Starting a company – or receiving a six-figure investment for it – is not something that many 23-year-olds can say they’ve accomplished. But Lei Zhao, a senior at the Fox School of Business, has done both.
After founding HeyHome Education Consulting Company in 2016, Zhao is beginning to pave her professional path.
HeyHome seeks to connect high school students in her native China to safe environments and host families in the United States, an idea at which she arrived after relating to other students who were expressing difficulties with their host families. Unlike other consulting companies, HeyHome’s mission involves making weekly visits to assess living situations, to ensure that students are enjoying their stays, and addressing the learning quality in U.S. schools.
“I wanted to extend my horizons because it’s a totally different culture here,” said Zhao, who studies Marketing. “I love to talk to different people and know their experiences so that I can learn from them and build my strength. I talked with my professors about the potential solution of all the issues I was hearing about, and went from there.”
After placing second in the Chunhuibei Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, held by the Consulate of China, Zhao’s determination led to meetings with possible investors to further the development of the company. With a $100,000 investment, Zhao plans to build HeyHome’s website and complete greater marketing research to build a firm customer base.
“I learned a lot from talking to so many investors and politicians,” said Zhao, a native of Beijing. “There were a lot of things that I didn’t know, such as the restrictions of starting a company. I talked to different investors about their offers, adjusted all of them, and chose the best one.”
Next, Zhao will take part in Temple University’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl, but afterward the possibilities are endless. While the company is still relatively new, she hopes in the near future to meet with more investors, establish a successful online community for HeyHome, and eventually service Japan and Korea.
Zhao’s dreams extend to her culinary skills, too. She has a popular online cooking show, “Starfish Kitchen.” She considers cooking one of her hobbies, and she is always inviting trying new recipes. She’d even welcome the chance to bring her show to a U.S. audience.
But all in due time.
“There’s no hurry,” Zhao said. “You have to finish every step perfectly; otherwise it’s going to affect your next step, and the step after that. Do what’s best first and then build long-term.”
A professor from Temple University’s Fox School of Business has been named one of the most-productive authors in marketing research in the world.
Dr. Xueming Luo is recognized in two separate lists within the American Marketing Association (AMA) 2016 Marketing Research Productivity lists. He ranks No. 11 globally for research publications in the two premier journals – the Journal of Marketing (JM) and the Journal of Marketing Research (JMR). Also, he ranks No. 28 in the world for publications to the four premier marketing journals – JM, JMR, the Journal of Consumer Research, and Marketing Science.
Published in January 2017, the AMA lists acknowledge the top individual contributors to the world’s premier marketing journals over a 10-year period, from 2007-2016.
“I am humbled and honored to have been recognized by the American Marketing Association,” said Luo, the Charles Gilliland Distinguished Chair Professor of Marketing. “These four premier journals together are the most influential and hold the highest standards in the entire marketing discipline, and across all streams of research in consumer behavior and quantitative marketing.”
Luo’s research centers on mobile consumer analytics; big data marketing strategies; and social media, marketing models with machine learning, and networks. He serves as founder and director of the Fox School’s Global Center on Big Data and Mobile Analytics, a leading center in the cross-disciplinary domain of big data for business strategies and consumer insights.
He previously has been ranked No. 1 nationally among preeminent scholars in his discipline regarding citations in the top-five marketing journals, from 2006-2010. And from 2011-2015, he ranked among the 20 most-productive authors of research in Premier AMA journals.
Five of the Fox School’s nine academic departments are nationally ranked for overall research productivity. In the 2015-16 academic year, Fox faculty published more than 40 A journal publications, secured more than $5 million in grant funding, and increased new grant funding by nearly $1 million.
When Rob Lawton and the rest of his team arrived in Flint, Mich., with 60,000 water bottles in two trucks, a line of 20 to 30 trucks quickly began to pile up – a sign of how desperate the need was for fresh water in that region of the country.
After the state of Michigan in April 2014 switched the city of Flint’s water supply from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to water from the Flint River, many residents started calling attention to the water’s strange smell, taste, and color. It was later determined that Flint River water was highly corrosive and had caused lead from outdated pipe systems to leak unhealthy elements like lead into the citizens’ water supply. Until pipes could be replaced, citizens were told to drink, bathe, and cook only using bottled water.
That’s why Lawton, a 2013 Marketing alumnus of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, and others like him led a group effort to bring aid relief to Flint.
Lawton received a phone call in January from his friend Nehemiah Davis, the founder of nonprofit organization The Nehemiah Davis Foundation, which works on creating community outreach programs like food drives, back-to-school drives, and more. Davis knew Lawton frequently used large commercial trucks in his line of work as the owner of audio-visual production company Mid-Atlantic FX.
“(Ingram) said, ‘If we go through with this idea, will you be able to get us some trucks?’” said Lawton, who was happy to oblige.
Before departing Jan. 24 on the nine-hour drive from Philadelphia to Flint, Lawton and others turned to social media to spread word that they’d be collecting donations of bottled water. The response was so great, Lawton said, that he needed to add a second truck for the drive. (A tow truck company, in particular, Lawton remembered, arrived with a seven-truck fleet to deliver pallets of water bottles.)
“It was really amazing the amount of support that we received and we were able to effectively enrich the lives of others who are going through this terrible experience,” Lawton said.
Upon arrival in Flint, the team began unloading water onto the street. Each person received two cases, unless he or she had a greater need and represented more than one family. They first delivered to Flint’s lower-income communities, where access to fresh water drop-off zones was reduced to firehouses and municipal buildings.
A documentary to be titled “#Philly2Flint,” created by fellow team member Melissa Robbins, inspired a social media campaign. Soon after, other travelers to Flint shared their experiences with similar hashtags.
Lawton said he will always remember the reaction of the community members to his team’s bottled water delivery.
“There was this one lady,” Lawton said. “We just started loading water bottles in her car and she had this smile that was ear to ear. It was heartwarming. All I have to do is turn on my faucet for something that made her so appreciative. And at that moment, I could tell she really needed it. I’ll never forget that. “
How sweet it is.
Marketing majors from Temple University’s student chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) won the parent organization’s annual Collegiate Case Competition by delivering a marketing strategy for a product from event sponsor The Hershey Company.
The Temple AMA team took top honors ahead of the University of Pennsylvania, Texas State University, and Ferris State University, among other tough competitors. The team of marketing students from the Fox School of Business assembled a thorough, research-driven marketing plan for Hershey’s Ice Breakers Cool Blast Chews, emerging from a field of 91 college chapters to claim first place in the prestigious competition for the first time. The $3,000 top prize will be allotted toward defraying costs related to next year’s case competition, the team said.
“This puts our chapter on the map,” said junior Lily Tran. “Now, other chapters across the country and internationally will look to us as a prime example of what it takes to win.”
The Temple AMA all-junior presentation team comprised Tran, Abbey Harris, Rachel Baker, and Alexander Brannan. The written case team included seniors Taylor Sauder, Rachel Zydyk, and Jennifer McGill. Temple AMA was one of 10 national finalists invited to deliver a presentation at the AMA International Collegiate Conference, held March 17-20 in New Orleans.
The final presentation culminated more than seven months of original research, situation analysis, conducting focus groups and surveys, and marketing recommendations by the Temple AMA team. The group had submitted its written case to AMA in December and, one month later, learned that it had been selected as one of the 10 finalists. From there, they delivered a number of “dry-run presentations,” said Dr. Craig Atwater, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Temple’s Fox School of Business, and one of Temple AMA’s three faculty advisors.
“Our team took tips from the faculty members and PhD students to whom they made their practice presentations and fine-tuned the presentation until it was perfectly polished,” Atwater said. “Their focus groups and taste tests also helped our students determine that the product’s positioning was ambiguous. It’s not a gum, as it dissolves within 15 seconds, and yet it’s not a mint. It’s instead classified within a subcategory, as a power-mint. Our students found that for millennials, who enjoy trying new things, this product is cool and fun, but they found that it also required an explanation.”
Those elements proved critical to the Temple AMA team’s presentation, which the group delivered before a trio of high-ranking executives from Hershey. Then, the marketing students waited until all other names had been announced before celebrating their victory.
“While awaiting the results, I remember counting the spots and losing count because my heart started to pound,” said Harris. “TU-AMA is improving in reputation thanks to our incredible faculty advisors – Dr. Craig Atwater, Professor Jim Thompson, and Dr. Drew Allmond – our talented Fox School professors, and the support of the Marketing department.”
Added Baker: “I believe our success is a direct tribute to Temple University’s dedicated faculty, who over the past three years have consistently encouraged innovation in team settings, fostered perseverance, taught us how to think strategically, and have pushed us to reach our potential.”
The chance to appear on “Shark Tank” is the realization of a dream come true for Martin Dell’Arciprete.
“Growing up, every kid wanted to be like Mike,” said the Fox School of Business alumnus, referencing Hall of Fame basketball player Michael Jordan. “After I arrived at Fox and Temple University, and got a taste of entrepreneurship, it became, ‘I want to be like Mark (Cuban).’”
Dell’Arciprete will appear on “Shark Tank,” the popular ABC reality show, Friday, Feb. 12, to pitch SmartPlate, the signature product from Philadelphia-based company Fitly.
Believed to be the world’s first intelligent plate, SmartPlate uses load sensors and three digital cameras for image and weight recognition of the food a person is preparing to consume. SmartPlate analyzes the food on its surface, provides nutritional information, and logs calories with 99-percent accuracy.
Dell’Arciprete, Fitly’s former head of marketing, has left the company since representing the product during a September taping of the show. Dell’Arciprete, a Lansdowne, Pa., native who earned his Marketing degree from the Fox School in 2010, said it was “a gut-wrenching experience” to stand before the show’s five sharks.
“Preparing for the show was like studying for a final exam. You may have a general idea of the subject matter, but until you see that test, you just don’t know the direction your professors – or in this case, the sharks – are going to take,” said Dell’Arciprete, a senior account executive for Moroch Partners, a national marketing firm with an office located in Conshohocken, Pa.
“I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have been able to perform at such a high level in front of the sharks if not for the professors, public-speaking training, and diverse platform of opportunities I had at Fox.”
The stainless steel bars that support Rebecca Uhl’s ribcage not only serve a critical medical purpose. They’re also a reminder of the support she has provided to others over the last three years.
A senior marketing major at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, Uhl had been diagnosed with pectus excavatum, a medical condition that gives the chest a caved-in appearance. In early 2013, at the urging of her godmother, Uhl began researching her condition. She found an online forum that continually referenced the work of Dr. Dawn E. Jaroszewski, a cardiac and thoracic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic, in Phoenix, Ariz.
Uhl contacted Jaroszewski and, a few months later, underwent a surgical procedure to remedy her medical condition. The surgery with Jaroszewski – whom more commonly answers to Dr. J – included the placing of two bars underneath her rib cage to alleviate cardiac compression. Like braces reshape teeth, the bars reshape the chest for a three-year period before they are removed.
“I accidentally found Dr. J through YouTube, and she changed my life,” said Uhl, who shared the story of her diagnosis and treatment with more than a dozen Temple University medical students Oct. 26 at Temple’s Alter Hall. Dr. J later joined Uhl’s video presentation via web-conferencing platform. “Getting on the plane to fly across the country for surgery was one of the most difficult moments of my life, but I knew it was the right decision.”
Uhl’s speaking engagement, titled, “Challenging the Process,” addressed her surgery and her later work with the Mayo Clinic.
A phone call in 2013 closed the 2,500-mile gap between Uhl and Dr. J. And after developing a level of comfort with the Mayo Clinic, Uhl determined she would undergo the surgery with Dr. J and the Mayo Clinic.
After the surgery, Uhl, who hopes to pursue a career in healthcare marketing, “started asking myself how I could give back to the team that had done so much for me.” Given her technology expertise and business education, Uhl interned for Jaroszewski and helped develop a website and a Facebook page for the surgeon.
Uhl later earned an internship with Mayo Clinic in Summer 2015, spending the summer creating patient portfolios and writing posts for the clinic’s blog. She also created a series of videos geared toward guiding prospective patients through the process that culminates in the operating room.
“Bringing in Rebecca gave us the opportunity to have someone who understands our goals of advocating for patients. She has a passion that truly helped us,” said Kelly Myers, Mayo Clinic Pectus Program Coordinator.
Uhl’s work extended to the creation of CancerApp, an application database that can be utilized to help cancer patients connect with one another, raise funds to support their procedures, and gather more information about doctors.
“I hope to encourage fellow students to take chances and use the knowledge that they are already learning,” said Uhl, who also sits on the Board of Directors for the Pectus Awareness and Support Foundation, a nonprofit. “I want to make an impact and help other students see their potential. I want to continue in service of others to help them with whatever they need.”
Why do break-ups sometimes send people reaching for ice cream? Why does retail shopping provide a perk during a bad day?
For Dr. Crystal Reeck, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School of Business, the answers reside in a person’s ability to regulate emotions in order to make adaptive decisions.
“What is it that other people can do to turn up or down others’ feelings to shape their behavior?” Reeck wondered during her latest collaborative research project, ‘The Social Regulation of Emotion: An Integrative, Cross-Disciplinary Model.’
“Whenever we’re stressed, tired, cranky, or scared, we tend to do things how we wouldn’t otherwise. That’s not groundbreaking. But what’s missing in that approach is not only how emotions shift people’s processes, but that we’re not slaves to our feelings. We have some control over how we react to things.”
For Reeck, whose research is to be published in a forthcoming edition of Trends in Cognitive Sciences, the key to controlling that heartbroken appeal for ice cream or those stress-induced consumer purchases lies in a person’s dedication to a goal. If losing a few pounds or saving for retirement comprise a person’s long-term goals, he or she can learn to ignore immediate self-satisfaction from behaviors that may derail them.
Part of this process, Reeck said, is examining how a person views new information. Reeck’s research shows that people tend to synthesize information through the lens of a current goal. Therefore, when a development impedes that goal, he or she can become frustrated and become more likely to react negatively. This negative interaction directly impacts workplace environments, for example, when a disagreement between co-workers or criticism from senior leaders is internalized negatively.
“It requires a poker-face mode. It’s the stiff upper lip,” said Reeck, who also serves as Assistant Director of Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making. “A person may still be just as upset as they were to begin with, but they don’t know about it.”
This method of reacting to an emotional response often leads to increasingly negative experiences. The solution, Reeck said, is in changing one’s interpretation. If someone’s work is criticized, Reeck suggests that instead of an employee interpreting it as a failure, perhaps that person can see it as a chance to improve.
In the business world, managing the emotional responses of several people becomes critical to a functioning workflow. Investigating how to do so is a new edge in Reeck’s work, she said, and involves a synthesis of past research examining purely individual emotional regulation.
“People have studied this as a silo with different methods and theories,” Reeck said. “We’re trying to unpack the psychological processes that underpin that emotion regulation exchange between two people. In other words, how can one person change another’s emotional response?”
Domino’s Pizza has cultivated 10 million Facebook followers. Target’s page has collected 20 million. And Nabisco’s Oreo cookie page exceeds 40 million Facebook likes.
Such large numbers demonstrate a shift toward social media marketing and the expanding role of commercial branding in today’s online world, according to Dr. Jay I. Sinha, an Associate Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
Sinha’s latest research publication, “The Risks and Rewards of Brand Personification Using Social Media,” which appeared in the Boston Globe and MIT Sloan Management Review, digs into social media’s role in rewriting the consumer-producer relationship for today’s top brands. More than 92 percent of marketers responded in 2014 that social media marketing is important for their businesses, and 80 percent indicated these efforts increase traffic to their websites, Sinha noted.
“Social media marketing is the new big thing,” Sinha said. “It allows a company to stay close to its customers, being responsive, engaging them, and evolving with them through time.”
Tweeting its core values or responding to Facebook comments about a new product gives a company a human-like presence, Sinha said. This personification, he added, deepens consumer loyalty and buyer-conversion rates, or the number of consumers making online purchases. So whether it’s an international company like Domino’s Pizza, or a hyper-local grocery store chain, photographs, hashtags, and followers are a part of the new normative advertising pattern.
“In the past, a satisfied customer typically told three other people, while a dissatisfied customer griped to 11 people,” Sinha said. “Nowadays, each has the potential to tell the entire world – by virtue of being on social media.
The globalization of online marketing, to Sinha, emphasizes the need for well-written, interesting and visually appealing content. He indicates Whole Foods’ strategy on Instagram that focuses on striking food photography with the use of no captions, while Target uses #tbt, or ThrowbackThursday, to promote its 1980s-inspired fashion line.
Sinha notes the line between trendy and offensive, however, can be a tipping point.
“Firms should not regard social media as the space where they can emulate private individuals and espouse extreme viewpoints, launch attacks against business rivals, or castigate those who post negative reviews,” he said. “This is off-putting and unprofessional.”
To diminish the chance for error, using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest as primary social media platforms is enough, Sinha indicated, as many users are engaged with just two or three of those sites. He also urged firms to cultivate the smartphone app market with which millennials, or those between the ages of 18 and 35, are engaged. YouTube, he continued, is a way to corner members of the baby-boomer generation who aren’t as engaged on Facebook or Twitter.
Expanding on social media brand personification, Sinha said he is currently researching the “culture-jacking” phenomenon, which refers to a company’s attachment of itself to a trending topic in order to increase followers. Companies’ successes with this tactic, Sinha noted, is not foolproof, as there are several documented missteps.
“All of this shows that companies need to use social media with proper judgment and planning, and steer clear of topics that may be remotely controversial,” Sinha said.
The Fox School of Business at Temple University will introduce two new undergraduate majors for the 2015-16 academic year: Supply Chain Management and Financial Planning.
In all, the Fox School offers students a choice of 15 undergraduate majors.
“The additions of Supply Chain Management and Financial Planning as majors further bolster the Fox School’s reputation as not only the most comprehensive business school in the Philadelphia region, but one of the most comprehensive in the nation,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “Employers and industry partners agree that these concentrations are regarded as emerging fields wherein professionals are in great demand, and Fox has the renowned faculty to support such programs.”
The new majors are available to all students. Students entering their junior and senior years can declare for either of the majors and still remain on four-year academic plans. Interested juniors and seniors are encouraged to meet with a Fox School advisor to discuss their academic options.
The Supply Chain Management major will prepare students to operate and lead major aspects of the supply system in both established and start-up firms. Fox’s Marketing and Supply Chain Management department will oversee the program, which will ready students for careers in the interconnected chain of suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses and distribution centers, transportation-providers, retailers.
“Businesses today operate on a global scale,” said Dr. Neha Mittal, Assistant Professor and Academic Director of the undergraduate Supply Chain Management program. “For example, it’s very common for a company to have its sourcing in South America, manufacturing in China, and sales of its products to markets in Europe or North America. We’re talking about huge, complex supply chains here, which have fueled the need for supply chain management professionals to manage the flows between the different parties.”
The Financial Planning major will prepare students for careers in the growing field bearing the same name, which takes a holistic approach to working with clients in order to enable them to identify and attain lifestyle and retirement goals. Students who complete the Financial Planning curriculum are eligible to sit for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) examination upon graduation – a unique feature of the program.
Fox’s Finance department will oversee the program, and will draw upon the expertise of faculty in Fox’s Legal Studies and Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management departments, as well, said Cynthia Axelrod, Assistant Professor and Financial Planning Program Director.
“Within the next 20 years, 10,000 baby boomers will retire every day. This will produce a tremendous intergenerational wealth transfer, for which there won’t be nearly enough advisors to take on the burgeoning growth of clients and client assets,” Axelrod said.
“Further, retirement planning now resides with employees, not employers. Individuals need help with retirement planning and investments. A financial planner brings objectivity to the process, and helps their client to develop a successful roadmap to attain their financial goals. A career in financial planning is very rewarding, allowing an individual to combine their investment skills and people skills, with excellent economic potential. All of this will lead to strong prospects for our students majoring in Financial Planning.”
It started in January 2010 with a $10 bill.
In the five years since its inaugural spring semester, the 10-10-10 Foundation – launched out of Dr. Jean Wilcox’s Entrepreneurial Marketing course at the Fox School of Business – has seen more than 1,000 students raise in excess of $200,000 and help innumerable people and foundations in the Philadelphia area.
Each semester, Wilcox presents student teams in her course with $10 from her own pocket. Grouped into 10 teams, the students are tasked with multiplying this seed money by a factor of 10, to be donated to various charities, non-profits, foundations, and community organizations dedicated to anything from social works to education.
“Many of the students have incredibly powerful personal stories to tell and align their projects with organizations that they feel a connection to. That’s what makes this work,” said Wilcox, an Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management.
Among the organizations helped, Fox Students have worked with Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, in eight of 10 semesters since 10-10-10 began. Others have aligned with Philabundance food bank, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
For senior Marketing majors Jake Kawulicz and Nicole Borgia, Red Paw Relief Team was a natural fit. One of their team members was saved from a house fire by his pet. In pitching to the idea of raising funds for Red Paw, a non-profit organization that helps pets displaced by fire or disaster, the group decided it was an appropriate gesture to repay his dog’s act of kindness. The team organized a fundraising effort at Whole Foods, which contributed a five-cent donation each time customers used reusable bags to carry out their groceries, and in addition to a half-price promotion at the Draught Horse Pub and Grill, near Temple University’s campus.
“There’s a personal connection for us. It’s about giving back to something I love,” Borgia said.
Fundraising efforts are one part of students’ responsibilities toward building sustainable business plans for their chosen organizations. Others include maintaining careful financial records while engaging with the community on social media to promote their efforts.
The use of social-media platforms has allowed students who are working with Project Home to raise awareness for the 25-year-old organization, which empowers the homeless. With a comprehensive social-media marketing campaign, the group recruited volunteers whose hours equated to a $20 fundraising effort. The group also aimed to foster an intern exchange program with the Fox School.
“We wanted something local to Philadelphia that would allow us to have a lasting impact, as opposed to just giving money,” said Leigh McKenzie, a junior Management Information Systems major who worked with Project Home.
The Entrepreneurial Marketing course attracts a diverse student set, including senior Architecture major and Business minor Jenna Wandishin, and sophomore Marketing and Art History double major Laura Harris. Dual-enrolled in the Fox School and the Tyler School of Art, and inspired by this dichotomy, the students dedicated their group to inspiring inner-city artists through the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, an anti-graffiti program that supports public art.
“We wanted something with a cultural impact. The Mural Arts Program is unique to Philadelphia and enhances the city,” Wandishin said of Philadelphia, which boasts more murals than any other American city.
Wilcox has watched 10 semesters of students turn her $10 handouts into thousands of dollars. She said she appreciates the social impact the students have made. In particular, one group worked with Catalyst Foundation to fight sex trafficking in Vietnam by connecting with Asian-American organizations on Temple’s campus. Another team committed its efforts toward assisting wounded veterans upon their returns from Afghanistan.
“The best comment I ever got came from one of my colleagues, who said, ‘Business school is so much about analytics and numbers, and what you’re doing is giving these students heart,’” Wilcox said. “That’s most important to me in the long run.”
CEOs tend to overstay their welcome, hurting firm performance, new study finds
Discussed in this issue:
• Di Benedetto ranks sixth among innovation management scholars
• Investments in operations can improve pharmaceutical business
• Alumna authors book with scientific advice from Fox faculty member