TITLE

New Product Diffusion with Influentials and Imitators

AUTHOR(S)
Van den Bulte, Christophe; Joshi, Yogesh V.
PUB. DATE
May 2007
SOURCE
Marketing Science;May/Jun2007, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p400
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
We model the diffusion of innovations in markets with two segments: influentials who are more in touch with new developments and who affect another segment of imitators whose own adoptions do not affect the influentials. This two-segment structure with asymmetric influence is consistent with several theories in sociology and diffusion research, as well as many "viral" or "network" marketing strategies. We have four main results. (1) Diffusion in a mixture of influentials and imitators can exhibit a dip or "chasm" between the early and later parts of the diffusion curve. (2) The proportion of adoptions stemming from influentials need not decrease monotonically, but may first decrease and then increase. (3) Erroneously specifying a mixed-influence model to a mixture process where influentials act independently from each other can generate systematic changes in the parameter values reported in earlier research. (4) Empirical analysis of 33 different data series indicates that the two-segment model fits better than the standard mixed-influence, the Gamma/Shifted Gompertz, and the Weibull-Garnma models, especially in cases where a two-segment structure is likely to exist. Also, the two-segment model fits about as well as the Karmeshu-Goswami mixed-influence model, in which the coefficients of innovation and imitation vary across potential adopters in a continuous fashion.
ACCESSION #
25966469

 

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