Ever wonder why Disney's Marvel superhero machine keeps audiences coming back for more? The recent follow up with "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" after "Thor: The Dark World" satisfied a large swathe of movie audiences. New research by ITOM Professor Tom Tan and co-authors reveals why popular movie titles keep getting more popular. The new findings run counter to the trendy "long tail" effect that captured the imaginations of researchers and marketers. The study shows that consumers tend to watch more and more hits as product variety grows.
One of the most important measures of company success is its return on investment from marketing. But retaining customers comes at a high cost — that may not be justified by the expected long-term returns in the future. New research by SMU Cox Marketing Professor Michael Braun and co-authors shows how transaction-specific information about customer experiences can help companies assess the effect of service quality on future cash flow. Instead of focusing on the cost to acquire or retain a customer, companies should pay more attention to the value of customers.
Opera companies have the ability to distinguish themselves from other opera companies and competition from other performing arts venues that vie for audiences. In new research, SMU Cox Strategy Professor Bo Kyung Kim of SMU Cox and co-author Michael Jensen explore the options opera companies have to address their competitive positioning. Paradoxically, the authors find, to create space for unconventional repertoire choices it may be necessary to make yet more conventional choices. Opera companies will then want to include even more popular operas or blockbusters — Puccini's La Bohème, Verdi's La Traviata, or Bizet's Carmen.
Investors in the stock market are in a perpetual state of needing information about the firms in which they invest. Value-relevant information about firms is often geographically dispersed. Finance professor Johan Sulaeman of SMU Cox and co-authors parse the impact of geography on information and performance in their new research. The authors suggest that local information advantages do matter, and institutional investors that play the local advantage angle realize higher returns on their stock portfolio holdings.
In new research, ITOM Professor Sreekumar Bhaskaran of SMU Cox School of Business and co-authors analyze the operational tradeoffs for entrepreneurial, start-up firms launching a first product that lays the foundation for success or failure. Biotech firms, for example, face tradeoffs about when to launch a first breakthrough product or when to wait for the best available version. The threat of bankruptcy often puts pressure about the decision to launch or not. "The conventional wisdom of 'failing forward' is not the best strategy for start ups," says Bhaskaran.