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Ransbotham wins Google grant 


Assistant Professor of Information Systems Sam Ransbotham was awarded one of 11 inaugural Google and WPP Marketing Awards to support research into how online media influences consumer behavior, attitudes, and decision making.

Ransbotham’s project, "Marketing on the Map: Visual Search and Consumer Decision Making," with Nicholas Lurie, assistant professor of marketing at Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Management, examines consumer decision making in the context of visual search tools, such as Google Maps, and location-based advertising, such as Google Maps API ads layers. These devices blend powerful search engines with unique advertising opportunities.

“We believe that people process information differently when viewing maps and reading text,” says Ransbotham. He and Lurie will explore those differences by conducting a series of controlled lab experiments based on Google Maps. They will also examine the effect sponsored and non-sponsored advertising has on users’ searches and decision making, and how maps’ visual elements, such as their interactivity, influence users’ actions.

In 2008 Google and WPP, one of the world's leading advertising and marketing services groups, established the Google and WPP Marketing Research Awards Program to fund research about how online and offline media work together to influence consumer choices, and improve understanding of and practices in online marketing. The two companies will provide up to $4.6 million over the next three years to endow the program.

Ransbotham, whose research focuses on information security and the strategic uses of information technology, joined the faculty of the Carroll School in September 2008. Prior to receiving his doctorate from the Georgia Institute of Technology, he founded and ran a software development company with a international client list for 13 years.

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