Faculty Spotlight: Professor Yang
April 12, 2019
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The following interview was conducted by Tisch Center student worker, Haley Park.

What is your research about?

I have a few research interests including hospitality M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions) and tourism economic impacts. Most recently, my research has focused on value added marketing. The main goal is to develop and test a framework between firm’s marketing actions and investor’s response. In other words, I want to find out whether marketing activities in hospitality companies actually create value. Since it’s a fairly complicated model, there are intermediate metrics and factors that drive shareholders’ value. For example, I look at the product market and see whether marketing contributes to brand awareness and ultimately leads to customer purchases. In the same time, whether marketing creates positive reactions from the financial market. This could translate into more analysts following and favorable earning forecast.

Why you are interested in the topic and why is it important to you?

In my very first job, I had many responsibilities of a marketing manager. I dealt with promoting and selling services. When it came to preparing budget, I always ran into the discussion with my director as to whether we should cut spending to a specific cost. Later on, when I had more work experience and networked with more marketing executives, I witnessed their struggles to stay relevant. Marketing executives have a relatively shorter tenure than other industry executives and often,  the delivered results are not satisfying to their CEOs. This has inspired me to investigate marketing as a part of a dynamic system that interfaces with the product market, financial market, and financial reports.

What have your findings been?

So far my research has focused on public companies, specifically restaurants. In this sector of hospitality, I found that marketing does contribute to better sales and grab Wall Street’s attention, which in turn improves shareholders’ value.

How does this research influence or have an impact on your teaching?

My research is quantitative in nature, so I am lucky to teach in an area that aligns with my research interests. Currently I am teaching Hospitality Accounting and Financial Management. Last semester, I taught Hospitality Finance to graduate students. In these classes, I utilize a lot of financial reports. Through my research, I have surveyed the industry and compiled teaching materials that I can use in the classroom. I encourage my students to read beyond those numbers and analyze them critically.

Is there anything else you want to share on this topic?

Given our strong industry connections, the program excels. Since joining Tisch, I have been able to expand the scope of my research and bring it to property levels. Nowadays I am exploring marketing impacts on promoting new products/experiences versus existing ones.