Conference Studies Newest Modes of Marketing

Ashutosh Prasad
Is it better for firms to underpromise and overdeliver? How can social-media content and product search-engine data be mined to give consumers a ranking system for choosing hotels? And for writers, musicians and other artists, is it a good idea to reveal project details when attempting to obtain financial support on a crowd-funding website such as kickstarter.com?

Top national and international researchers addressed these and other issues at the Frank M. Bass UT Dallas Frontiers of Research in Marketing Science (FORMS) Conference February 23 to 25 at the Naveen Jindal School of Management.

The Jindal School’s Marketing area annually hosts the FORMS conference as a small, collegial and distinctive alternative to larger similar gatherings. The conference honors the late Dr. Frank M. Bass (1926 -2006), a JSOM professor often remembered as the “Father of Marketing Science.”

About two dozen professors discussed papers on such emerging marketing trends as search-engine key-word pricing strategies, dynamic choice, retailing and collecting user-generated content for consumer rankings.

JSOM’s Marketing area began hosting the FORMS conference about seven years ago, JSOM decided to cater to a small number, Associate Marketing Professor Ashutosh Prasad said, “around 100 people, to allow for more face time, collaboration, idea-sharing and more time for the presenters to present.”

“The other important thing we wanted to do,” Dr. Prasad said, “was help PhD students.…who don’t have to pay a registration fee, and they get to meet leading marketing researchers from all around the world.”

Among topics conferees considered was the Internet’s role as a major marketing force. Researchers are trying to understand how to harness its power, Dr. Prasad said. For example, crowd sourcing, crowd funding and mob buying have all changed the face of how marketing is evolving.

Researchers at the conference also talked about the latest approaches and techniques to help drive marketing of the future.

“The audience might not actually need to learn these techniques unless they use [them],” Dr. Prasad said, “but they need to know that such techniques are available or that there’s a person with expertise or a paper out there.”