Home » Interviews » Talking with … Marina Carnevale

Talking with … Marina Carnevale

Interviews | Jan 25, 2019 |

Marina CarnevaleEach “Talking with…” feature helps you get to know a different Gabelli School faculty member, administrator, or staff member. This week, find out more more about Marina Carnevale, assistant professor of marketing.

Which industries have you worked in before academia?
I worked in consumer goods and publishing. I also consulted as an analyst for a medical insurance company during my years as a PhD candidate.

Are there any similarities between the corporate and academic worlds that surprised you?
With teaching, I would say that the immediateness of results is very similar to the corporate world. If you do a good job, the market responds immediately, and similarly your audience is engaged and responsive. At the same time, similarly to research, it takes hard work and long-term dedication to see significant results—for example, when managing a brand or a whole business.

Can you describe a familiar example of how language is used in marketing?
Thinking of advertising, one clear example in which language and marketing interact is when targeting bilingual consumers: the language used in the advertising message will activate different mental frames, such that the way message-receivers process information—and how they react to it—will vary.

Does the prevalence of online platforms shift the way marketers need to think about language?
The importance of investigating how individuals process language is highlighted by the role played by social and digital media in supporting direct and immediate communications with and among consumers. This is even more important when you think that digital and social media are inherently global and provide a communication forum in which responses must be provided quickly. Therefore, brand managers must now pay attention to providing an adequate voice for the organization and its brands in the digital world, a voice based on a very clear brand and organizational identity.

On top of that, the modern marketplace sometimes requires that consumers use auditorily presented information in a visual manner. For example, consumers looking to buy a brand online that they learned about via word-of-mouth would have to discern how to spell the name based on the sounds that they previously heard. In one of my research projects, my co-authors and I show that how a brand name is spelled will influence whether consumers remember it at the store or when they are searching for it online.

What is one thing about consumer behavior everyday consumers could benefit from knowing?
Many times consumers are”irrational” when making purchase decisions—for example, they make suboptimal choices or pick a product that is not the best alternative for their well-being. As Dan Ariely suggests, however, they are also often “predictably irrational.” For example, when in a bad mood we tend to indulge more or make poor decisions, such as choosing a chocolate cake instead of a fruit salad, so it might be a good idea for consumers not to do grocery shopping when in such a state.


Fun questions

Jazz or opera:
Opera, especially when you have the Met at your disposal.

How do you pass the time on a Ram Van?
Over the years, I have learned to use it as “me” time, either listening to audio books or even meditating.

Best pizza in New York:
PizzArte, in Midtown

Best pizza in Italy:
Anywhere in Napoli!

Favorite place to walk or run in Manhattan:
Central Park

Would you rather build a snowman or go sledding?
I’d go sledding and sight-seeing while doing so.


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