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Producing reliable sales forecasts for new products is notoriously difficult. Traditional surveys have been popular for decades but they are relatively cumbersome and expensive to implement. Use of readily available data from social networks is becoming increasingly popular. Can the customer buzz measures obtained from social networks be a convenient and inexpensive substitute of traditional tools? Using movie industry as a backdrop, the authors compare forecasts derived from a large-scale purchase intention survey with those obtained via social networks. They find that while the survey approach is more reliable in predicting performance overall, customer buzz-based forecasts outperform surveys under conditions of high uncertainly, e.g., for niche and low-budget movies.

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Yuying Shi

Yuying Shi

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Yuying Shi is an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and Business Analytics at the Texas A & M university-commerce. She received both her Ph.D. in Marketing and Master of statistics from University of Florida. Her research area focuses on marketing...

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Ekaterina (Kate) Karniouchina

Ekaterina (Kate) Karniouchina

Mills College

Dr. Kate Karniouchina is the Dean of Lorry I. Lokey School of Business and Public Policy. Kate holds a PhD in Marketing, an MBA, and a BA degree in Finance from the University of Utah. Her work has been widely published in academic and industry journals including the...

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Can Uslay

Can Uslay

Rutgers Business School

Can Uslay is an Associate Professor and the Vice Dean for Academic Programs and Innovations at Rutgers Business School, Newark and New Brunswick. He received his MBA and Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research interests lie broadly within marketing...

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