A Brief History of Marketing at Fuqua:
Almost 30 years ago, a critical event happened in the Fuqua marketing department’s history.
The Fuqua marketing group in 1980 was composed of five young scholars, Joel Huber, John McCann, John Payne, Julie Edell, and Marian Moore. They hired Jim Bettman and Rick Staelin. Both were established scholars at their respective institutions, Rick Staelin at Carnegie Mellon and Jim Bettman at UCLA. Rick Staelin was a modeler; he developed mathematical representations that seek to understand and predict markets. Jim Bettman was one of the pioneers of the field of consumer behavior_._ His recently completed book would become a classic, An Information Processing Theory of Consumer Choice. Borrowing deeply from psychological theories, that book developed a research tradition that did not simply ask what people in markets did, but why and how they did them. Both scholars were very important in shaping their fields. Bettman was co-editor of the main behavioral journal, the Journal of Consumer Research, whereas Staelin would soon become the editor of Marketing Science, the top modeling journal in the field of marketing.
Their value was not limited their research, but in their active commitment to building the school. Bettman became the director of the Ph.D. program, a position he holds to this day. Staelin took many jobs, from marketing area coordinator to Associate Dean for faculty, to Deputy Dean. Despite different orientations a critical aspect of their success was an appreciation each other’s work. Bettman had background in mathematics and operations research, and Staelin had supervised many behavioral dissertations. As a result, they stressed the joint importance of quantitative and behavioral approaches in growing the marketing area. They fostered a strong Ph.D. area and hired faculty who are very active in seminars and conduct cross-functional research. The fact that these two researchers got along so well despite working in quite different domains set a critical norm for the entire marketing group.
A brief review of the faculty reveals that Fuqua’s marketing group is notable for both its breadth and its expertise in the major subfields in marketing. In analytic modeling, an early recruiting success involved hiring Debu Purohit. Purohit, an outstanding educator, created illuminating analytic models that reflect the ways automotive leases differentially affect manufacturers, dealers and customers. These models demonstrate the self-destructive effects of automotive leasing on later sales of new cars. Another outstanding analytic modeler, Preyas Desai, has worked with Purohit on several projects, including analyzing the benefits to dealers of institutionalizing haggling over automotive prices. The recruiting of Wilfred Amaldoss further strengthened the modeling group. Amaldoss tests models using behavioral simulations examining how people act when given the goals and information hypothesized in game-theoretic models.
An empirical group that complemented the analytic modelers also developed strongly at Fuqua. Empirical modelers examine marketing data and attempt to understand its structure and predict the impact of marketing actions. Four outstanding modelers have joined Fuqua in the last 15 years,Carl Mela, Wagner Kamakura, Andres Musalem and Ken Wilbur. Mela’s initial work estimated the value of promotions advertising with respect to both initial impact and long-term effects. Recently, he has explored the role of new media in shaping firms’ marketing strategy. Wagner Kamakura is unique in being able to produce results from complex data models that are relevant to both researchers and managers. Andres Musalem joined in 2006 from the University of Pennsylvania. He develops methodologies that magically estimate the distribution of consumers’ preferences from market or store-level data. His research has also been focused on marketing decisions in retailing, such as promotions, product introduction and customer service. Ken Wilbur came to Fuqua in 2009 from the University of Southern California. He does theoretical and empirical work focused on managerial issues in advertising, new media, and multisided platform industries.
With work that spans analytic and the empirical modeling, Bill Boulding came to Fuqua from Wharton. His work has been instrumental in examining consumer satisfaction and how expectations influence later managerial behaviors. Chris Moormancame to Fuqua from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work bridges consumer behavior and marketing strategy. She does important work on the effects of regulation on product strategy and on the strategic benefits of a firm’s focus on marketing knowledge management activities within and between organizations. Both Boulding and Moorman are outstanding strategy scholars who work from different perspectives.
Fuqua has been equally successful building a research group in consumer behavior. Starting with John Payne, Joel Huber and Julie Edell Britton, Fuqua has had a strong tradition in behavioral research. Huber and Payne are pioneering researchers in choice and decision making, and Julie Edell Britton is a leader in work on how consumers process advertisements. Fuqua’s reputation in consumer research was importantly strengthened when John Lynch came to Fuqua in 1996. Lynch, strongly grounded in the fundamental principles of social psychology, is a world expert with respect to consumer memory and judgment. The recent addition of two outstanding researchers, Gavan Fitzsimons and Tanya Chartrand, built the group’s strength and reputation significantly. Fitzsimons’ research examines the unintended consequences of marketing research or actions on later purchase behavior. For example, he shows that simply asking people about their intention to perform an action can make them much more likely to perform that action several months later. Tanya Chartrand is a social psychologist and one of the leading experts on non-conscious and automatic behavior. She examines ways in which our choices, perceptions and beliefs are influenced by cues in ways of which we are unaware.
Finally, the group has hired back two of its own Ph.D. graduates after they had established themselves in other schools. Mary Frances Luce came back to Fuqua from Wharton. Her work focuses on consequential choices, including emotionally difficult choices and medical decisions. The second coup was to bring Dan Ariely from MIT. His two recent books,Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality, provide an accessible and entertaining account of his deep experiments that explore behavioral economics.
Over the years, another important factor in the intellectual atmosphere of the group has been a commitment to excellent PhD education. The marketing group has graduated over fifty doctoral students since 1982. These students both contributed greatly to the group while they were at Fuqua and have gone to be quite successful as marketing faculty; their placements include positions at Berkeley, Dartmouth, Stanford, Carnegie-Mellon, Wharton, Northwestern, MIT, and Columbia.
The breadth of Fuqua’s marketing group fills the need for different skills to understand the range of marketing issues. The group’s culture of interdisciplinary curiosity has led to a marketing area that is intensely interactive, fundamentally collegial, world-class, productive and fun.