MEDILL AT NORTHWESTERN ANNOUNCES THE SPIEGEL DIGITAL & DATABASE RESEARCH INITIATIVE
Evanston, Ill., May 23, 2012 — Medill launched the Spiegel Digital & Database Research Initiative, a new center focused on leveraging academic research to solve marketing industry-impacting problems that will improve financial results.
Led by Executive Director Tom Collinger and Research Director Ed Malthouse, the research will partner experienced faculty researchers with leading practitioners to address marketing and communications issues with digital and database research, and to prove and validate results in the market.
This research benefits companies that might not currently devote sufficient resources to independent research and analysis of this type, as well as students at Northwestern University and the broader academic community.
The Spiegel Research Initiative was established with a generous gift from Medill Professor Emeritus Edward J. Spiegel and his wife, Audrey, and fortified by the support of corporations and alumni and friends of Medill. It will be challenged and guided by an experienced advisory board of industry leaders in the Chicago area from companies like Google, Deloitte, Narrative Science and Discover Financial Services LLC.
Malthouse, the Theodore R. and Annie Laurie Sills professor of integrated marketing communications at Medill, is leading the first set of Spiegel Research Initiatives, which focuses on the measurable impact of social media and negative word of mouth.
Malthouse’s first paper for Spiegel, written with research partner Mark Vandenbosch at the University of Western Ontario and Northwestern post-doctoral research associate Su Jung Kim, examined user-generated content in social media contests and its effects on purchase behavior. Thanks to data from an airline’s loyalty program, provided by LoyaltyOne, Malthouse’s team determined that user-generated content in social media contests does have a positive effect.
“Participation in social media increases your purchasing behavior,” Malthouse said. “No one really has proof at this point, but we have some proof. Compared to our control group, we have pretty robust findings.”
Malthouse’s paper has already been nominated for best paper at the 2012 International Conference on Research in Advertising.
“In the five years of reviewing for ICORIA, I have never seen a better paper,” wrote one blind peer reviewer. “The paper addresses an interesting practical problem while sufficiently grounded in theory, and uses very interesting real-life data to do so.”
According to Malthouse, this nomination might only be an indication of the potential future impact of research produced by the Spiegel Research Initiative.
“The Spiegel Center is a gift for us,” Malthouse said. “It’s going to enable us to get a lot of research out; it’s going to increase our presence in the business world and the impact we have and lead to much better curriculum. It’s all around a win-win.”
Visit the Spiegel Research Initiative on the Web
Medill was founded in 1921 and offers programs in journalism and integrated marketing communications. It teaches new techniques essential in today's digital world. Medill is leading the way in training a new generation of multimedia journalists and integrated marketing communications professionals. The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University is named after Joseph Medill, a newspaper man and former Mayor of Chicago.
For more information:
Tom Collinger, Executive Director, Spiegel Digital & Database Research Initiative
Michael Dizon, Senior Director, Marketing, Medill