Research Interests: industrial marketing, new product diffusion, social networks
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?.
A new study finds that people of “middle status” are the most likely to adopt status-enhancing products.Knowledge @ Wharton - 10/14/2014