Tag Archives: consumer behavior

Duncan Simester on customer response: Why guess and get it wrong when you could do a little experimenting and get it right?

The business pages are filled with examples of companies that have taken big hits to their brands because they’ve made marketing decisions that ran afoul of customer expectations. Take Netflix, and its aborted scheme to divide its streaming and DVD video offerings. Netflix could have avoided its embarrassing reversal if it had experimented on this […]

The big question for online advertisers: To personalize or not to personalize?

We use the Internet to research things all the time. Whether it’s a big purchase like a vacation or something smaller like a pair of running shoes, we often begin with a search for the topic online, eventually drilling down to find specific product reviews and details. But what happens when the pattern of websites […]

How to improve products? Survey consumers with “active machine learning”

When you buy a house, it would be irrational to search every possible house on the market. Instead, you narrow down your choices based on things like price, location, and number of bedrooms. The same thing happens when you buy a car. You might only look at sporty coupes or hybrid vehicles. Everyone has their […]

Why do Cambridge street vendors set up in remote locations?

On the streets of Cambridge, near the MIT campus, food trucks regularly set up shop selling lunch and snacks to hungry students, staff, and other passersby. The trucks are mobile and can park in any legal, unoccupied spot. One might think the trucks would want to be where students congregate—perhaps near the MIT Great Dome […]