UCA Marketing Professor Publishes Business Research & Releases Nature Conservation Documentary

Dr. Benjamin Garner, Associate Professor in the UCA Department of Marketing & Management, has been busy this year as a professor, researcher, and a feature filmmaker. Find out more about his advice for students, his research published last fall, and his nature conservation documentary to be released in April 2024.

Why did you choose the subject you teach?
I enjoy marketing and sharing my passion for this area with students. I love doing research and film projects that allow me to meet people in the community and help solve real-world challenges.

What tips or advice would you give to new, current, or prospective business students?
One of the best pieces of advice I can give students is to be curious and learn as much as possible about different career fields to find the best fit for you. This includes job shadowing, interviewing potential employers, and doing internships.

Share about your research.
Recently I published a paper in the Journal of Business Research with Dr. Candice Hollenbeck at UGA on how the concepts of authenticity and scarcity work at a local farmers’ market. Our goal was to develop a theoretical understanding of how factors like natural scarcity influences consumers’ behavioral shopping patterns and attitudes. I have done research on farmers’ markets and consumer behavior for many years, and I also find the concept of authenticity very interesting.

What have you learned from doing this research?
We found that when people go shopping in a place like a farmers’ market, consumers tend to trust vendors when they talk about products being scarce. This is because fruits, vegetables, and agricultural products are influenced by the weather and growing conditions. In other words, the products may be limited that year because of a drought. This is different from, say, Gucci handbags or limited edition Pokemon cards that are artificially limited because the company wants to increase the value of each product.

What do you hope others will learn or gain from your research?
We hope through this project, businesses can understand the relationship between authenticity and scarcity, and then amplify scarcity messages that are true and trustworthy.

Related Article: Garner Leads Marketing Students to Learn & Serve Community During Project for Arkansas PBS

Last fall, Dr. Garner’s class got some hands-on experience with sales cold-calling, a project that also served the community. This spring, Dr. Garner is teaching two web classes on Principles of Marketing and an in-person class on Content Marketing. During the summer he will teach Basic Marketing online and Content Marketing in person. Next fall, he will teach two in-person Principles of Marketing courses and an in-person Advanced Selling course.

In his personal life, Dr. Garner also recently released his documentary “Arkansas Wild: The Story of Trout Tourism on the Little Red,” which will air on Arkansas PBS on April 11. Based on his childhood experiences and using his professional skills, he created a piece that he hopes will inspire others to conserve natural resources like the Little Red River.