Consumers today are heavily dependent on online reviews to make informed choices about what to buy. In fact, studies show that as many as 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before making financial decisions, and nearly 70 percent trust these opinions.
Given their importance, how do you tell if the reviews are from genuine customers?
Subodha Kumar, director of the Center for Data Analytics and professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School, developed an approach to detect fake reviewers on online digital platforms. In his paper published in the Journal of Management Information Systems, Kumar proposes an algorithm that analyzes the behavior of reviewers on a set of key features to help differentiate between the real and the fake.
“A user who reads a negative review of a restaurant is likely to trust the message, even though it was written by a stranger,” Kumar says. “One convincing review can often persuade consumers to shift their brand loyalty or drive several extra miles to try a new sandwich shop.”
This gives firms a strong incentive to influence their online review ratings. “Business owners inject their public ratings with a positive bias,” says Kumar. “They use fake accounts or paid reviewers to either promote their offering or strategically denounce competitors’ products.”
In studying a dataset from Yelp, a popular restaurant review platform, Kumar observed a striking difference in the way spammers interact on online platforms. “Even though individual reviews by a spammer may look genuine, collectively we can capture anomalies in the review patterns,” Kumar says, “In fact, they are remarkably skewed.”
By analyzing this pattern of behaviors, Kumar’s approach to detecting review manipulation can not only improve the experience of consumers across industries but also increase the credibility of reviewing platforms like Yelp.
Kumar considers six distinct features of every review in the data set:
- Review gap: Spammers are usually not longtime members of a site, unlike genuine reviewers who use their accounts from time to time to post reviews. Thus, if reviews are posted over a relatively long timeframe, it suggests normal activity. But when all reviews are posted within a short burst, it indicates suspicious behavior.
- Review count: Paid users generally generate more reviews than unpaid users. In other cases to avoid being detected or blacklisted, a spammer could post very few reviews from one account and create a new account.
- Rating entropy: Spammers mostly post extreme reviews since their goal is either to artificially improve a particular company’s rating or to bring a bad reputation to its competitors. This results in high entropy—or drastic randomness—in fake users’ ratings.
- Rating deviation: Spammers are likely to deviate from the general rating consensus. If genuine users fairly outnumber spammers, it is easy to detect instances where a user’s rating deviates greatly from the average ratings from other users.
- Timing of review: One strategy spammers may use is to post extremely early after a restaurant’s opening in order to maximize the impact of their review. Early reviews can greatly impact a consumers’ sentiment on a product and, in turn, impact sales.
- User tenure: Fake reviewers tend to have short-lived accounts characterized by a relatively large number of reviews and handles, usernames or aliases designed to avoid detection.
After considering these variables individually, the algorithm then looks into the way the variables interact with each other. It employs techniques like supervised machine learning and accounts for the overall review behavior of a user to provide a robust and accurate analysis.
Kumar’s methodology can also be deployed to post the information of the spammers in real-time. Digital platforms like Yelp could develop a spam score using these key features for each reviewer and share it with business owners and consumers, who can subsequently be tagged or filtered.
“The issue of opinion spamming in online reviews is not going away and detecting the perpetrators is not easy,” says Kumar. But developments in approaches like these, he says, “offer great insights to businesses, allowing them to create more effective marketing strategies based on the sheer volume of genuine, user-contributed consumer reviews.”
This year has seen a change of the guard in our Marketing and Supply Chain Management department. Dr. Michael Smith stepped down as Department Chairperson on June 30, after several years of distinguished service. Thank you, Mike, for all you have done for us! I am privileged—and honored—to take over as the chairperson, and I am especially fortunate to have inherited a wonderful state of affairs. As the year, and our Fall semester, draw to a close, let’s behold the state of our world in Marketing and Supply Chain Management.
The past several years have been a period of tremendous growth in the Fox School, and one manifestation of that has been in our faculty hiring this past year. We are thrilled to welcome eight new, full-time faculty members in MSCM. On the research side, Dr. Xue Bai, who studies data analytics and online social networks and platforms, joins us from UConn; Dr. Marco Qin, who researches market structure and B2B marketing, joins us from the University of Minnesota; Dr. Abhishek Roy, who studies strategic decisions in supply chain management, joins us from the University of Texas at Austin, and Dr. Monica Wadhwa, who researches the drivers of consumer decision making, joins us from INSEAD. And, four of our new full-time faculty were already teaching for us as industry professionals and decided to take the plunge this year as full-time colleagues: Cheri Cutler, who has more than 25 years of experience in public relations and marketing communications; Denise Donaghue, who has worked for more than a decade in insurance marketing and corporate copywriting; Michael Hughes, who has more than 20 years of experience in instructional design and corporate training, and Sheri Lambert, who has more than 25 years of experience in high-level marketing research positions. All of these new colleagues have hit the ground running, and we’re stoked that they have come onboard in our department. In addition, I’d like to welcome Jessica Hallstrom, who joined us as our new department coordinator, and thank Nicole Stilianos, our associate director, for expanding her role in the department and taking on a great deal of administrative oversight.
What else is going on? There’s never a dull moment here, as we redesign our master’s programs in Marketing, plan for a new master’s program in Supply Chain Management, expand our BBA program in Supply Chain (almost 200 majors in SCM to join the almost 1,000 majors in Marketing!), and start up a new PhD program in Operations & Supply Chain Management. All this while we continue to recruit more top-quality research faculty, conduct our 10-year self-study report and prepare to rearrange some of our office space with the opening of our spectacular new Fox School annex, 1810 Liacouras Walk.
In addition to gushing over all of our new colleagues and activities, I want to take a moment to celebrate some highlights from this past year. In April, our AMA undergraduate chapter added to a string of recent successes by placing as a Top 5 overall student chapter at the AMA collegiate conference in New Orleans. In June, the Fox School and MSCM in particular hosted the annual INFORMS Marketing Science Conference, with over 850 attendees from all over the world. Dr. Xueming Luoserved as General Chair. This conference provided great visibility for our department as well as for Fox. In addition to that, Dr. Subodha Kumarserved as the Conference Chair for the annual Decision Sciences Institute conference, held in November in Chicago, as well as the General Chair for the annual Production and Operations Management Conference, which took place in Houston in May. These honors are symptomatic of the arrival of our department as an elite group.
But we can’t let that go to our heads. I assure you, we are committed as ever to working hard to serve our students and our community in the best way we know how: by continuing to deliver high-quality education and professional skills in our courses and programs, and by pushing the envelope in a variety of exciting research areas, including mobile analytics, consumer behavior, operations and supply chain management, and decision neuroscience. I look to 2019 for more of the same: hard work and high achievement!
Best wishes for the holiday season,
Are you a seasoned marketing and advertising professional looking for a hyper-specific master’s program to launch your career to the next level? Or a rising star seeking a path into an exciting, growing industry?
Temple University’s new Master of Science in Strategic Advertising and Marketing could be exactly what you’re looking for.
The part-time grad program is a collaborative effort between the Fox School of Business and the Klein College of Media and Communication. In order to get a holistic, sophisticated view of the interrelationship between these two vibrant disciplines, students alternate between marketing classes taught by Fox faculty and advertising courses led by Klein professors.
Below, a few current students talk about finding exactly what they were looking for in the Strategic Advertising and Marketing program—and how their new degrees will help boost their careers.
Becoming a Better Marketer—and Moving Up to Manager, Too
Matt Barber, after earning a bachelor’s in marketing from Messiah College in 2005, worked in various marketing roles before taking a job with Subaru in 2015. He now works as a brand partnership and experiential marketing specialist at the Japanese car company’s Camden, New Jersey headquarters.
Barber’s c goal is to move up to a managerial role. But that’s not necessarily why he’s pursuing the MS in Strategic Advertising and Marketing—it’s because he, first and foremost, wants to be a better marketer.
“It wasn’t just a play to move up the ladder, but to be better as a marketer and then let everything else settle where it settles,” says Barber, who started the program last year and plans to finish in 2021.
But, of course, Barber sees the degree as a necessary step to a leadership position, too. And he chose the MS in Strategic Advertising and Marketing over an MBA program because he loved the “hyper-targeted” curriculum focusing on his chosen field.
“Temple is the only school I knew that actually had a marketing graduate program with this narrow of a focus,” he says. “It’s very unique to have a program with a combined marketing and advertising track—that was huge for me.”
Barber, who in addition to working full time has two children, also chose the program because it can be customized to meet the demands of busy, working professionals.
“It’s great to be able to go to school and work while having a family,” Barber says. “It’s been a great experience so far. I find myself in meetings, big strategy discussions, or discussions around positioning, and these higher-level concepts are clicking quicker for me now. This is totally a result of what I’m learning in class.”
To Grad School or Not to Grad School?
When Brittany Turner, BBA ’17, graduated from the Fox School in 2017 with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a major in marketing, she was unsure about her next move. Grad school was an option, but it was tough finding the right program. Then she heard about the MS in Strategic Advertising and Marketing.
“It was exactly what I was looking for,” says Turner, who plans to complete the degree in 2018. “So far it’s been everything I feel was missing from my undergrad studies and it has connected the dots to make everything more applicable to the real world. I think it goes hand-and-hand with somebody who is working in the industry, because it gives you the chance to understand it from, not only the educational standpoint, but also from the actual working standpoint.”
Turner was working as a staffing manager when she started the program in 2017; she is currently looking for a full-time job in marketing. “I would love to get more into strategic marketing,” she says. “And this program is great mix between marketing and advertising, so it gives an overhead view of the field, which a lot of other programs lack.”
In addition to gaining valuable skills that will help her succeed in her career, Turner is learning a lot from the diverse professional backgrounds of her classmates.
“Since it is a new program,” she says, “I pretty much know everyone in my classes. We are all going through it together. It’s been a fun experience getting to know everybody, and getting to know their different business experiences and how they fit in with what we are learning.”
Finding the Perfect Fit
Victoria Cianciulli, BBA ’11, within several months of earning a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Fox School in 2011, took an entry level role as a marketing coordinator with Comcast Spotlight, the Philadelphia-based global telecommunications conglomerate’s advertising sales division. Her current title is senior sales marketing specialist.
She started her MS in Marketing Communications at the Fox School two-and-a-half years ago. But when the Strategic Advertising and Marketing program launched, she switched degrees because it was the optimal fit for the career she’s pursuing.
“It couldn’t have been more perfect,” says Cianciulli. “Temple is the only school with a specialized program like this. Being in the workforce while participating in this program has helped everything click. I find myself constantly applying subjects from class to my job and the real world.”
Cianciulli’s objective is to progress within Comcast Spotlight—and she’s confident this degree will enable her to do that.
“I love what I do currently and I am definitely in pursuit of growth within Comcast,” she says. “I also hope I am able to position myself as a thought leader—having now been trained in an elevated educational setting—and share new information with my peers or even managers and leaders above me. This degree will help me do so.”
Learn more about the Fox School’s Master of Science in Strategic Advertising and Marketing.
“There’s nothing more stressful than waiting to hear ‘Go’ at the start of an Olympic final,” says Michael Moore, BBA ’93. “I’m not afraid of any experience I’ve had in business as a result of that moment.”
Moore is recalling the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, where he competed with the United States crew team. He didn’t return home with a medal, but it was a singularly powerful experience. The Philadelphia native was a Temple University student (and a member of the school’s rowing team) at the time. He took one year off from earning his degree at the Fox School to train for the competition.
“It was an amazing summer,” says Moore. “We went to Europe and did the European race circuit, traveling to Belgium, Holland, and France. Then we went on to Barcelona.”
Then it was back to business school, where Moore studied marketing. After earning his degree from the Fox School, he went on to an MBA program at George Washington University, where he had two internships. One was with the Walt Disney Group and the other was with AOL. The latter shaped his future.
“The ideal internship is getting under the hood of a company and learning about it; AOL was the ideal internship,” says Moore. “Back then, AOL was still ramping up. The internet was around, but it wasn’t pervasive. I walked around the halls of AOL and engaged with the senior executives—and these were the executives—and documented what it took to build, launch, and package an AOL service. After that, there was only one thing I wanted to do, and that was be involved in the new, digital track that was then emerging.”
Soon after completing his MBA, he found the perfect intersection of tech and marketing when he returned to AOL as director of interactive marketing. He soon after moved to Europe to work with AOL for a one year project, but he stayed in London for 12 years.
Before leaving AOL, Moore held executive director and vice president positions. His next career move was working with Telegraph Media Group, where he helped the British company that owns popular newspapers The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph transition and expand its digital landscape. His last job in Europe was as the global commercial director for Phorm, a behavioral advertising firm. Moore then returned to the U.S.
In 2013, after a brief stint as CEO of flash commerce business kgb in New York City, Moore moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, to work with WillowTree Inc. He is a co-owner and chief commercial officer (CCO) of the digital agency, which does mobile development and strategy, web and app development, and more. Their client list includes Pepsi, GE, Time Warner, Johnson and Johnson, and Nestle.
“I’m constantly engaging with our clients, our user experience strategy group, our architects, our analytics and insights teams, and so on,” says Moore about his day-to-day work. “It used to be a world where my job was to work with the business development team to land new projects; people who, for instance, wanted us to build them an app. That experience was in a box; things were relatively defined. Those days are over. Digital products are central to the operations of these enterprises now. There isn’t any end or box—it’s a constant evolution, and it requires constant tinkering and optimization of these products. We learn new things from data every day. It used to be very Mad Men-style—pitching to companies—but now it’s more operational and we’re living with clients week in and week out so they can keep up with all the data they’re seeing and make it reflective of their needs.”
After years of working for big companies like AOL and traditional ones like Telegraph Media Group, Moore took a significant jump to work with an independent company like WillowTree. But working in the always-changing, unpredictable digital space, and especially with a creative team, is precisely where he thrives.
“As someone who’s worked in traditional business and digital environments, I prefer the slightly more chaotic side of things,” he says. “Not just for the intellectual rigor, but it has a big impact on how teams work. I believe that with all the uncertainty we face in technology, our team gets up every morning and faces the unknown, the uncertain, together. That forces innovation. In traditional business where you wake up and do the same thing every day, that’s where workplace politics, inefficiency, and laziness step in. I prefer being on my toes. Harkening back to my crew days at Temple, I thrive when I’m in a team. It’s part of my DNA.”
The Fox School of Business‘ Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) has a commencement tradition. Toward the end of every semester, graduating students, when they secure a post-graduation job, ring a bell and publicly announce who their soon-to-be employer is and what their new position will be.
It’s a great way to declare, “I did it! And this is what I’m doing next!”
Temple University’s commencement, which will include hundreds of undergraduate students receiving BBA’s from the Fox School, is this week. So we asked several members of the Class of 2018 to share with us their new jobs and some inspiring stories about their time at Fox and Temple.
Kasey Brown, BBA ’18
Major: Management Information Systems
SPO: Association for Information Systems
New Job: Summer staff missionary, Catholic Youth Expeditions
New Uplifting Experiences: “First and foremost, I’m excited to grow in my Catholic faith. Temple gave me a beautiful opportunity to discover this faith, and I feel so blessed to work for an organization that allows me to grow and discover even more. Secondly, I have always had a special place in my heart for high school students and young adults. I remember what a difficult time of life it can be, and I look forward to being with them and help them in any way I can. In addition, working with Catholic Youth Expeditions means getting to learn more about how to serve the poor and how to love others—and there’s nothing more important to me.”
Helping Others: “Temple and Fox gave me the opportunity to hone my skills—not only in business, but also in communication, time management, leadership, crisis management, critical thinking, and teamwork. More importantly, Temple and Fox helped me discover the reason why I wanted to do business: to serve others. I know that in whatever job I do, it’ll never be just a job. It will be an opportunity to use my skills to help others and give back all I’ve been given here.”
William Clark, BBA ’18
New Job: Financial analyst, Revint Solutions
Perfect Launching Pad: “As I progressed through my lower-level BBA core classes, I realized I had a passion for analyzing underlying financial data. I have been a math and science guy as early as the second grade, so pursuing a career centered around financial analysis seemed like a natural fit. A financial analyst position is the perfect launching pad for a long, successful career in corporate finance.”
Love at First Sight: “I fell in love with Fox from the moment I attended my first course. I had the privilege of being taught by some of the best professors in academia, within a modern building full of the latest finance-based technology. The Capital Markets Room was one of my favorite places at Fox, as I was able to hone my skills in Bloomberg, FactSet, and VBA programming, among other things. I was able to attain valuable knowledge that allowed me to separate myself from the crowd.”
Alexa Ann Gerenza, BBA ’18
SPO: American Marketing Association
New Job: Group ticket sales associate and service coordinator, New York Yankees
A Lifelong Fan’s Dream Job: “I’ve been a Yankees fan my entire life and to now have a job that always seemed so unrealistic it’s still hard to believe. Moving to NYC and having my office at the stadium and my work schedule based around game days, is less typical, yet so very exciting. This is an entirely new lifestyle than one I expected to have post-grad, but I’m beyond excited for the journey ahead.”
Finding Confidence (and Forever Friends!): “The American Marketing Association has given me my forever friends and motivated me to work harder in everything I do. It has given me more opportunities than I ever imagined, including two trips to the AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, leading Temple’s chapter as vice president to success as a top five chapter, touring the Facebook office in NYC, and competing in an eBay sponsored case competition. Without the lessons learned and the experiences gained, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to send the initial LinkedIn connection to the Yankees and jump on the first phone call, which ultimately led to the position.”
Kyshon Johnson, BBA ’18
Major: International Business
New Job: Business Leadership program/Global sales associate, LinkedIn
Linking Up with LinkedIn: “LinkedIn is my dream company. I was able to tour the San Francisco office in 2016 and made a promise to myself I’d work there. I felt the company and culture aligned perfectly with my passions and life purpose. Initially, I applied for a summer internship and was rejected. I used that experience as motivation and an opportunity to improve my professionalism. I interned at Comcast and gained industry experience before applying for my full-time role. I am confident LinkedIn and the Business Leadership program will groom and mold me into a successful business woman.”
The Fox School Network: “I am thankful for the resources and support that Fox and Temple have provided during my undergraduate experience. Fox has a strong alumni network filled with professionals throughout the world. I utilized the alumni network to connect with Owls within the technology industry. I was able to meet with individuals that work at Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. They were all enthusiastic to assist me in landing a role at their companies. This professional foundation allowed me to explore career options and connect with amazing individuals.”
Katherine Taraschi, BBA ’18
New Job: Owner, O bag (King of Prussia Mall)
An Italian Vacation Inspires a Career: “O bag is an Italian company that creates interchangeable bags and accessories that customers can build in the store. It’s a store my friends and I were completely obsessed with when we visited Italy last spring. We visited six different locations all over Italy and one in Budapest. O bag King of Prussia will be located on the first floor of the Plaza between Lord and Taylor and Nordstrom.”
Benefits of a Real-World Curriculum: “I love that the professors at Fox all have real-world experience. Hearing different situations that they’ve encountered embedded in course topics gave a different perspective to the lessons—and definitely helped prepare me for my new position as a business owner.”
Lindsey Thompson, BBA ’18
Major: Human Resource Management
SPO: Net Impact; Society for Human Resource Management
New Job: Compensation analyst, Day & Zimmermann
A Passion for Philly… and Data: “I’m so excited to continue to live in my favorite city (Philadelphia), work with coworkers I have formed connections with during my internship at Day & Zimmermann, and to dive into the details of data in a field I’m passionate about.”
Involvement Pays Off: “The professors in Fox’s HR department, as well as other schools throughout the university, are some of the kindest and most knowledgeable people I’ve met. I can’t thank them enough for passing on their extensive industry knowledge, their warm and understanding natures, for making me think, and for serving as mentors. My leadership position with Net Impact and my role as a Teaching Assistant taught me the value of detail orientation, time management, effective communication, and remaining open-minded. I would suggest to any undergrad to get involved outside of class, because it has really added to my experience here at Temple!”
Ian Usher, BBA ’18
Major: Management Information System
SPO: Association for Information Systems
New Job: Media-Tech associate, NBC Universal
Becoming a Tech Leader: “I’m incredibly excited to start working for NBC Universal. While working for NBCU last summer, I discovered the company has a wonderful culture where I feel engaged and valued, even as a young employee. During that time, I became good friends with other interns, and it will be wonderful to continue to grow those relationships. The Media-Tech Associate program is a very demanding program, but it’s designed to give us the skills necessary to become future technology leaders.”
A Professional Journey Began at Fox: “Throughout my career at Fox, I was pushed to think logically, clearly, and critically to solve many real business problems. I was fortunate to work on projects with real companies, from startups like PoundCake to major organizations like CHOP. Completing these projects and learning how to interact with professionals helped me excel during my internship and prepared me for the workplace more effectively than if my classes were purely lecture-based. I was a poor writer before coming to Temple, and Fox classes like Business Communications have helped me improve my writing skills dramatically. That’s been critical thus far in my professional journey.”
Learn more about the Center for Student Professional Development.
Michael F. Smith, after five years serving as the chair of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management (MSCM), will step down in July. He will be replaced by Edward C. Rosenthal.
Smith, who earned his PhD from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, has taught at the Fox School since 1980. He has seen the MSCM Department undergo many transformations in his 38 years at Temple University. When Smith first started, there were less than 20 full-time faculty in the MSCM Department, and now there are 46 faculty members.
“Now we’re attracting faculty and PhD students from top schools around the world,” says Smith. Among the top research faculty hired while he has been chair are Xueming Luo, Subodha Kumar, Joydeep Srivastava, and Maureen Morrin. “Not only do we have the ability to hire top faculty and attract top students, but we’re able to give them the resources they need for research and teaching. The department has, overall, grown so much.”
Under Smith’s leadership, the department launched the undergraduate major in Supply Chain Management (which now has more than 160 students), an Online MBA concentration in Supply Chain Management, and, in collaboration with the Klein College of Media and Communication, a MS in Strategic Advertising and Marketing. Next year will see the launch of both MS and PhD programs in Supply Chain Management. He has also helped further link Temple, the Fox School, and the MSCM Department to the regional logistics, transportation, and supply chain industry. His time as chair has been defined by his remarkable ability to navigate these great changes.
“The curriculum is changing, the students’ needs and professional development requirements are changing, the faculty is changing—everything is in constant flux,” says Smith. “When Ed becomes chair, he’s certainly not stepping into a situation where it will be business as usual. He has the support of everyone in the department and Dean Porat, so I’m confident that he’s up for the challenge.”
Rosenthal, after earning his PhD at Northwestern University, arrived at the Fox School 32 years ago. He has taught courses in game theory, logistics and supply chain management, and production and operations management, and he received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Musser Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has had articles published in numerous journals, including the Journal of Public Economics and Games and Economic Behavior, and he has written two books, The Era of Choice: The Ability to Choose and Its Transformation of Contemporary Life and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Game Theory.
Like Smith, Rosenthal has witnessed the evolution of the Fox School and the MSCM Department over the last few decades. And he is excited to take on his new role as chair of the department.
“I love the synergy of this department and I have a lot of high hopes,” he says. “In the three decades I’ve been here, Temple has become a world-class research university. The whole business school has gone through such a huge transformation and the MSCM Department is a big part of that energy. I hope to continue this growth and help us solidify our reputation as a school that does world-class work.”
One of the big goals of the department, Rosenthal says, is to revamp the curriculum to match the shifting needs of tomorrow’s employers.
“We want to get ahead of technological trends and not react to them,” says Rosenthal. “It’s a big challenge figuring out where to go next, but we’ll have a new committee take a fresh look at all our curricular offerings to determine that we have the right balance of course offerings. A lot of things in the real world move fast and academics tend to lag behind. But we refuse to do that; it’s our responsibility to prepare students for the job market in an always-changing world.”
Learn more about the Fox School’s Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management.
This past year has been a year of growth and outstanding achievements on the part of our students and faculty in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management (MSCM).
Enrollment of MSCM majors is well over 1,000 students and numbers in the Marketing, Supply Chain, and Digital Marketing minors are strong. MSCM continues to enhance our practice-focused curriculum offerings by incorporating more analytics and experiential learning activities. MSCM launched a joint Master of Science in Strategic Advertising and Marketing with Klein College of Media and Communication, as well as an Enterprising Marketing Management concentration in our MS in Marketing.
MSCM hosted a Supply Chain Management career expo in the fall and a Marketing career expo and Consumer Insights event in the spring. MSCM and Temple American Marketing Association (TU-AMA) also hosted a Regional AMA Student Conference. Temple University Supply Chain Association (TU-SCA) hosted professional organizations for events and participated in site visits. Hundreds of students participated in these initiatives, and industry professionals delivered valuable presentations about industry trends and advised students of internship and job opportunities.
I am excited to report that this past year TU-AMA was again designated “Top 5″ out of over 400 global chapters by the American Marketing Association. TU-SCA students have also been successful in national and regional conferences and competitive events. Professional Sales Organization (PSO) students competed and placed in national and regional sales competitions. Outstanding students from TU-AMA, TU-SCA, and PSO were honored at an annual banquet sponsored by the MSCM department on April 26.
New faculty joined the department, including one SCM faculty member, Tim Young, with extensive industry experience and internationally recognized thought leader Dr. Subodha Kumar. We also hired Michael Hughes for the integrative business initiative. A number of faculty in Marketing, Supply Chain Management, and Business Communications will join MSCM in the fall.
Our research faculty and centers continue to produce innovative research and host national and global conferences. The 40th Annual INFORMS ISMS Conference, chaired by Xueming Luo, will bring over 900 conference attendees to Temple University and the Fox School of Business June 13-16. The Global Center for Big Data in Mobile Analytics also co-hosted the NYU 2017 Conference on Digital, Mobile Marketing, and Social Media Analytics in December 2017. The Center for Neural Decision Making will co-host its 7th Neuro Marketing conference at University of Michigan in June 2018, and center director Angelika Dimoka also led the initiative to host the Greek America Foundation’s 2018 National Innovation Conference at Temple University May 3-5.
MSCM is very excited to continue the momentum of excellence with additional faculty and new students. We look forward to working with alumni and other stakeholders to continue to increase the value we add to our students, employers, and our community.
Chairman, Marketing and Supply Chain Management Department
The Temple American Marketing Association (TU-AMA) did it again! On April 7, at the 40th Annual American Marketing Association International Collegiate Conference (AMAICC), TU-AMA was designated a Top 5 student chapter among 429 collegiate chapters worldwide.
TU-AMA competed against 284 collegiate chapters that submitted written annual reports to be considered in the 2018 running for chapter recognition. A panel of judges evaluated chapter annual reports of activities and in the following areas:
- Professional Development (35%)
- Social Impact (15%)
- Fundraising (10%)
- Membership Development (10%)
- Communications (10%)
- Chapter Operations and Planning (20%)
Thirty of TU-AMA’s 244 members (2017-2018 school year) represented our chapter at the AMAICC in New Orleans, Louisiana, to compete in a variety of competitions, attend speaker sessions, and network with professionals. In addition to earning Top 5 chapter status, TU-AMA also received the following recognition:
- Outstanding Marketing Week
- Regional Conference Recognition
- Top 15 – Mary Kay Case Competition
- 4th Place – Website Competition
- Semifinalist in Perfect Pitch Competition—freshman BBA student John Ourand
Each year, students attending the conference significantly benefit from the opportunity to network and excel. Students say:
“There are not enough words to describe how much AMA has impacted my life over the course of my college career. I am so thankful for this organization and the person it shaped me into, the people I have met, and opportunities that I have had.” – Alexa Gerenza, BBA Marketing senior
“My first year at the AMAICC was a great experience, and I look forward to going again in the future. The opportunities to network and learn more about the ways to build a career in marketing was valuable.” – Harry Gaffney, BBA Marketing sophomore
“[AMAICC] was a truly amazing experience. There were so many great speakers and networking opportunities that made it a time that I will never forget.” – Danny Glackin, BBA Marketing junior
MSCM congratulates TU-AMA students on their amazing achievements!
Learn more about the Fox School’s Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management.
The Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management faculty continue to be active, innovative, and impactful in the research community.
Anthony Di Benedetto published papers in Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science, and European Journal of Innovation Management.
Angelika Dimoka published a paper in Journal of Business Research. Dimoka is the director of the Neural Decision Making Center. She also has grants from Office of Inspector General—USPS and National Science Foundation—Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences.
Nathan Fong published papers in Marketing Science, Journal of Interactive Marketing, and Management Science.
Subohda Kumar published papers in Production and Operations Management, Information Systems Research, and Information Systems and Operational Research. Kumar received a Best Paper Nomination at the INFORMS Conference on Information Systems and Technology, and another for INFORMS eBusiness Best Paper Award.
Xueming Luo published papers in Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Journal of Consumer Psychology, and Personality and Individual Differences. Luo is the director of the Global Center for Big Data and Mobile Analytics and is serving as the Conference Chair of the 40th Annual INFORMS ISMS Marketing Science Conference. The American Marketing Association ranked Luo as 15th among all authors in the world for the 2008-2017 period in the top two premier American Marketing Association Journals and 21st among all authors in the world for the top four premier marketing discipline journals.
Maureen Morrin published a paper in Journal of Retailing and is publishing a book chapter in Brand Touch Points. She is the Director of the Consumer Sensory Innovation Lab. Morrin received a grant from the Center for Sensory Sciences and Innovation at Rutgers University. Morrin was selected as a Doctoral Consortium Faculty Research Fellow for the Association of Consumer Research conference and received an Outstanding Reviewer Award from the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing.
Susan Mudambi published a book chapter in B-to-B Marketnfuhrang: Grundlagen, Konzepte und Best Practices [B-to-B Brand Management: Fundamentals, Concepts, and Best Practices].
Crystal Reeck published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America and has a book chapter accepted in Handbook of Process Tracing Methods in Decision Making. Reeck has grants from Temple Brain Research Initiative, Scientific Research Network on Decision Neuroscience and Aging, National Science Foundation—Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences, and Environmental Defense Fund.
Ed Rosenthal published a paper in Omega (United Kingdom).
Joydeep Srivastava published a paper in Journal of Experimental Psychology.
Vinod Venkatraman published papers in Developmental Review and Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. Venkatraman also has a book chapter accepted in Handbook of Process Tracing Methods in Decision Making. He has grants from Office of Inspector General—USPS, Temple University Office of the Vice President for Research, and Temple Center for International Business Education and Research.
Howard Weiss published a paper in Omega (United Kingdom).
Learn more about the Fox School’s Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management.
This fall, the Fox School of Business implemented the Fox Leadership Development Program (FLDP) for undergraduate students. This program was designed to strengthen student skill sets and encourage co-curricular engagement in the spirit of the mission and vision of the school.
Students earn points for activities, event attendance, and accomplishments at varying levels in FLDP. The program focuses on the competency areas of Community Engagement, Financial Literacy, Global Awareness, and Personal/Professional Development. Students track their progress and share their accolades with peers, advisors, and employers using Suitable, an impact measurement tool for academic institutions.
In addition to the FLDP achievements created by the Fox School, MSCM offers opportunities for students to earn career-focused credentials to enhance their resumes and LinkedIn profile:
- Consumer Insights – Expands Marketing student skills in the field of marketing research by developing technical skills and the ability to analyze, understand, and predict consumer behavior using analytical tools, models, and databases
- Sales Force Effectiveness – Marketing and Business majors learn how to become influential entrepreneurs or managers, developing skills in client service, negotiation, self-management, communication, and problem solving
- Supply Chain Management – Marketing and Business majors develop communication, negotiation, and leadership skills; and learn how to optimize business processes to meet the demand for supply chain professionals
Career-focused experiences allow undergraduate students to specialize in lieu of declaring majors and concentrations. For the career-focused badges, students complete two required courses, choose from a menu of optional courses, and submit reflections of their experience to the department.
MSCM also offered “Quant Camp” in fall 2017, led by assistant professor of practice, Christopher Monos. This 10-session workshop focused on enhancing technical abilities of students by training them to use SPSS statistical software and Excel to analyze survey data.
“These kind of badges are exactly what we had in mind when we created FLDP and partnered with Suitable,” says Charles Allen, assistant dean of undergraduate programs at the Fox School. “The ability to supplement classroom learning, and have students improve skills they need to become an asset in any organization, is the real value proposition behind our program.”
FLDP allows students to demonstrate to prospective employers that they have intentionally guided their own professional development to align with their career path, and as such, develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their future career.
MSCM will continue to develop FLDP badges and offer events and activities that help our students succeed.
Learn more about the Fox School’s Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management.
Angelika Dimoka’s job is to get inside your head.
As the director of the Center for Neural Decision Making at the Fox School of Business, Dimoka finds how you make the choices you do—and she does not need to ask you.
Instead, she looks to the human body for answers.
A trained biomedical engineer and neuroscientist, Dimoka came to the Fox School in 2008 to study how people make decisions. From air traffic controllers to victims of traumatic brain injuries to average consumers, Dimoka and her colleagues investigate—and predict—our everyday choices.
Getting inside your head
In 2008, Dimoka established the Center for Neural Decision Making, the first neuroscience center located within a business school, and currently the largest such center in the country.
“[The Center’s goal] is to provide a more objective understanding of the driving forces of a subject’s decision making,” says Dimoka, who is also an associate professor in the Department of Marketing. In the past, researchers have had to rely on self-reported data, asking consumers why they choose this product or made that decision. This, however, left room for error, as perhaps the consumer could not—or would not—divulge the true reason for their decision.
Today, with state-of-the-art tools like eye tracking machines, heart rate monitors, and MRI scanners, the Center’s research eliminates the subjective bias of decision-making research. “We don’t have to ask the subject anymore,” says Dimoka. “We can observe their physiological state.”
Dimoka and her colleagues, Vinod Venkatraman and Crystal Reeck, assistant professors of marketing, use these tools to study the body’s responses in experiments like the ability to recall print ads versus digital ads.
“With eye trackers, we can observe where the subject is looking at any given point,” says Dimoka, allowing the researcher to understand exactly what information the subject is taking in at what time. Heart rate monitors, skin conductors, and breathing monitors analyze the person’s emotional state—whether you sweat more, breath heavier, or have a faster heartbeat when making a decision.
What the brain reveals
The Center also has a new functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, brought to campus this fall in partnership with the College of Liberal Art’s Department of Psychology and with support from the National Science Foundation. “The fMRI scanners show us the brain’s functionality,” Dimoka says. “We can put people in the scanner and observe how their brains function when they make decisions.”
The areas of the brain that activate during different activities can reveal how consumers take in information and make decisions. Consider what happens when a person looks at a physical advertisement versus a digital advertisement. In a series of experiments funded by the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Postal Service, Dimoka and her colleagues studied subjects’ brains as they reviewed ads in both print and online formats.
“The area of the brain associated with memory, the hippocampus, showed higher levels of activation for ads that subjects had seen before in a physical format,” says Dimoka, “as opposed to digital ads.” By using the brain scanning tools, the researchers found that print is still sticky, even in today’s digital age.
The third phase of the experiments are currently underway. Dimoka says this new round will further investigate generational differences and brand awareness.
Are there any differences between the purchasing decisions of Millennials and Baby Boomers when looking at online versus print ads? “We did find some preliminary results [from earlier experiments] that were quite interesting,” Dimoka says, “and the opposite of what you would expect.” The full results will be published later this summer.
The Center investigates all kinds of decision making—including consumer, financial, and privacy decisions—that can have real impact on average people and companies. The impact of their work extends from marketing to fields like management information systems and finance.
For example, Crystal Reeck, assistant professor of marketing, found that how you review your choices during the decision making process can impact your ability to be patient. She is currently working on a study that involves how people disclose private information.
Companies are also affected by the Center’s work. “By looking at the brain of how 30 subjects were responding,” says Dimoka, “we can predict how millions of consumers in the United States would decide.”
“That’s the magic, the power of these tools.”
Learn more about Fox School Research.
What was it like to be a woman earning a doctorate degree forty years ago? Dr. Gloria Thomas, PhD ’80, has firsthand experience.
Today, Dr. Thomas is an accomplished researcher, a dedicated professor, and an esteemed administrator at Baruch College.
But in 1980, she was a trendsetter for women at the Fox School of Business.
As the first woman to obtain a doctorate from the Fox School, Thomas received her PhD in marketing, a field that is now predominantly women, but was all men during her tenure at Temple. “Women were very uncommon in business PhDs, even marketing, when I was in school,” she recalled. “And I rarely saw women at conferences.”
Dr. Thomas is currently a professor of marketing and the Director of the Zicklin Undergraduate Honors Program at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, City University of New York. Thomas praises her experience at Temple University for the appreciation she has developed towards public institutions.
“Temple has taught me to believe in public education,” Thomas professed. “I went to Baruch right from Temple and we have really smart students from all over the world with parents who don’t speak English or have any money.” After years of private schools, Thomas’ experience at the Fox School helped her appreciate the value of diversity in education. “Cultural exposure makes public institutions more valuable and it gives students opportunities they normally wouldn’t have,” she said.
With undergraduate degrees in math and art history, Thomas pursued a doctorate in marketing. Following graduation, she went straight to Baruch, where her roles included professor, associate dean, and director of the doctoral program. She currently serves as director of the business honors program.
“My current role is my most favorite,” Thomas said. “Many students at large public schools don’t get the attention they would at a private school, but I make sure to give that attention in my honors program.”
Thomas credits her mother, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s law school in the 1940s, for her then unconventional educational choices. “I grew up thinking everyone was equal. I never thought that [by going to business school] I was going into a man’s profession,” Thomas said.
That ‘man’s profession’ has changed. Today, 50-percent of PhD students are women at the Fox School, compared to 45-percent for all business-focused doctoral programs in the United States, according to the Council of Graduates Schools’ 2017 report.
Thomas did not let any obstacles get in her way of her goals. “It never occurred to me that women couldn’t do whatever they wanted to,” she recounted. “In reality, many women [at that time] didn’t even know they had options.”
“It never occurred to me that I didn’t.”
Learn more about Fox School Research.
For high school seniors, this time of year can create anxiety—and a flood of questions.
“What will college be like?”
“What are the first steps once I arrive?”
“How do I network? Or land an internship?”
Next week, nearly 100 seniors from Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School will have the answers to all of these questions (and more) after visiting Temple University.
The students will engage in a networking social event called “Project: Career,” where they will meet with marketing students and faculty from Temple’s Fox School of Business, and dozens of local business leaders.
“The event is like the speed-dating equivalent of networking,” said Drew Allmond, assistant professor of marketing at the Fox School. “Cristo Rey’s students will shake hands, introduce themselves, and exchange business cards with our students, faculty, and area business professionals. They will share their career goals, and Fox’s marketing students will offer tips on navigating college, building networks, and beyond.”
This is the second year of the workshop between Temple’s business school and Cristo Rey, a private high school located in the city’s Germantown section. Cristo Rey combines traditional academic schoolwork with professional work experience. Each student, from grades 9 through 12, works a real job for real wages five days each month. This affords Cristo Rey students the professional development opportunities they need at the next level, and substantially reduces the students’ tuition expenses at the school.
“The impact extends beyond that,” Allmond said. “Our students get the chance to act as mentors, instead of as the ones being mentored. And Cristo Rey’s students earn valuable networking skills that transfer to the next level—college.”
What: “Project: Career” student networking event
Where: Temple University’s Fox School of Business—Alter Hall (1801 Liacouras Walk)
When: Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 (2:30-4 p.m.)
Who: Seniors from Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School will receive professional-development coaching from students and faculty at Temple’s Fox School, and dozens of local industry professionals.
Day-of contact: Drew Allmond, assistant professor of marketing at Temple’s Fox School of Business, will be available for interviews on the day of the event, and can be reached at 215-806-0287. Joanna Wusinich, Cristo Rey’s director of work-study programs, also will be available.
For more information and to schedule an interview, contact Christopher A. Vito, Associate Director of Communications and Media Relations, at email@example.com or (215) 204-4115.
The talented, diverse, and driven Class of 2021 at the Fox School of Business are poised to become the next generation of innovators and business disruptors. They arrive highly-accomplished and are excited to hone their skills with the help of our top-tier faculty, market-driven curriculum, and professional development opportunities.
In fall 2017, the Fox School redesigned the Bachelor of Business Administration Core Curriculum to weave critical thinking, communication, and quantitative reasoning skills into the fabric of core business knowledge. The redesign team continues to work with students, alumni, faculty, staff, and employers to integrate these skills across the curriculum to better position Fox undergraduates for success post-graduation. These four freshmen are among the first to participate in the enhanced curriculum.
Watch the video below and read on to learn more about these four freshmen who are ready to change the world.
- Hometown: Philadelphia
- Age: 18
- Major: Business Management
- Career goals: CEO, creative director, project manager
- Hobbies: Public speaking, reading, writing
- Hidden talent: Making music, playing violin
- Hometown: Royersford, Pa.
- Age: 18
- Major: Business (declaring Accounting)
- Career goals: Grad school, then Certified Public Accountant
- Hobby: Competitive horse rider
- Hidden talents: “I can bake pretty well and I love to make handmade gifts!”
- Hometown: Havertown, Pa.
- Age: 19
- Major: Entrepreneurship, Marketing
- Career goals: Serial entrepreneur, thought leader
- Current businesses: Symbie (social networking app) and eThree (sales engagement platform)
- Claim to fame: Joined rapper Travis Scott onstage at concert and knew every word
- Hometown: Medford, N.J.
- Age: 19
- Major: Finance, Entrepreneurship
- Career goals: Wealth management sales or investment banking firm in mergers and acquisitions
- Dream: “To retire from the financial field after 15 to 20 years and work as a high school math teacher in my hometown.”
- Current business: Has run landscaping company, Robert Z Properties LLC, since freshman year of high school
- Hobby: “I love to travel. I went to Switzerland this fall and Italy this summer.”
- Hidden talents: Good cook and ping pong player
Learn more about Fox School undergraduate programs.
The Fox School’s Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management (MSCM) not only offers high-quality academic programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level, but also offers non-credit opportunities for industry professionals. MSCM collaborates with the Project Management Institute (PMI), Delaware Valley Chapter (PMI-DVC) to expand Fox’s opportunities for professionals by offering the Project Management Professional (PMP) Prep Program.
PMP Prep is a two-course sequence of foundations and exam preparation courses dedicated to preparing project management professionals to study and sit for the Project Management Professional (PMP) ® certification.
MSCM offers this program during the fall and spring semesters at the Temple University Center City campus in small class settings during the evenings to accommodate demands of working professionals. All instructors are members of PMI-DVC and certified PMPs with extensive real-world project management experience. We are offering this non-credit executive education program for the third year, and it continues to enroll an increasing number of prospective PMP candidates each semester.
Speaking on the impact of a PMP certification, Michael Chapman, director of training for PMI-Delaware Valley Chapter, said, “I have always been impressed with the universal recognition of the Project Management Professional (PMP) ® certification and the respect that it is afforded worldwide. Individuals who pursue the PMP certification demonstrate their commitment to professionalism and their dedication to their careers.”
Those interested in learning more about this program can contact Dr. Mark Gershon, professor of operations management in MSCM, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management.