeneity and latent attrition.

Unplanned Buying & Shopper Marketing: Retailers believe that a majority of purchases are unplanned, so they spend heavily on in-store marketing to stimulate these types of purchases. We know that in-store marketing influences unplanned buying, but how does this work for out-of-store marketing? To what extent do these factors differ in developed and emerging markets?  The last paper is a more managerial summary of our work.