Professional and Academic Profile
Ron Ventura, Ph.D.
CSC-B: If you had to write a short abstract, how would you describe yourself?
Ron: I would say: A mature marketing and consumer researcher, engaged for more than 25 years in the study and research of consumer behaviour in multiple contexts spanning marketing, retailing, and relationships with companies and brands. I may add that from a methodological perspective, my research orientation is primarily quantitative, anchored in statistical analyses.
CSC-B: What is your key focus or viewpoint?
Ron: My approach to analysing and assessing consumer-related issues and events, developed in the course of years, stems primarily from the perspective of decision making: processes consumers follow, strategies they utilise, and their outcomes (e.g., judgements, choices and behaviour). My view in these matters is consequently realistic, pragmatic, occasionally critical of either companies or consumers, and curiously disillusioned. The objective is foremost to come to conclusions or insights that can be utilised to improve the performance of consumers as well as businesses, produce more emotionally-positive experiences, and leverage relationships.
CSC-B: Can you tell a little about your academic background?
Ron: My academic background started with gaining a BA degree in Statistics and Economics from Tel-Aviv University (1990). I continued to master’s studies towards an MBA with a major in Marketing (1997) at Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration (now renamed ‘Coller’) in Tel-Aviv University. In 2002 I was awarded a Ph.D. in Marketing from Lancaster University Management School in the UK, specialising in the field of consumer decision making (the thesis examined forms of interplay between brand name and price information in consumer evaluations of product offerings, using latent class conjoint analysis methodology; secondary aspects of the research included mass customization and consumer knowledge).
CSC-B: What were the main stages in your professional life?
Ron: In the more distant past, before my doctoral studies, I started as a marketing researcher and statistician for a marketing research firm. From there I proceeded to a marketing consulting firm in the position of manager of statistical studies (e.g., conjoint analysis studies, lifestyle segmentation-cluster analysis). In the years following my doctoral degree I have been working mostly independently, though for short periods of several months each I was employed again as a senior marketing researcher and scientific adviser with marketing research firms. Over the years I have been engaged in projects in a wide range of categories of products and services, covering various topics. I would say, however, that in more than 80% of the time my research was associated with consumer marketing and consumer behaviour from different angles.
CSC-B: In summary, what are your main areas of interest and specialisation?
Ron: Essentially, as my core areas I include consumer decision making, information processing, preferences and choice behaviour. But overall I have touched on various many perspectives of consumer behaviour which I see primarily as a meeting playfield between economics and psychology (also see psychological economics and behavioural economics). From a marketing orientation, I focus on branding and brand equity, pricing and value, relationship marketing, and the most recently added: visual marketing. Eventually I arrived to define the perimeters of my research work around the triad of consumer, shopper and customer behaviour which are closely connected.
CSC-B: Finally, what topic or theme interests and engages you the most these days?
Ron: A favourite leisure activity of mine is photography. In the past few years I have been looking into bridging between my interests in visual marketing and photography. Therefore, I am studying and exploring how photography is used in marketing, advertising, retailing, and in marketing and consumer research as well. I have been mostly engaged in identifying and understanding what effects photography may have on different aspects of consumer behaviour, cognition and emotion. This has led me to develop further an increased interest in visual design on different levels: architecture and interior design (e.g., store design), window displays and visual merchandising, product design, and the design of advertising and marketing materials in different media formats (e.g., layout and combination of text and images). I would say that this occupation gives me the greatest satisfaction and enjoyment these days.
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