Focus on marketing science at 103rd Dies Natalis
On Tuesday 8 November 2016 Erasmus University Rotterdam celebrated its 103rd Dies Natalis. The theme of this year's event was ‘Consumer Behaviour in the Digital Economy’. The strong research discipline marketing science took central stage which was expressed by presenting honorary doctorates to two prominent American researchers in this field, Dan Ariely on behalf of Rotterdam School of Management and John Hauser on behalf of Erasmus School of Economics.
John Hauser, Kirin Professor of Marketing at M.I.T.'s Sloan School of Management, received an honorary doctorate because of his contributions to marketing research and the key part he has played in the consolidation of marketing science as a science discipline. Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics at Duke University, was awarded a doctorate because of the impact and valorisation of the outcomes of his innovative research in the field of ‘consumer decision making’.
In his speech, John Hauser discussed the development of marketing science, from the first use of statistics to digitisation. According to Hauser, the next step will be ‘machine learning’, i.e., getting an exact idea of what individual consumers want on the basis of all sorts of data. “The new frontier combines machines and humans to get the clearest possible picture of what consumers want in new products.”
Dan Ariely’s speech focused on human behavior and irrationality. According to him, a consumer is not a ‘homo economicus’ who always makes perfect decisions. “People behave irrationally. That offers room for improvement.” People can be encouraged to change their behavior by making things explicitly visible, Ariely said.
During the celebrations in the auditorium, Ms. Neelie Kroes, Chair of the Public Policy Advisory Board of Uber and alumna of Erasmus School of Economics, gave a guest speech on the opportunities that digitization (the fourth Industrial Revolution) offers to connect people with each other.