Feature Stories


From the Dean

The business community has been getting very excited about the possibilities of digital marketing for some time now – and it’s not difficult to see why.

The opportunities digital marketing offers to develop interactive online relationships and communities present huge potential advantages. The way it enables data to be extracted and analyzed in real time means marketing campaigns can be quickly fine-tuned. And by shortening the time between finding a product and deciding to purchase, it is changing consumer behavior, at an unprecedented pace.

In this issue of Biz@HKUST, we hear from four senior industry figures, playing leading roles in their organizations’ digital marketing strategies. They are Ms Randy Lai, CEO of McDonald’s Hong Kong, and Mr Cheong Shin Keong, General Manager of TVB. Their companies have become household names standing the test of time for more than half a century. Another two are our alumni who play key positions in two of the world’s largest tech companies in the world. They are Mr Ben Wong, Chief Marketing Officer of Google Greater China and our MBA graduate; and Mr Dennis Hua, Vice President of Tencent Music Entertainment Group and our Kellogg-HKUST EMBA graduate. Their companies are on the cutting edge of marketing.

Naturally, the Business School’s Department of Marketing is heavily engaged in this field, conducting research to advance both theoretical knowledge and real-world applications. In this edition, you can read about some recent projects and the ongoing work of the Department.

In a special interview, Professor Muthukrishnan, the Head of the Department of Marketing, and his colleague Professor Mukhopadhyay offer a perspective on changes now taking place. They explain their view of digital marketing as just one domain among many in the field of marketing. Also, digital marketing is largely informed by the same principles and patterns of human behavior and psychology as the other fields of marketing.

This edition also features a number of studies by our faculty. Professor Wang Wenbo’s research attempts to understand digital consumers from their live Tweets, Instagram photos and Google searches, and how brands can use this information to convey a relevant and engaging message to consumers. The subtle cues provided on social media platforms and business websites to prompt consumer interest are the subject of the study by Professor Koh Tat Koon.

Professor Ralf van der Lans has been examining the ways eye-tracking technology can be used by marketing professionals, for example to help them design more effective websites. Much of his research was conducted at HKUST’s modernized and expanded Behavioral Sciences Research Lab, which will be featured in this issue as well.

The studies by Professor Amy Dalton, Professor Hong Jiewen and Professor Zhou Rongrong, look into a different domain by examining how consumers make decisions unconsciously and how they process information.

The primary aim of their research and teaching, is to equip students with an in-depth knowledge and an appreciation of the fundamentals of marketing. In this way, students and the industry can thrive in whatever new environment is created by technology changes in society.

This is why our School not only offers insight, but provides a range of training and courses centered on marketing, for students, executives and would-be marketers. Our goal is to train high-quality professionals and to keep them well-informed about cutting-edge developments and the most up-to-date thinking in the field of marketing.

Professor Tam Kar Yan