Tao Huang

Country of origin: China

Lecturer in Marketing, Kent Business School

After studying a BA in Marketing in China at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics and studying MSc in Management Science in the UK at the University of Southampton, I decided to pursue a PhD in Management Science at Lancaster University. Among the various subjects in management science, I was particularly interested in forecasting. At LUMS, I found the course that I was looking for and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to follow Professor Robert Fildes and Dr Didier Soopramanien. My research area was sales forecasting for retailers – a perfect match between forecasting and marketing. My two supervisors were both inspirational and supportive. Professor Robert Fildes is one of the most eminent people in the forecasting community and his support was an initial boost to my academic career. My thesis proposed advanced methods with more accurate forecasts which can simultaneously reduce out-of-stock and over-stock conditions for retailers, hence reduce waste and retain profit.

Having successfully completed my PhD, I joined Imperial College Business School as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Marketing. The position involved a consulting project in which my responsibility was to develop analytical models to help PSA Peugeot Citroen allocate their global media budget across countries, brands, and car models. This provided me with the opportunity to conduct research and generate managerial insights from the perspective of both academia and practitioners. I found that in the areas of forecasting and marketing, there were always huge gaps between academic research and industrial practice, partially because they are focusing on slightly different types of ‘contributions’ and compromise differently.

After having successfully completed the postdoctoral fellowship project, I joined Kent Business School as a Lecturer in Marketing. This academic post was secured by the paper which I co-authored with my supervisors, which was later published in a leading academic journal. My current research area includes forecasting and managerial insights in the FMCG industry, as well as online/offline media channel effectiveness. I am proud of my research experience at Lancaster University and I still co-author academic journal papers with Professor Robert Fildes and Dr Didier Soopramanien in the forecasting and marketing areas.