Marketing professor’s award-winning month 

Professor Harald van Heerde is Australasia's highest ranked marketing researcher.

Professor Harald van Heerde with co-author 
Associate Professor Berk Ataman 


For the second time in a month, Massey Business School’s Professor Harald van Heerde has been recognised for producing research with long-term impact. The world-renowned marketing researcher received the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science Long Term Impact Award at last week’s Marketing Science Conference.

The award recognises the importance and impact of his 2008 paper Building Brands, which he co-authored with Associate Professor Berk Ataman (Koç University) and Professor Carl Mela (Duke University).

The INFORMS Award is given annually to a marketing paper published between five and 10 years ago in Marketing Science or Management Science, which is deemed to have made a significant, long-term impact on the field of marketing.

The paper analysed the most effective marketing strategies for introducing new brands. It highlighted the importance of investing in distribution channels and product innovation as this led to a greater increase in sales for new brands than discounting, displays, or advertising.

The prize comes hot on the heels of another prestigious award – the Jan-Benedict EM Steenkamp Award, which Professor van Heerde received at the European Marketing Academy Conference two weeks earlier. 

Along with co-authors Professor Tammo Bijmolt (University of Groningen), Professor Jorna Leenheer (Avans University of Applied Sciences) and Professor Ale Smidts (Erasmus University), Professor van Heerde was recognised for the long-term impact of his paper Do loyalty programmes really enhance behavioural loyalty?, which was first published in 2007.

To be eligible for the award, a paper must have been published at least 10 years ago in the academy’s A* ranked journal, International Journal of Research in Marketing, and demonstrate long-term impact on the field of marketing research. The judging process includes a competitive assessment of the paper’s level of citation and a critical retrospective evaluation by a panel of senior scholars.

Professor van Heerde says he is “over the moon” about both awards.

“It’s nice to be able to represent Massey on the international stage and be part of a culture where success is celebrated,” he says.

He was particularly pleased with the jury report for the Jan-Benedict EM Steenkamp Award, he says.

“It said the paper was the unanimous choice by the committee for the combination of the importance of the problem examined, the creativity of the modelling, the combination of several interesting datasets, and the impact the work has had on other marketing scholars.”

The research paper addressed one of issues that marketers had wanted to quantify for many years – whether loyalty programmes really enhanced loyalty to a company, or whether customers who are already loyal become members to benefit from the programme.

“The most important result was the finding that, while membership in a loyalty programme does affect how much consumers spend at a retailer, the magnitude of the effect is seven times less than if you simplistically compared loyalty programme members and non-members,” he says. 

Dean of the Massey Business School, Professor Ted Zorn, says the school is proud of his achievements. 

“Harald came to Massey with a big reputation for his research and has become an important part of the school. We're lucky to have someone like him, who is not only a world-class researcher, but a good teacher and good citizen as well,” he says. 

“Harald makes an invaluable contribution to cutting-edge programme development, teaching and mentoring students and colleagues."

Professor van Heerde is ranked amongst the world’s top 10 marketing researchers by the American Marketing Association and also holds the MSA Charitable Trust Chair in Marketing. nunc.

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