Daniela Schmitt

Daniela Schmitt
  • Postdoctoral Researcher

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall, 3730 Walnut Street , University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: Digital Marketing, Media Consumption, Pricing, Customer Value Management


Daniela joined the Wharton Marketing Department in Spring 2020. She received her Ph.D. in quantitative marketing from the University of Mannheim, Germany.

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  • Daniela Schmitt, Enhancing the Composition of Digital Content along the Customer Journey.

    Abstract: A primary challenge for information goods providers (e.g., news websites) is to convert visitors into subscribers and to retain these beyond the initial subscription purchase decision. This problem can be addressed by a comprehensive analysis of the different phases of the customer journey during which a visitor (or subscriber) consumes the digital information good and decides whether to subscribe (or to churn). The user's valuation of the subscription is highly influenced by the experience of the amount of content offered for free versus the amount of content behind a paywall, being only accessible with a subscription. However, this experience of the share of paid content might matter differently for different users depending on their current phase in the customer journey and depending on their preferences for different content categories. In this research project, we assess how much the product design matters for the acquisition and retention of subscribers of a digital information good. Our analysis is based on a dataset from a major news website which covers the entire individual customer journey of more than 30,000 visitors and subscribers. Our results reveal that a high amount of paid content in content categories that a user is interested in matters differently for subscription churn than for subscription purchase decisions. We discuss implications for uncovering important customer segments and for targeting these effectively.

  • Daniela Schmitt, Rom Y. Schrift, Raghuram Iyengar, Florian Stahl, The Effect of Price Promotions on New Customer Acquisition for Information Goods.

    Abstract: Can price promotions help firms acquire profitable customers? Extant research from consumer packaged goods suggests that promotionally-acquired customers have little long-term value. We examine whether the same answer holds for price promotions for information goods (e.g., digital newspapers). One notable feature of companies selling such goods is that they employ a dual revenue model - customers pay to access the service and advertisers pay based on customers' consumption. In this context, a promotion may still attract customers with low willingness to pay. These customers, however, can become profitable based on their consumption. We empirically assess the tradeoff between lower subscription and higher advertising revenue using individual-level data from a digital newspaper that implemented its first ever price promotion. We find that promotionally acquired customers can be more valuable than those who join at the regular price. The main driver of our result is self-selection - promotional customers appear to have a high product valuation, but face budget and time constraints. Furthermore, customers who missed the price promotion reduce their consumption. This effect is, however, short-lived. We discuss the implications for pricing of information goods and customer management.


Latest Research

Daniela Schmitt, Enhancing the Composition of Digital Content along the Customer Journey.
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