OSU Close to the Customer Marketing Lab taps new director, Dr. Johnny Chen

Dr. Johnny Chen joins the Oregon State University College of Business as the new director of the Close to the Customer Marketing Lab (C2C) and an instructor of marketing to graduate and undergraduate students. Chen brings a background of both academic and corporate experience to the market research services offered by the C2C lab and to the college.

Chen previously was an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Southern Maine and was visiting an assistant professor of marketing at Portland State University and the University of Oregon. His research interests include experiential consumption, sports and entertainment marketing, and prosocial behavior.

Chen holds a B.S. Computer Science (Oregon State University), an M.B.A. from the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center (University of Oregon), and a Ph.D. in Marketing (University of Oregon). He has publications in the Journal of Sports Management and Journal of Advertising as well as in the conference proceedings of Academy of Marketing Science, Advances in Consumer Research, and Society of Consumer Psychology. Prior to academia, he worked at Intel Corporation for 11 years in internet engineering, product marketing engineering management, and strategic alliance management position.

The C2C provides professional market research and consulting services in order to provide insight into markets, businesses and consumers.

C2C restructured over the past year in order to expand its student workforce and accommodate a greater quantity of client projects as well as pursue projects of varying size and scope. Dr. Chen’s oversight of this expansion is an important step to providing quality insight into markets, businesses, and today’s consumers to C2C clients.

“My academic interests and research have always focused on consumer behavior and consumer insight, so that’s where I’ll l continue to steer the C2C,” Chen said. “Because both sports and technology are major industries in Oregon, I’d like to increase our student and faculty engagement with companies in these sectors, with an emphasis on consumer insight.”

Personally, Chen aims to leverage international connections to bring in an international client, which would be a first for the marketing lab, as well as broaden C2C engagement with national clients.

“I’d like to increase the size and scope of the projects,” Chen said in discussing some of the growth targets for the C2C. “I’d like to bring more technology into our research toolset, for example, virtual reality would be very useful to create simulations for research. And I’d like to increase regular engagements with the major business sectors in Oregon.”

C2C research teams are led by marketing faculty who mentor students in the field as well as in the classroom while serving their corporate clients. Past clients include Adidas, Nike, Intel HP, The Corvallis Clinic and Kia, USA.“Whether companies are looking to augment their existing research department with a specialized team, or perhaps don’t have a research department at all, we can support their customer-centered research projects.”

Please contact Dr. Johnny Chen to talk about your research needs.

If you and your company have a market research challenge that you’d like the OSU Close to the Customer Marketing Lab to help you solve, you can reach out directly to Dr. Chen via email or call the C2C at (541) 713-8041.