Purush Papatla

Purushottam Papatla

  • Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute Professor, Marketing
  • Co-Director, Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute


PhD, Kellogg School, Northwestern University
MS, Industrial & Systems Engineering, University of Illinois-Chicago
BE, Mechanical Engineering, Osmania University, India

Areas of Expertise

Dr. Papatla’s current research focuses on how people process and respond to different types of content including textual, pictorial, video, and audio. He recently started a Content Lab with participation from Doctoral students at the Lubar College of Business and faculty from several other universities for research on content. The Content Lab receives and also obtains large-scale data from several firms in the advertising, technology, and social media (Twitter and Facebook) sectors of the economy.  Several projects that investigate the relationship between the characteristics of advertising content and consumer response in for-profit, not-for-profit, and political contexts are currently under way in this lab. Some of the projects in progress include: (1) how the characteristics of spokespeople’s delivery of messages in advertising affects consumer response (2) investigation of the relationship between advertising content and sales of the advertised products (3) relationship between emotional content of advertising and sharing of ads by viewers with friends (4) the relationship between the emotional,  expositional, and headlines characteristics of newspaper articles and how readers engage with them (5) the relationship between the content and context in product display pictures on online retail sites and consumer response to the displayed products and (6) whether political advertising helps or hurts advertising for products.

He teaches the core Marketing Strategy class in the Executive MBA program, a graduate course in Data Science and periodically offers a Doctoral Seminar on Bayesian Methods and Models in Marketing. He has and continues to chair Dissertation Committees of several Doctoral students.

Professional Activities

Dr. Papatla currently serves as the Co-Director of the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute He has been serving as a Director on the Marketing Accountability Standards Board since 2017 and started as a member of the Board of the Academic Data Science Alliance in 2022. He is also often interviewed on radio and TV for his opinions on consumers, data science, digital marketing, and retailing.

Dr. Papatla currently serves as the Area Editor for the Technology, Interactive and Social Media section of the Journal of Business Research.  He is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Retailing.  His research has appeared in several journals including International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Retailing.  Marketing Letters, Marketing Science and Quantitative Marketing and Economics.