Michigan Ross School of Business
Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication

Research Programs & Priorities

Research Programs and Priorities

The emerging study field of persuasive communications encompasses many media and many topics. We are particularly interested in new media at the Yaffe Center, as advertising dollars shift away from traditional media into newer forms. Last year, we launched an initiative to define these new media forms and explore how they work.


New Media Initiative

We’re seeing an explosion of new-media models in advertising: Branded content in television programming and movies, product placement and advertainment, among others. Our initiative will help tame the flood of new information and create a better understanding of the media frontier.

Center Co-Directors Rajeev Batra and Tim O'Day are currently working on "Independent Study Projects" on this broad topic with Ross School undergraduates and MBA students. Topics of these projects are:

"Use of Social Networking Sites by Marketers"

"Creating and Leveraging Viral Marketing Online and Offline"

"Blogging and Other User-Generated Content"

Once completed, their reports will provide materials that may someday help shape the content of Ross School course modules on this topic.

The Center is also bringing leading practitioners and experts on this topic to campus to speak to students and faculty. The first of these talks was presented by Mr. James Yaffe, Managing Partner of Endeavor Marketing of Los Angeles.

For practitioners, The Yaffe Center offers research on the trends in marketing in the new-media age. We have developed a broad-based report on budgeting and resource allocation for marketers.

> More About The New Media Initiative


“Measuring and Allocating Marcom Budgets: Seven Expert Points of View”

A Joint Report of the Marketing Science Institute and the University of Michigan Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication.

This special report outlines the views of seven marketing communication experts responding to the question: “How should companies think through the challenge of how to use marketing communication resources most effectively?”

Experts included

The question of how companies can better allocate their marketing communication dollars across many different media forms is a very complicated one. Readers looking for a simple, canned solution to this collection of points of view will be disappointed. However, this publication looks at thought-provoking discussions on such questions as:

  • What measures of marcom effectiveness should we employ in the first place?
  • Through what technical methodology should we then attempt to measure, analyze and optimize them?
  • Once the technical measurements are over, how do we create organizations that can act on and use these measurements?

Contents of the report include:

  • "Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Marketing Buck: A Point of View"Paul Farris, Darden School, University of Virginia
  • "Allocating Marketing Communication Expenditures: A Long-Run View"   - Dominique Hanssens, Anderson School, UCLA
  • "An Approach to Measuring Communication Effectiveness for the Purpose of Allocating Communication Dollars"  - Donald Lehmann, Columbia University (also currently MSI's executive director)
  • "Use of Marketing Metrics: A Different Point of View"  - Leonard Lodish, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • "Advertising Experiments: An Assessment"  - Ambar Rao, Olin School, Washington University at St. Louis
  • "Marketing Communications Allocation: Asking the Right Question"  - Don Schultz, Medill School, Northwestern University
  • "Econometric Estimation of Media Effectiveness and the Optimal Allocation of Media Expenditure: A Proposal"  - Gerard Tellis, Marshall School, USC

 > Read The Marcom Budgets Report (PDF)


Visual Persuasion

> Working Papers on Visual Persuasion

Dyson's Market Success

By applying physics concepts and saying "goodbye to the bag,” Dyson's eye-catching, modern, vacuum cleaner design won it market success.

Dyson vacuum 1983