LeBow College Assistant Professor of Marketing Girish Ramani, Ph.D., was awarded best paper honors at the 2012 American Marketing Association Winter Educators’ Conference for two papers that tackle social word-of-mouth sales and the metrics necessary to track them.
“The awards are a recognition of the fact that research that innovatively explores and convincingly documents the role of social media in today’s marketing landscape is very timely and relevant to actual marketing practice,” says Ramani.
Both papers trace the relationship shared by social media and sales for celebrity brands in the music entertainment industry. While one paper deals with social media marketing and the other focuses on research and analytics, both shed light on a question that has been of particular interest to researchers and practitioners in the digital age: Can social media marketing efforts really pay off for brands by way of increased sales performance?
The first paper, titled “The Impact of Social Loyalty and Social Word-of-Mouth on Sales,” which Ramani co-authored with V. Kumar, Ph.D., from Georgia State University, analyzes time series data collected from a large pool of music artists on social media websites — including MySpace, Twitter, Last FM and Facebook.
The second paper, titled “The Dynamic Impact of Fan Sign-Ups and Word-of-Mouth on Sales: Evidence from a Social Networking Website,” which Ramani co-authored with LeBow Ph.D. candidate Hua Chang and V. Kumar, offers a mathematical modeling approach for dynamically tracking the impact of social media activity on individual brand sales for a grouping of popular music artists, include Lady Gaga and Pearl Jam.
Ramani presented both award-winning papers at the conference on February 17 and 18 in Saint Petersburg, Florida.