Would your customers say that the services they received from your company are the services they expected to get? If not, then your company may suffer from a services quality gap. Marketing professor Mary Jo Bitner, the academic director of the Center for Services Leadership at the W. P. Carey School of Business, says succeeding in services is "all about promises." She and her collaborators have developed a strategic approach that enables companies to evaluate how well they keep their promises and how to close the gaps.

In the digital age, more information is available to more people than ever before. But not all the information. Truly unique and rare information — a hot stock tip, for instance, or a warning of an impending market shift — remains a near-priceless commodity. Smart businesspeople want the inside edge, and they're willing to pay to get it. In the final installment of a six-part series on the science of persuasion, psychology and marketing Professor Robert Cialdini discusses how the principle of "scarcity" can be leveraged to convince people to buy into our suggestions, heed our advice or accept our business proposals.

In the Super Bowl advertising arms race, companies spend millions on mere seconds. Is it worth it? Nancy Stephens, associate professor of marketing, says no. Companies that spend huge sums hoping to hold the attention of the large Super Bowl audience compete with the party atmosphere around the big screen TV. But Ray Artigue, executive director of the W. P. Carey MBA Sports Business Program and former senior vice president of marketing for the NBA's Phoenix Suns, says the gamble can be worth it, depending on the product or service being promoted and the size of its market.

People trust experts. In courtrooms, expert witnesses sway the views of jurors. On television, expert analysts shape public opinion on everything from politics to sports. And in the real world, people give their trust — and their money — to experts every day, says psychology and marketing Professor Robert Cialdini. In the fifth of a six-part series, Cialdini discusses the principle of "authority" — one of the six basic principles of persuasion.

Nobody likes being known as a liar or as wishy-washy or erratic. So, when people make public commitments or promises, they will almost always want to back up those words with action. They have little choice: For reputation’s sake, they must do so. In the world of psychology, this is a principle known as "consistency," and according to Robert Cialdini, it's one of the six key principles behind the science of persuasion.