Marketing Letters

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 317–333 | Cite as

Marketing modeling reality and the realities of marketing modeling

  • Anne T. Coughlan
  • S. Chan Choi
  • Wujin Chu
  • Charles A. Ingene
  • Sridhar Moorthy
  • V. Padmanabhan
  • Jagmohan S. Raju
  • David A. Soberman
  • Richard Staelin
  • Z. John Zhang


This paper shows how analytic modeling research in the Marketing field is focused on answering questions of “How?” and “Why?” It describes the disciplines involved in analytic modeling; examines how the key criteria of parsimony and robustness help to define a good model; and discusses other goodness criteria, including appropriate use of analytic techniques, applicability of the model to institutionally rich, real-world problems, non-obvious results, generalizability, and ability to provide insight where other research techniques do not work. The paper defines and discusses key concepts in analytic models of distribution channels, including double marginalization, coordination, incentive alignment and contract design, strategic substitutability and complementarity, externalities, and principal–agent problems. Next, the paper summarizes research presented in the session on analytic models in channels at the Erin Anderson conference; and finally, the paper suggests avenues for future analytic modeling research.


Analytic modeling Distribution channels Philosophy of science 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne T. Coughlan
    • 1
  • S. Chan Choi
    • 2
  • Wujin Chu
    • 3
  • Charles A. Ingene
    • 4
  • Sridhar Moorthy
    • 5
  • V. Padmanabhan
    • 6
  • Jagmohan S. Raju
    • 7
  • David A. Soberman
    • 8
  • Richard Staelin
    • 9
  • Z. John Zhang
    • 10
  1. 1.Kellogg School of ManagementNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Rutgers Business SchoolNewarkUSA
  3. 3.Seoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.The Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonHong Kong
  5. 5.Rotman School of ManagementUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  6. 6.INSEADSingaporeSingapore
  7. 7.The Wharton SchoolUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  8. 8.Rotman School of ManagementUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  9. 9.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA
  10. 10.The Wharton SchoolUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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