Apr 12, 12:00 AM UTC 


Spring 2018 Board of Trustees Meeting: The Why Behind the Buy


The Spring Board of Trustees meeting will focus on how and why customers decide to buy—and how B2B and B2C firms can manage this process. Leading academic and business executives will address questions such as:

  • How can customers be influenced along the decision journey, and where, when and why do they buy?
  • What is the role of the marketing mix? Social influence?
  • How can technology-assisted interactions help you be at the right place at the right time, with the right product or service?
  • What models and data are needed to get a complete view of the customer’s decision making?

MSI’s semi-annual Board of Trustees meetings are a unique benefit of MSI membership. For many Trustees, these are “must-attend” events—a welcome opportunity to recharge, connect with marketing peers, and take in new ideas and marketing insights. Board of Trustees meetings are developed around broad themes that are relevant across industries and company roles. Trustees meetings are “sales free” events where top marketers and academic experts share their knowledge, experience, and insights, and attendees benefit from a rich learning and networking experience. As one Trustee said: “You always walk out with some big ideas.” Trustees meetings are open only to Trustees from MSI member companies or their designates. You must be logged in to register.

If you are attending as a Trustee’s representative, please send the name of person you are representing to kate@msi.org.

Agenda Description

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Registration & Networking Breakfast
9:00 – 9:30 Welcome Remarks
Cheryl Toto, President and CEO, Marketing Science Institute
Carl F. Mela, Duke University and Executive Director, Marketing Science Institute
9:30 – 10:00 Mad Men, Mad Scientists
Joy Howard, Chief Marketing Officer, Sonos
Innovation in data science has had a profound effect on the creative process. It has altered the craft and path of creative development, as well as deepened our understanding of who engages with our brand and ultimately buys our products. At its best, data science validates creative strategy, offers the spark of truth from which great ideas flow, informs the fine-tuning of creativity as it lives in the wild, and amplifies the impact it will have via improved targeting. But it can just as easily be a limiting factor, compromising bold creative and leading to uninspired creative-by-numbers, that seeks to game data. In a world in which we have become accustomed to real-time quantitative feedback on our creativity, how do we continue to find the courage to take the imaginative leaps and risks that are the hallmarks of great creative work?
10:00 – 10:30 Why Digital Goods Are Valued Less Than Physical Goods
Carey K. Morewedge, Boston University
Digital goods are, in many cases, substantive innovations relative to their physical counterparts. They are easily acquired and shared, are impervious to damage, and you can carry thousands in a single pocket-sized device. Yet, Carey Morewedge and his colleague find in a series of experiments that people ascribe less value to digital than physical versions of the same good. The very feature that imbues digital goods with their unique abilities—their immateriality—also impairs the development of a sense of ownership for them. As a result, digital goods do not benefit from the same value-enhancing effects of psychological ownership that benefit physical goods. He will explain how value is lost through digitization, and discuss how you can recapture it through a variety of marketing strategies.
10:30 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 11:30 Nominations to the Board of Trustees
11:30 – 12:00 p.m. Deposits Path to Purchase – Not as Deliberate as We Believed It to Be
Paolo von Nuremberg, Senior Vice President Brand and Advertising Market Research, Bank of America
What drives consumers’ choice of checking account provider? Research shows that choice is driven by low barriers to switching, adoption of mobile and online channels, and willingness to maintain multiple accounts, as well as negative press, word of mouth and personal experience. Bank of America launched a research initiative to understand the diversity of choice models and moments that matter in customers’ search for a new checking account provider. Our point of view was that marketing and sales processes assume a single dominant process (the funnel) and may miss business opportunities suggested by alternative models and journeys. The results provided a detailed view of friction points and opportunities, highlighting the benefits and utility gained by understanding alternative purchase journeys. These findings suggest that one size does not fit all choice model processes and that marketing needs to satisfy both compensatory and non-compensatory approaches used by customers for the same product and service. By measuring how different people navigate decision models on the same journey, marketers can consider segmenting by expected decision process of the prospect to increase marketing effectiveness.
12:00 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 1:45 Upcoming Events & Initiatives
1:45 – 2:15 The Role of Emotional Nudges to Enhance Individual Responsibility for Health and Saving Decisions
Punam A. Keller, Dartmouth College
Our inability or reluctance to make very important and inevitable financial and health decisions is shocking, especially when no one else can make such decisions for us. Conventional wisdom blames this on a lack of awareness and literacy. However, recent research by professor Punam Keller indicates that our emotions are the real culprits. In this lively and humorous presentation, Keller will share “Declining Financial Incentives” (DFI) and “Enhanced Active Choice” (EAC), tools she developed that can be used steer people who procrastinate, or who have made poor choices, in beneficial directions. Learn how DFI EAC can be used to enhance enrollment and engagement.
2:15 – 2:35 Announcement of New Research Priorities
Carl Mela, Duke University and Executive Director, Marketing Science Institute
2:35 – 3:15 Group Breakout Discussion
3:15 – 3:45 Break
3:45 – 4:15 Using Artificial Intelligence When Customers Decide to Buy
Joe Fuster, Head of Customer Experience Cloud, Oracle Corporation
In his talk, Joe Fuster will look at the triggers that B2B and B2C firms can manage in the buying process. He’ll discuss the models and data needed to influence and inform the customer, and address the role of advertising, marketing and social influence. In his presentation he’ll look at how technology can assist interactions, helping marketers determine the right time, right place, and right price to influence the customers’ decision process.
4:15 – 4:45 Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence
Avi Goldfarb, University of Toronto
Artificial Intelligence does the seemingly impossible, magically bringing machines to life – driving cars, trading stocks, and teaching children. But facing the sea change that AI will bring can be paralyzing. How should companies set strategies for a world so different from what we know? In the face of such uncertainty, many analysts either cower in fear or predict an impossibly sunny future. We recast the rise of AI as a drop in the cost of prediction, lifting the curtain on the AI-is-magic hype. The impact of AI will be profound, but the economic framework for understanding it is surprisingly simple.
4:45 – 5:00 Reflections on the Day
5:15 – 6:00 New Trustees Orientation Session
For new Trustees, anyone new to MSI, and Trustees who want to learn more about how to help colleagues make the most of their MSI membership
6:00 – 7:00 Networking Reception
7:00 Dinner
8:00 – 8:45 a.m. Breakfast
8:45 – 9:00 Opening Remarks
Cheryl Cramer Toto, President & CEO, Marketing Science Institute
9:00 – 9:30 MSI Awards
Carl F. Mela, Duke University and Executive Director, Marketing Science Institute
9:30 – 10:00 What Can We Learn About Consumers from Their Online Search Queries?
Olivier Toubia, Columbia University
Olivier Toubia will present research that attempts to understand and quantify the link between consumers’ preferences and the queries they submit to online search engines. It is essential to be able to correctly infer consumers’ preferences based on their search queries, both for search engines and for the firms that use search engines to promote their content and products. More generally, every minute more than 3 million queries are typed on Google. Each of these queries is an expression of a consumer’s preferences, which they tend to provide voluntarily and truthfully. Therefore, online search engines have the potential to be a great source of consumer insights.
10:00 – 10:30 Brand Fans: Brand Attack and Defense on Social Media
Koen Pauwels, Northeastern University
Koen Pauwels will present his research in the social media domain, with a focus on what marketers should be listening for and how they can take action based on that information. Specifically, he shows how brand fans engage with the rival brand’s online ecosystem, and how this battle of the brand fans is both triggered by marketing action and drives consumer engagement.
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:15 The Edges of Influence: When Online Scarcity Backfires
Cait Lamberton, University of Pittsburgh
Scarcity is one of Cialdini’s most time-honored and consistently-used principles of influence. In its newer manifestations, it appears in the form of exploding deals and time-limited offers in online environments, widely-recommended by digital marketing gurus as a way to motivate purchase. However, in this research, we find that this robust tool does not always operate in ways that help retailers. In fact, we repeatedly observe cases when time-based scarcity may depress willingness-to-pay for time-limited products. These findings offer both a prompt to develop a richer theory of online scarcity effects and call into question the fluidity with which we should assume that offline promotional tactics will work in the online world, calling for researcher-firm collaboration in the construction of more dynamic, meaningful frameworks.
11:15 – 11:45 Shut Up and Listen to Me
Frank M. Grillo, Chief Marketing Officer, Harte Hanks
Forrester says we are in the age of the customer, and ironically, marketers are the farthest from serving the needs of the customer. The language we use internally describes an enemy combatant versus a person we are trying to help solve a problem; we pull a list of target customers, and execute a campaign to sell them our products. We fail to stop and simply ask the question “How may I help you?” The technology available to us today allows us to actively listen to the digital conversations our customers are having with us. It’s time we start seeing customers in the digital world as the humans they really are; treat them that way; earn their trust by paying attention to what they want and need; and engage them in the conversations they want to have.
11:45 – 12:00 Wrap up & Concluding Remarks
Cheryl Cramer Toto, President & CEO, Marketing Science Institute
Carl Mela, Duke Univeristy and Executive Director, Marketing Science Institute

Hotel Accomodations

Taj Boston HotelRooms are available at The Taj at the group rate of $299 per night for a King room. You may reserve your room by contacting the hotel’s Reservations Team by phone at 1-877-482-5267 and referencing the MSI Board of Trustees room block. You can also reserve online here.

Rooms will be available at the group rate until March 27th, so please make your reservations as soon as possible!

Taj Boston
15 Arlington St
Boston, MA 02116

By using MSI.org you agree to our use of cookies as identifiers and for other features of the site as described in our Privacy Policy.