Associate Professor of Marketing
One of the newest members of the marketing faculty, Anita Rao brings an expertise in quantitative marketing and empirical industrial organization with specific interests in online content, digital distribution, emerging markets, and research- and innovation-intensive industries. Prior to Booth, Rao earned her PhD in marketing from Stanford University.
In terms of research, what I bring to Booth concerns online content–related consumer behavior. I ask what drives some customers to buy versus rent a movie and measure how much a particular consumer wants to consume the content right away. From a consumer’s perspective, I look for different behaviors and then analyze how these actions feed into maximizing profits for a firm. For example, if consumers equally prefer watching a movie as soon as it is released to watching it at a later date then it can hurt the studio’s profits as consumers may wait for cheaper prices in the future. However, if the studio can commit to holding prices fixed—something the rigid pricing structure of Apples iTunes store enables—their profits are impacted positively. Interestingly, I also find that if studios can commit to prices they are sometimes better off without a rental market.
Existing data are limited in both availability and variation necessary to identify crucial parameters related to the consumer. I implement a survey-based preference measurement approach to gather customer preferences, something I envision managers can easily do before releasing their movies to the home-video market.