People Marketing

Anatoli Colicev, the Marketing Scholar Who Does not Seek Safety Nets

, by Claudio Todesco
Rather than limiting academic risk by focusing for a long time on one topic, the assistant professor prefers to explore new themes, following his own academic interests

Anatoli Colicev is a changing man. His personal and academic history is full of twists and turns. «I get bored doing the same things over and over», he says. A newly appointed Assistant Professor at the Department of Marketing, Colicev teaches Strategic Marketing and Marketing Analytics and coaches students to participate in the L'Oréal Brandstorm and Henkel Innovation international challenges. He researches a wide array of topics related to Marketing Strategy, Marketing-Finance Interface and Social Media Marketing. «Assistant Professors typically tend to reduce their risk by working on the same topic for a number of years. This is an effective strategy, but I prefer to take my risks, explore new topics, follow my passion».

Anatoli Colicev was born in Moldova from Russian parents. In the 1980s, his mother and father were academics while his maternal grandfather led an Institute of Agronomy in Moldova. In the early 2000s his family emigrated to Sardinia. They came to Italy to continue their academic career and they ended up opening a tourism company.

«I grew up in Sardinia and learned Italian. I had talent with numbers and my father, who was a physicist and a mathematician, suggested that Economics was the right choice for me. Mathematics is too abstract, he said, Economics is an interesting topic, still relying on quantitative methods». Anatoli graduated at the University of Cagliari where he switched from Economics to Finance. «That was the first of many changes in my life. I did not follow a linear path in my career», he admits.

At this point of his life, Colicev was 100% sure he was going to work on the stock market. After working for six months on financial litigation cases, he realized he wanted to follow his parents' footsteps and in 2012 he enrolled for a PhD in Statistics at the ESSEC Business School in Paris. «And then, I realized I would not develop statistical models. I would apply them. Management and Marketing fitted my nature. Finally, I knew what I wanted to do". He was invited to join Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan where he stayed from 2016 to 2018 teaching Statistics and Data Analytics to high-profile oil industry executives. He discovered he had talent with teaching complex topics and making them understandable without dumbing them down.

In one of his three dissertation papers, which was eventually published in the Journal of Marketing, Anatoli Colicev looked at how social media affect brands and the stock market. He devised a three-layer model. He extracted and analyzed data from social media for 45 brands in 21 sectors and found that they actually affect brand awareness, brand loyalty and customer satisfaction, which in turn affect shareholder value.

He also focused on the interface between Marketing and Finance. In How Main Street Drives Wall Street, he looked at how marketing assets affect firm value. Using data from 273 firms between 2007-2014, he found that the relationship between customer satisfaction and stock-market outcomes is mediated by the trading behavior of qualified investors. «Big hedge funds are the only actors who can collect or buy massive datasets on marketing assets. When customer satisfaction drops, they reckon that business will worsen and they engage in short selling to speculate on stock decline».

Anatoli Colicev is currently working on a multi-year project on the effects of macroeconomic shocks on consumers. In Kazakhstan, where the government dramatically devaluated the currency, retailer companies struggled to adjust product pricing. «Now we are working on Russia, focusing on shocks such as the economic sanctions».

Talking about Bocconi, Anatoli Colicev recalls that after the MSc he wanted to do his PhD in Milan. «But I knew that pursuing the PhD in Bocconi would make it harder for me to come back, so I preferred to wait. Bocconi has always been on my mind. This is the best Italian university, the Department of Marketing has gathered top researchers, the location is perfect».

Anatoli Colicev's restlessness extends to vacation. «My wife and I never visit the same place twice». As a young man, he was a semi-professional basketball and football player in Moldova. When he broke his arm on the football pitch, he had to leave the basketball court for good. «And honestly, being 2 meters tall, I was not a good fit for football anymore».

His parentage is from Russia, he grew up in Moldova, he's been living in Italy for ten years. Which team does he support in international sporting events? «When I am watching summer sports, I am an Italian fan. When I am watching winter sports, I am a Russian fan». He adds, laughing: «Except when it comes to ice hockey: my wife is Finnish and rooting for Russia would be too much».

Find out more

Anatoli Colicev, Ashwin Malshe, Koen Pauwels, Peter O'Connor, Improving Consumer Mind-Set Metrics and Shareholder Value through Social Media: The Different Roles of Owned and Earned Media, in Journal of Marketing, Volume 82, Issue 1, 37-56, 2018.

Anatoli Colicev, Ashish Kumar, Peter O'Connor, Modeling the Relationship Between Firm and User Generated Content and the Stages of the Marketing Funnel, forthcoming in International Journal of Research in Marketing.

Ashwin Malshe, Anatoli Colicev, Vikas Mittal, How Main Street Drives Wall Street: Customer Satisfaction, Short Sellers, Shareholder Value, and Risk, available on SSRN, 2018.

Anatoli Colicev, Joris Hoste, Jozef Konings, Currency Shocks in Emerging Markets: How Does Supplier and Consumer Demand Find Equilibrium?, working paper.