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Bayesian multi-resolution spatial analysis with applications to marketing


  • Sam Hui


  • Eric Bradlow


Marketing researchers have become increasingly interested in spatial datasets. A main challenge of analyzing spatial data is that researchers must a priori choose the size and make-up of the areal units, hence the resolution of the analysis. Analyzing the data at a resolution that is too high may mask “macro” patterns, while analyzing the data at a resolution that is too low may result in aggregation bias. Thus, ideally marketing researchers would want a “data-driven” method to determine the “optimal” resolution of analysis, and at the same time automatically explore the same dataset under different resolutions, to obtain a full set of empirical insights to help with managerial decision making. In this paper, we propose a new approach for multi-resolution spatial analysis that is based on Bayesian model selection. We demonstrate our method using two recent marketing datasets from published studies: (i) the Netgrocer spatial sales data in Bell and Song (Quantitative Marketing and Economics 5:361–400, 2007 ), and (ii) the Pathtracker ® data in Hui et al. (Marketing Science 28:566–572, 2009b ; Journal of Consumer Research 36:478–493, 2009c ) that track shoppers’ in-store movements. In both cases, our method allows researchers to not only automatically select the resolution of the analysis, but also analyze the data under different resolutions to understand the variation in insights and robustness to the level of aggregation. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Sam Hui & Eric Bradlow, 2012. "Bayesian multi-resolution spatial analysis with applications to marketing," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 419-452, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:qmktec:v:10:y:2012:i:4:p:419-452
    DOI: 10.1007/s11129-012-9122-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tal Garber & Jacob Goldenberg & Barak Libai & Eitan Muller, 2004. "From Density to Destiny: Using Spatial Dimension of Sales Data for Early Prediction of New Product Success," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(3), pages 419-428, August.
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    9. van der Lans, Ralf & Pieters, Rik & Wedel, Michel, 2008. "Eye-Movement Analysis of Search Effectiveness," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103, pages 452-461, June.
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