Are consumers rational really? How does this impact shopper insights, category management, marketing and future AI models? Dr Gerardo Berbeglia, Associate Professor of Operations, shares his views and predictions

July 23, 2021 | By Dr Gerardo Berbeglia

Meet Dr Gerardo Berbeglia:

Dr Berbeglia specialises in Operations Research, Game Theory, Transport Optimisation, Revenue Management, Pricing Optimisation, Impact of Social Influence In Markets. Gerardo’s research has been published in leading journals and conference proceedings, including Transportation Science, INFORMS Journal on Computing, European Journal of Operational Research, Operations Research Retters, ACM conference on Economics and Computation (EC), Conference on Web and Internet Economics (WINE) and the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. His recent research focuses on revenue management and quantitative models that account for social influence in online markets (such as iTunes or Google Play). Gerardo teaches Operations, Optimisation and Decision Making, and Supply Chain Analytics on the MBA programs and Master of Business Analytics program.

In this podcast you will learn:
• What Operations Research and Optimisation is about and how most of the models used today assume one thing: consumers are rational!

• How can statistics explain consumer choice? Dr Berbeglia is working on new models to help predict what consumers will choose given certain events or triggers. This research has applications for policy marketers, category management and shopper insights professionals.

• Does social influence impact consumer choice? Dr Berbeglia illustrates, for example, how popularity of media can influence consumer rationality and hence choice.

• What new consumer rationality experiments are being performed by Dr Berbeglia in his labs. One interest is "the compromise effect". The effort that dictates that a consumer will choose a middle option over a given set of choice alternatives as it's easier to justify that choice, it reduces cognitive dissonance and loss aversion.

• Another phenomenon Dr Berbeglia is exploring is the "the decoy effect", the effort going into consumer choice when the third option is presented against existing two options.

• Dr Berbeglia talks about applications and effects of these models from choice of COVID19 vaccine to organ donation to retail and assortment, category and merchandising planning.

• Hear what Dr Berbeglia thinks about how these consumer choice models will be used in machine learning and AI models in the future.

Interesting further reading and watching:

Compromise effect and consideration set size in consumer decision-making, Jaewon Yoo, Hyunsik Park & Wonjoon Kim 

The decoy effect: how you are influenced to choose without really knowing it, Gary Mortimer, Associate Professor in Marketing and Consumer Behaviour, Queensland University of Technology

Dr Dan Ariely classic experiment Pricing the Economist 

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