Kristen Schiele, assistant professor in the Department of International Business and Marketing, presented two research papers at The Direct/Interactive Marketing Research Summit.
Schiele’s papers are entitled “How Managers Sense and Seize ‘Hyped’ Technologies: A Case of Online Consumer Reviews” and “Big Data, Big Problems: The Challenges of Big Data Ethics & Digital Privacy.”
Her first paper explored how managers used online reviews in their market strategy. She co-authored the study with Pernille Rydén from the Copenhagen Business School, and they interviewed managers in the U.S. and Europe. They discovered that across the board, even though consumers say reviews are important, managers were not utilizing review sites such as Yelp.
“It seems intuitive to me,” Schiele said. “Consumers post and look at online reviews, so here’s all this free data. As a manager, I could look there and figure out what my customer wants. But for some reason, these managers aren’t.”
After receiving interest and feedback at the conference, Schiele plans to continue the research with Rydén and examine the reasons why managers choose not to use it.
The second study focused on ethical issues with big data collection.
“Big data has been around for awhile, but we’re starting to hear more about it as more personal data is digitized,” she said.
Schiele found that third-party companies often store data and analyze it to assist companies with their market campaigns, and this brings ethical questions such as how much data can companies use to make decisions.
A good example is Fitbit, Schiele said.
“If you were applying for a life insurance policy, would it be OK for that company to look at your Fitbit data before deciding what you’re premium is?”
Another topic they explored was ownership of content created for the Internet, and the responsibilities of that ownership.
“The regulation curve is way behind the innovation curve,” Schiele said.
The conference was staged by Marketing EDGE, a national nonprofit that aims to acquaint professors and college students with the business of marketing. It was held in Boston on Oct. 3 and 4.