Marketing Professor and Business Students Play Detective Role in Market Research

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Dr. Andrew Cudmore

by Dr. Annie Becker, Dean of the College of Business

Dr. Andrew Cudmore, Associate Professor of Marketing in the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business at Florida Tech, actively involves his students in research so they can apply skills learned in the classroom to a real-life setting.  Dr. Cudmore explains, “In my class, students get to exercise their persuasive writing skills and experience both the rigor and fun of doing research.  They are motivated by the opportunity to be published, and they have something unique to put on their resume and to talk about in interviews.  Of course earning a little bit of money helps too!”

Students want to know “fun” aspects of doing research. What can you share with us?

“Doing research is like being Sherlock Holmes. The first thing is to find an interesting research problem.  Then, explore it, find the holes in the research literature, and deduce an opportunity for solving the problem.  When you do so, it is very exciting!  When your name appears on a publication  – you want more.”

We asked Dr. Cudmore to share his insights in doing research in consumer attitudes towards healthcare Web sites.

Why is it important to study consumer behavior on healthcare Web sites?

Websites are interactive tools – we need to understand how consumers view these tools.  Then,  we can learn how best to design them.”

What inspired you to conduct research In this area?

“Our first impression is that commercial healthcare sites, such as WebMD.com, seemed to produce more user-friendly Web sites than hospital-based ones.  This is a generalization, of course, as there are award winning hospital-based Web sites. “
In addition, we wanted to know what works for the consumer in terms of predictors (aspects) of a Web site that influence consumer attitudes and affect usage.”

What did your research tell you about potential barriers in the use of healthcare Web sites?

“The attributes, overall quality and ease-of-use, were found to be significant predictors of consumer attitude towards a Website.  This gives us direction in determining potential barriers or sources of success in Website design.  The next step is to remove these barriers so anyone can access these Websites.”

Check out Dr. Cudmore’s Journal Publication:  B. Andrew Cudmore, Paula E. Bobrowski, Tinatin Kiguradze, (2011) “Encouraging consumer searching behavior on healthcare web sites”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 28 Iss: 4, pp.290 – 299.

Dr. Alex Vamosi
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About Author

Dr. S. Ann Becker is the dean of the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business at Florida Tech with oversight of the Center for Entrepreneurship and New Business Development. She has served the college as both associate dean of research and academic chair for online CIS and MBA business degree programs. Dr. Becker has twenty plus years of academic experience with over 100 publications. She has held tenured positions at Northern Arizona University and American University, Washington D.C. Dr. Becker has an MBA from St. Cloud State University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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