Richard Lutz and Tim Halloran

Professors honored with Journal of Interactive Marketing award

Peter S. Sealey PhD Professor of Marketing Richard Lutz and Georgia Tech’s Tim Halloran (DBA ‘18) were recently presented with the 2021 Journal of Interactive Marketing Best Paper award. The award is given to an article that has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the practice of marketing.

“Quite frankly, I was surprised that we were even considered, much less won,” said Halloran. “It was very rewarding knowing how much work had gone into this and I have a lot of people to thank, starting with Richard Lutz.”

In their article “Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About: Which Social Media Engagements Predict Purchase Frequency?,” Lutz and Halloran explored purchasing trends in relation to social network advertising. 

“We partnered with a well-known fast casual restaurant with a strong loyalty program and large presence on Facebook,” said Halloran. “We matched individuals in the loyalty program with their brand engagement on Facebook over a period of time and watched how that impacted their purchase frequency.”

Among all the social media interactions available to a potential customer, research found that one form of brand interaction stood above the rest. 

“Likes didn’t move visits at all in our study,” Halloran explained. “The biggest driver was if someone took the time to write a comment. Not surprisingly, comments that were deemed to be positive predicted increased visits and those that were deemed to be negative predicted decreased visits.”

As detailed in the paper, the landscape of branding has shifted dramatically. 

“The days of brands ‘shouting from the mountain top’ to get consumer attention are long gone,” said Halloran. “The brands that will continue to grow their relationships with consumers will be the ones that get consumers to engage, and there are right and wrong ways to get consumers to engage.”

In 2018, Halloran earned his Doctor of Business Administration degree from the Warrington DBA program, a program that aims to integrate the theory and practice of business with the context of current issues faced by the business world.

Lutz noted, “I have chaired more than two dozen PhD dissertations over my career, but Tim’s was my first DBA dissertation. It was very rewarding to see Tim’s hard work come to fruition as a refereed journal article.”

“We are really proud of Tim and Rich for having won this award,” said Hyatt and Cici Brown Chair in Business and Chairperson of Warrington DBA program Philip Podsakoff. “The Journal of Interactive Marketing is a peer-reviewed journal. It has reviewers on the editorial board from some of the most well respected universities around the world such as Harvard, NYU, UC Berkeley and London Business School. So, the fact that the article by Tim and Rich was not only accepted for publication by the journal but was the award winner is quite the accomplishment.”

The UF DBA program helps candidates develop proficiency in applied research by improving their methodological and analytical skills while working alongside Warrington faculty, some of whom rank among the top scientists in the world

“Our DBA program is unique among other programs because we place a lot of focus on applied research. About 40% of our program focuses on methodological or quantitative courses designed to improve research skills. With this knowledge, graduates from our DBA program are able to work on real-world problems that have real-world implications.”

In addition to his DBA from UF Warrington, Halloran earned his bachelor’s in business administration and accounting from Washington and Lee University and his master’s in marketing research from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business. 

Richard J. Lutz is a professor and chair of the marketing department for UF Warrington, teaching an undergraduate principles of marketing course and an MBA course on the management of brand equity. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in marketing from the University of Illinois.