Optimal marketing strategies over social networks

Jason D Hartline*, Vahab S. Mirrokni, Mukund Sundararajan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

246 Scopus citations


We discuss the use of social networks in implementing viral marketing strategies. While influence maximization has been studied in this context (see Chapter 24 of [10]), we study revenue maximization, arguably, a more natural objective. In our model, a buyer's decision to buy an item is influenced by the set of other buyers that own the item and the price at which the item is offered. We focus on algorithmic question of finding revenue maximizing marketing strategies. When the buyers are completely symmetric, we can find the optimal marketing strategy in polynomial time. In the general case, motivated by hardness results, we investigate approximation algorithms for this problem. We identify a family of strategies called influence-and-exploit strategies that are based on the following idea: Initially influence the population by giving the item for free to carefully a chosen set of buyers. Then extract revenue from the remaining buyers using a 'greedy' pricing strategy. We first argue why such strategies are reasonable and then show how to use recently developed set-function maximization techniques to find the right set of buyers to influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceeding of the 17th International Conference on World Wide Web 2008, WWW'08
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2008
Event17th International Conference on World Wide Web 2008, WWW'08 - Beijing, China
Duration: Apr 21 2008Apr 25 2008

Publication series

NameProceeding of the 17th International Conference on World Wide Web 2008, WWW'08


Other17th International Conference on World Wide Web 2008, WWW'08


  • Marketing
  • Monetizing social networks
  • Pricing
  • Sub-modular maximization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimal marketing strategies over social networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this