Volume 9 (2023-24)

Each volume of Applied Marketing Analytics consists of FOUR 100-page issues, published in print and online. Articles scheduled for Volume 9 are available to view on the 'Forthcoming content' page. 

The Articles published in Volume 9 include:

Volume 9 Number 2

  • Editorial
    Martin Squires, Visiting Professor Geography/Geospatial Analysis & Computing, UCL; Senior Solutions Consultant (Advanced Analytics), Merkle
  • To ChatGPT or not to ChatGPT: A note to marketing executives
    Jacques Bughin, CEO, MachaonAdvisory

    Generative AI technologies have taken the world by storm recently, and are quickly invading the sphere of enterprise, especially in sales and marketing functions. Various stages of the evolution of AI, and what makes generative AI a possible breakthrough, with a variety of examples in the context of marketing, are discussed in this paper. Caution, however, should be adopted when using generative AI technology, even if competition is frantically adopting this technology and claims great success in using generative AI. In this paper five questions are proposed that should serve as an acid test on what posture marketing executives should adopt when using these new, powerful AI technologies.
    Keywords: generative AI; neuronal AI; neurosymbolic AI; ChatGPT; generative AI marketing

  • A new model for optimal advertising impression allocation across consumer segments
    Joel Rubinson, President, Rubinson Partners, Neil B. Morley, Vice President of Marketing Solutions Product, TransUnion, Vassilis Bakapoulos, Senior Vice President – Global Head of Measurement, Insights & Strategy, MMA Global and Marc Vermut, Vice President of Marketing Solutions Knowledge Lab, TransUnion

    With conflicting recommendations and marketer practices about advertising impression allocation approaches (ie ‘the media strategy’), from approaches centred on reach (‘go broad’) versus targeting (‘get specific’), the debate rages on: ‘Are marketers targeting too much, not enough, or simply targeting the wrong consumers with their advertising?’ This paper interprets the issue of targeting as an advertising impression allocation question and instead of leading with case study evidence which by its nature is parochial, uses a novel mathematical approach to create an ad impression allocation model based on probability of choice. This contrasts with broad reach strategies and is different from other targeting schemes, eg key demographic, high lifetime value consumers, non-buyers for conquest, proprietary segments of interest. The findings suggest that targeting Movable Middles, ie those with a 20–80 per cent probability of choosing the brand of interest, can lead to 50 per cent improvement in return on ad spending (ROAS) versus broad reach media plans. The results are then supported with two in a large scale market case study. The Movable Middle, a segment of category buyers with a 20–80 per cent probability of choosing a brand, are shown to generate 2–23 times more ROAS than other category buyers who are mostly non-buyers of a brand. This pattern was uncovered mathematically but then subsequently verified empirically. By shifting about 10 per cent of ad impressions to audiences that have high concentrations of Movable Middles, a typical 10 per cent share brand can expect a 50 per cent improvement in campaign ROAS and a 13 per cent improvement in converting non-buyers. This leads to better serving brand needs for both quarterly sales and for long-term growth via customer acquisition. This new media strategy is not just limited to digital campaigns; it can be implemented across any media channel, including linear TV, radio and print.
    Keywords: advertising; targeting; Movable Middle; lift; media strategy; return on ad spending (ROAS); probability of purchase

  • Automated cluster generation and labelling of peer groups for marketing reporting
    Dakota Crisp, Analytics Manager, OneMagnifyJonathan Prantner, Chief Analytics Officer, OneMagnifyGrant Miller, Data Scientist, USICJack Claucherty, Analytics Manager, OneMagnifyTom Thomas, Vice President of Data Strategy, Analytics & Business Intelligence, FordDirect and Danielle Barnes, Analytics Director, OneMagnify

    In today's data-driven marketing landscape, clustering data helps businesses better understand themselves and their customers. However, clusters derived from machine learning can be difficult to interpret and obtain buy-in from stakeholders. This paper details a method for automated cluster generation and labelling using machine learning. Two automotive case studies are provided where clustering enhanced business value and gained stakeholder buy-in. The first details segmenting dealerships based on their media environment to produce higher quality media models for lead generation. The second entails the creation of peer groups to enhance performance reporting across a diverse set of dealerships.
    Keywords: clustering; automotive; labelling; peer groups; segmentation

  • Generative AI: A master or servant of market research analysis?
    Andy Buckley, Global Solutions Partner, Human8

    This paper explores generative AI's potential impact on the analytics element of the market research process, examining whether AI is destined to become an analysis master (which reduces humans to a minor role), or whether it will play the role of a faithful, trusted and tireless servant to human researchers. Version 4.0 of ChatGPT was used to conduct a series of tasks ranging from the analysis of desk research to primary research qualitative transcripts, quantitative survey open-ended comments and numerical data. The paper concludes that the hype around generative AI is indeed justified. In its current state of evolution, ChatGPT is an extraordinarily efficient extractor, organiser, processor and summariser of qualitative, quantitative and secondary research data. However, its capability is more akin to that of a competent junior consultant; for projects which require a greater experience and understanding of the human condition (empathy, intuition, creative and abstract thinking), humans remain as, if not more, important than ever in helping brands to remain relevant and grow in an increasingly fast-moving and complex world. The paper concludes that a generative AI like ChatGPT 4.0 is an extremely smart, tireless, diligent collaborator which frees (or perhaps forces) human researchers to up their game so they can apply their uniquely human skills and value to the research process.
    Keywords: artificial intelligence; generative AI; ChatGPT; market research; disruption; analysis; human

  • Using customer feedback to prioritise remediation return on investment and improve customer experience
    Manya Mayes, VP Data Science, 1440 Consulting

    With the myriad of customer comments available on digital media, it is paramount for organisations to identify the breadth of compliments and complaints that customers are discussing, to analyse and understand drivers of customer sentiment and to know where to prioritise available resources such that the resolution of issues produces the biggest rewards for customers — and the business. Many organisations already successfully identify the issues that customers report (and there may be dozens of them). Often, they select the issues with the highest volume (impacting the most customers) and focus on resolving those first. Additionally, they may target the issues that have the highest negative sentiment. While both approaches are useful, they usually lack the ability to track newly developing issues/trends and, most importantly, are unable to accurately prioritise where to start (in the case of issues with similar volumes) and how to quantify the return on investment (ROI) associated with the remediation of each issue. This paper focuses on the technical capabilities needed to be able to identify the drivers of customer conversations and sentiment, the approaches needed to quantify both the importance of taking action from the customer's standpoint and the impact for the business in doing so, allowing a measured approach to improved customer experience. Analysing, prioritising and resolving cross-channel issues creates happier customers, higher rates of acquisition, increased repeat business and, ultimately, improves the bottom line.
    Keywords: sentiment analysis; natural language processing; sensitivity analysis; brand and reputation management; competitive intelligence; customer experience; marketing analytics; digital analytics

  • Considerations in artificial intelligence-based marketing: An ethical perspective
    Animesh Kumar Sharma, Research Scholar, and Rahul Sharma, Professor, Mittal School of Business, Lovely Professional University

    The growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing poses several ethical concerns. Marketers must ensure the secure and productive application of customer data when using artificial intelligence. Moreover, despite its supposed impartiality, they must acknowledge the probability of partiality within AI. To ensure ethical practice, engineers and marketers should take measures such as respecting consumer privacy, verifying data accuracy and preventing algorithmic bias. Numerous kinds of research have demonstrated biases in facial recognition applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning. This has sparked intense study into the subject of fairness in machine learning and to promote algorithms some toolkits have been created to reduce biases and understand black box models. This study addresses ethical issues in the application of artificial intelligence in marketing and provides an overview of fairness concepts, methodologies and tools as they apply to marketing activities.
    Keywords: ethics; artificial intelligence; machine learning; AI; ML; marketing

  • Data-driven attribute selection for hardware technology products: A multi-criteria framework
    Evgeny A. Antipov, Associate Professor and Elena B. Pokryshevskaya, Associate Professor, HSE University

    This paper outlines a multiple-criteria approach for supporting manufacturers in making decisions about tech products' technical, aesthetic and price characteristics. The authors propose a predictive modelling approach that shortlists efficient product designs based on their expected profit margin, consumer rating and demand. The method involves collecting SKU (stock keeping unit)-level data on product features from an online marketplace and estimating regression models. These models include a hedonic pricing model, a demand model and a satisfaction model to identify the factors that drive sales, prices and satisfaction. Analysing the model coefficients and their significance allows for identifying cost-efficient product features that positively impact sales and satisfaction. The models also enable predicting the outcomes for various new specifications making it possible to shortlist Pareto-efficient product designs. The approach uses publicly available data and allows for frequent updates, although it has some limitations, such as omitted variable bias and the use of a demand proxy. The authors suggest ways to extend the framework to account for uncertainty in predictions and include more outcomes of interest.
    Keywords: product design; consumer preferences; demand estimation; hedonic pricing; satisfaction; regression analysis; machine learning; Pareto efficiency; multi-criteria comparison

  • Web3 and marketing: The new frontier
    Brandon Chicotsky, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Marketing, Texas Christian University

    In recent years, there has been a growing interest in decentralised technologies and the potential of Web3. These technologies have the potential to upend traditional business models and disrupt several industries. There is also a growing recognition of the need for new marketing approaches to promote these technologies and drive adoption. The ‘tech stack’ of Web3 is complex and still evolving, making it difficult to communicate its benefits to a mainstream audience. Additionally, the decentralised nature of these technologies presents unique marketing challenges since there is no single company or organisation that controls the narrative. This paper explores the market for Web3 technologies and the opportunities and challenges for marketing in this space. It begins with an overview of the Web3 marketplace, including a discussion of the size and scope of the market and the major trends driving growth. This is followed by a section on marketing in Web3, including a discussion of the unique challenges and opportunities posed by technology. Finally, the paper concludes with a case study of an effective marketing campaign for a Web3 project.
    Keywords: decentralised technologies; Web3; business models; marketing approaches; tech stack; target marketing; marketing technology

Volume 9 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Leslie Ament, Chief Research Officer (emeritus), Hypatia Research Group
  • Practice papers
    ChatGPT and search engine optimisation: The future is here
    Kelly Cutler, Lecturer, Northwestern University

    The new chatbot from artificial intelligence company OpenAI, called ChatGPT, has grown aggressively since its launch in late 2022. ChatGPT provides information back to users who populate questions in a clear and easy to understand structure. This technology can be used for different purposes, including writing code, creating business proposals, writing stories and answering complex questions. Because this technology is considered a breakthrough in terms of its ability to process natural language, it stands to reason that it could have future effects on the fundamental digital marketing tactic known as search engine optimisation (SEO), a process by which websites are developed and updated with the goal of increasing natural ranking, traffic and customers from search engines like Google and Bing. For the past 20 years, people have turned to search engines for information, news articles, images, videos and answers to questions both mundane and complex. This technological advance with chatbots could indicate a significant general shift for marketers, specifically related to web searches and how marketers think about SEO. In fact, Microsoft's decision to invest in ChatGPT and include it within their search engine, Bing, has already created waves in the search engine ecosystems. In this paper, ChatGPT will be examined, its capabilities and how they could affect search marketing and SEO.
    Keywords: ChatGPT; SEO; chat bots; digital marketing; search engine marketing; search engine optimisation; search marketing

  • Data democratisation requires literacy and fluency for proficiency
    Jim Sterne, Business Scaling Consultant, Online Marketing Analytics

    This paper discusses the challenges of data democratisation for non-digital-native organisations and the importance of data literacy in the process. Data democratisation refers to providing access to data to everyone to enable easy and informed decision-making without gatekeepers. Without a firm understanding of the basics and an educated grasp of the nuances, exploring data can be intriguing but not constructive. To be successful, organisations must get everybody, including those who are less knowledgeable, to have the same understanding of data and speak the same language in a collaborative manner. A common understanding of data is supported by data dictionaries, catalogues and legacy repositories. A common language allows teams to better choose which projects have the highest likelihood of success. The paper emphasises the need for data fluency across an organisation.
    Keywords: collaboration; data democratisation; data fluency; data literacy; data proficiency; data-driven; language

  • Qualifying control data with propensity score matching
    Dakota Crisp, Data Science Manager, RXA, et al.

    The Fourth Industrial Revolution has brought with it a proliferation of data and an environment with ever-increasing complexity. While experimental design is the gold standard in assessing direct causal impact, the need for frequent business pivots and the abundance of pre-existing data makes quasi-experimental design a notable contender. Propensity score matching is one such quasi-experimental design tool that enables retrospective hypothesis testing, enabling businesses to use previously unviable data. This paper provides a case study of how this technique helps process nonrandomised data into viable analyses.
    Keywords: automotive; control group; design of experiments; lift analysis; propensity score matching; quasi-experimental design

  • What is the right set of technologies and techniques to effectively analyse marketing effectiveness?
    Pranav Patil, Customer Analytics Manager, Nextdoor

    The evolving nature of the digital marketing ecosystem in a world where consumer privacy comes first requires marketing organisations to rethink how they measure campaign effectiveness and allocate budgets. A broad consensus exists within the ecosystem that methods and strategies that worked a few years ago do not give a clear picture of campaign effectiveness now. With signal loss, organisations need to be agile and think about how they can measure effectively and invest each dollar wisely. This paper describes, through the lens of a practitioner, the right set of measurement technologies that can help marketers effectively analyse campaign effectiveness. There is no single technical solution that provides an all-encompassing picture of the campaign's effectiveness; rather, it is a collection of solutions.
    Keywords:  cross-channel reporting; data analytics; marketing; marketing effectiveness; marketing technology; measurement strategy; media mix modelling; multi-touch attribution

  • Which key performance indicators should be used to establish a lead scoring strategy for customer relationship management?
    Sergio Suárez, PhD Student and Ana Reyes-Menendez, Assistant Professor, Rey Juan Carlos University

    Customer data has always been a company's most valuable asset, but now it increasingly represents the cornerstone of any company's marketing strategy. Therefore, this data must be optimised and leveraged effectively. This research aims to identify which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential for enabling personalised treatment of customers through the organisation's marketing strategy, using a lead scoring strategy to provide a different experience to each customer segment depending on their life cycle stage (top of the funnel awareness, middle of the funnel selection, bottom of the funnel ready to purchase). A survey was carried out of leaders in the advertising sector to understand their opinions on, and practices with, the different KPIs that this type of strategy should include.
    Keywords:  CRM; KPI; Key Performance Indicators; big data; customer data platform; lead scoring; marketing automation; personalisation; targeting; user profiling

  • Research papers
    Using MASEM to explore the psychological mechanisms linking salespeople’s job satisfaction and performance
    Chien-Chung Chen, Associate Professor of Marketing, Hong Chen, Assistant Professor of Informatics and Yan Liu, Assistant Professor of Management, Indiana University East

    Satisfied and involved salespeople not only benefit themselves but also contribute to the profitability of their sales organisation. However, no sales research focuses on salespeople's psychological states driving salesperson involvement to sales performance. This study classified salespeople's psychological states influencing sales performance by the objects related to salespeople and the motivational states. The three psychological states are salespeople's motivations for the salespeople themselves (intrinsic motivation), their organisation (organisational commitment) and their customers (customer orientation). In addition, no meta-analysis or empirical sales study has yet identified and clarified the interactions between the salespeople's three psychological states or shown how they mediate the link between salespeople's job satisfaction and performance. This study involved the collection of 141 empirical sales articles (1971–2022) from 26 journals and coded 275 effect sizes with 72,668 survey responses. Meta-analytic structural equational modelling (MASEM) was used to analyse the data and test the conceptual model. The results support the hypotheses: salespeople's job satisfaction is positively related to intrinsic motivation and organisational commitment; salespeople's intrinsic motivation is positively related to job performance, organisational commitment and customer orientation; salespeople's organisational commitment is positively related to job performance; salespeople's customer orientation is positively related to job performance. However, two are not supported: the hypothesis proposing a relationship between salespeople's job satisfaction and customer orientation, and that proposing a link between salespeople's organisational commitment and customer orientation. Based on the findings, a map of the salespeople's three psychological states is proposed, illustrating the link between salespeople's job satisfaction and performance, revealing the dominant role of salespeople's intrinsic motivation in driving the other two psychological states, and identifying the two-way causal relationship between salespeople's intrinsic motivation and job satisfaction. This study also offers marketing analytic professionals a clear roadmap for what the crucial variables are and marketing managers practical advice on how to promote and control the sales force.
    Keywords: MASEM; customer orientation; intrinsic motivation; meta-analytic structural equation modelling; organisational commitment; sales force management

  • Lengthen your attribution window: Which digital ads have most long-term impact?
    Vivian Qin, Senior Data Scientist, Amazon Ads

    Brands usually invest in a portfolio of digital ad products for brand consideration and conversion, and their performance is commonly evaluated with ad-attributed metrics. However, these metrics limit the measurement of advertising effectiveness within a short time window, typically of two weeks. Therefore, they could underestimate the total effect if some ad products' efficacy lasts beyond the measurement period. In particular, this could understate the impact from ad products aimed at awareness and consideration. In addition, this bias could manifest in product categories where shoppers' involvement is high because they are making deliberate purchase decisions. To solve these problems, the Vector Autoregressive Moving Average with Exogenous variables (VARMAX) model is applied, which allows flexibility in the length of the advertising measurement window, and thus can empirically quantify how long the effect of each ad lasts without a priori restrictions. For 15 US brands across three verticals (Hardlines, Softlines and Consumables) on Amazon, it was found that within the two-week attribution window, upper/middle-funnel ad products only materialise 30–50 per cent of the total effects, compared to lower-funnel at 60–90 per cent. Based on these results, it is recommended that advertisers and publishers lengthen the attribution window, and especially track their upper and middle-funnel ad products for at least a month to capture their longer-term effects.
    Keywords: ROAS; attribution window; digital ads; e-commerce; long-term effects; performance metrics

  • Gen Z versus Millennials, purchase intentions: A comparative study based on social media marketing strategies in India
    M. Thirumagal Vijaya, Associate Professor, PSG College of Arts & Science, et al.

    The ubiquity of mobile phones and the Internet has affected every individual and their lifestyle. The Internet is used a great deal by organisations and companies to examine and analyse data and also for marketing. Millennials are now active participants in the Internet, having surpassed Generation Z, particularly in usage of social media, blogs, forums, wikis and other interactive online activities; voicing their opinions and preferences based on their experiences in online marketing and purchasing, especially during the pandemic. This study analyses the purchase intention of Generation Z and Millennials in India as a variable against online marketing strategies, with moderators based on age, income and gender. The four Ps are analysed against the purchase intention. Methodologies used for analyses are regression and Hayes process-macro with SPSS. The research finds that among the four Ps, place has no impact on purchase intention and gender does not moderate the relationship of the variables. Thus, the study concludes that price, promotion and product are significant factors for respondents who intend to purchase online, and age and income also play a vital role.
    Keywords: Gen Z; Millennial; marketing strategies; online marketing; online purchase; purchase intentions