Oliver Rutz wins O’Dell Award for influential research in search engine marketing

Rutz-Oliver-275-LOliver Rutz, the Marion B. Ingersoll Professor and an associate professor of marketing at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, has received the American Marketing Association’s 2016 William F. O’Dell Award.

The O’Dell Award annually recognizes one article in the Journal of Marketing Research that has demonstrated a significant, long-term contribution to marketing theory, methodology and/or practice.

Rutz and co-author Randolph Bucklin have done all of the above.

The 2016 award honors their paper, “From Generic to Branded: A Model of Spillover in Paid Search Advertising,” which was published in the February 2011 Journal of Marketing Research.

The study offers valuable insights into search behavior on the Internet, specifically understanding the value of paid search advertising in response to keyword searches that are generic (such as “hotels”) versus branded (such as “Hilton Hotels”). Rutz and Bucklin established that generic search ads, though more expensive initially, expose users to information about the brand’s ability to meet their needs. And making them aware of the brand’s relevance to their search pushes those users to use the brand’s name in subsequent searches.

“Paid search is a major advertising channel and decisions regarding bids on generic vs. branded keywords are made every day,” wrote the award committee. “The paper has important implications for practice that often relied upon the “last-click” metrics provided by search engines… It made an important statement about the spillover of generic to branded keywords and was a neat application of theory to practice… that is highly cited in the top marketing, operations research, electronic commerce and economics journals.”

For this same study, Rutz previously received the 2013 Donald R. Lehmann Award and the 2012 Paul E. Green Award, both from the American Marketing Association (AMA).

Prolific career

Rutz joined the Foster School Department of Marketing and International Business in 2011 after stints on faculty of the Yale School of Management and as an associate at McKinsey & Company. He earned his PhD from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

His research in search engine marketing and online advertising has earned numerous additional accolades.

His 2012 Journal of Marketing Research paper modeling keyword conversion in paid search advertising was a finalist for the AMA’s 2013 Paul E. Green Award, a finalist for the Marketing Science Institute’s (MSI) 2007 Clayton Dissertation Proposal Competition, and named Best Paper Based on a Doctoral Dissertation at the 2007 European Marketing Academy Conference.

His 2011 Marketing Science paper modeling the indirect effects of paid search advertising was a finalist for the MSI’s 2013 Frank M. Bass Award and was selected as the lead article in the inaugural edition of MSI Selections, highlighting academic work of particular relevance to managers.

Rutz has been named a Top 50 Scholar in Author Productivity in the Premier Marketing Journals by the AMA for the past three years.

He was named an MSI Young Scholar in 2013 and a fellow at the Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium in 2007.

Additionally, Rutz serves as a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Research in Marketing, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, the Journal of Interactive Marketing, and Business Research.