Professors Oliver Hinz and Bernd Skiera win Journal of Marketing Long-Term Impact Award of the Seth Foundation

The Sheth Foundation awarded the Professors Hinz and Skiera with the Journal of Marketing Long-Term Impact Award for their long term contributions of their article Hinz, O., Skiera, B., Barrot, C., & Becker, J.U. (2011). Seeding strategies for viral marketing: An empirical comparison. Journal of Marketing, 75(6), 55-71 to the field of marketing.

The award is for the article published in the Journal of Marketing between 2008 and 2012 that has made the largest contribution to the field. In this paper, our professors Hinz and Skiera compare four seeding strategies of viral marketing campaigns in two complementary experiments and a real-life viral marketing campaign that involved more than 200,000 customers of a mobile phone service provider. Their empirical results show that the best strategy is to seed to well-connected people because these attractive seeding points are more likely to participate in viral marketing campaigns. They also actively use their greater reach but do not have more influence on their peers than do less well-connected people. Such a seeding strategy can be up to eight times more successful than other seeding strategies.

The selection committee honored their more than 450 citations in Google Scholar that come from other research in Marketing but also in the fields of Information Systems and Management. It is also cited in more than 20 international textbooks. Their paper also excels with respect to the technical competence in the methodological execution of the research. It is the only paper in Journal of Marketing in the last 10 years that combines a lab experiment, a field experiment, and an analysis of transaction data. At the time of its publication, the use of such a wide range of “big data” sources (100 million calls from >200.000 customers) was very unique.