Editorial: Marketing Science and the Financial Crisis
Eric Bradlow from The Wharton School submits that despite the state of the economy, the journal Marketing Science has actually experienced a surge in number of articles submitted and a decrease in turnaround time for acceptance.
This segues nicely into his editorial to encourage the research and thinking in the field (rather than the journal) of Marketing Science. In addition, he names a number of issues where the intersection of the discipline and the financial crisis could make for very interesting and relevant research and findings. These include Customer Lifetime Value, Structural (business and marketing) Models, Choice Modeling, "No Choice” option, and whether past lessons on Marketing Strategy are outdated.
He concludes by stating that given the worldwide economic turmoil, now is not the time for Marketing Science (the discipline and the journal itself) to sit idle. He believes that the current market condition has provided a glorious opportunity for the discipline to raise its profile as it is very involved in studying how consumers optimize, act, and think during economically challenging times.
Although brief, this editorial’s message is clear: The current market conditions are a time for lesser known, valuable marketing sub-disciplines to come to the forefront. With advertising and marketing budgets being watched more closely, the focus on optimization and frugalness becomes more imperative. Thus, it makes sense for fields like marketing science and I would argue, web analytics to become more prominent and visible. Both require multidisciplinary thinking and are highly relevant to marketing optimization.
There are certainly components in each of the potential research problems and paradigms that Bradlow mentions for Marketing Science (the journal) that web analytics and online marketing also play a role in. Bradlow mentions Customer Lifetime Value, the utility function of the corporation, and choice modeling. The web analyst can investigate, solve, and write about similar problems with analytics using metrics and data such as attrition rates, unique/repeat/single visits, revenue per visit, and customer registration funnels.
He also sees "No choice option”, and potential obsolescence of learned marketing strategy as research problems. The web analyst sees path analyses, fallout reports, and hypothesis testing results for optimization.
Regardless of the potential research problems and areas that marketing science (the discipline) covers, the message that Bradlow tries to convey has equal bearing and importance to web analytics during tough economic times: Seize this opportunity to show the world the enormous value that the qualitative side of marketing brings to the bottom line.
I recommend this article to all web analytics practitioners and I challenge you to go through a similar exercise that Bradlow did and think about web analytic-specific research problems and the effect that more WA literature will have in both academia and marketing in general.