Newsroom

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

 

Provost Hai-Lung Dai recently announced that 767 faculty at Temple will receive merit awards. One hundred-eight of that faculty comes from the Fox School of Business.

These awards recognize all of the meritorious activities of Temple’s faculty in the 2012-13 academic year. During the Fall 2013 semester, faculty were nominated or self-nominated. Departments, colleges and schools, deans and the provost conducted reviews to select the merit award winners.

The faculty will receive a record number of 2,056 units of $600 each, in terms of merit awards, this month.

“A merit award reflects our faculty’s continued dedication and commitment to scholarship and students, and highlights the exceptional drive for excellence in teaching, innovation and performance,” Provost Dai said.

Temple recognizes faculty for outstanding performance in teaching and instruction, research, scholarship, creative activity and/or service to the university or their individual professions or disciplines, each year.

Ronald Anderson – Finance
Paul K. Asabere – Finance
Hilal Atasoy – Accounting
Craig Atwater – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Derek Avery – Human Resource Admin
Steven Balsam – Accounting
Sudipta Basu – Accounting
Gary J. Blau – Human Resource Admin
Jeffrey R. Boles – Law S.B.M
Andrea K. Brooks Lopez – Human Resource Admin
Lawrence Brown – Accounting
Dmitri Byzalov – Accounting
Alexandra D. Carides – Statistics
Stephen J. Casper – Finance
Rajeswarar S. Chaganti – Strategic Management
Hua Chen – Risk Management and Insurance
Pallavi Chitturi – Statistics
J. Jay Choi – Finance
George Chressanthis – Risk Management and Insurance
Mary Conran – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
John D. Cummins- Risk Management and Insurance
C. Anthony DiBenedetto – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Angelika Dimoka – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Yuexiao Dong – Statistics
Martin J. Doyle – Management Information Systems
R B Drennan Jr. – Risk Management and Insurance
Eric Eisenstein – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Elyas E. Elyasiani – Finance
Richard Y. Flanagan – Management Information Systems
Nathan Fong – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Mary A. Gaffney – Accounting
Deanna Geddes – Human Resource Admin
Mark E. Gershon – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Katherine W. Gerst – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Elizabeth Gordon – Accounting
Manak C. Gupta – Finance
Terry A. Halbert – Law S.B.M.
Robert D. Hamilton – Strategic Management
Xu Han – Statistics
Crystal M. Harold – Human Resource Admin
Arthur Hochner – Human Resource Admin
Samuel D. Hodge –Law S.B.M.
Brian Holtz – Human Resource Admin
Andrea Hornett – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Forrest E. Huffman – Finance
James M. Hunt – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Alan J. Izenman – Statistics
Steven Johnson – Management Information Systems
Satyajit Karnik – Finance
Howard Keen – Finance
Masaaki Kotabe – Strategic Management
A.J. Kreimer – Accounting
Jayanthi Krishnan – Accounting
Jagannathan Krishnan – Accounting
Seok-Woo Kwon – Strategic Management
James M. Lammendola – Law S.B.M.
Vanessa J. Lawrence – Law S.B.M.
Yan Li – Finance
Marco Malandra – Accounting
Barbara B. Mancano – Risk Management and Insurance
Xiangdong Mao – Finance
John A. Mccloskey – Human Resource Admin
Michael Mccloskey – Risk Management and Insurance
James P. Miller – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Neha Mittal – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
James C. Moustafellos – Management Information Systems
Susan Mudambi – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Shreeram R. Mudambi – Strategic Management
Lalitah Naveen – Finance
Katherine Nelson – Human Resource Admin
In-Sue Oh – Human Resource Admin
Arvind Parkhe – Strategic Management
Tony Petrucci – Human Resource Admin
Robert S. Pred – Statistics
Eric Press – Accounting
Steven Nevin Pyser – Human Resource Admin
Bruce B. Rader – Finance
Sheri Risler – Accounting
Edward C. Rosenthal – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
David H. Ryan – Accounting
Oleg Rytchkov – Finance
Sanat Sarkar – Statistics
Mitrabarun Sarkar – Strategic Management
David Schuff – Management Information Systems
Jonathan A. Scott – Finance
Andrew Sfekas- Risk Management and Insurance
Amir Shoham – Finance
Jagbir Singh – Statistics
Indrajit Sinha – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Michael F. Smith – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
John Soss – Finance
Michael A. Valenza – Law S.B.M.
Vinod Venkatraman – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Krupa S. Viswanathan – Risk Management Insurance
Sunil Wattal – Management Information Systems
William W. Wei – Statistics
Howard J. Weiss – Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Mary A. Weiss – Risk Management and Insurance
Guntram Werther – Strategic Management
Sheryl Winston Smith – Strategic Management
Jacqueline Wise – Risk Management and Insurance
Gary Witt – Statistics

MIS ranks number 1 in the world for research (again!)

April25th2014

Discussed in this issue:
• 14th Annual IT Awards Honor Citi, Relay and Vanguard Execs
• New Data Science course helps students harness the power of data
• Scholarship, funded by Fox IT Advisory Board, will announce recipients

Temple University’s Fox School of Business is honoring three top technology leaders at its 14th annual Information Technology Awards on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, on Temple University’s Main Campus. The nationally ranked Department of Management Information Systems (MIS) and the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT) organize this premier event for Greater Philadelphia’s technology community.

Awardees include Linda Descano, Managing Director and Head of Content and Social at Citi; Matthew Gillin, CEO and co-founder of Relay; and John T. Marcante, Chief Information Officer of Vanguard and Managing Director of Vanguard’s Information Technology Division.

“Linda, Matt and John represent a remarkable level of excellence and commitment to leveraging IT in innovative ways to improve business and lives,” Fox School of Business Dean M. Moshe Porat said. “They also join a distinguished and deserving list of Fox IT Award honorees, who all serve as models for our students.”

Photo of Linda Descano
Linda Descano

Descano will receive the Fox Information Technology Award for Distinguished Alumni for her work in the IT field and her contributions to the community, to industry and to Temple University. In addition to her responsibilities for content and social at Citi, she also is President and CEO of Women & Co., a Citi-incubated and owned financial lifestyle resource for women.

Descano is a LinkedIn Influencer whose commentary on topics such as personal finance, career and leadership, and content marketing has appeared in countless publications including The Huffington Post, Reuters, Fox Business, U.S. News, MORE Magazine, American Banker and MSN Money, among others. Descano also serves on the board of directors of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., is president-elect of New York Women in Communications and is an executive member of Advertising Women of New York (AWNY).

 
Image of Matt Gillin
Matt Gillin

Gillin will receive the Fox Information Technology Innovator Award. Gillin, who previously co-founded and served as the CEO for Ecount Inc., which was acquired by Citi in 2007, has won a number of awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Walter M. Aikman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. As CEO of Relay, Gillin oversees the strategy and day-to-day operations of a company that connects trusted brands with people through direct mobile communication so they can effortlessly get stuff done.

 
Image of John Marcante
John Marcante

Marcante will receive the Fox Information Technology Leader Award for his leadership in the use and development of IT in business. Marcante is CIO and managing director of Vanguard’s Information Technology Division. With more than 26 years of experience in the business and technology fields, he has been with Vanguard since 1993. Prior to becoming CIO in 2012, Marcante held a number of leadership roles within the company, including rotations leading Global Technology Operations, overseeing Vanguard’s internal Six Sigma organization, and managing Vanguard’s High Net Worth business.

“In a world increasingly dominated by digital business models, the 2014 Fox School IT Award recipients are true role models for MIS students, who are learning digital business innovation and how to lead revenue growth in a digital economy,” said Munir Mandviwalla, founding chair of the MIS Department.

The Fox School’s MIS Department, ranked in the Top 15 nationally for its undergraduate program, seeks to be a worldwide leader in transformative research and teaching in the design, use, and effects of information technology. The Institute for Business and Information Technology integrates industry perspectives with academic research expertise to create forums for generating and exchanging best practices.

For more information on the annual Fox IT Awards, visit http://ibit.temple.edu

Gum. Plastic bags. Tipped over. People don’t want to touch trashcan handles.

Those were some of the dozens of observations about trash and litter in Philadelphia that were handwritten on colorful sticky notes hanging on the windows of the rooftop Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

During the 2014 Fox Design Challenge, more than 175 students addressed litter abatement in partnership with the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics and Keep Philadelphia Beautiful.
During the 2014 Fox Design Challenge, more than 175 students addressed litter abatement in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and Keep Philadelphia Beautiful.

Thanks to an outpouring of participation, the Kimmel Center hosted the fourth annual Temple University Fox School of Business Design Challenge, held in previous years in Alter Hall. The innovative idea competition challenges students from across the region to combine business and design concepts in creating pioneering solutions to urban issues.

This year’s challenge, with the theme Talking Trash, attracted 175 students who worked in 20 teams to address litter abatement in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and Keep Philadelphia Beautiful.

The first half of the competition kicked off Feb. 14, when students met with one another and heard from varying experts from city agencies, nonprofits and community groups, who gave students insight on how to approach this year’s challenge. Students then spent the weekend participating in walking tours of the city to experience the problem firsthand.

On Feb. 18, interdisciplinary student teams spent the day brainstorming, prototyping and presenting their solutions as they overlooked South Broad Street from the Kimmel Center.

Students' observations about trash and litter in Philadelphia were handwritten on colorful sticky notes and posted on the windows of the rooftop Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
Students’ observations about trash and litter in Philadelphia were handwritten on colorful sticky notes and posted on the windows of the rooftop Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

Among the more than 175 registered students, eight of Temple’s schools and colleges were represented, as were five universities (in addition to Temple, University of the Arts, Philadelphia University, the University of Pennsylvania and SUNY Institute of Technology) and five local high schools (Crossroads Accelerated Academy, Mastery Charter Schools, Welsh Valley Middle School, George Washington Carver and SCH Academy).

The four finalist teams approached litter abatement with variations on a theme: using technology, such as mobile apps and social networks, and competition and rewards systems to make a game of beautifying the city.

The winning team – which took home $1,000 and Justinmind prototyping software – pitched Waste Wars, an app, game, and data-collection tool. Points and vouchers to local businesses would be awarded to participants who take photos or videos of themselves picking up and throwing away trash.

Meanwhile, with location data from the app, city officials could see which neighborhoods have the heaviest user base and, therefore, the most need for services.

The Design Challenge, an innovative idea competition, featured 20 interdisciplinary student teams from across the region.
The Design Challenge, an innovative idea competition, featured 20 interdisciplinary student teams from across the region.

“This year we had the biggest and most diverse group of students, and you could see that in the quality of the presentations,” said James Moustafellos, assistant professor of management information systems (MIS), associate director of the Temple Center for Design and Innovation and lead planner of the event. “We have a lot of minds working together to solve complex problems.”

That diversity was illustrated in the Waste Wars team members: Cory Hurlbut, junior business administration major at SUNY-IT; Jordan Shade, second-year Master of Design student at the University of the Arts; Olivia Schmid, first-year Global MBA student at the Fox School; Annie Buckley, junior MIS major; Cori Shearer, senior MIS and strategic communication double major; Jimik Ligon, sophomore at Simon Gratz High School (in the Mastery system); and Tanner Panetta, sophomore graphic and interactive design major at Temple’s Tyler School of Art.

“We’ll be looking for ways to use the ideas developed throughout the competition as we work to reduce the amount of litter on our streets,” Keep Philadelphia Beautiful wrote in a blog post. “We’ll also be working to keep the students involved in this year’s challenge engaged; having close to 200 smart and trained individuals thinking about the litter problem is no small feat, and we want to keep them involved as we continue our work and outreach.”

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

Super Bowl ads that performed well elicited increased brain activity 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, or LPFC).
Super Bowl ads that performed well elicited increased brain activity 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, or LPFC).

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.

Dr. Angelika Dimoka, director of the Center for Neural Decision Making and associate professor of marketing and management information systems at the Fox School of Business
Dr. Angelika Dimoka, director of the Center for Neural Decision Making and associate professor of marketing and management information systems at the Fox School of Business

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.”

Fox BBA in MIS moves into the Top 15 in US News and World Report

February2014
Discussed in this issue:
• MIS alum ranked Fortune’s Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business
• 100% placement (again)! Congratulations to the class of May 2013!
• Interview: Jonathan Brassington, CEO of LiquidHub