Students Place 1st

4 Purdue Calumet students place 1st in GfK national market research competition

(from left) students Weizhi Chen, Reem Aljar, I-Chun Lee, Joseph Crisan and Assistant Professor of Marketing Haisu Zhang

4 Purdue Calumet students place 1st in GfK national market research competition  

HAMMOND, Ind. — A team of four Purdue University Calumet marketing students recently placed first in a national competition of undergraduate market researchers.

Students Joseph Crisan of Lowell; Reem Aljar of Khoubar, Saudi Arabia; I-Chun Lee of Hemei, Changhua, Taiwan; and Weizhi Chen of Harbin, Hei Longjiang, China collaborated to win the third annual Next Generation (NextGen) Competition for their research project, “Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing as a Dual Process: How Social Media Impacts New Movie Development.”

Internationally recognized market research firm GfK sponsored the competition.

The winning market research was developed originally for a class, instructed by Assistant Professor of Marketing Haisu Zhang, in which the students were enrolled last fall.        

“The Purdue University Calumet study showed sophistication and out-of-the-box thinking in both design and execution,” David Krajicek, CEO of GfK Consumer Experiences North America, said. “We are pleased to celebrate innovators of any age, and to help students see the connections between sound business decisions and high quality research. As each generation reinvents market research to meet its needs, the NextGen Competition offers undergraduates a grounding in the fundamentals of research, as well as a platform for experimentation and breakthrough thinking.”

The students used a four-pronged research approach to determine effective ways of targeting potential backers of independent movies through crowdfunding and crowdsourcing websites and similar platforms. The students studied independent movie projects on Kickstarter.com and collected online survey responses. 

“Our present research provides a snapshot for the effective use of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing and how social media affects the development of independent movies on the Internet,” Student researcher Crisan said. “Specifically, we focused on identifying opportunities to attract potential backers and idea contributors to these types of projects. We conducted four studies and employed multiple research methods to study this phenomenon.”

The students received a $1,000 prize and attended the Advertising Research Foundation’s three-day RE: Think 2014 conference in New York City. They shared highlights of their research during the Great Mind Awards ceremony and luncheon that concluded the conference. 

“This competition provided the four students with an extraordinary experience to connect with the business world,” Zhang said. “They worked extremely hard on this market research project for my class and this competition. As faculty advisor, I was very happy to work with them towards the national winner title!”  

GfK, offering eight decades of data science experience, is staffed by more than 13,000 market research experts. The company delivers global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries.