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Marketing, Mobile, and Social Media Analytics

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Mobile technologies and social media are crucial to both traditional commerce and contemporary digital businesses. Due to the personal nature of mobile technologies, consumers can often be identified by integrating multiple sources of data, such as app usage pattern, geo-locations, and social network characteristics, that are increasingly important to business analytics. Oftentimes, in addition to extracting actionable business insights, organizations are challenged by a variety of issues, such as the unprecedented speeds at which data is made available (velocity), anomaly and inconsistence in data (variability), and ill-intended or erroneous data (veracity). The growing connectivity facilitated by mobile technologies and social media has fundamentally transformed the relationships between consumers and businesses to becoming highly relational and collaborative. However, such transformation can at times be hampered by unexpected problems, such as privacy issues, security risks, and techno-stress. For example, consumers can be anxious about being tracked and monitored b​y mobile apps. More so, they might become especially annoyed when their personal information is leaked due to some unforeseen issues.

This research focus centers on creating knowledge and generating insights in two key aspects. We aim to explore and devise strategies in designing effective mobile technologies. Additionally, this research focus sets sight on understanding organizational policies and procedures that help manage issues and challenges associated with analytics. The ultimate objective of this research focus is to provide thought leadership to consumers, corporations, and policy markers on the opportunities and challenges of mobile and social media analytics.

Below are two showcase projects to illustrate our ongoing research efforts.​

  • Project 1. Motivating Sustained Active Lifestyle: A Design Perspective on Mobile Fitness Apps


    Health Organization reported that obesity has become a worldwide epidemic. At least 2.8 million adults die each year due to being overweight or obese. A key strategy to combat obesity is to encourage active lifestyle, which helps regulate body fatness and improve physical fitness. To this end, a wide range of mobile fitness apps have been introduced by developers to encourage the uptake of fitness activities. The issue of how technology helps transform lifestyle has been a salient topic in information systems (IS) research. However, prior research has mostly focused on adoption of health-related technologies, with less attention paid to the impacts of sustained fitness app usage. Hence, this research sets to study the bodily implications of sustained mobile fitness app usage. Emerging research has begun exploring various app features to encourage active lifestyle. Increasing evidence has highlighted the importance of social exposure to not just stimulate but also sustain interesting in engaging fitness activities. Correspondingly, this research investigates the key social app features that help cultivate active lifestyle.

    Drawing upon the literature on impression management, technology usage, and sports science, this research investigates the effects of mobile fitness app features on extended usage intensity, which in turn influences health outcomes. Specifically, this research focuses on in-app usage experience, which can be augmented by several forms of audio feedback, and post-usage experience, which can be enhanced through social media integration. Results of our field experiments suggest that in-app social participation and post-usage content dissemination powerfully drove usage intensity in early phases of usage. Afterwards, these design features were shown to demonstrate diminishing effects in sustaining high usage intensity. Furthermore, high mobile fitness app usage was found to be effective in improving physical fitness and controlling body weight. Our results suggest that social media integration might be beneficial to motivating the adoption of frequent fitness activities. Overtime, however, social media integration might not be highly effective in sustaining active lifestyle.
  • Project 2. Understanding Organizational Policies in Information and Analytics
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    In recent years, privacy breaches — the theft, loss, or other forms of compromise of personally identifiable information such as credit card and Social Security numbers have soared. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, approximately 700 breaches are publicly reported annually in the United States. A more sobering piece of news is that the number of publicized breaches is thought to be considerably lower than that of actual breaches. Privacy breaches can occur for a variety of reasons that include not only software attacks such as denial-of-service, backdoors, and cracking passwords, but also human error, forces of nature, and phishing. A main challenge to businesses is to repair the damaged relationships with customers after a breach. Information systems (IS) research has progressed significantly in expanding our understanding of online customers’ predispositions, beliefs, attitudes, and behavior in relation to information privacy. Despite a few pioneering efforts, researchers still lack a systematic foundation for understanding the effectiveness of organizational remedies to a breach in managing online customer behavior such as word of mouth and likelihood of switching.

    Drawing on the service recovery literature, this research integrated the notions of justice perceptions and psychological responses into a theoretical framework describing how individuals react to an online firm’s postincident actions. The proposed model was tested on data collected from 1,007 users of online vendors. The results of SEM analysis generally supported our model. As expected, three types of justice perceptions were sharply distinct from each other in their main and interaction effects on psychological responses. In addition, consistent with our hypotheses, psychological responses were shown to play an important role in shaping postincident outcomes in the online context. Overall, our findings suggest that justice perceptions and psychological responses are the keys to a better understanding of online customer behavior after privacy breach recovery. This study provides researchers and practitioners with a conceptual tool for analyzing the effectiveness of organizational practices in mitigating the damaging effect of a privacy breach on customer relationships.
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