How can companies stay ahead in an era of continual digital disruption? The intermingling of online and offline, digital and real lives in an era of anytime and anywhere access is revolutionising consumer behaviour. New models, practices and technologies are meanwhile redefining channels for marketing and customer engagement. The online world opens up myriad opportunities for crosspollination of ideas; but what do we really know about the usage and effectiveness of the digital medium in capturing and measuring value?
The cover story of this issue of ISBInsight showcases three key themes central to the emerging networked economy: First, how can freemium, the increasingly popular online business model incentivise user engagement in the context of online music and dating sites? Can the growing phenomenon of crowdfunding become a powerful instrument for entrepreneurial finance? How can marketers deploy the smartphone as a tool to reach the right customer at the right time and place?
Complementing the cover theme, our features include a behavioural study of why selective information seeking could reduce online investors’ returns. Meanwhile, as IPL cricket fever rises, an economist analyses how teams can customise their winning strategies to different formats of the game. Also, leading economists Rajeev Dehejia and Arvind Panagariya explain the role of manufacturing in the growth of the service sector and the impact of economic reforms on the socially disadvantaged. Plus, if you have ever wondered about what makes financial markets tick, we have an experimental study of how managerial reputations and trust lubricate the channels of investment and growth.