MCM Students Access the Consumer's Mind - New Seminar on "User-Generated Content"

New Seminar on User-Generated Content Delivers Key Tools for Future Marketing Managers

Consumers are increasingly using social media channels to share information directly with companies as well as other users, whether active or prospective customers. Every minute, social media users around the world create about half a million posts on Facebook and Twitter, watch and comment on 4.3 million YouTube videos, generate 2.4 million snaps, like 174,000 images on Instagram and search for 3.7 million terms on Google. A large fraction of this input, so-called “User-Generated Content”, potentially contains information that is of great importance for marketing managers because it can reveal how users think about a company's products, services, brands and retailers. Marketers, however, need specific tools and skills to extract relevant information from the wealth of data that social media channels provide in order to make well-founded business decisions.

In a brand new seminar by Professor Raoul Kübler, holder of the Junior Professorship of Marketing at the MCM, entitled “User-Generated Content from Social Media: Marketing's Access Point to the Consumer's Mind?”, 28 master students had the opportunity to train themselves in the field of Sentiment Analysis with regard to User-Generated Content. During the course, the participants gained a comprehensive overview of the relevant topics and processes and developed a versatile toolbox that helps marketers gather and process data from social media and identify resp. classify consumer's attitudes. Therefore, the topics ranged from data preparation and data quality to subsequent sentiment analysis (using techniques such as e.g. term-frequencies and dictionaries as well as machine learning approaches).

After the final seminar presentations at the end of April 2019, Professor Kübler was very enthusiastic about the results: “Monitoring social media channels is becoming increasingly important for marketing departments, as these procedures can effectively supplement traditional market research activities. In addition, sentiment analysis in social media has some decisive advantages. First of all, consumers can express themselves freely on the internet and thus independently of a particular survey situation. This enables marketers to collect genuine, accurate and authentic data about without artificial biases. Additionally, analyzing content from social media can be done in real-time, so that businesses may gain a decisive competitive advantage. Finally, data acquisition and evaluation is associated with low costs nowadays, especially since the prices for powerful computer technology have fallen further and further over the years”, Professor Kübler concludes.

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Autounfälle per künstlicher Intelligenz regulieren - Gastvortrag von Dr. Florian Pallas (Control€xpert)

Jeden Tag passieren in Deutschland rund 7.200 Verkehrsunfälle. Dabei kommen in 89 % der Fälle glücklicherweise keine Menschen zu Schaden. Besonders für Autofahrer sind Unfälle jedoch ärgerlich, weil deren Regulierung nicht selten mit Gutachterterminen und langwierigen Schriftwechseln mit der Versicherung verbunden ist.

Hier setzt das Konzept der Firma Control€xpert aus Langenfeld an, wie Dr. Florian Pallas, Business Development Manager des Unternehmens, bei seinem Gastvortrag in Münster erklärte. Der MCM-Alumni folgte einer Einladung des Marketing Alumni Münster e.V. zur Veranstaltung „User-Generated Content from Social Media: Marketing's Access Point to the Consumer's Mind?" von Professor Raoul Kübler.

Um die Abwicklung von Unfallschäden zu beschleunigen, führt Control€xpert eine automatische Schadensermittlung und -regulierung mittels Big Data und Algorithmen durch. Autofahrer und Versicherungen können Fotos der beschädigten Fahrzeuge hochladen und erhalten die voraussichtlich anfallenden Reparaturkosten binnen Minuten online angezeigt. Hierfür gleicht Control€xpert die eingereichten Bilder automatisch mit einer Datenbank ab, die mehrere Millionen Fotos von Unfallwagen enthält. Versicherungen können die ermittelte Schadenshöhe anschließend mit dem Wiederbeschaffungswert des Autos vergleichen und so unkompliziert über die Schadensabwicklung entscheiden.

„Wir möchten, dass Autofahrer Unfallschäden möglichst noch am selben Tag ersetzt bekommen“, verdeutlicht Dr. Florian Pallas die Vision des Unternehmens. „Besonders wichtig ist, dass die Schadenshöhe durch unsere Software richtig ermittelt wird. Unser System muss dabei Vorschäden ausschließen, darf aber gleichzeitig auch keine defekten Teile übersehen. Dieser Spagat ist technisch nicht ganz trivial, zumal wir derzeit rund 200.000 Unfälle weltweit pro Tag beurteilen“. Um die Genauigkeit zu steigern, beschäftigt das Unternehmen über 100 KFZ-Meister, die einen Teil der eingesendeten Fotos stichprobenartig überprüfen und im System entsprechend klassifizieren. Diese Informationen werden anschließend als Trainingsdaten zur Optimierung der Prognosegenauigkeit der verwendeten Algorithmen genutzt.

Zum Ende des Vortrags stellte sich die Frage, wie unfallfrei die Software von Control€xpert funktioniert. Ein Seminarteilnehmer konnte Fotos eines kürzlich geschehenen Autounfalls beisteuern, die das System einwandfrei analysierte. Dr. Pallas stand den Studierenden abschließend noch für Diskussionen über Machine Learning, Algorithmen, Datenqualität und Karrieremöglichkeiten zur Verfügung.

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Professor Kübler wins MSI Top Download Award 2018

Together with colleagues Anatoli Colicev (Bocconi University, Italy) and Koen Pauwels (Northeastern University, Boston), Raoul Kübler won the Marketing Science Institute’s prestigious Top Download Award. Their paper „Social Media’s Impact on Consumer Mindset: When to Use Which Sentiment Extraction Tool?“ was the most downloaded MSI report paper in 2018. The paper combines millions of user comments from 48 different Facebook brand pages with daily YouGov brand metrics to investigate which types of sentiment analysis tools works best to predict traditional mind set metrics along a consumer’s decision funnel with the help of user generated content. “Apparently managers as well as academics discover more and more the potential of social media based user comments when it comes to measure consumer attitudes,” explains Raoul Kübler.

In the paper the international team contrasts different state of the art tools to measure text-based sentiment such as machine learning based bottom up approaches (i.e. support vector machines) and dictionary based top down approaches (i.e. Linguistic Inquiry Word Count) and compares them with traditional volume metrics such as the amount of likes, comments and shares. The study identifies multiple contingency factors that determine in which industries and in case of which mindset metrics the different tools predict best.

“Right now many studies as well as marketing applications only rely on simple tools. The most obvious tools however do not need to be the best option. We show that only by using the most appropriate sentiment extraction tool for an industry and specific mindset metric, managers can fully leverage the power of user generated content,” closes Professor Kübler.


The Marketing Science Institute (MSI) brings the best of science to the complex world of marketing. MSI is unique as the only research-based organization with an extensive network of marketing academics from the best business schools world-wide, and marketers from 60+ leading global companies.

The awarded study can be found here.

A short list with the previous award winners can be found here.

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Professor Kübler publishes research on cross-cultural price and eWoM sensitivities in Journal of Marketing

Professor Kübler published a study on how a country’s culture and socio-economic background influences consumers’ price- and electronic word of mouth sensitivities in the prestigious Journal of Marketing, which is considered to be the leading academic marketing journal.

Together with Professors Koen Pauwels (Northeastern University, Boston) and Gökhan Yildirim (Imperial College, London) as well as Dr. Thomas Fandrich, founder and CTO of quantilope, he analyzed a set of the top 20 selling apps in the world. “Together we extracted more than 250,000 data points for 60 countries from Apple’s famous App-Store,” explains Professor Kübler. “Using an innovative multi-level econometric model that accounts for each country’s specific setting, we were able to obtain country-specific estimates for price- and word-of-mouth sensitivities.”

The team was surprised to see very heterogeneous effects across countries for price promotions, rating volume as well as rating valence. Despite having a true globalized product such as gaming-, sport-, business-, and health-apps, sensitivities tremendously vary across countries. “This made us even more curious, so that we started to collect country-specific data such as e.g. a population’s average risk aversion, power distance, average income, and income distribution, as well as mobile internet accessibility and smartphone penetration, to see if we could systematically explain the identified differences,” continues Professor Kübler.

In this second analytical step, the international research team was able to find significant effects, pointing out that mostly the cultural factors drive differences, whereas socio-economic factors such as e.g. GDP and education level play no or only a minor role. However, price sensitivity is higher in countries with higher masculinity and uncertainty avoidance (such as Italy and Malaysia). The first finding is likely due to the fact that the apps, which were mostly games, align with stereotypically masculine values. 

Rating valence sensitivity is higher in countries with higher individualism and uncertainty avoidance (such as the US, France, and Czech Republic). Individualistic cultures place more stock in anonymous ratings, whereas collectivist cultures favor word of mouth. Similarly, customers seeking to avoid uncertainty depend on ratings to make purchase decisions. 

Ratings volume sensitivity is higher in countries with higher power distance and uncertainty avoidance (such as Luxembourg, El Salvador, and Portugal). App popularity, with correspondingly high ratings, increases trust with uncertain customers and wealthy customers, who are more willing to trust anonymous strangers than those in less affluent markets. 

The research team found the highest price and ratings volume sensitivities for countries high in uncertainty avoidance but low in income inequality (such as Thailand). The lowest price and ratings volume sensitivities were found in case of countries low in uncertainty avoidance but high in income inequality (such as Spain). 

“Our research provides important insights for app developers,” explains Professor Kübler. “Launching an app costs by average 140,000 USD and a well-managed app has an average monthly revenue averaging $3,200 to $8,100. Such apps can be easily buried among millions of competitors in app stores. Fine-tuning pricing and rating strategies can help mean the difference between success and failure. We provide in our paper detailed tables and figures, highlighting sensitivities in all 60 countries. In addition we estimate with the help of culture and socio-economic factors sensitivities for all countries worldwide, even for those not included in our sample and report these in the paper, too.“ Developers trying to adapt their price promotions or to react to rating changes can use this information to localize their marketing efforts.“ Even though our data is limited to mobile apps and the Apple App Store, we strongly believe that our findings apply to other similar platforms such as e.g. Gaming Platforms like Steam, the different Android based App stores, but also to any sort of digital product that sells online,” concludes Professor Kübler.

The study “App Popularity: Where in the World Are Consumers Most Sensitive to Price and User Ratings?“ with all materials can be found here.

Log Ratio of Estimated Ratings Valence and Volume Effects on App Popularity:

World Map of Estimated and Predicted Price Sensitivities:

World Map of Estimated and Predicted Ratings Valence Sensitivities:

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Professor Kübler appointed as Jury member for the Neptun Crossmedia Award - 5 FREE Award Show Tickets for MCM students

From November 7 to November 8 Professor Kübler serves on the Jury board of Germany’s leading crossmedia award „Neptun" in Hamburg. Together with distinguished experts from the media and advertising industry he selects the best integrated advertising campaigns which relied on a cross-media approach. The shortlisted agencies have then on December 3rd the opportunity to present their work in front of the jury and an expert audience of marketers and advertisers who together vote for the podium. Last year’s winners included famous campaigns from brands such as Audi and Lidl and have been created by famous agencies such as Jung von Matt and Überground. „It is a great honor and pleasure for me to serve as the academic member of the jury,“ highlights Professor Kübler, who worked himself for several years in the advertising industry before becoming an academic. „It’s like a homecoming event for me. I was especially delighted to see how skillful agencies these days use brand partisanship to engage brand fans. We saw two very interesting examples of how agencies use provokant messages to increase reach and engage fans in a debate that seems to be profitable for the brand. This reminded me very much of my recent study with Behice Ilhan and Koen Pauwels in the Journal of Interactive Marketing, where we use a large social media data set with millions of posts and comments to explore how such rivalries work and which kind of dynamics they cause.“

On December 3rd, the jury will vote together with the audience on the best integrated campaigns. All nominated agencies will present their case once more in front of a unique audience. Professor Kübler was able to secure 5 tickets for the award show and the crossmedia congress in Hamburg on December 3rd, which he offers to 5 lucky MCM students. To qualify for a ticket, you only have to develop your own integrated, cross-media campaign. Present, how you would develop a campaign for the Münster Marketing Center, that communicates Münster’s unique ability, tradition and aim for top and most relevant marketing education. But be aware that your campaign must at least use 3 paid media channels (but your budget is limited to 10.000 Euros). At best your campaign however also causes wide attention in earned media and creates an outstanding level of virality that teaches the world that when it comes to marketing eduction, there is only one place to go to: the Münster Marketing Center. Be creative, be smart and choose wisely. You can submit your ideas as a PDF, a video, or audio file. Most important: Show how things shall work together and give good reasons why the different media channels work symbiotically. Submission deadline is November 25, 12pm. Winners will be notified by November 27. Please keep in mind that participants need to cover accommodation and travel costs. The intimate event will feature a unique opportunity to get in contact with the leading advertising and media managers as well as leading marketers. So don’t miss out this great chance to get more insights about integrated communications and marketing communication. In case that you have any questions, please address Professor Kübler directly. 

To stimulate your creativity, have a look at current submissions for the award:

Jung von Matt for Adidas and BVG:

Grabartz und Partner for ADAC:

Strobinski for Xtip Sportwetten:

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