Photo above: Professor Martin teaching a marketing class. Photo by William Ing.
Professor Martin studies consumer behavior, advertising, brand management, strategic marketing, and international marketing.
Drew Martin is a professor of marketing at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. His research includes inquiry into consumer behavior (emphasizing the impact of unconscious thought), advertising, brand management, strategic marketing, and international marketing. He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of tourism.
Martin says his work does not fit nicely into one category of research. His inquiry spans the gamut from anthropomorphic brand characters, to self image in consumer behavior, to gestalt modeling of international tourism behavior. He’s extremely active in both research and scholarly activity, and since 2011, has had 15 peer-reviewed papers and three chapters published, and has presented six papers at conferences, three of which received awards. He also guest edits special editions for Journal of Business Research and International Journal of Tourism Anthropology. A special edition he guest edited was published in the Journal of Business Research.
One of Martin’s most important scholarly activities is serving as senior associate editor of Journal of Business Research, a social science index journal and one of the top journals for marketing publications. He is the journal’s only senior associate editor, and since taking the role in 2010, has reviewed over 600 manuscripts, working with scholars worldwide. He is known among his peers as an editor who offers a tremendous amount of help, rich with positive comments and encouraging words, resulting in significantly improved papers for publication.
“This experience has created a unique niche for me in my field,” he says. “Reading and revising so many manuscripts has helped me to develop a reputation as a closer, a person able to turn a rough manuscript into a publishable journal article.”
As testament to his expert editing skills, Martin received the 2013 Michel Laroche Outstanding Journal of Business Research Associate Editor Award. This award has been bestowed only three times in the past 20 years.
In the field of tourism, where his work is internationally recognized, Martin collaborates on research with top tourism scholars throughout the world, and his qualitative research on tourism decision-making receives attention from many scholars in the field.
In 2010, Martin edited the book Tourism Management with Arch Woodside. Martin was able to collect chapter contributions from many top tourism scholars. He says the book has created a strong presence for him in the field of international tourism behavior.
He hopes to one day open a tourism behavior research lab at UH Hilo.
“Tourism is important to the economy and I would like to get more students involved in research,” he says. “The real payoff for the students will be for them to go to graduate school and study tourism.”
About his research on consumer behavior, Martin says a surprising aspect is that he can reread his research and come to different conclusions.
“Modeling human behavior is messy,” he says. “People cannot explain their own behavior and my interpretation offers a different perspective. Together, a gestalt image is formed. People trying to write a regression equation to model this behavior are missing the richness of the data.”
Martin recently worked with a colleague in New Zealand who went to India and interviewed people from the middle class. The research team wants to know what Indian people think about products from China, England, New Zealand, and the U.S.
“What I find interesting is the respondents could not identify a single brand from China and they have the impression that Chinese products are poor quality,” he says. “At the same time, the respondents like U.S. products that are made in China. While the design might be different, I know the components are about the same. The reason is probably the brand image that companies like Apple and Nike have built over time. My guess is people living in the U.S. would feel the same way.”
Martin says the benefits of his research are usually under the radar because they are intangible, unlike research, for example, on curing cancer or controlling non-native plant or animal species. But, he says, his efforts are making significant contributions to the literature and are putting UH Hilo on the map in the field.
In the future, Martin would like the university to support AMOS software so he can learn how to do structural equations.
“I really feel like my best work is still to come, but I need to keep learning,” he says.
Martin received his master in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington, and his master of arts in political science and doctor of philosophy in political science from UH Mānoa.
By Susan Enright, public information specialist, Office of the Chancellor.
Published Oct. 2, 2013; updated April 19, 2018.