Doctoral Student

Lingling Zhang

Lingling is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Marketing Unit at the Harvard Business School. Her primary research interests are business-to-business marketing and multi-channel marketing. In one of her papers, Lingling uses a proprietary dataset to examine the role of market power on price negotiations between merchants and online retailers. Her other work examines the effectiveness of multi-channel marketing in the context of television advertising, personal selling, and online video advertising.

Prior to Harvard, she worked for five years as a statistician at the University of Michigan. Lingling earned her B.A. and M.S. in Information Science from Nanjing University in China and her M.S. in Applied Statistics from the University of Michigan.

Working Papers

  1. The Air War versus The Ground Game: An Analysis of Multi-Channel Marketing in U.S. Presidential Elections

    Doug J. Chung and Lingling Zhang

    Firms increasingly use both mass-media advertising and targeted personal selling to successfully promote products and brands in the marketplace. In this study, we jointly examine the effect of mass-media advertising and personal selling in the context of U.S. presidential elections, where the former is referred to as the "air war" and the latter the "ground game." Specifically, we look at how different types of advertising―candidates' own ads vs. outside ads―and personal selling―in the form of utilizing field offices―affect voter preferences. Further, we ask how these various campaign activities affect the outcome of elections through their diverse effects on various types of people. We find that personal selling has a stronger effect among partisan voters, while candidates' own advertising is better received by non-partisans. We also find that personal selling accounted for the Democratic victories in the 2008 and 2012 elections and that advertising was critical only in a close election, such as the one in 2004. Interestingly, had the Democrats received more outside advertising in 2004, the election would have ended up in a 269–269 tie. Our findings generate insights on how to allocate resources across and within channels.

    Keywords: Personal selling; multi-channel marketing; advertising; political campaigns; discrete-choice modeling; instrumental variables; Political Elections; Marketing Channels; Advertising; United States;


    Chung, Doug J., and Lingling Zhang. "The Air War versus The Ground Game: An Analysis of Multi-Channel Marketing in U.S. Presidential Elections." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 15-033, October 2014. View Details

Other Publications and Materials