Christophe Van den Bulte

Christophe Van den Bulte
  • Gayfryd Steinberg Professor
  • Professor of Marketing

Contact Information

  • office Address:

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

Research Interests: industrial marketing, new product diffusion, social networks

Links: CV

Overview

Christophe Van den Bulte teaches Dynamic Marketing Strategy in the MBA program and Data Analysis in the PhD program. He has also taught MBA and Executive MBA core courses in Marketing Management, MBA and undergraduate courses in Channel Management, and PhD courses in Marketing Strategy, Mathematical Models in Marketing, and Social Network Analysis.

His research focuses on two areas: new product diffusion and social networks. Current projects investigate convergence versus divergence across rich and poor countries in the speed at which new products gain market penetration, quantify the power of social ties versus collaborative filtering in predicting what customer follows what brands in the Twitter social graph, assess alternative explanations of why customer referral programs generate customers who are more profitable and more loyal than traditional acquisition approaches, and identify effective network structures for B2B sales teams and buying teams.

Professor Van den Bulte is Associate Editor at Marketing Science and the Journal of Marketing Research. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Marketing, the International Journal of Research in Marketing, and the Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing.

He received his PhD in business administration from the Pennsylvania State University and his MA and BA degrees in applied economics from the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

Continue Reading

Research

  • Christophe Van den Bulte, Emanuel Bayer, Bernd Skiera, Philipp Schmitt (2018), How Customer Referral Programs Turn Social Capital into Economic Capital, Journal of Marketing Research, 55 (1), pp. 132-146.

    Abstract: Van den Bulte, Christophe, Emanuel Bayer, Bernd Skiera, and Philipp Schmitt (2017), “How Customer Referral Programs Turn Social Capital into Economic Capital,” Journal of Marketing Research, 55 (1), 132-146.

  • Ashish Sood and Christophe Van den Bulte (Working), Wider Gaps in a Flatter World? The Speed of New Product Diffusion in Rich versus Poor Countries.

    Abstract: Sood, Ashish and Christophe Van den Bulte (2016), “Wider Gaps in a Flatter World? The Speed of New Product Diffusion in Rich versus Poor Countries,” MSI Report No. 16-113. Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute.

  • Yanhao Wei, Pinar Yildirim, Christophe Van den Bulte, Chrysanthos Dellarocas (2016), Credit Scoring with Social Network Data, Marketing Science, 35 (2), pp. 234-258.

    Abstract: Motivated by the growing practice of using social network data in credit scoring, this study analyzes the impact of using network based measures on customer score accuracy and on tie formation among customers. We develop a series of models to compare the accuracy of customer scores obtained with and without network data. We also investigate how the accuracy of social network based scores changes when individuals can strategically construct their social networks to attain higher credit scores. We find that, if individuals are motivated to improve their scores, they may form fewer ties and focus them on more similar partners. The impact of such endogenous tie formation on the accuracy of consumer credit scores is ambiguous. Scores can become more accurate as a result of modications in social networks, but this accuracy improvement may come with greater network fragmentation. The threat of social exclusion in such endogenously formed networks provides incentives to low type members to exert effort that improves everyone's creditworthiness. We discuss implications for both managers and public policy.

  • Jing Peng and Christophe Van den Bulte (Under Revision), Participation vs. Effectiveness of Paid Endorsers in Social Advertising Campaigns: A Field Experiment.

    Abstract: We investigate the participation and effectiveness of paid endorsers in viral-for-hire social advertising. We conduct a field experiment with an invitation design in which we manipulate both incentives and a soft eligibility requirement to participate in campaigns. The latter provides a strong and valid instrument to separate participation from outcomes effects. Since likes, comments, and retweets are count variables, and since potential endorsers can self-select to participate in multiple campaigns, we propose a Poisson lognormal model with sample selection and correlated random effects to analyze variations in participation and effectiveness. There are three main findings. (1) Payments higher than the average reward a potential endorser received in the past (gains) do not increase participation, whereas lower payments (losses) decrease participation. Neither gains nor losses affect effectiveness. (2) Potential endorsers who are more likely to participate tend to be less effective. (3) Which endorser characteristics are associated with effectiveness depends on whether success is measured in likes, comments, or retweets. These findings provide new insights on how marketers can improve social advertising campaigns by better targeting and incenting potential endorsers.

  • Raghuram Iyengar, Christophe Van den Bulte, Jae Young Lee (2015), Social Contagion in New Product Trial and Repeat, Marketing Science, 34 (3), pp. 408-429.

  • Christophe Van den Bulte, Emanuel Bayer, Bernd Skiera, Philipp Schmitt (Working), How Customer Referral Programs Turn Social Capital into Economic Capital.

  • Yansong Hu and Christophe Van den Bulte (2014), Nonmonotonic Status Effects in New Product Adoption, Marketing Science, 33 (4), pp. 509-533.

  • Renana Peres and Christophe Van den Bulte (2014), When to Take or Forego New Product Exclusivity: Balancing Protection from Competition against Word-of-Mouth Spillover, Journal of Marketing, 78 (2), pp. 83-100.

  • Brian R. Murtha, Sundar S. Bharadwaj, Christophe Van den Bulte (Working), Interlocking Networks: How and When Do Connections between Buying and Selling Teams Affect Customer Solutions?.

  • Shawndra Hill, Adrian Benton, Christophe Van den Bulte When Does Social Network-based Prediction Work? A Large Scale Analysis of Brand and TV Audience Engagement by Twitter Users.

Teaching

Past Courses

  • MKTG277 - Marketing Strategy

    This course views marketing as both a general management responsibility and an orientation of an organization that helps one to create, capture and sustain customer value. The focus is on the business unit and its network of channels, customer relationships, and alliances. Specifically, the course attempts to help develop knowledge and skills in the application of advanced marketing frameworks, concepts, and methods for making strategic choices at the business level.

  • MKTG399 - Independent Study

  • MKTG612 - Dynamic Marketing Strategy

    Building upon Marketing 611, the goal of this course is to develop skills in formulating and implementing marketing strategies for brands and businesses. The course will focus on issues such as the selection of which businesses and segments to compete in, how to allocate resources across businesses, segments, and elements of the marketing mix, as well as other significant strategic issues facing today's managers in a dynamic competitive environment. ,A central theme of the course is that the answer to these strategic problems varies over time depending on the stage of the product life cycle at which marketing decisions are being made. As such, the PLC serves as the central organizing vehicle of the course. We will explore such issues as how to design optimal strategies for the launch of new products and services that arise during the introductory phase, how to maximize the acceleration of revenue during the growth phase, how to sustain and extend profitability during the mature phase, and how to manage a business during the inevitable decline phase.

  • MKTG777 - Marketing Strategy

    This course views marketing as both a general management responsibility and an orientation of an organization that helps one to create, capture and sustain customer value. The focus is on the business unit and its network of channels, customer relationships, and alliances. Specifically, the course attempts to help develop knowledge and skills in the application of advanced marketing frameworks, concepts, and methods for making strategic choices at the business level.

  • MKTG899 - Independent Study

    A student contemplating an independent study project must first find a faculty member who agrees to supervise and approve the student's written proposal as an independent study (MKTG 899). If a student wishes the proposed work to be used to meet the ASP requirement, he/she should then submit the approved proposal to the MBA adviser who will determine if it is an appropriate substitute. Such substitutions will only be approved prior to the beginning of the semester.

  • MKTG940 - Measurement and Data Analysis in Marketing - Part A

    In this course we consider models for binary, count, and continuous data including contingency table models, logistic and probit regression, ANOVA, ANCOVA, conjoint analysis, and OLS. In addition we cover multidimensional techniques such as MDS, cluster analysis, principal components analysis, factor analysis, and discriminant analysis. We utilize the statistics package SPlus 2000, and also BUGS for implementing many of the techniques described in a Bayesian manner.

  • MKTG941 - Measurement and Data Analysis in Marketing - Part B

    In this course we consider models for binary, count, and continuous data including contingency table models, logistic and probit regression, ANOVA, ANCOVA, conjoint analysis, and OLS. In addition we cover multidimensional techniques such as MDS, cluster analysis, principal components analysis, factor analysis, and discriminant analysis. We utilize the statistics package SPlus 2000, and also BUGS for implementing many of the techniques described in a Bayesian manner.

  • MKTG972 - Advanced Topics in Marketing - Part B

    Taught collectively by the faculty members from the Marketing Department, this course investigates advanced topics in marketing. It is organized in a way that allows students to 1) gain depth in important areas of research identified by faculty; 2) gain exposure to various faculty in marketing and their research values and styles; and 3) develop and advance their own research interests.

  • MKTG974 - Research Seminar in Marketing - Part B

    This course is taught collectively by the faculty members from the Marketing Department. It is designed to expose Doctoral students to the cutting-edge research in marketing models in order to help them to define and advance their research interests. This course will offer: in-depth discussions on some important topics in marketing by experts in respective areas; tools, and methodologies required for conducting research in those areas; broad exposure to our faculty members and their proven research styles.

Awards and Honors

  • Finalist, INFORMS Society for Marketing Science Long Term Impact Award, 2017
  • Finalist, John D.C. Little Award (INFORMS), 2016
  • Finalist, Harold H. Maynard Award (AMA), 2015
  • Finalist, INFORMS Society for Marketing Science Long Term Impact Award, 2014
  • Finalist, INFORMS Society for Marketing Science Long Term Impact Award, 2013
  • 2013 Robert D. Buzzell MSI Best Paper Award, 2013
  • 2011 MSI / H. Paul Root Award (AMA), 2012
  • Finalist, John D.C. Little Award (INFORMS), 2012
  • Best Reviewer Award, Journal of Marketing, 2007-2008
  • ERIM Award for Top Academic Article, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2005
  • Elected Member, Belgian American Educational Foundation, 2005
  • Marketing Science Institute Young Scholar, 2003
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, The Wharton School, 2002
  • Honorable Mention, John A. Howard AMA Doctoral Dissertation Award, 1998
  • AMA Doctoral Consortium Fellow, 1996
  • Outstanding Submission Award, ISBM Business Marketing Doctoral Support Competition, 1995
  • Richard D. Irwin Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 1995
  • Rider Graduate Fellow, The Pennsylvania State University, 1995-1996
  • Student delegate, 24th Annual Haring Symposium, 1994
  • Executive Programs Scholarship, The Pennsylvania State University, 1993-1995
  • F. Colin – L. Wauters Fellow, Belgian American Educational Foundation, 1992

Activity

Latest Research

Christophe Van den Bulte, Emanuel Bayer, Bernd Skiera, Philipp Schmitt (2018), How Customer Referral Programs Turn Social Capital into Economic Capital, Journal of Marketing Research, 55 (1), pp. 132-146.
All Research

In the News

How Concerns about Status Affect New Product Adoption

A new study finds that people of “middle status” are the most likely to adopt status-enhancing products.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2014/10/14
All News

Awards and Honors

Finalist, INFORMS Society for Marketing Science Long Term Impact Award 2018
All Awards