New Faculty: Professor Vincent Nijs Joins Rady from Kellogg

Vincent Nijs

Vincent R. Nijs joined the Rady School in July as an assistant professor of marketing. Prior to Rady, Dr. Nijs was an assistant professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. At Kellogg, he served as the McManus Research Professor, won the Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award for outstanding teaching in an elective course and was recognized by the Marketing Science Institute as part of its Young Scholars program.

Dr. Nijs holds a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Leuven in Belgium. He won the John D. C. Little Award in 2001 and Frank M. Bass Award in 2002 for the paper “The Category Demand Effects of Price Promotions,” published in Marketing Science.

Dr. Nijs’ research focuses on the effectiveness of marketing actions. Current studies address issues such as promotion and advertising impact, competitive retaliation, category management and pass-through of trade promotions. Below is a Q&A with Professor Nijs.

Why did you become a professor?

When I got my bachelor’s degree in marketing I envisioned going into brand management upon completion of my master’s degree. But during grad school, I took classes with some of Europe’s top researchers in the field, such as Michel Wedel and Peter Leeflang, who introduced me to a quantitative approach to marketing, using models to understand markets and customers and evaluate the effectiveness of marketing actions. Their work inspired me to pursue my Ph.D.

What kind of research are you working on now?

I’m working on several research projects. For example, in a paper with Karsten Theil Hansen at Rady and Kanishka Misra at London Business School, currently under review at the Journal of Marketing Research, we investigate how suppliers are affected when Wal–Mart enters the market. In the trade press we often read that Wal-Mart squeezes supplier margins, which could result in lower profits. However, Wal-Mart�s ability to generate sales volume might also boost company profits. Using a large database containing information on over 500 Wal-Mart entries we found suppliers achieve higher profits, especially if other retailers in the same market carry products the big box store does not. This result suggests that suppliers should offer retailers a broader assortment of goods and services to support their ability to differentiate from Wal-Mart.

What kind of experience can your students expect in your class?

In class, I use a combination of case studies, lectures and hands-on data analysis. I believe the best way to really learn about marketing research is to work on actual marketing research problems — learning by doing. Students will get their hands dirty working with data to try and come up with meaningful recommendations.

I tell students that Research for Marketing Decisions is one of the most important classes they can take since I believe managers cannot make good marketing decisions without information on consumer needs and wants and the companies’ competitive strengths and weaknesses.

How does your research and teaching support the mission of the Rady School?

To be a successful innovator you have to understand your target market. If you don’t know your customers’ needs, how can you hope to satisfy them? I think the course I teach can also help students in their Lab to Market series where knowledge of customers and competitors is essential.

To learn more about Professor Nijs or other Rady faculty, visit our faculty directory.