Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of this program?

To enable and support research into how online media influences consumer behavior, attitudes and decision making. The digital age has introduced many media platforms engaging an increasingly fragmented audience. This program is designed to cut across the challenging media issues we face and provide insight on measuring advertising performance.

Why are Google and WPP doing this together?

Google and WPP share a commitment to world leading research. Through such a collaboration we can begin to tackle some of the complex questions facing marketers and media professionals today.

What is WPP's role?

In addition to jointly funding the program, WPP will provide certain proprietary data to enrich the study. Given the wide range of datasets controlled by WPP, the specifics of data will depend on the subject matter of the research. Ultimately, the grant recipient will dictate the topic of study but the Program Committee will give directional suggestions. The Program Committee will assist in identifying the datasets that best match the research subject. WPP Clients will be asked to contribute marketing, sales, and/or other data to the program and their contribution will again depend on the specifics of the research topic and how such data will fuel the research.

What is Google's role?

In addition to jointly funding the program, Google will provide certain proprietary data to enrich the study. Google provides Insights for Search, Google Trends for Websites, and the Google Trifecta (including Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer). The Program Committee will assist in identifying any additional Google data that may serve as a valuable input for a given research topic.

Who will decide the topics of research?

The program applicants will ultimately dictate the topics for research. The Program Committee has given some suggested direction.

What is the process for selecting the proposals to fund?

There is a program committee that evaluates proposals based on the merits and potential impact of the proposed research. Some of the committee members come from academia. Committee members recuse themselves from voting on proposals from their institutions, or on proposals where there may be a conflict of interest.

How many awards will be funded and at what amounts?

We have awarded 11 grants for this current round of funding, with grant amounts up to $80,000. The list of winners and their proposal titles follow below.

2010 Google & WPP Award participants:

  1. Michael Smith and Rahul Telang, Carnegie Mellon: Channels and Conflict: Efficient Marketing Strategies for Internet Digital Distribution Channels.
  2. Chrysanthos Dellarocas, Boston University and William Rand, University of Maryland: Media, Aggregators and the Link Economy: An Analytical and Empirical Examination of the Future of Content.
  3. Anita Elberse, Harvard University and Kenneth Wilbur, Duke University: What Is The Right Mix Between Offline And Online Advertising? A Study Of The Entertainment Industry.
  4. Arun Sundararajan, NYU and Gal Oestreicher-Singer, Tel Aviv University: The Breadth Of Contagion Of The Oprah Effect: Measuring The Impact Of Offline Media Events On Online Sales.
  5. Yakov Bart, Miklos Sarvary, Andrew Stephen, INSEAD: Consumer Responses To Mobile Location-Based Advertising.
  6. V Kumar, Vikram Bhaskaran and Rohan Mirchandani, Georgia State University: Measuring the Total Value of a Customer through Own Purchases and Word of Mouth Referrals: A Field Study in India.
  7. Alan Montgomery and Kinshuk Jerath, Carnegie Mellon: Predicting Purchase Conversion From Keyword Search Using Associative Networks.
  8. Shawndra Hill, University of Pennsylvania and Anand Venkataraman, 33Across: Collective Inference For Social Network-Based Online Advertising.
  9. Anindya Ghose, NYU: Modeling The Dynamics Of Consumer Behavior In Mobile Advertising And Mobile Social Networks.
  10. Jane Raymond, Bangor University: The Importance Of Relevance: Cognitive Science Research On Distraction By Advertisement On The Internet.
  11. Koen Pauwels, Dartmouth, Oliver Rutz, Yale, Shuba Srinivasan, Boston University and Randolph Bucklin, UCLA: Are Audience-Based Online Metrics Leading Indicators Of Brand Performance?

To learn more about the 2010 research projects, view a video summary and download the Marketing Research Awards 10 PDF to read research briefs for each of the winning projects.

What is the submission deadline and the expected timeline for awarding grants?

The current round of funding is closed. In the future we will post timelines for the next round of awards.

When are the research projects expected to be completed?

Recipients will be invited to attend a conference in November of 2010, where award winners will share their findings.

What is the legal classification of the awards? Are there any tax implications?

All awards are structured as unrestricted gifts given to the institution where the principal investigator has a full-time affiliation. Taxes or similar legal obligations are completely left to the judgment and discretion of the recipient. Neither the program nor its sponsors have any obligation or interest in the award recipient's tax or other legal treatment of the funds.

Will there be further contribution towards costs, if any, incurred by selected applicants beyond the award?

The one-time award constitutes the full and complete funding to be provided to recipients.

Will preference be given to multi-phase projects?

No preference will be given to multi-phase projects. Each round of awards will be evaluated independently.

What role will clients (brands, marketers, agencies) of WPP and Google play in the program?

Clients of WPP and Google may volunteer to provide case studies and data for research being conducted by award recipients. The specific study topics will dictate which clients and client data will be of most value to the research. The Program Committee will assist in identifying the most beneficial client contributions. The program sponsors (WPP & Google) will engage clients to solicit and secure their involvement. Strict confidentiality provisions would apply to the use of client data and award recipients who are given access to or use of client data will be required to enter into relevant non-disclosure agreements.

Will WPP, Google or their customers retain any legal or proprietary interest in the research generated via the award program or is it all public domain or something else?

The study results will be solely owned by the award recipient who undertook the study. However the Program sponsors will be given equal and full access to the study findings. Additional work stemming from the initial project and findings may be separately entered into between the award recipient and one or both sponsors subject to separate agreements. Award recipients may seek to make their results widely available via web postings and publication in academic and professional journals.

What Clients of WPP or Google are participating in the program?

Clients of WPP and Google may volunteer to provide case studies and data for research being conducted by award recipients. The specific study topics will dictate which clients and client data will be of most value to the research. The Program Committee will assist in identifying the most beneficial client contributions. The program sponsors (WPP & Google) will engage clients to solicit and secure their involvement.

Which researchers and affiliated academic institutions participated in the first round of awards?

The researchers and affiliated academic institutions participating in this first round of awarded projects are:

To learn more about the 2009 research projects, view a video summary and download the Marketing Research Awards 09 PDF to read research briefs for each of the winning projects.