Meeting of the Marketers

USC Marshall Hosts 39th Annual ISMS Marketing Science Conference

June 13, 2017

More than 900 marketing scholars convened at USC Marshall’s Jill and Frank Fertitta Hall June 7 for the annual ISMS Marketing Science Conference, a four-day event hosted this year by USC Marshall’s Department of Marketing.

Now in its 39th year, the conference is considered the premier event for marketing science scholars, practitioners and policy makers with a shared interest in rigorous scientific research on topics in marketing. 

“If you’re on the quantitative side, you’re here,” said Taylor Bentley, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Texas, Austin. “The only people who aren’t here had something significant already scheduled.”

Participants flew in from around the world to attend the yearly conference. Attendees greeted colleagues, old friends and mentors. The networking was robust.

“I’ll be on the job market soon,” said Hulya Karaman, a Ph.D. student at Emory University whose expertise is in online word-of mouth as it affects marketing efforts. “I couldn’t miss this.”

Beyond the mingling, receptions and the gala dinner Thursday night at the California Science Center, the conference primarily serves to showcase the latest marketing science scholarship.

“If you’re on the quantitative side, you’re here. The only people who aren’t here had something significant already scheduled.” -- Taylor Bentley, assistant professor of marketing, University of Texas, Austin.

More than 820 papers were presented in 216 sessions over 19 subject matter “channels,” including the most relevant topics in the field today: brand metrics, machine learning applications, user-generated content, social media and gaming, online auctions, digital and mobile learning, and the sharing economy.

“This conference is important because it allows you to get a grasp on all of the very latest research in a few short days,” said Daniel Shapira, professor of marketing at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. “It is intense but always very productive and worthwhile.”

On Thursday the classrooms of Fertitta Hall, normally filled with Marshall undergrads, were filled instead with marketing scholars young and old, listening to colleagues present recent research. In many classrooms it was standing-room-only.

Winning Efforts

The Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS) is an international nonprofit scientific society with 10,000 members, dedicated to applying scientific methods to help improve decision making, management and operations. ISMS stands for the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science, for which the conference is named.

In an awards ceremony Thursday, June 8, INFORMS made awards to its membership. USC Marshall Associate Professor of Marketing Dina Mayzlin and David Godes, professor of marketing and chair of the marketing department at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, won the 2017 Long-Term Impact Award. Their article, “Firm-created word-of-Mouth Communication: Evidence from a Field Test,” was published in Marketing Science in 2009.

The effort to bring the Marketing Science conference to campus was led by Gerard Tellis, director of the Center for Global Innovation, professor of marketing, management and organization, and holder of the Jerry and Nancy Neely Chair in American Enterprise.

“I am thrilled we have the opportunity to host this conference,” said Tellis. “Our vibrant city and beautiful campus offer a wonderful setting for the intellectual depth and rigor of the scholarly community we’re bringing to Los Angeles.”

Next year’s conference will be held at Temple University’s Fox Business School in Philadelphia.