Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Research Notes: Daniel Mochon and Janet Schwartz

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Daniel Mochon


Janet Schwartz

Daniel Mochon and Janet Schwartz’s paper “Gain without pain: The extended effects of a behavioral health intervention” has been accepted for publication in Management Science. Financial incentive programs are an attractive way to for firms to help customers improve health behaviors such as better nutrition, increased exercise, better medication adherence and smoking cessation. While research from behavioral economics shows that these programs can improve a specific health behavior while financial incentives are in place, less is known about how they influence people’s behavior in other areas or after the incentives stop. For firms hoping to leverage insights from behavioral economics on a large scale basis, these effects are crucial to understand. If a nutrition intervention gets people to eat healthier for some period of time, but also causes them to stop exercising then there may be little overall value in this approach. In the paper, Mochon and Schwartz examine these important questions. Their research, conducted in collaboration with Discovery Health, looked at the extended impact of imposing a financial penalty on customers who failed to improve their nutrition behavior. Those customers, whose households were receiving a generous 25 percent discount on healthy groceries, agreed to put their discount on the line by promising to increase their healthy food purchases. For each of the following six months, those who met the goal kept their discount; but those who did not had to repay it to the company. Although this precommitment was a somewhat painful and irrational approach, the intervention successfully helped households improve their healthy grocery shopping during the entire intervention. In fact, Mochon and Schwartz found that these households even continued their new healthy habits for six months after the penalty was removed. Buying more healthy food did not lead people to become lax in other areas of their health — those who agreed to the penalty exercised just as much as they had before. And, despite imposing a penalty on loyal customers, the results showed that overall customer engagement was not reduced. Taken together, the authors demonstrate how insights from behavioral economics can be implemented on a large scale basis, and can be done without compromising health in other domains or threatening customer loyalty. Mochon and Schwartz are assistant professors of marketing at the A. B. Freeman School of Business.

Research Notes: Daniel Mochon

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Mochon-236x236Assistant Professor of Marketing Daniel Mochon received the Society for Consumer Psychology’s 2015 C.W. Park Outstanding Contribution to the Field Award for his paper “The IKEA effect: When labor leads to love.” The award was presented at the society’s winter 2015 conference in Phoenix.  The paper, which Mochon co-authored with Michael Norton and Dan Ariely, suggests that individuals attach greater value to products they create themselves than those products might objectively deserve. It originally appeared in the Journal of Consumer Psychology in 2012.

Think you need luck? Think again

Friday, February 13th, 2015

If Friday the 13th finds you being a little more careful than usual, you’re likely one of the millions of Americans who consider themselves to be at least a little superstitious.


The Freeman School’s Eric Hamerman says people are more likely to turn to superstition to help achieve performance goals as opposed to learning goals.

A. B. Freeman School of Business researcher Eric Hamerman studies the impact of superstition on decision-making and his latest paper sheds light on the situations in which individuals use superstitions most.

People are more likely to turn to superstition when they’re interested in achieving a performance goal as opposed to a learning goal, he said.

“Performance goals involve somebody else giving me approval whereas learning goals involve an internal sense of competence and mastery,” said Hamerman, an assistant professor of marketing at the Freeman School. “Only when looking for outside approval do we bring in outside sources, such as luck, to try to help ourselves.”

An example of a performance goal would be a musician who practices in order to receive applause. If the musician were to practice solely for the satisfaction of mastering the piece of music, that would be a learning goal. Similarly, a student who studies to get an A has a performance goal whereas a student who studies to learn the material has a learning goal.

While Hamerman’s research doesn’t address whether belief in superstition affects one’s performance, he said focusing on performance goals tends to make people feel less in control while focusing on learning goals tends to make people challenge and stretch themselves.

“The lesson here is that we should really try to reframe those performance goals as learning goals,” Hamerman said. “If we focus on the process rather than the outcome … we’ll tend to focus on more rational solutions to become better achievers.”

Hamerman’s paper “Reliance on Luck: Identifying Which Achievement Goals Elicit Superstitious Behavior,” co-authored with Carey Morewedge, appears in the March 2015 issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Research Notes: Eric Hamerman

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Hamerman125Eric Hamerman’s paper “Reliance on Luck: Identifying Which Achievement Goals Elicit Superstitious Behavior,” co-authored with Carey Morewedge, associate professor of marketing at Boston University School of Management, has been accepted for publication in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. In the paper, the authors find that people are more likely to turn to superstitions to achieve performance goals as opposed to learning goals. Performance goals are when people try to be judged as successful by others. They tend to be extrinsically motivated and are perceived to be susceptible to influence from outside forces. Learning goals, by contrast, are often judged internally, and due to their intrinsic motivation, there is a perception that they are internally controlled and less likely to be impacted by outside forces. Hamerman is an assistant professor of marketing at the Freeman School.

Fox Sports taps students to design marketing campaign

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

A class of students at the A. B. Freeman School of Business delivered their final presentations on Friday (Dec. 6), but these projects were for more than just a grade. They were to see which team would earn the right to have its marketing campaign executed by Fox Sports.


In December, Freeman students pitched 360-degree marketing campaigns to executives with Fox Sports. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

The presentations were the culmination of a semester-long project that took students in Professor of Practice John Howard’s undergraduate Advertising and Brand Promotion class and put them to work on behalf of Fox Sports New Orleans. The assignment? Create a 360-degree marketing campaign to promote the network’s coverage of Louisiana high school sports.

The students spent the semester conducting market research and developing ideas encompassing print, radio, TV and outdoor advertising as well as event marketing and social media. On Friday, representatives from Fox Sports and the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) were on hand to see the results of their efforts and choose the winning campaign.

One team created a TV commercial that juxtaposed Louisiana imagery like wild alligators and flying Mardi Gras throws with football scrums and flying footballs. Another designed a clever campaign logo that added football laces to a fleur-de-lis.

In the end, after five hours of presentations and much deliberation, the judges selected “Louisiana: You Create Legends. You Make History,” a campaign built on the state’s reputation for producing future NFL stars, as the winner.

Mary Hyink, director of marketing with Fox Sports New Orleans/Southwest, said judges were particularly impressed by the team’s idea for an accompanying social media hashtag, #WheredYaGeaux, that plays on the local custom of identifying people by where they went to high school.

Winning team members show of their #WheredYaGo T-shirts.

Fox Sports New Orleans plans to use the campaign developed by a team of Freeman School students, above, to promote its coverage of Louisiana high school sports. (Photo by Mary Hyink)

“That really struck a chord with us,” said Hyink. “There were a lot of terrific presentations. I think for us, the true benefit is that not only did we have a winning team, but there were also other teams that we will probably pull an idea or tactic from to add to what we bring to life on air.”

The high school sports campaign was Tulane’s first project in association with Fox Sports’ Creative University program, which involves students in hand-on marketing and communications projects for the network. Tulane is one of 20 universities that Fox Sports has partnered with for the program.

“Our hope is that we’re giving students some real-life, real-client, real-world experience,” said Lindsay Amstutz, vice president of marketing for Fox Sports Networks. “For us, it’s a tremendous pipeline for potential talent. We’ve hired a lot of students who went through Creative University. It just really helps us tap into these young, creative minds.”


The science behind consumer psychology

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

On a recent Friday morning, about a dozen undergraduate students gathered in a computer lab in the business school where they were directed to a website and asked to make various choices—everything from what to order for dessert to whether to go to a restaurant advertising a special to which NFL replica jersey to buy.

Assistant professor of marketing Eric Hamerman oversees the Freeman School’s Behavioral Lab.

It may sound like an online shopping session, but in fact the students were participating in behavioral experiments designed to help researchers at the Freeman School better understand the complexities of consumer decision-making processes.

The Freeman School’s Behavioral Lab hosts dozens of such experiments each semester. Located on the first floor of Goldring/Woldenberg Hall, the lab features 24 specially configured computer terminals that enable business school faculty to administer surveys, conduct experiments and collect the kind behavioral research data that eventually ends up in peer-reviewed journals. In a very real sense, the Behavioral Lab is where the science of consumer psychology begins.

“This lab is very similar to what you have in psychology departments in the sense that there are professors who do behavioral experimentation,” says Eric Hamerman, assistant professor of marketing, who administers the lab for the Freeman School’s marketing faculty.

Recent topics investigated in the lab include social media and its effect on purchase behavior, the effect of mood on consumer variety-seeking, alliteration in advertising, multitasking and purchase behavior, and the impact of the moral behavior of celebrities on product endorsements.

More than 300 students in TIDES and core marketing courses participate in studies each semester in exchange for class credit. While students may not be right for every study, Hamerman says they’re generally ideal for consumer behavior research.

“Are Tulane students representative of everybody in the country? Probably not. But are they consumers? Absolutely. If you’re studying human behavior and making choices, they’re a fine population.”


Study shows ‘downsizing’ options beat calorie warnings in convincing diners to eat less

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Studies have shown fast-food calorie postings do little to deter diners from overeating. A better approach may be for restaurants to simply ask consumers if they’d like smaller portions, according to new research by a Freeman School professor in this month’s Health Affairs.

Janet Schwartz

A new study by the Freeman School's Janet Schwartz shows that "downsizing" is more effective than calorie labeling at getting consumers to make healthy choices.

The study, by Janet Schwartz, assistant professor of marketing, found that when servers asked customers whether they’d like to “downsize” starchy side dishes at a Chinese fast-food restaurant as many as a third gladly cut back – saving an average 200 calories each meal.

“Our goal was to test whether the invitation to downsize a meal component would be embraced by consumers and, importantly, whether the approach would be more effective than a purely information-based approach – in this case calorie labeling,” said  Schwartz, the lead study author.

Schwartz and fellow researchers conducted several field experiments at a single Chinese fast-food restaurant. In each case, servers asked customers selecting side dishes, “Would you like to save 200 calories or more by taking a smaller portion?”

In one scenario, customers were offered a 25-cent discount if they took the downsizing offer. In another, menu calorie labels were prominently displayed in front of consumers as they selected their meals and in another calorie labels were removed. In all, anywhere from 14 percent to 33 percent of customers opted to downsize portions. Surprisingly, the 25-cent discount had little impact on downsizing choices and the calorie postings didn’t persuade much either. In fact, significantly more customers —21 percent versus 14 percent — accepted the downsizing offer when calorie information was absent.

Schwartz hopes the study helps restaurants understand that helping diners exercise portion control won’t alienate customers.

“I think the restaurant industry may find this counterintuitive, but it’s an interesting and easy strategy to implement that could help their customers make healthier choices,” Schwartz says.

Students’ hopes riding on recycling in national marketing competition

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The hopes of three Freeman School students are riding on recycling in a national marketing competition.

Freeman School students Amanda Diamond, Carly O’Meara and Beckie Warren, left to right, are traveling to locations across the South to promote recycling as part of a social media campaign to generate buzz for Honda’s new CR-Z sport hybrid coupe.

A team featuring Freeman students Amanda Diamond, Carly O’Meara and Beckie Warren is one of 10 finalists in the Honda CR-Z Media Challenge, a national marketing competition that asked students to devise social media campaigns to generate buzz for Honda’s sporty new hybrid car. As one of the 10 teams in the finals, the Freeman students received a CR-Z to use for six weeks, a $150 gift card to help with implementation expenses, and a Flip Video camcorder to document their campaign.

Since receiving the CR-Z on Oct. 11, Diamond, O’Meara and Warren have logged hundreds of miles traveling to locations across the South in the sporty hybrid to hold recycling drives that double as promotional events for the environmentally friendly car. The trio visited LSU and Auburn in October and plan to visit the University of Memphis in November. The students hope to use cash generated from the recycled goods to pay for their gas, enabling them to return the gift card to Honda without using any of the $150.

“Our motto is, ‘We’re riding on recycling,’” says O’Meara. “When people come to give us their plastic bottles and aluminum cans, we’re able to show them the Honda CR-Z as well.”

The campaign—which they’ve dubbed “Honda CR-Z Road Trip 2010”—concludes on Nov. 20 with a “Recycling Block Party” in Pocket Park on Tulane’s campus that will feature live music and displays from local green businesses.

After reviewing reports on the campaigns from each of the 10 finalists, Honda will select three teams to visit its headquarters in Torrance, Calif.,  and present a recap of their campaigns to a panel of executives, PR industry leaders and journalists. Those three teams will also become “virtual interns” for Honda, participating in brainstorming sessions, drafting and editing PR materials, and attending promotional events to support the launch of the CR-Z. In addition, the team chosen by Honda for executing the best overall campaign will be invited to the CR-Z’s official launch in Washington D.C. in April 2011.

While the trips to California and Washington D.C. are nice rewards, O’Meara says the ultimate prize is the chance to demonstrate their marketing skills and social media savvy for potential employers.

“Who’d think we’d have the chance to do our own marketing campaign for one of the world’s biggest car companies?” O’Meara says. “This is just a great opportunity.”

To see photos and videos from their recycling trips, visit Honda CR-Z Road Trip 2010 Facebook page.

(And when you’re finished, click the “like” button to give the students a better shot at winning the challenge!)

Timing of messages key to successful product launch, researchers say

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Innovators take note: If you’re thinking of launching a revolutionary new product, plan a two-phased marketing strategy that first emphasizes the product’s benefits and later focuses on the practical aspects of using it. That’s the most effective means of getting consumers to buy a new product, according to a recent article co-authored by researchers at the Freeman School.

“Managing Consumer Uncertainty in the Adoption of New Products: Temporal Distance and Mental Simulations,” by marketing professors Mita and Harish Sujan, assistant marketing professor Manish Kacker, and Raquel Castano, a marketing professor at Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, gathers the results of several studies conducted by the authors on issues related to the adoption of new products. The article appeared in the June 2008 issue of Journal of Marketing Research.

“Consumers have different concerns when they first hear about a new product compared to the time when they consider buying it,” says Mita Sujan. “The key to a successful marketing plan is to shift the message to target these separate concerns.”

According to the researchers, two types of uncertainties dominate consumer thinking regarding new products. If the buying decision is in the distant future, consumers are concerned primarily with benefit-related uncertainties, such as how the product will perform or what others will think of it. If the buying decision is in the near future, consumers are more concerned with cost-related uncertainties, such as how long it will take to learn how to use or how much it will cost.

The most effective marketing strategies for launching new products feature two distinct communication strategies. For new products to be launched in the distant future, the strategy should emphasize the “why” of adoption, for example its use of better technology. For new products to be launched in the near future, the strategy should emphasize the “how to” of adoption, for example tips on operating the product. According to the researchers, synchronizing communication strategies with the timeline leading up to the new product’s launch results in higher purchase rates and, significantly, increased satisfaction with the product after adoption.

The researchers also found that the benefits of a temporally synchronized communication strategy are greatest for highly innovative products such as the iPhone.

These findings have public policy implications as well. If a policymaker wishes to generate popular acceptance of a new initiative, the research suggests that initial communications should emphasize the “why” of the policy change, for example its expected beneficial outcomes. As the date of the policy implementation draws near, communications should shift to emphasize the “how to” of the policy change, or the practical aspects of dealing with the new policy.

Whether you’re introducing a new wireless device or changing the way city occupational licenses are issued, Mita Sujan says a two-phased communication strategy is the key to improving the public’s adoption.

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