Bayesian Hierarchical, Semiparametric, and Nonparametric Methods for International New Product Di ffusion
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Global marketing managers are keenly interested in being able to predict the sales of their new products. Understanding how a product is adopted over time allows the managers to optimally allocate their resources. With the world becoming ever more global, there are strong and complex interactions between the countries in the world. My work explores how to describe the relationship between those countries and determines the best way to leverage that information to improve the sales predictions. In Chapter II, I describe how diffusion speed has changed over time. The most recent major study on this topic, by Christophe Van den Bulte, investigated new product di ffusions in the United States. Van den Bulte notes that a similar study is needed in the international context, especially in developing countries. Additionally, his model contains the implicit assumption that the diffusion speed parameter is constant throughout the life of a product. I model the time component as a nonparametric function, allowing the speed parameter the flexibility to change over time. I find that early in the product's life, the speed parameter is higher than expected. Additionally, as the Internet has grown in popularity, the speed parameter has increased. In Chapter III, I examine whether the interactions can be described through a reference hierarchy in addition to the cross-country word-of-mouth eff ects already in the literature. I also expand the word-of-mouth e ffect by relating the magnitude of the e ffect to the distance between the two countries. The current literature only applies that e ffect equally to the n closest countries (forming a neighbor set). This also leads to an analysis of how to best measure the distance between two countries. I compare four possible distance measures: distance between the population centroids, trade ow, tourism ow, and cultural similarity. Including the reference hierarchy improves the predictions by 30 percent over the current best model. Finally, in Chapter IV, I look more closely at the Bass Diffusion Model. It is prominently used in the marketing literature and is the base of my analysis in Chapter III. All of the current formulations include the implicit assumption that all the regression parameters are equal for each country. One dollar increase in GDP should have more of an eff ect in a poor country than in a rich country. A Dirichlet process prior enables me to cluster the countries by their regression coefficients. Incorporating the distance measures can improve the predictions by 35 percent in some cases.
International New Product Diffusion
Bayesian Adaptive Regression Splines
Hartman, Brian Matthew (2010). Bayesian Hierarchical, Semiparametric, and Nonparametric Methods for International New Product Di ffusion. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from