The field of marketing is ever-evolving, with new and innovative insights constantly being discovered from the intersection of academia and real-life business cases. So, after the very successful data edition of the Erasmus Thesis Awards, MAEUR was proud to present the “Erasmus Thesis Awards - Impactful Marketing” on the 29th of November, 2023. Four recent graduates with exceptional marketing-oriented theses were selected to present their research in front of a jury and audience. The winner was awarded a 500€ cash prize.
The expert jury
The jury consisted of a selection of professionals as well as professors within the marketing field. In attendance were Duncan van Dijk from OrangeValley, Anneloes Meijers from Digital Inside, Fiona Dewaele from FEAGLE, Xi Chen from RSM, and Martijn de Jong from ESE. Half of the talented graduates hailed from the Marketing Management program at RSM and the other half from the Marketing program at ESE. Their pitches were judged on business potential & social impact, methodology, and naturally the quality of their presentations.
The opening pitch was held by Anna Khandkaryan, who investigated the effect of physical and societal attractiveness of influencers on consumer intention and product attribute, additionally investigating the mediating role of authenticity and perceived expertise. Anna found that both physical and social attractiveness do have an effect on product attitude and purchase intention and elaborated on what this means for businesses seeking influencer collaborations.
The second pitch of the evening was presented by Larissa van Boxen, who investigated the use of text analytics to identify engagement enhancing tweet characteristics for environmental NPOs. The primary aim of her research was to identify tweet characteristics that can positively impact engagement and develop effective communication methods for the social media platforms of NPOs. Through her research, she identified key patterns and characteristics that could help NPOs spread their message.
This was followed by a pitch by Juliette Groote Wortman, who examined the bounds of algorithm aversion in healthcare and aimed to answer the question: does having a stigmatized disease result in preference for an artificial intelligence doctor? Her results indicated that individuals preferred a human doctor over artificial intelligence, with a stronger preference when it comes to stigmatizing diseases.
The final pitch of the night was held by Lisa Hofmann, who investigated Metaverse retailing and what factors are vital for the effective uptake of such an innovation. Additionally, she investigated the moderating effects of trust towards the company Meta and customer innovativeness. Results showed a direct effect of all independent variables except for trialability and no significant moderation effects.
And the winner is
While the jury gathered to discuss the winner, the four nominees answered questions about the thesis writing process from students in the audience. After an in-depth discussion, Larissa van Boxem was the one to win the jury over. The jury praised all the efforts that the talented graduates put into their work and proceeded to hand over the 500€ cash prize to Larissa.
The evening ended with a networking drink, where the participants, jury, and audience all came together to discuss the event. Yet again, the Erasmus Thesis Awards was able to shine a light on young talent who are continuously developing and building up the ever-changing field of marketing. We hope that this event inspired students who are still ahead of their masters thesis and look forward to hearing what this year’s students will achieve!