Diversify and Conquer: An Argument for Reinvigorating Marketing Science with Behavioral Science and Humanities

[We’re pleased to welcome Gerald Zaltman of Harvard Business School and Olson Zaltman Associates. Dr. Zaltman recently published an article in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly with co-authors Jerry Olson and James Forr of Olson Zaltman Associates, entitled “Toward a New Marketing Science for Hospitality Managers.”]

In “Toward a New Marketing Science for Hospitality Managers,” published in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Jerry Olson, James Forr, and I point out that much of CQ_57_1_Cover.inddmarketing research and a great deal of marketing thought and action is influenced by the ideas and methods of an old marketing science.  We argue that a New Marketing Science is needed in which scientifically sound ideas and methods from the behavioral sciences and humanities are integrated around a coherent scientific perspective.  We feel this is especially important since life in the marketplace is experienced holistically and not in the silo like ways that companies, universities, and specific professions are organized.

Although current marketing does explore new ideas and methods, including neuro/biometric methods and big data approaches, these ideas are often treated piecemeal — used in isolation or as independent add-ons to more traditional work.  In contrast, we advocate integrating the best ideas and approaches from diverse fields to develop a new marketing science.  In “Toward a New Marketing Science” we focus on how key ideas from the mind sciences can produce a deeper and richer understanding of the minds of customers and also the minds of managers.  Other fields containing equally exciting marketing related advances include, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, ethnomusicology, and art therapy, to name a few.

We provide four examples of applying a New Marketing Science approach to create emotionally resonant hospitality experiences.  However, the principles of a NMS can be applied to any marketing problem in any industry.  Practicing the NMS requires bold, imaginative thinking that goes beyond simple borrowing of ideas and imitation of best practices.

The abstract:

A New Marketing Science (NMS) is proposed that can dramatically improve a firm’s marketplace performance. The NMS challenges managers to dare to think and act differently. It generates deep insights into the thoughts and actions of both customers and managers and how the two mind-sets interact. As several examples illustrate, it departs from the “old” marketing science by its emphasis on imagination, knowing how and why a practice works, understanding the total customer experience, and focus on effectiveness over efficiency. The NMS is grounded in principles from the behavioral sciences and humanities such as the importance of the unconscious mind, the way mental frames serve as interpretative lenses, the centrality of emotions, the reconstructive nature of memory, and the importance of metaphor for learning about and influencing choices.

You can read “Toward a New Marketing Science for Hospitality Managers” from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!


 
Gerald ZaltmanGerald Zaltman is Founding partner in Olson Zaltman Associates and the Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration Emeritus at Harvard Business School, where he also was co-director of The Mind of the Market Laboratory. He has authored over 20 books including: How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market and Marketing Metaphoria: What Deep Metaphors Reveal about the Minds of Consumers.

Jerry OlsonJerry Olson is Founding Partner in Olson Zaltman Associates and Professor Emeritus at Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business where he was Earl P. Strong Professor of Marketing and Department Chair. He has published more than 60 papers on these topics in conference proceedings and academic journals , including Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, and Journal of Marketing.

James ForrJames Forr is a director at Olson Zaltman Associates. He has led projects for Fortune 100 clients including IBM, Bank of America, PepsiCo, and P&G along with non-profit and public sector clients such as the AFL-CIO and the Funeral Service Foundation.  He also has led two projects that have helped clients win prestigious Ogilvy Awards from the Advertising Research Foundation.

 

Gerald Zaltman on New Marketing Science for Hospitality Practitioners

cqx coverGerald Zaltman, Joseph C. Wilson Professor Emeritus at Harvard Business School and creator of  the first patented market research tool in the United States titled the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique, recently collaborated with Jerry Olson and James Forr of Olson Zaltman Associates on their article “Toward a New Marketing Science for Hospitality Managers” from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

The abstract:

A New Marketing Science (NMS) is proposed that can dramatically improve a firm’s marketplace performance. The NMS challenges managers to dare to think and act differently. It generates deep insights into the thoughts and actions of both customers and managers and how the two mind-sets interact. As several examples illustrate, it departs from the “old” marketing science by its emphasis on imagination, knowing how and why a practice works, understanding the total customer experience, and focus on effectiveness over efficiency. The NMS is grounded in principles from the behavioral sciences and humanities such as the importance of the unconscious mind, the way mental frames serve as interpretative lenses, the centrality of emotions, the reconstructive nature of memory, and the importance of metaphor for learning about and influencing choices.

You can read “Toward a New Marketing Science for Hospitality Managers” from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly for free by clicking here. Want to know when all the latest research like this is available from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Listen to the Podcast on Cornell Hospitality Quarterly’s 2014 Best Article Award Winner!

cqx coverWe’re pleased to congratulate Kathryn A. LaTour of Cornell University and Lewis P. Carbone of Experience Engineering, winners of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly‘s 2014 Best Article Award for their article “Sticktion: Assessing Memory for the Customer Experience.” The pair discussed their study on assessing memory for the customer experience in the latest podcast from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

You can click here to download the podcast. You can also read the article for free by clicking here.

Want to know about more research like this? Click here to browse all of the podcasts from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly and here to subscribe to the SAGE Management and Business podcast channel on iTunes. You can also sign up for e-alerts and have notifications of all the latest articles from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly sent directly to your inbox!

klatourKathryn A. LaTour, Ph.D., is an associate professor of services marketing at the School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University (kal276@cornell.edu). She is a consumer psychologist focusing on how consumers remember and learn from their consumption experiences. Her current research involves understanding how expertise is developed within the context of wine.

lou-carbone-lgLewis P. Carbone (“Lou”) is a chief experience officer at Experience Engineering, a consulting company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that works with many Fortune 500 companies on the design of their experience offerings (http://www.expeng.com) (lcarbone@expeng.com) He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Thiel College, Greenville, PA.

Designing Better Customer Service Experiences Using “Sticktion”

The customer may always be right, but research has shown that their memory can sometimes fail them when recollecting service experiences. Fortunately, there may be a solution in the form of “sticktion.” Kathryn A. LaTour and Lewis P. Carbone discuss the use of this technique in their article from the November issue of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly entitled “Sticktion: Assessing Memory for the Customer Experience.” The authors also had a chance to sit down and talk about their findings in the video below:

Click here to read “Sticktion: Assessing Memory for the Customer Experience” from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly! Want to know about all the latest news and research from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Using “Sticktion” for a Better Customer Experience

Businesses work hard to ensure that their customers walk away happy. But just how much of a good experience dodont-forget-729159-m customers even remember? What can be done to make sure they remember more? That’s what Kathryn A. LaTour and Lewis P. Carbone set out to discover in their article “Sticktion: Assessing Memory for Customer Experience,” published in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

The abstract:

In the quest for better service design, hospitality and service firms have often been frustrated to find that service experiences that are based on what customers say they want are not always successful. A psychological analysis of this phenomenon suggests the following premises: (1) Customers’ memory of an experience fades quickly; (2) customers’ memory of an experience comprises many sub-experiences; (3) customers’ memories of experiences are multidimensional and cqx coverunintuitive; and (4) consumers cannot accurately predict what they will learn or remember. The goal of an experience design is to create a series of sub-experiences that will “stick” with the customer. This “sticktion” analysis is applied to the practical challenge of redesigning the customer experience at Pizza Hut UK. This consumer research provides a test of the four premises and an application of the underlying sticktion principles. Surveys of Pizza Hut customers found that the existing experience had its bright spots but was generally forgettable. Not only could customers not predict what they would remember about the experience, but one week after visiting the restaurant, the customers also filled in memory gaps with details that did not appear on their initial description of the visit. Even more troublesome was the fact that the invented details tended to be negative. To fill these gaps, the researchers tested specific aspects of the experience that would “stick” and included those in the new restaurant concepts. Using this approach, the chain was able to roll out new concepts that met with initial favorable results.

How Did 9/11, Financial Crisis Affect Hotel Performance?

Renáta Kosová (left) and Cathy A. Enz

Editor’s note: We are pleased to welcome Dr. Renáta Kosová and Dr. Cathy A. Enz, both of Cornell University, who published “The Terrorist Attacks of 9/11 and the Financial Crisis of 2008: The Impact of External Shocks on U.S. Hotel Performance” on September 20, 2012 in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

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The U.S. hotel industry faced two major external shocks in the decade of the ’00s—the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the financial crisis of late 2008 thought to have culminated on September 15th, the day after Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. While speculation and opinion has flourished on the impact of such shocks to the lodging industry, little attempt has been made to devise empirical models to isolate and explore the effects of these events on hotel performance. The conventional belief is that such shocks have a damaging and long-term impact on industry revenues. However, it is also possible that the impact of such shocks is overstated and hotels adjust relatively quickly, though such adjustment may vary across locations and segments. The impact of the collapse of the financial markets and the devastating events of September 11th on the lodging industry is the purpose of our study forthcoming in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

Using data from Smith Travel Research covering nearly 35,000 hotels, this study deploys a longitudinal modeling approach to assess the impact of the two shocks on hotel-performance metrics – average prices, RevPAR and occupancy. Our empirical approach not only controls for various hotel and market characteristics, such as hotel size and age, monthly seasonality, unemployment, population, and other market-specifics, but also unobserved hotel heterogeneity across hotels. Empirical models that include such controls are necessary to assure that the study captures the isolated impact of the external shocks and the duration of their impact.

The results from this study show that hotels were significantly affected by both events, but they started to recover relatively quickly, within four months of each shock. Because of the nature of the shock, the 9/11 terrorist attacks had an abrupt and dramatic impact in reducing hotels’ occupancy; average prices briefly followed occupancy downward. The effects of the financial crisis took longer to develop, but were less striking, and apparently well-handled by most hotel managers. Analyses across different segments revealed that hotels in the more complex luxury segment are the most susceptible to environmental shocks, but that the economy segment is the slowest in recovering from terrorism. Moreover, a sub-analysis focused on New York City’s hotels, which stand next to ground zero for both shocks, showed a pattern of occupancy, rates and RevPAR similar to the rest of the U.S. Overall, our study paints a picture of an industry that regained performance quickly and demonstrated its ability to successfully adapt and quickly recover from these extraordinary environmental shocks.

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Click here to read the article in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, and follow this link to receive email notifications about the latest research on hospitality management from CQ.