Our Interview with Dr. Lauren Grewal of Dartmouth College

Dr. Lauren GrewalAs we continue with our blog series featuring higher education industry leaders, our next entry is an interview with Dr. Lauren Grewal of Tuck’s School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Dr. Grewal holds a Ph.D. in Marketing and is an assistant professor in the Tuck’s Marketing Department. Her areas of expertise include marketing, consumer behavior, and digital and social media marketing.

In addition to instructing, Dr. Grewal conducts extensive industry research that is featured in various publications. Her research examines identity-based consumption, consumers and their use of social and digital media, and consumer well-being. Dr. Grewal has received many honors, awards, and leadership positions within the industry.


1. How long have you been teaching marketing? What made you want to pursue it?

I am finishing my first year as an assistant professor at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College. Before this, I got my Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh in Marketing, specifically in Consumer Behavior. I taught marketing in the later years of my Ph.D. program and this year, but have been actively studying it for around six years now.

I was a psychology and anthropology double major in college (Brandeis University), and I was trying to determine what to do with my life that would allow me to keep examining human behavior, and explore questions that I was genuinely interested in. I discovered that a Ph.D. in marketing was wide open in terms of the research I could pursue.

I could study whatever topic most interested me about consumers, and use a wide range of techniques to do so (e.g., experiments, field studies, analyzing secondary data, interviewing people, etc.). I loved the vastness of research possibilities, where it really felt like no topic was out of bounds, so I chose to pursue a Ph.D. in consumer behavior.


2. What is your favorite course to teach and why?

I love teaching Principles of Marketing as it’s really rewarding to be a student’s first exposure to what marketing really is. Hearing from students that this course changes careers they are interested in, and that I’ve shown them the value of marketing, has been really rewarding. I’m currently preparing to teach a new course at Tuck for MBAs in digital and social media marketing as well, which I’m excited about as I can bring more of my research passions into the classroom.


3. Tell me a little bit about yourself (education background, any other relevant work experience). What types of organizations are you involved in?

As I mentioned above, I have an undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and my Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.


4. What do you consider to be the most important and/or interesting aspect about the current state of marketing?

I mostly research identity-based consumption behavior (i.e., how do peoples’ identities influence attitudes and behavior), consumer well-being (i.e., how can consumers live healthier lives), and how consumers respond to different aspects of digital and social media. I think the way consumers are changing in our increasingly digital and technologically heavy environment is fascinating. Neuroscientists have been determining that children today are actually wired differently due to all of the tech they are exposed to, and I truly believe that consumer psychology is changing as people are increasingly using tech and digital.

For example, the psychology behind how someone chooses products to buy should be different if done through an online search vs. going into a store vs. asking some tech like Siri or Alexa to buy them “x” product. Considering these changes, I think moving forward, continuing to examine how people define themselves, create identity, and interact with others, brands, and the general world around them is increasingly important to understand and interesting to examine.


5. Where do you feel the future of marketing, particularly digital, is heading?

I think I kind of answer this above. I really think as consumers change, marketing, and particularly digital, will follow.


6. With digital marketing changing at such a rapid pace, how do you see marketing being taught differently in the future?

All classes will have to take digital into account for each concept taught. While I believe core concepts and strategies, at their base, may stay fairly consistent (e.g., there will always be the four p’s), the way we envision constructs will have to adapt (e.g., “p” for place will have to account more for digital placements vs. a focus on physical), and the ways consumers respond to content may change as standards constantly evolve.


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