Marketing Academic Research Colloquium

The 8th Annual Marketing Academic Research Colloquium will be held May 23-24, 2018 at The Smeal College of Business, hosted by the Department of Marketing. Site includes: lodging information, conference itinerary, etc.


The Smeal College of Business, Department of Marketing is pleased to invite you to the eighth annual Marketing Academic Research Colloquium (MARC)!

For the eighth year in a row, world class marketing scholars from the Joseph M. Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, and Smeal College of Business at the Pennsylvania State University, come together to strengthen their relationships and discuss cutting edge research.

  • When: May 23-24, 2018

Schedule of Events

Date Time Event Location

Wednesday, May 23




4:00-5:30 PM

Ph.D. Consortium

Nittany Lion Inn - Alumni Lounge

5:30-7:30 PM

Welcome Reception with Ph.D. Posters

Nittany Lion Inn - Alumni Lounge

6:15 PM

Hans Baumgartner, Department Chair

Opening Remarks

Nittany Lion Inn - Alumni Lounge

6:45-7:30 PM

Ph.D. Student Poster Presentations

Students please report to your poster                             

Nittany Lion Inn - Alumni Lounge

Date Time Event Location

Thursday, May 24












7:45 AM

Meet in Lobby to be Guided by Ph.D. Students
Nittany Lion Inn to Business Building

8:00-8:30 AM

Breakfast Buffet

124 Business Building

8:30-8:45 AM

Russell Barton, Senior Associate Dean

Opening Remarks

124 Business Building

8:45-9:45 AM

Yogesh Joshi, University of Maryland

Word of Mouth's Impact on Advertising Strategies

Abstract: Every year, firms spend significant amounts of money on advertising their new products and services with the intent of influencing consumers favorably towards their offerings. However, along with advertising, information gained via word of mouth also plays an important role in shaping consumer expectations about a firm's offerings. In many instances, word of mouth shared between consumers is affected by under-reporting (i.e., not all consumers share their experiences) or biases such as negativity (i.e., negative experiences are communicated more widely than positive ones). Our research analyzes the impact of such word of mouth behaviors on a firm's advertising strategy. We ask the question: Should a firm advertise more or less aggressively in the presence of word of mouth? Further, how should its strategy change in response to observed distinct patterns of sharing experiences among consumers? We have three main findings: (i) while intuitively word of mouth is often viewed as a substitute for advertising, the sheer availability of word of mouth information can make a firm more aggressive in its advertising spending; (ii) as under-reporting in word of mouth increases, a firm may be better served by dialing back its advertising spend; and (iii) as negativity in word of mouth increases, it can be optimal to respond aggressively by increasing advertising spending.

124 Business Building

9:45-10:15 AM



10:15-11:15 AM

Eugenia Wu, University of Pittsburgh

Wine for the Table: Group Size, Self-Construal and Choice on Behalf of Self and Others

Abstract: This research examines how consumers make decisions on behalf of the self and multiple others, without participation from those others, in situations where the chosen option will be shared and consumed jointly by the group—for instance, choosing wine for the table. Results across six studies using three different choice contexts (wine, books, and movies) demonstrate that such choices are shaped by the size of the group being chosen for (large versus small) and by the decision-maker’s self-construal (independent versus interdependent). Specifically, when choosing for a small group, both independent and interdependent consumers make choices that account for the preferences of the group, balancing self and other preferences. However, when choosing for a large group, while interdependent consumers continue to make choices that account for their own and others’ preferences, independent consumers instead make choices that primarily reflect their own preferences. Using mediation and moderation, the data show that differential attention to others underlies the relationship between group size and self-construal in predicting joint consumption choices made for the self and multiple others.

124 Business Building

11:15-12:15 PM

Lalin Anik, University of Virginia

One of a Kind: Our Selfish Preferences for Unique Kindness and Its Consequences for Resource Allocation

Abstract: We prefer kind people, people who are kind to us, and people who treat us uniquely positively. While these three preferences are all supported by previous work, clearly, they are at odds with each other; an individual cannot fulfill all three preferences at one time. In the present work, we investigate this apparent incongruity. Through five studies, we explore the degree to which the preferences for individuals who are generally kind, individuals who are kind to us, and individuals who treat us uniquely hold when pitted against one another. First, we look at if any of these preferences dominates the others and how these preferences interact with one another (Study 1). We then test these findings in a field experiment with romantic couples in order to understand how this preference manifests itself in romantic partnerships and how this relates to relationship satisfaction (Study 2). Next, we extend our exploration into two real-world settings – workplace and marketplace – to explore the consequences of these interpersonal preferences for resource allocation (Studies 3 and 4). Finally, we examine a boundary condition: whether if this preference for unique kindness holds up when people are directly exposed to those who receive worse treatment as a result of their being treated uniquely kindly (Study 5).

124 Business Building

12:15-1:30 PM

Lunch Buffet

217 Business Building

1:00-1:20 PM

Optional Walk to Arboretum


1:30-2:30 PM

Andrew Petersen, Penn State University

Polygamous Loyalty: How Customers Make Redemption and Purchase Decisions in a Multi-Goal, Multi-Firm Setting?

The goal of loyalty programs is to keep customers engaged with a firm. Loyalty programs are based on the premise that rewards will motivate customers to continue transacting with the focal firm and reduce transaction with competing firms. But, customers are typically not 100% loyal to one firm and are members of loyalty programs and make purchases across competing firms. This behavior is often referred to as polygamous loyalty. In this paper we investigate how customers make loyalty program redemption and purchase decisions in a multi-goal, multi-firm setting. Specifically, we test 4 behavioral mechanisms we term: (1) the opportunity cost of redemption in a multi-goal setting; (2) higher goal activation; (3) effort-balancing; and (4) cross-firm reward behavior. We empirically test these behavioral mechanisms using data from a loyalty program management app which allows customers to view and manage their loyalty points across competing firms with independent loyalty programs. We find that as the opportunity cost of redemption increases, the customer is less likely to redeem a reward they have already qualified for, higher goal activation (merely qualifying for a higher level reward) decreases a customer’s interpurchase time and increases their spending, effort-balancing leads a customer to increase their interpurchase time at the focal firm (although this issue is mitigated as the reward size gets larger), and recent reward redemptions at other firms lead to increases in interpurchase times at the focal firm. These findings have significant implications to how firms design their loyalty programs to maximize customer loyalty. Specifically, our findings suggest that firms should focus on decreasing the opportunity cost of redemption, encouraging the redemption of larger rewards to mitigate effort-balancing, increasing the point pressure on customers immediately post reward redemption, and increasing the point collection rate for customers post-redemption.

124 Business Building

2:30-3:00 PM



3:00-4:00 PM

Luc Wathieu, Georgetown University

The Value of Inactionable Information

Abstract: The value of inactionable information should be zero, but anecdotal evidence suggests it is not. We propose and test a simple behavioral theory that suggests that inactionable information can have positive value, particularly in relation to low probability/high stakes risks.

124 Business Building

4:00-4:10 PM

Karen Winterich, MARC Committee Chair

Closing Remarks

124 Business Building

Lodging - The Nittany Lion Inn

Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-233-7505 and referencing Group Code SMEA18B or by going to A limited number of rooms have been blocked off at a rate of $124/night. This rate is available until April 23, 2018 or the room block sells out so we encourage you to reserve your room early.

On Campus Parking

If you are staying at The Nittany Lion Inn, you can park in the Nittany Parking Deck as part of your hotel stay. Parking is complimentary but you must have your ticket stub stamped at the Front Desk every time you come & go. It is .60 mile walk (10-12 minutes) to Smeal Business Building from the Nittany Lion Inn. If you are not staying at the Nittany Lion Inn or prefer to drive to the Smeal Business Building, the East Parking Deck is closest to the Smeal Business Building.

Restaurant Suggestions

Excited to experience the delicious dining choices State College has to offer? After the Opening Reception and Ph.D. Poster Session ends at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday or after the Closing Remarks on Thursday, you can take a look at the restaurant and bar list and follow your tingling taste buds to the establishment of your choice.

Area Attractions

If you plan on staying for a few hours after the colloquium or for the rest of the weekend, here are some places to visit around campus and town.


Please contact Steph Ironside, Department of Marketing Administrative Support Coordinator, at (814) 863-2393 or