Most people do not have much insight on what college business professors do other than teach courses. However, at leading colleges and universities, in addition to teaching, professors also engage in business research. But what exactly does that entail?
Well, here is a story from Knowledge @ Wharton that offers some insight on the type of research professors carry out. In particular, the research explained deals with testing the effectiveness of an increasingly powerful method of promotion called word-of-mouth marketing. As we note, in the Types of Promotion tutorial, word-of-mouth is becoming an effective form of promotion because, with this method, people communicate directly with others. For example, word-of-mouth promotion can take place via social media, online comments and even product advocates, who circulate at retail outlets. This, of course, is much different than non-personal promotion, such as television advertising, where personal relationships are usually not a key element of the message.
The story discusses the methods these academics utilized to conduct research to measure the effectiveness of word-of-mouth promotion. Particularly interesting is the conclusions they draw for how the effectiveness of word-of-mouth may vary depending on the type of product and the type of word-of-mouth method used.
Image by Paull Young