P.K. Kannan


P. K. Kannan is the Dean's Chair in Marketing Science at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. His main research focus is on marketing modeling, applying statistical and econometric methods to marketing data. His current research stream focuses on attribution modeling, media mix modeling, new product/service development and customer relationship management (CRM).

To the Mattresses: A Disruption Is Turned on Its Head

SMITH BRAIN TRUST – Online ecommerce mattress startups like Casper and Leesa have been disrupting America’s brick-and-mortar mattress retail segment in recent years.

But now, that disruption is being turned on its head, as those online firms look for a physical store presence, says P.K. Kannan, the Dean’s Chair in Marketing Science at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Why It Pays to Win B2B Design Awards

A design award signals quality and boosts business-to-consumer sales. The payoffs are less obvious in business-to-business markets. But research from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business shows the economic value of earning industry prizes for B2B excellence, despite doubts among managers who often bypass the application process.

Why Are Plastic Lego Bricks So Pricey?

Brand Strategy Focuses on Price and Quality

SMITH BRAIN TRUST – Ask anyone with kids who love those iconic building toys: Lego sets aren’t cheap. And those plastic, intricate brick sets very rarely go on sale. The Danish-based Lego is part of an elite club of brands that hold their ground on price and quality, even as factory outlet stores, insider promo codes and other discount schemes have transformed the way many consumers buy.

Why Amazon’s Rivals Love Prime Day

Amazon's Prime Day summer sale, now in its third year, is becoming something that even the e-commerce giant might not have intended. It's becoming a big day for its rivals. The midsummer hype about deals online is having an impact beyond Amazon's seemingly endless website, says the Smith School's P.K. Kannan. "If the other retailers have a significant presence online, then they can expect what we call 'spillover traffic,'" he says. Read more...

Is Facebook the Next Netflix?

It looks like Facebook has been sending friend requests to Hollywood. The social media giant has reportedly been talking with Hollywood studios and agencies about creating original television content to launch on the social-media platform by late summer. And this could be a big deal. The news comes as Facebook has crossed another stunning milestone, notching 2 billion active monthly users. With that kind of reach, Facebook's original programming would seem destined to be an instant smash success. Consider this: Netflix only has about 100 million monthly users worldwide. The Smith School's P.K. Kannan explains the impact that Facebook could have on the already-crowded field of streaming entertainment. Read more...

Amazon Deal Stirs Things Up for Blue Apron

For Blue Apron, Amazon's blockbuster deal to acquire Whole Foods couldn't have come at a worse time, says Smith School marketing professor Jie Zhang. The New York-based meal-kit delivery service was just beginning the marketing for its initial public offering, in which it hopes to raise more than $500 million, when Amazon.com Inc. announced the $13.7 billion deal that could upend the food-retail industry. Suddenly, all the talk among analysts and prospective investors has turned to Amazon, the 431 Whole Foods locations, the grocery chain's distribution network, and how CEO Jeff Bezos might reshape how Americans shop for food. Read more...

The Freemium Economy: How Companies Can Get You To Pay Up

What could be better than free? For companies with a freemium business model – Spotify, Dropbox, Hulu and The New York Times are notable examples – it’s a key question. Can a company increase its number of paying customers while offering free version of its products? And if so, how? Researchers at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business say they have mapped a strategy. Working with the National Academies Press, an online bookseller, the researchers conducted a field experiment to determine how companies might improve their sales of premium products, even while offering free ones. "If the free version OK, how do you get the customer to justify paying for more?" asks Smith School marketing professor P.K. Kannan. That’s where the price strategy comes into play. Read more...

Why Snapchat’s OMG IPO Is Raising Eyebrows

When Smith School lecturer Jonathan Aberman thinks about Snap Inc. going public, the image that springs to mind is a queue of airplanes, waiting for takeoff, with the parent of the popular Snapchat photo app first on the tarmac. It's because Snap is the first in a line of so-called unicorns – privately held tech companies with an estimated valuation of $1 billion or more – that are expected to launch an initial public offering. And this one, he says, has him feeling a bit wary about them all. Read more...


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