Seeing is believing, but smellizing – a new term for prompting consumers to imagine the smell of a product – could be the next step toward more effective advertising.

Researchers came to this conclusion through four studies of products most of us would like to smellize: cookies and cake.

Professor of Marketing Maureen Morrin of Temple University’s Fox School of Business co-authored Smellizing Cookies and Salivating: A Focus on Olfactory Imagery to examine the impact imagining what a food smells like would have on consumer behavior.

“Before we started this project, we looked for print ads that asked consumers to imagine the smell of the product, and we found none,” Morrin said. “We think it’s because advertisers don’t think it’ll actually do anything.”

But researchers found that smellizing — imagining a smell —increased consumers’ desire to consume and purchase advertised food products.

Consumers’ response to advertised food products was measured over several studies that looked at the effect of smellizing on salivation, desire and actual food consumption. The researchers found that imagining what a tasty food smells like increases these types of responses only when the consumer also sees a picture of the advertised product.

Participants who looked at print advertisements were prompted by questions such as: Fancy a freshly baked cookie?; Feel like a chocolate cake?; and Feel like a freshly baked cookie? Look for these in a store near you.

Morrin found that these types of headlines had a positive impact on desire to consume the product, if they were accompanied by a call to also imagine the smell of the food. This positive impact was strongest when the image of the product could be seen at the same time study participants imagined the smell.

According to the study, olfactory imagery processing is different from that of the other senses, especially vision.

“It has been shown, for example, that although individuals can discriminate among thousands of different odors and are reasonably good at detecting odors they have smelled before, they are quite poor at identifying the odors they smell,” the study said. “That is, individuals often have difficulty stating just what it is they happen to be smelling at any particular moment, unless they can see the odor referent.”

This may be why a picture is so important in activating the effects of smellizing.

When asked (versus not being asked) to imagine a scent with a visual, participants’ salivation increased by .36 to .39 grams in two of the studies. In another study, when asked to imagine a scent with a visual, participants consumed 5.3 more grams of the advertised cookies. These effects depended on seeing the advertised food while imaging its smell.

The researchers also found that actually smelling the advertised products was even more effective on the various measures of consumer response than merely imagining the smells. But it’s not always feasible to present consumers with product odors in advertisements.

According to Morrin, advertisers are not adequately tapping into the power of the sense of smell when developing promotional messages to encourage consumers to buy their products.

Morrin’s study, co-authored with Aradhna Krishna of the University of Michigan and Eda Sayin of Koç University in Turkey, appears in the Journal of Consumer Research.

—Alexis Wright-Whitley 

Many companies and organizations have set up defenses to keep hackers on the outside, protecting the information of their customers and clients. However, with increasingly sophisticated use of malware, some hackers can sit silently within a company’s information systems for years without being detected.

A new report from the Temple University Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT), at the Fox School of Business, examines advanced persistent threats to information assets by using the medieval analogy of barbarians inside the gate.

In December 2013, retail chain Target announced a security breach resulting in 40 million credit and debit card records being compromised. Other retail chains such as 7-Eleven and Carrefour have also suffered attacks, having 160 million credit and debit card numbers exposed. Hackers have also targeted Nasdaq and bank accounts at Citigroup and PNC.

“My goal with the article was to raise people’s awareness, which is the most powerful tool [for security enhancement],” said Gregory Senko, associate director of the Fox School’s Master of Science in Information Technology Auditing and Cyber-Security program. “I wanted to make people aware that there is a risk and they need the proper tools to know when they are being attacked.”

While working on a book, Security Intelligence – How Big Data and Machine Learning can tackle the increasingly complex world of Cyber Security, Senko realized that the rate of persistent polymorphic attacks is growing and that more vendors are developing tools intended to address these threats.

Symantec, a leading information security company, noted the escalated rate of reported Advanced Persistent Threats (APT). In November 2013, the number of reported APT attacks increased to about 118 from only 57 in November 2012. “We’re likely to see a
big wave of aggressive attacks,” Senko said.

The Stuxnet virus in 2010-11 served as the first well-publicized appearance of a successful, state-sponsored act of modern cyber warfare. This virus inspired hackers to employ analytics, reverse engineering and code cannibalization to design malware that was able to circumvent traditional security arrangements that recognize threats as patterns in digital transmissions. This allowed hackers to penetrate networks that seemed secure,
operating stealthily over extended periods of time. These attacks are known as Advanced Persistent Threats.

Senko recommends four transformative steps to achieve even more robust enterprise security.

First, he urges companies to strengthen their fundamental security processes. This means spending money to pay for up-to-date perimeter security and employing well-educated security engineers and well-informed employees.

Second, Senko recommends companies to look at metrics used for performance management, issue identification and problem mitigation, from a more security-oriented perspective. According to the report, “this same data may yield opportunities to identify
subtle changes in activity that underlie a persistent attack.”

Third, a culture must be created that promotes information security organizations to act proactively. Procedural and structural approaches to deal with day-to-day prevention need to be set in place, versus waiting to react to emergencies.

Finally, Senko suggests companies should invest in tools such as cloud-based, Big Data-driven offerings that allow for more enhanced network performance management and improved network management.

“Companies will find this preventive approach can be expensive. But they will end up dealing with the problem sooner or later. The question is: Will spending now avoid even greater spending later if they don’t take steps to protect themselves,” Senko said.

The ongoing IBIT Report series is based on rigorous, vendor-neutral academic research that provides actionable knowledge on topics relevant to industry partners. To download Senko’s full report, visit http://ibit.temple.edu/blog/2014/02/20/barbarians-inside-the-gate-dealing-with-advanced-persistent-threats/

—Alexis Wright-Whitley

Assistant Professor Steven N. Pyser, jointly appointed to the Legal Studies and Human Resource Management departments of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has contributed his insights on the impact of trust on business success in a new book, Trust Inc.: Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset.

Trust Inc.’s editor, Barbara Brooks Kimmel — co-founder and executive director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World — selected 30 experts to make the case for trust in the new book.

This handbook on organizational trust is divided into six sections: Why trust matters; How trust works in practice; What it takes to be a trustworthy leader; How trustworthy teams impact business; How to restore trust; and A new paradigm for organizational trust. Pyser authored the latter.

Pyser’s essay, titled, Capitalism and High Trust: Leveraging Social Worlds as Intangible Assets, was inspired by his pracademics approach — combining the works and viewpoints of academics and practitioners — as well as the applied practice and research he’s conducted in the past 15 years.

In his essay, Pyser argues that having an understanding of performance standards and a working definition of workplace trust are winning strategies required to achieve excellence in today’s global business economy.

He offers a new paradigm and structure for global capitalism and competitiveness. It requires a culture of high trust by leveraging conversations and business communications through “social worlds” and “communication perspectives” used as intangible assets.

“Being recognized for domain expertise by Trust Across America-Trust Around the World is a wonderful honor,” Pyser said. “I’m privileged to be in the esteemed company of the international expert contributors in the book.”

In discussing his essay and how to build capacities for business trust connections, he acknowledged the integral role of being Temple Made (LAW ’84) and serving on the Fox faculty at a world-class research university play in developing his theories, personal and professional successes.

Pyser said he appreciates the academic freedom and ability to innovate as a Fox professor through the continuing support of the Dean’s Office and his department chairs – in Legal Studies, Dr. Samuel D. Hodge, Jr. and in Human Resource Management, Dr. Deanna Geddes. “Their encouragement and varied course assignments have motivated my teaching, research and emerging applied practice approaches to business trust,” he said.

Pyser reserved the highest praise for his students, who “have taught him well” about the role trust plays in education, business and life. He indicated that “trust is a catalyst for learning together in community, professional growth and enhancement of transferable workforce skills.

“Fox students continue to impress me how they make things happen – especially, their commitment to academic excellence, grit, resilience and real-world readiness,” Pyer said.

Pyser is the president and founder at The Pyser Group, which specializes in ethics, leadership development, corporate governance and sustainability strategies. He is a Caux Round Table Fellow and contributes to the current work of the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Millennium Development Goals and post-2015 Development Agenda.

Connect with Pyser via SNPyser@temple.edu, @ProfessorEthics on Twitter or www.linkedin.com/pub/steven-pyser/2/746/435 via LinkedIn.

Gaps in academic literature focusing on computer-mediated environments have been synthesized to offer potential for new research and design models.

Milton F. Stauffer Professor of Information Technology and Strategy Paul A. Pavlou, of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, and Macy’s Foundation Professor Manjit S. Yadav, of Texas A&M University, organized and synthesized academic research around four key interactions in CMEs: consumer-firm, firm-consumer, consumer-consumer and firm-firm.

Pavlou and Yadav synthesized 124 articles from four widely recognized journals — Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science and Journal of Consumer Research — into specialized topics to identify gaps by juxtaposing current research with marketplace practices and emerging trends.

“Of course, in any literature, there are gaps.” Pavlou said. “This type of literature is very broad, and it’s natural for people to focus on what’s interesting and timely. That’s why there are gaps.”

Gaps found in consumer-firm interactions indicate the needs to understand that there are new shopping contexts that may be useful for categorization and research. The gaps also suggest that the structure of consumers’ shopping funnel — a large number of choices winnowed down to a final selection — needs to be examined more closely.

Furthermore, as little is known about how consumers navigate and integrate information from various types of devices and interfaces in CMEs, finer process models need to be developed, which would enhance consumer-firm interactions.

There are also gaps in theory development opportunities that affect firm-consumer interactions. In order to fill this, enhanced consumer visibility, which will allow firms to capture and detail consumers’ activities in CMEs, needs to be given a more central role in theory development. In doing so, a more integrated view can be provided of firms’ marketing activities across online and offline environments.

In terms of consumer-consumer interaction, gaps related to the growing interest in social commerce as well as the shift in the type of content generation that occurs in social networks need to be addressed. These gaps pave the way for three main avenues for theory development.

First, social commerce needs to be clarified to include purchase and non-purchase activities in social networks. Second, understanding the creation, consumption and dissemination of content in social networks should be an important priority. Third, theoretical work is needed that delineates the costs and benefits of consumers’ investments of time and effort on social media.

In order to address the gaps found in firm-firm interactions, research needs to focus more closely on concepts such as external and internal coordination that are important to transaction costs analysis and agency theory. This is because of the inter-organizational shifts due to emerging intermediaries in business-to-busines marketplaces, platform-based competition, and new types of reverse auctions.

By synthesizing literature, Pavlou and Yadav also yielded suggestions to develop methodological innovations as it pertains to new data, new designs and new models.

“Multiple parties can benefit from this research,” Pavlou said. “I see graduate students, PhD students and novices in the area getting the most benefit. It’s easier for them to read over a synthesis versus trying to synthesize over 100 papers to find gaps on their own.”

Pavlou and Yadav’s article, Marketing in Computer-Mediated Environments: Research Synthesis and New Directions, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Marketng, an A journal.

—Alexis Wright-Whitley

The city of Philadelphia has reason to be proud: It outpaces the nation as a whole in terms of innovation connectedness. About 9 percent of patents with at least one Philadelphia-based inventor are internationally connected, compared to approximately 7 percent of patents with inventors in the United States overall. However, there is also some bad news: Philadelphia’s share of all U.S. innovative activity has dropped by half in 35 years.

A research team led by Professor of Strategic Management Ram Mudambi at Temple University’s Fox School of Business analyzed patents in the United States from 1975 to 2010 and extracted relevant data from more than 7 million observations to analyze innovation trends in the United States. To map out where inventors are located, the research team looked at all 917 geographical areas that make up the country, as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The top six foreign locations of inventors collaborating with Philadelphia-based colleagues are the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, France, Japan and China, which has risen to prominence only in recent years.

Industries represented by Philadelphia-based innovative activity include chemicals, computer and communications, drugs and medical, electrical and electronics, as well as mechanical industries.

Philadelphia is the seventh-largest core based statistical area (CBSA) in the United States, and the city has a long history of innovative activity commensurate with its population size.

However, Philadelphia ranks 34th of the top 35 CBSAs in terms of growth of number of local inventors from 1975 to 2010.

Although the growth of local inventors is low, “our inventors are more connected, which is good news,“ Mudambi said. “They also collaborate with networks of inventors that are overall more internationally dispersed.”

Despite the growing trends in connectedness and total patenting that Philadelphia has experienced over the past 35 years, the share of Philadelphia’s CBSA patents as a percentage of U.S. patents has fallen from about 4.8 percent in 1975 to about 2.1 percent in 2010. In other words, Philadelphia is becoming a much smaller contributor in the national production of knowledge.

The team also noticed another worrying trend between Philadelphia and its traditional knowledge partners, such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. Over a 30-year period, the number of inventors who collaborated with Philadelphia from the United Kingdom dipped from about 125 inventors to 40. Inventors from Japan and Germany also dropped by more than half. These drops could be due to the relocation of research-and-development activities by pharmaceutical and chemical firms – some of the Philadelphia region’s traditional innovative sectors.

However, there has been an increase in collaboration with China. Over two years, from 2005 to 2007, inventors from China collaborating with Philadelphia rose from about 18 to 130.

“China’s come in this huge way recently,” Mudambi said. “So we wanted to know, why China? We did a little digging and found there’s one company that accounts for much of this connectedness: Metrologic.”

Metrologic Instruments is an automated identification and data-capture company based in Blackwood, N.J. (part of the Philadelphia CBSA). The company makes barcode scanners that are used in retailing, healthcare, postal services, logistics services and other industry verticals. By operating in a variety of verticals, Metrologic innovates in a way that is resilient to shifts in the economic fortunes of individual sectors.

Metrologic holds 446 patents, with 3,189 participating inventor locations. Honeywell acquired it in 2008. According to Mudambi and his team, Metrologic represents about 70 percent of the Philadelphia CBSA’s connectedness to China.

Metrologic is one of the reasons why Philadelphia surpasses the United States in terms of innovation connectedness. Philadelphia-based inventors also collaborate with South American countries (Colombia and Chile), Africa (Botswana and Madagascar), as well as Sweden, Turkey, Syria and Australia. ­­

“Mapping the innovative connections of inventor networks gives us a picture of the dependence and linkages of a location in terms of other locations, industries and individuals,” Mudambi said.

–Alexis Wright-Whitley

The longer CEOs stay in the power – and a new study suggests most of them do, exceeding the optimal tenure length by about three years – the more likely chief executives are to limit outside sources of market and customer information, ultimately hurting firm performance.

Research titled, How does CEO tenure matter? The mediating role of firm-employee and firm-customer relationships, examines why a longer CEO tenure may not always produce positive results for firm performance.

The researchers — Charles Gilliland Professor of Marketing Xueming Luo and PhD candidate Michelle Andrews of the Fox School of Business at Temple University and PhD candidate Vamsi K. Kanuri of Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri — explored two primary stakeholders, employees and customers, who are influenced by CEO tenure.

From studying 365 U.S. companies over a decade (2000-10), measuring CEO tenure, and calculating the strength of both firm-employee and firm-customer relationships, researchers found that the longer a CEO serves, the stronger the firm-employee relationship becomes. However, an extended period with the same CEO results in a weakened firm-customer relationship over time.

According to the study, the average CEO holds office for 7.6 years, but the optimal tenure length is 4.8 years.

“As CEOs accumulate knowledge and become entrenched, they rely more on their internal networks – employees – for information, growing less attuned to market conditions and customers,” Luo said. “And because these longer-tenured CEOs have more invested in the firm, they favor avoiding losses over pursuing gains. Their attachment to the status quo makes them less responsive to vacillating consumer preferences.”

There are two types of learning styles CEOs adopt during their tenure: explorative and exploitive learning via external and internal information sources.

In the early stages of tenure, CEOs demonstrate a desire for a diverse flow of information and engage in receiving information from both external and internal company sources. Therefore, firm relationship between employees and customers is positive.

However, as CEOs become more knowledgeable and serve for a longer period, they begin to focus on the flow of information from internal sources versus what comes from outside markets. This is in large part due to longer-tenured CEOs becoming more risk averse because of all they have invested in their firm. This leads chief executives to resist challenging the status quo, further alienating them from market environments and weakening customer relations. Ultimately, this hurts firm performance.

“We’re not saying, ‘Fire your CEOs after 4.8 years,’” Andrews said in regard to the weakened relationship with customers after what researchers found to be the optimal tenure length. “But if company boards restructure CEO packages to cater to consumers more, you may find yourself with better results.”

If boards develop incentive plans for longer-tenured CEOs to encourage more reliance on external market trends and dynamics, customer relations – and therefore firm performance – could be enhanced.

“After all, you’re only a firm if you have customers,” Andrews said. “Without customers, no firm can prosper – or even survive.”

The full study appears online in the Strategic Management Journal.

—Alexis Wright-Whitley

 

As the saying goes, “A group that works together, stays together.” Therefore, a group or community based on trust can reap benefits from one another. Trusting communities tend to foster self-employed people or entrepreneurs whose successes are one in the same with the community. Self-employment ranges from about 5.7 percent in areas with very low social trust to about 8.4 percent in areas with very high social trust.

Community Social Capital and Entrepreneurship, published in the American Sociological Review, examines the public good of what is called social capital — the relationship and networks of a group of people who live in and work in a particular community — to see how the benefits of social trust and organizational membership help not only the individual but also the community at large.

Seok-Woo Kwon, assistant professor in the Department of Strategic Management at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, started the research for this project 10 years ago with Colleen Heflin from the University of Missouri and Martin Ruef of Duke University.

“People have been researching a lot about the ‘If I have a lot of social capital, then I benefit from it,’” Kwon said. “For example, I get a better job, I get a quick job referral, or I have a higher chance of starting my own business. But I thought, what if I don’t have a high social capital but I’m surrounded by people who do. Their benefits are going to spill over to me.”

Kwon and his research partners tested their arguments about the communal benefits of social capital using data from the 2000 Census, Robert Putnam’s Social Capital Benchmark Survey and the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey.

Their study suggests that the role social trust plays in entrepreneurship is crucial at the community level of analysis in two of the following ways: it encourages social groups to engage in the free flow of information and it helps small entrepreneurs to overcome a lack of recognizability.

Participating in voluntary associations produces social capital that benefits both the entrepreneur and the community. Because potential partners and customers for independent business owners are connected rather than isolated, they are encouraged to socialize and share ideas outside of their circles. Furthermore, these shared memberships between voluntary associations and organizations allow for the flow of word-of-mouth information.

There is a downside to this type of connectedness, however. Communities that are polarized by ethnic, political, religious or class differences tend to create homogenous organizations. Network expansion does not extend past the organization itself.

As the researchers were determining whether everyone receives an equal kind of spillover from neighbors, they found that that whites benefited from community social capital to a greater extent than minorities in the same community.

The same lack of spillover could also be seen among immigrants. This is for two reasons: immigrants have less individual-level social capital at the start than non-immigrants, and individual-level social capital is less generously compensated if a community social capital exists. This means that community-level social capital fails to spillover as much positive impacts and influences to marginal groups in the community, because some of these groups tend to be newer.

“The immediate, direct translation of this is that you’ve got to build a community with high social capital,” Kwon said. “That means building a community with a lot of trust, where people get to meet and socialize with each other. If you build that community, then everyone, not just a select few, benefits and can get information to start their own businesses.”

—Alexis Wright-Whitley

Despite a 7.2 percent national unemployment rate, the job market is a healthy one for college students majoring in information systems, with nearly three quarters of students receiving at least one job offer, according to the nationwide IS Job Index by the Association for Information Systems (AIS) and Temple University’s Fox School of Business. The study compiled data from more than 1,200 students and from 48 universities across the United States.

According to the IS Job Index, released in October, 61 percent of information systems graduates received one job offer, while 23 percent received two and 9 percent received three. In 2012, there were an estimated 2.9 million jobs in the United States related to information systems.

“Information systems professionals lead IT in major corporations, but the IS labor market is ‘hidden’ because it is mixed with computer scientists and call center operators in national statistics,” said Munir Mandviwalla, associate professor and chair of the Department of Management Information Systems at the Fox School of Business and executive director of Temple’s Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT). “The IS Job Index is the first-ever nationwide study to focus on profiling the IT worker of the future.”

Top findings include:

▪   The IS job market is healthy, with placement levels of 74 percent overall and 78 percent upon graduation.

▪   Bachelor’s IS students have an average salary of $57,212 while master’s IS students average $65,394 a year.

▪   76 percent of IS graduates are satisfied with their jobs, and the same percentage are confident they will perform well in those jobs. Seventy-three percent found jobs related to their chosen degree.

▪   Information technology, financial services, and business services/consulting are the top industries for IS jobs.

▪   The most common job classification is systems analyst, at 35 percent for bachelor’s students and 28 percent for master’s students.

▪   Access to career services centers is the most important factor for getting a job. Also, IS students value faculty support more than central university support.

▪   IS students are 68 percent male, 55 percent white and 28 percent Asian.

The study found that students who spend more hours overall searching for a job have a higher chance of receiving an offer. When examining job-search activities, researchers found that the most successful students use multiple techniques, including looking for jobs on job boards, talking to friends and contacts, formally applying for jobs, directly contacting employers, and interviewing.

Students also apply for multiple jobs. Bachelor’s students, on average, apply for 11 jobs, and master’s students average 16 job applications.

Despite the amount of opportunity for IS students, women and minorities are still underrepresented in the field. The study shows that more than half of IS students are white men.

The AIS-Temple Fox School 2013 IS Job Index Report is a five-year ongoing project that will provide prospective and current students, guidance counselors, academics and managers with an analysis of the state of the industry.

Future reports are expected to include expanded data collection with more schools, longitudinal analysis, global focus and prioritized factors that top students seek in employers.

AIS is the world’s premier professional association for information systems. The Fox School of Business research team included Mandviwalla, Crystal M. Harold, assistant professor of human resource management and CIGNA research fellow; Paul A. Pavlou, Milton F. Stauffer professor of information technology and strategy; and Tony Petrucci, assistant professor of human resource management. For more information, including a link to the full report, visit http://ibit.temple.edu/isjobindex/

Alexis Wright-Whitley

 

Research on personnel psychology and organizational behavior has demonstrated how fairness and justice engender trust in the workplace. The relationship between the two has been believed to be reciprocal, where trust is a consequence of the perceived justice – as proposed by the classic formulation of social exchange theory – and gradually expands through positive interactions. For instance, employees will trust their supervisor’s decisions more or less from evaluating the fairness of previous interactions with the supervisor.

Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management Brian Holtz takes this notion one step further and proposes the trust primacy model: a new theoretical framework that maintains that trust is formed prior to the direct interaction with others, hence exerting significant influence on employee perceptions of justice. This suggests that an opinion is formulated before the interactions among the players involved and continues to evolve and grow over time.

For his model, Holtz brings together principles of evolutionary theory, neuroscientific research, and psychological perspectives to build a strong case for the rapid development of trust and its influence on perception, resulting inevitably in preceding direct fairness experiences at the inception of relationships.

In his most recent article published in the Journal of Management, Holtz states that we determine trust through biological and sociocultural cues that can drive inferences of trustworthiness. Some of the biological cues may include facial expressions, eye contact and tone of voice. Sociocultural cues may include clothing, tattoos, credentials and socioeconomic status. Both have an effect on how we build trust toward others. His research supports neuroscientific perspectives in that people’s judgments are quick cognitions that are formed in milliseconds and through as little as a single glance, which help us infer a wide variety of information, such as the intentions of others.

Holtz has built a substantial research record founded on the principles of justice and fairness and their application to the workplace. His previous research provides a strong foundation for his proposed model, which extends existing frameworks and offers a more complete integration of the trust and justice literatures.

Holtz’s trust primacy model is the first theoretical framework to propose specific cognitive processes underlying the effect of trust on perception of justice events. Besides implications for further research, this new model brings awareness to managers and challenges organizations to strive for developing trust through clear signals right at the outset of employment relationships.

This research is reported in:

Holtz, Brian (2013).Trust primacy: a model of the reciprocal relations between trust and perceived justice. Journal of Management, 39 (7): 1891-1923, first published online on January 28, 2013.

The Time Warner Medialab, Innerscope Research and Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making (CNDM) at the Fox School of Business have announced the results of a comprehensive study of this year’s Super Bowl ads that reinforced the power of emotion and compelling storytelling.

The research teams used a combination of biometric and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) technologies to monitor viewers’ skin conductance, heart rates, respiration, motion and brain activation to get a more thorough understanding of how consumers reacted to different ads. The findings showed that brands that took audiences on an emotional journey – including Cheerios, Chevrolet, Budweiser and Hyundai – delivered the highest moments of engagement.

“It’s exciting to have the research capabilities to literally go inside the brain of the consumer to find out what’s driving engagement,” said Kristen O’Hara, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Time Warner Global Media Group. “These findings deepen our understanding of consumer behavior, and we will continue to push the boundaries of ad research to ensure that we’re delivering the most effective content to our consumers and our business partners.”

This year’s top-performing ads took viewers on journeys featuring relatable characters in stories that slowly developed. General Mills’ Cheerios told an intimate story of a growing family featuring a daughter who bargains with her father for a new puppy; Hyundai’s “Sixth Sense” commercial took viewers through the relationship between a father and son; Budweiser told a heartwarming story of determination through a puppy trying to meet up with a Clydesdale horse; and Toyota’s “Joyride” ad brought viewers along for a fun ride with the Muppets. The fMRI results validated the initial biometric study’s findings of increased engagement among the top 10 performers, which were announced last week.

“Traditional measures capture aspects of cognition, but advertisers need to know more than what people consciously think about ads,” Innerscope Research Co-founder and Chief Science Officer Dr. Carl Marci said. “In order to go deeper into areas of the brain, you need tools like fMRI that can help you understand the mechanisms that allow ads to break through the clutter.”

The biometrics study was conducted live during the Super Bowl while Innerscope monitored 80 participants to capture fluctuations in heart rate, skin conductance, and breathing patterns at the company’s Media Lab and facilities in Boston and the Time Warner Medialab in New York.

“The biggest challenge here was to conduct a study of academic rigor within an industry timeframe,” said Khoi Vo, senior research associate at CNDM and lead researcher on the fMRI study.

Ads that performed well on biometrics also elicited increased brain activity, relative to ads that performed poorly, in key areas of interest for marketers. These included brain regions associated with emotional relevance (amygdala), memory formation (hippocampus) and executive function (lateral prefrontal cortex).

Among top-performers, ads like those from Cheerios and Volkswagen elicit emotional responses as well as activating two additional regions of the brain commonly associated with valuation and reward – the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum. These areas are consistent with prior work conducted by Temple CNDM in the area of advertising effectiveness research.

“It is exciting to see some consistency across studies, as well as convergence across methodologies – in this case biometrics and fMRI,” said Dr. Angelika Dimoka, director of CNDM. “The Center has been at the forefront of advancing research in consumer neuroscience through its emphasis on strong theoretical frameworks, multi-methodological approaches and convergent validity. Though consumer neuroscience has been criticized in the past for lacking in these aspects, this study moves the needle on all fronts and represents a significant advancement in the field.”

 

Temple University alumna Judith E. Glaser, CLA ’67, has authored her seventh book, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results, which translates insights from neuroscience into a practical framework for having better conversations in the workplace.

And Glaser credits Fox School of Business faculty member Angelika Dimoka, an associate professor of marketing and management information systems and the director of the Center for Neural Decision Making, for providing scientific advice that helped bring the book – releasing Oct. 1 – to fruition.

“If I didn’t meet Angelika, I wouldn’t have been able to make sense of all the things I learned because I needed the paradigm she put forth,” said Glaser, CEO of Benchmark Communications and chair of the Creating WE Institute. “There’s something so wonderful about two Temple scientists bringing their work together. It helped me deepen my work and connect the dots.”

Glaser initially contacted Dimoka in November 2010, through the urging of Zandra Harris, a member of the Creating WE Institute, and the two have been involved in a number of projects since then, including Glaser attending one of Dimoka’s annual Interdisciplinary Symposiums on Decision Neuroscience for academics and practitioners.

“I consider her a very good friend of mine,” Dimoka said of Glaser. “She’s an amazing person and very energetic. When you work with her, you get inspired.”

In Conversational Intelligence, Glaser introduces a framework of tiered conversation types in business: Level I: Transactional Conversations generally involve managers giving orders to employees. In Level II: Positional Conversations, leaders advocate their point of view by using their positional power to move people into alignment. However, Glaser argues, these two levels, while they have appropriate uses, often fall on deaf ears when they are used excessively or inappropriately – leading to compliance rather than transformation.

Glaser’s Level III: Transformational Conversations activate higher levels of trust, candor, and innovation – and ultimately strengthen organizational culture to achieve better business results.

“Bringing in the science was an amazing eye-opener for people,” Glaser said of her work with Dimoka and other academic experts who provided scientific advice. “I can’t tell you the difference it’s made.”

From noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, the Temple Perspectives Webinar Series, organized by the Temple University Alumni Association, will feature Dimoka and Glaser discussing Conversations that Transform History. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/19trRvc –Brandon Lausch

Pharmaceutical companies would improve sales revenue by investing in commercial operations that promote business innovation, employee engagement, organization alignment, and ensure a reasonable ratio between district sales managers and frontline sales representatives, according to Fox School of Business research.

The study was commissioned by TGaS Advisors, a benchmarking and advisory services firm, and division of KnowledgePoint360®, a global leader in communications, information and workflow services to healthcare professionals and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

“We focused on factors likely to impact pharmaceutical sales because data for this area are more robust, but the value of investments in sales operations should be read as a proxy for a broad range of commercial operation functions,” said George Chressanthis, the professor of healthcare management and marketing at the Fox School of Business who led the study team with Eric Eisenstein, assistant professor of marketing, and Fox PhD student Patrick Barbro.

According to Chressanthis, this is the first such independent research study on the effects of qualitative versus quantitative measures of commercial operation functions on business performance. Internally reported data from 26 pharmaceutical companies were analyzed for the period 2005-2011 and was complemented with qualitative survey data on commercial operations’ cultural attributes assessed by strategic account executives at TGaS Advisors.

The research team was given complete access to their database, with all analyses, findings, and recommendations independently developed of TGaS Advisors. All company specific data elements and names in the research were kept confidential, in keeping with contractual obligations, but did not affect the course the analysis.

The research showed that three factors within a company’s commercial operations organization are particularly important in determining U.S. business performance:

  • Commercial operations’ cultural attributes, specifically innovativeness and responsiveness, which drive employee engagement and organizational alignment, are critical. These attributes are most powerful in affecting sales when working synergistically and in concert with quantitative investments in commercial operations support.
  • Company scale and spending to support sales professionals that allow for more products to sell and leverage specialized commercial operations functional support for sales representatives to be more effective in their role.
  • The number of sales representatives whom district sales managers supervise has a direct bearing on their ability to provide necessary levels of sales force effectiveness activities such as coaching, mentoring, on-the-job training, and managerial support to representatives, which in turn has a quantifiable impact on business performance.

The findings suggest that executives can significantly improve commercial performance by investing resources to:

  • Create stronger alignment between functions and foster a culture of commercial innovation, organizational alignment, agility, and urgency. Quantitative investments in commercial operations will yield sub-optimal returns without the right structure of cultural attributes to support these business activities.
  • Support improvements in sales professionals (i.e., through information, systems, business processes, training, etc.).
  • Ensure an optimal number of sales representatives reporting to each first-line sales manager.

The Fox School research team has presented study findings at the following conferences: Pharmaceutical Management Science Association Annual Conference in May 2013 (Bonita Springs, Fla.), International Health Economics Association 9th World Congress in July 2013 (Sydney, Australia), and the American Marketing Association Summer Marketing Educators’ Conference in August 2013 (Boston).

Further insights from the study can be found by reading, “What Aspects of Commercial Operations Impact Pharmaceutical Company Business Performance?” and TGaS Advisors’ “Reflections on a Research Study Conducted by the Temple University Fox School of Business,” both available at www.tgas.com.

Aubrey Kent, chair of Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management and founder of the Sport Industry Research Center (SIRC), knows that in a resource-constrained environment, community organizations often struggle with the day-to-day.

Kent recently served as a facilitator of the Beyond Sport Summit’s Urban Communities Symposium, a full-day event to discuss how sport can address youth violence in Philadelphia.

The Sept. 10 symposium, at the Lowes Hotel, attracted attendees from different areas of the world — from Philadelphia to Chicago to the United Kingdom — as well as from a variety of organizations, including the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office, Philadelphia Police Athletic League (PAL), Eagles Youth Partnership and others.

Kent urged attendees to work with one another to gather resources and engage in “long-term strategic planning.

“We face all of these common challenges, and it’s really daunting when we’re in our office on our own, not realizing that there are many other stakeholders – and others who do so much like us,” Kent said. “We need to learn from each other’s challenges and mistakes and know that we’re not in it alone and in some ways make partnerships strategically to get ideas.”

SIRC has done just that.

Founded in 2008, SIRC, serving as a collaborative research network, has provided opportunities for academics, students and professionals to explore how sport positively impacts communities.

Much of the center’s work has been applied to research collaborations with groups and organizations focused on youth, such as Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education, the Starfinder Foundation for youth soccer, and Students Run Philly Style, a mentorship program that uses marathon training to help youth succeed in life. Students Run Philly Style, a strong SIRC partner, won the Barclays Philadelphia Impact Award at the Beyond Sport Summit, which the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management sponsored. Students also volunteered at the summit.

Before its partnership with SIRC, founders of Students Run Philly Style understood what kind of impact they wanted to have on the youth they served but were only able to provide anecdotes to explain the organization’s life-changing power.

Through research on the correlation between running and positive academic outcomes, increased self-esteem and other metrics, SIRC uncovered data that supported the organization’s efforts. SIRC Director Jeremy S. Jordan plays a leading role in the research partnership with Students Run Philly Style.

Although SIRC provides research to nonprofits, Kent highlighted why such organizations should continually strive to obtain resources on their own.

“I encourage those of you who work or volunteer in these organizations to push for resources to enable you to focus on the long-term, which allows you to articulate to your staff why you are doing the day-to-day,” Kent said. –Alexis Wright-Whitley

Researchers at Temple University’s Fox School of Business are conducting a comprehensive study to assess to what extent neurophysiological responses and other measures of reactions to advertisements can predict the sales performance of TV ads.

Temple’s Center for Neural Decision Making, based at the Fox School, earned a grant from the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) to evaluate approximately 300 participants’ responses to 35 TV ads from a group of ARF member firms, including major companies in the technology, financial, pharmaceutical and consumer-goods industries. The ARF, founded in 1936, is the premier foundation in the advertising industry for creating and sharing knowledge.

The researchers will employ traditional survey responses and six neurophysiological methods: eye tracking; skin conductance response, which measures arousal; heart rate; breathing; and brain activity as recorded through fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and EEG (electroencephalographs). The research team will then compare its results with an analysis of sales data led by Russell Winer of New York University’s Stern School of Business to see which of the measures did the best job of predicting market performance.

“It’s a great opportunity to compare all these methodologies with each other, which has never been done before,” said Angelika Dimoka, director of the Center for Neural Decision Making and an associate professor of marketing and management information systems (MIS). “We’ll also be able to identify specific points in the 30-second commercials that can help us further understand what drives sales.” Dimoka is leading the study with MIS Professor Paul A. Pavlou and Vinod Venkatraman, an assistant professor of marketing and supply chain management and associate director of the Center for Neural Decision Making.

Jim Thompson, a Fox alumnus and executive-in-residence at the center, facilitated the relationship with the ARF by inviting members of the foundation and other practitioners to participate in the second annual Interdisciplinary Symposium of Decision Neuroscience, held in 2011 at Temple.

“This was a unique conference in that both academics and commercial practitioners attended and participated,” said Thompson, former global president and CEO of Ipsos ASI, a leading advertising research company. “It was the credibility of that conference that facilitated this collaboration, and it clearly established the Center for Neural Decision Making as the leader in bridging scholarly academic research with industry practice.

ARF members that are supporting the project will be able to glean insight from the comprehensiveness of the study, which would likely be cost prohibitive for just one firm to conduct, while also benefitting from the scholarly rigor of it. An advisory board constituted of top academic and industry experts is overseeing each method the center uses, to ensure protocols are designed, executed and analyzed correctly.

“This is a differentiating point for Temple and the Fox School,” Thompson said of the project and the Center for Neural Decision Making. “If companies are doing anything at all with neuroscience or biometrics, Temple could be the first school they think of as a result of this study.” –Brandon Lausch

 

It’s time to get in touch with the five senses.

The Fox School’s first-ever sensory marketing conference, Understanding the Customer’s Sensory Experience, will bring together researchers from marketing, tourism and related fields to share and learn on June 5-6, 2014, at Temple University’s Fox School of Business and School of Tourism and Hospitality Management.

The conference will focus on the nature of senses, their role in affecting consumer behavior and emotion, and their application within a range of settings, including product and service design.

Fox School marketing Professor Maureen Morrin and School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Professor Daniel Fesenmaier will co-host the event.

Morrin, who directs the Fox School’s Consumer Sensory Innovation Lab, hopes this conference will recognize the advances she and her doctoral students are making in terms of sensory marketing research.

Sponsored by the Fox School of Business, Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management and the National Laboratory for Tourism and eCommerce, the days’ events include corporate panel presentations led by executives from firms including Mane USA, ScentAir, HCD Research, and Monell Chemical Senses. Additionally, a panel of research laboratory directors will explain how they have established, operated and funded their laboratories, and research presentations in the form of papers and posters will be given. Day one of the conference will conclude with the Mural Arts Trolley Tour throughout Philadelphia.

“We’ve invited academics and people from industry,” Morrin said. “I’m hoping that we can set up more collaborative efforts among researchers and also between researchers and industry, who may be interested in having us conduct field studies in their stores.”

To register for the conference, visit http://csil.ticketleap.com/sensoryconference/
—Alexis Wright-Whitley