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Ashish Kumar’s research article accepted to Journal of Marketing

The study examines the effect of firm generated content in social media on customer spending, cross-buying and customer profitability
Assistant Professor Ashish Kumar photographed at the Aalto University School of Business in November.

The recent research conducted by Ashish Kumar and his colleagues examines the effect of firm generated content in social media on customer purchase behavior. The authors of the study argue firm generated content is important for purchase behavior because communication in social media has become key in creating meaningful relationship with customers.

“However, at the same time marketing managers are concerned about measuring the returns on investment from social media,” Kumar says. “To respond to marketers’ needs, we examined the effect of firm generated content in social media on three key customer metrics - customer spending, cross-buying and customer profitability.”

Using individual-level data comprising social media participation data, transaction data, and survey data, Kumar and his colleagues find that firm generated content has a positive and significant effect on all three dimensions of customer purchase behavior. The results also indicate that traditional media (e.g., TV advertising) and other digital media (e.g., email marketing) have synergistic effects with the impact of firm generated content.

“Our results furthermore suggest that the effect of firm generated content is greater for more experienced, technologically-savvy and more social-network prone customers,” Kumar says.

The research article was accepted for publication in the Journal of Marketing, which is generally considered the most prestigious academic outlet in the field of marketing. For example the Financial Times ranks it among the 45 most valued academic journals in the field of business administration and economics. Kumar co-authored the article with Ram Bezawada from University at Buffalo, Rishika Rishika and Ramkumar Janakiraman both from University of South Carolina, and P.K. Kannan from University of Maryland. An online version of the article is available at http://journals.ama.org/doi/abs/10.1509/jm.14.0249?journalCode=jmkg and the article will be published in print in 2016.

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