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Marketing Science is good

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Decision Science News just received the new copy of Marketing Science in the mail and must confess, it is great.

Where to start:

  • Timely: It kicks off with an editorial that connects the science of marketing to the financial crisis, addressing a topic that is on the mind of many readers. This really makes a difference, especially when one considers that the studies published in most journal articles are several years old.
  • Lively: The lead article “Website Morphing” by Hauser, Urban, Liberali, & Braun is followed up by three commentaries and a rejoinder by the author. Discussion! Debate!
  • Relevant: The commentaries are short and written by very bright people (Hal Varian of Google; John Gittins – Oxford statistican whose theory figures in the main article; and Andrew Gelman of Columbia). This helps elevate the Return On Sentences Read (ROSR for you metrics fans).
  • Concise: In the Internet age, there’s no reason to have mammoth journal articles. Put the important stuff in the journal and the rest can reside in an arbitrarily-long online appendix. Marketing Science articles are short, leaving room for many articles, which increases the chances that something will appeal to you (common sense in the print media industry, but journals I read started to wake up to it around 2005).
  • Creative: In this website’s opinion, there are too many articles that basically say “We’re going to identify a moderating condition of a theory (of any field other than marketing) through some clever experiments that use household products as stimuli. The climax will be a splendid crossover interaction”. Two kinds of papers I’d like to see more of are 1) “Here’s an important problem to which we offer a solution” and 2) “Here’s a new capability, which might just be able do X, which could really change the world. Let’s see if it is true.” These latter papers are creative. They lead to discoveries, things like conjoint analysis, radar, and the ability to search all the world’s online information in less than a second. Marketing Science is full of such papers, as is clear from their titles “Website Morphing”, “Limited Edition Products: When and When Not To Offer Them”, “Zooming In: Self-Emergence of Movements in New Product Growth”. If applied, exploratory, and discovery-oriented research is supposed to be bad, then Decision Science News doesn’t want to be good.

All of this gives DSN quant envy. Time to brush up on those differential equations ….


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