Dr. Kumar has been selected as a winner of the 2012 Gary L. Lilien ISMS-MSI Practice Prize award in recognition of his outstanding marketing science work that has had significant organizational impact.
The Practice Prize is awarded for outstanding implementation of marketing science concepts and methods. Eligibility for this award includes adoption of research methods that must be innovative, sound, and appropriate to the problem and organization, and the work should have had significant, verifiable, and preferably quantitative impact on the performance of the client organization. The Practice Prize was awarded to Dr. Kumar at the 2012 ISMS-MSI Practice Conference at the University of Maryland, Washington D.C. Campus held on December 9-10, 2011. See here for more information about the award.
This award was presented to Dr. Kumar and his colleagues (Vikram Bhaskaran - Georgia State University; Rohan Mirchandani - The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Milap Shah - Co-Founder & Director, HokeyPokey) and for their novel and innovative research approach to measure social media ROI and customer's word of mouth value. The method involved creating a unique metric, Customer Influence Effect (CIE) to measure net influence wielded by a user in a social network and predicting the user's ability to generate viral information spread. Following this, another metric - Customer Influence Value (CIV) - was created to link word of mouth to the actual sales generated. This method was implemented at HokeyPokey, a chain of ice-cream retailers with a strong local presence in western India. The research findings show that social media can be used to generate sales, increase ROI, induce positive word-of-mouth, and spread brand knowledge.