Associate Professor Kenneth Wilbur Receives Prestigious John D.C. Little Marketing Award

Kenneth Wilbur

Rady School Associate Professor of Marketing, Kenneth Wilbur, has received the John D.C. Little Award from the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). The John D.C. Little Award, awarded annually to the best paper published in Marketing Science or Management Science, is one of the most prestigious awards in the field of marketing science.

Wilbur and his co-authors, Mingyu Joo (Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business), Bo Cowgill (Columbia University, Columbia Business School) and Yi Zhu (University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management), won the award for their paper "Television Advertising and Online Search," which was published in the January 2014 edition of Management Science.

"I never thought my research would win anything like the John D.C. Little Award," Wilbur said. "I was thrilled just to be nominated. The outcome was a huge surprise and a huge honor."

The winning paper studied the connection between television advertising and online search, showing that marketers should balance top-of-funnel advertising (like TV) with lower funnel marketing channels (like Google). Assuming each channel operates independently could lead marketers to spend too much money on search and too little on TV.

"This was among the first research showing that TV ads influence the keywords that consumers use to search for product information," Wilbur explained. "In mature categories, the major effect of TV advertising is to increase the share of queries that include branded keywords [like Charles Schwabb or Fidelity] as opposed to generic keywords [like retirement]. When we first undertook this research project five years ago, it was a legitimate question whether TV ads for established brands would lead people to search, but this has quickly become a consensus supported by multiple papers. My guess is that these effects are only growing larger as more people use smartphones and tablets to multitask during TV programs."

The Rady School's MBA program is currently ranked 1st in the United States in Intellectual Capital by Bloomberg Businessweek, which is a quality measure of faculty research.

"The Businessweek ranking demonstrates the monumental strides that the Rady School has made on the national stage in the 11 years since its inception," said Rady School Dean Robert S. Sullivan. "It is an acknowledgment by students of the quality academics and career development, as well as recognition by recruiters of being a top MBA program.  Additionally, the school's first place ranking in intellectual capital is a direct consequence of the Rady School's successes in recruiting world class faculty."

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