Entega wins Lilien ISMS-MSI Practice Prize

Lilien Prize

Lilien ISMS-MSI Practice Prize recipients (l-r) Martin Natter, Ana-Marija Ozimec and Ju-Young Kim with award namesake Gary Lilien (far right).

The 2013-2014 Gary Lilien ISMS-MSI (INFORMS Society for Marketing Science and Marketing Science Institute) Practice Prize was awarded to Martin Natter and Ju-Young Kim, Goethe University, Frankfort, Germany, and Ana-Marija  Ozimec, Entegra GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, for their work “ECO: Entega’s Profitable New Customer Acquisition on Online Price Comparison Sites.”

The award competition and the award ceremony took place April 1 at the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research in Boston.

The Entega team, one of three finalists who presented their work at the conference, addressed a challenge in the German electricity market, where market liberalization has led to more than 1,150 competitors. The team described a pricing approach that deals with this highly competitive market situation. The approach integrates different available data sources such as price comparison site data, regional transaction or cost data to optimize sales and profit targets, using a tool called ECO (electricity contract optimization) to sets regionally varying one-time bonuses to attract new customers on price comparison sites.

The team reported (and Entega’s CEO confirmed) a more than a 30 percent decrease in selling costs compared to their current approach. In addition, ECO is linked directly to the system that display’s ECO’s region and segment-specific offers, providing a direct link from the analysis to its implementation.   

“This work – as well as that of the other finalists – represents the finest of what marketing scientists have to offer practitioners,” notes Practice Prize Committee Chair P.K. Kannan of the University of Maryland. “Each finalist used advanced marketing science modeling approaches to help the client organization improve its profits and performance substantially.”

The other finalist presentations included:  

  • “Implementing Integrated Marketing Science Modeling at a Non-Profit Organization: Balancing Multiple Business Objectives at Georgia Aquarium” by V. Kumar (Regents’ professor of marketing), Amalesh Sharma (doctoral student) and Naveen Donthu, (professor and chair, Department of Marketing), Georgia State University; and Carey Rountree (senior vice president, Sales & Marketing, Georgia Aquarium).

    The Georgia Aquarium team described their marketing science approach to increase revenue without raising ticket prices to increase attendance without compromising on customer satisfaction and to make more effective media investments without increasing spending.

  • “This Time with Feeling - Kmart Australia” by Ken Roberts, founder & CEO, Forethought Research; John Roberts, professor of marketing, University of New South Wales; Rohan Raghavan, senior analyst, Forethought Research; and Peter Danaher, professor of marketing and economics, Monash University.

    The Kmart team described an innovative approach to measure customer emotions and determine their role in store choice. Their approach allowed Kmart to design and then assess television commercial content prior to campaign launch, allowing the firm to grow earnings and capture increased market share despite strong competitive response.

Committee Chair Kannan was joined on the panel of competition judges by Doug Bowman, Emory University; Andy Chang, UPS; Preyas Desai, Duke University; Editor in Chief of Marketing Science Manfred Krafft, University of Munster; and Kannan Srinivasan, Carnegie-Mellon University and ISMS president.

In addition to ISMS and MSI, the Gary Lilien ISMS-MSI Practice Prize is co-sponsored by the European Marketing Academy and the journal Marketing Science.

Papers and reports on these marketing science implementations will appear in a forthcoming issue of Marketing Science. Videos of these presentations and of past finalists and winners are available at techtv.mit.edu/collections/isms.