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Returning to Our Roots: Optimove Announces an Academic Research Partnership

As you may know, Optimove was founded in the halls of academia. Even as we’ve grown into a thriving commercial entity, we maintain close ties with the academic world in various ways: members of our team serve as guest lecturers in various universities; as a “science-oriented” company, we enjoy discussing the latest scientific theories being developed in our field with the professors and students developing them; and we believe that the classroom is an excellent place to tap into stellar employee talent (as I wrote about recently in FastCompany).

So, it is a pleasure for me to announce the launch of a joint research project between Optimove’s team of data scientists and two professors who are global leaders in research fields such as new product growth, new product pricing and how profitability is created in the growth of markets for new products and brands.

The two professors, Prof. Barak Libai and Prof. Eitan Muller, have published in numerous journals, won numerous international research awards and are on the editorial boards of leading academic journals. Their detailed biographies can be seen below.

About the Research Project

The goals of the joint research are to discover patterns and trends that can provide insight to marketers and product innovators in the Web and mobile fields. For example, the combined team plans to explore how financial value is created by “free” Web and mobile apps. In order to understand the profitability of such products, we hope to reveal, for example, the growth patterns of free software, and the lifetime value of users that ultimately create profit for the software maker (via the various available business models, such as freemium, in-app purchases and advertising). By studying growth patterns of the free offering, along with subsequent usage rates, revenue-generation metrics and retention trends, we hope to better understand the drivers of the value created.

One of the motivations for embarking on this joint academic-industry research project is that much of what is known about the growth and profitability of new products in classical marketing academia seems to be challenged by the new and hyper-fast world of online and mobile apps. We have identified numerous research opportunities in this rapidly developing field, the results of which we hope will help software developers and marketers better allocate resources and compete in their business environments.

“We believe that Optimove is a natural partner for our research, given that the company is at the forefront of pushing the profitability envelope within the world of Web-based and mobile apps,” said Prof. Barak Libai. “The knowledge which Optimove’s team has accumulated with its state-of-the-art customer modeling technology, along with the wide range of real-world data sets they can access, will help us reach a much more intimate understanding of market growth and profitability in these important emerging markets.”

We look forward to publishing interesting findings from this valuable joint research project, here on this blog. If you have any ideas or suggestions related to this research, please mention them in the comments area, below.

About Prof. Barak Libai

Barak Libai

Prof. Barak Libai is a member of the Faculty of Marketing at the Arison School of Business at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel. He was previously a faculty member at the Faculty of Management, Tel Aviv University, at the Industrial Engineering and Management faculty of Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and a visiting professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Professor Libai’s research deals extensively with customer social effects, such as the effects of word-of-mouth on the profitability of new products and brands, factors that affect profitability in the growth of markets for new products and brands, and customer relationship management.

He has published articles in Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Service Research and the International Journal of Research in Marketing, and other journals. He has won several teaching awards, and numerous research prizes from organizations such as the Journal of Service Research, The Marketing Science Institute, The American Marketing Association, The International Journal of Research in Marketing, The Journal of Marketing, ICIS and ESOMAR. He is on the editorial review board of several high-level academic journals and on the academic advisory board of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. He teaches courses on marketing management, customer-centric marketing, social networks, and branding.

About Prof. Eitan Muller

Eitan Muller

Prof. Eitan Muller received his MBA and Ph.D. in Managerial Economics from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He currently has joint appointments at the Arison School of Business at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel, and at the Stern School of Business at New York University. Previously, he was a professor of marketing at the Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University, and a visiting professor of marketing at several business schools, including Kellogg at Northwestern University, Wharton at University of Pennsylvania, and McCombs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Prof. Muller’s research focuses on new product growth, social networks and new product pricing.

Prof. Muller has published extensively in marketing, business and economics journals. He is the editor-in-chief (together with Prof. Jacob Goldenberg) of Europe’s most important marketing journal, the International Journal of Research in Marketing. He is also a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, and Marketing Science.

Outside of academia, Prof. Muller is a consultant specializing in telecommunications and financial services firms. He has also served as a subject matter expert at the Tel Aviv office of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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