The Booth Difference - the Cross-Disciplinary Approach
The Chicago Approach to marketing is about integrating disciplines under a data-driven, result-oriented, pragmatic strategy. Pradeep K. Chintagunta sees firsthand how much value the approach adds to the lives and careers of Booth students.
Traditionally, marketing has involved a framework of the three Cs - customer, company, and competitor - and the four Ps - product, price, place, and promotion. Over the years, things have changed a lot. People are interested in how the digital world impacts marketing, how technologies have evolved, and how these things have affected the way we do marketing.
What makes the Chicago Approach unique is how we take data and convert it into accessible information critical to implementing a business plan. It's the analytical approach that sets us apart from other MBA marketing curricula.
Another dimension that differentiates Booth is that many of our faculty have base-discipline training, whether in economics, psychology, sociology, statistics, or other fields. With these foundations, we integrate many disciplines into each class, giving our students the full scope of how marketing touches all functional areas of a business.
Because our marketing students learn and understand each functional area in an organization and how to bring them together in a constructive way, they prove to be successful as marketers and general managers, and, therefore, excellent CEOs.
When I first started, much of my research focused on consumer behavior. Over time, I realized that consumers are obviously not living in a vacuum; they buy their products through different types of channels - whether online, the supermarket, or a warehouse club. So my research has evolved to analyze how other players interact with customers when they make decisions.
One of the topics in my research is to understand why consumers subscribe to a service, such as a health club or video on-demand service, but never use it. I explore whether this behavior occurs because of something intrinsic or if it can be explained by the consumer's experience with the firm.
Engaging students toward an objective
I discovered early on in my teaching career that students prefer discussion and debate in class. One way that I keep students engaged is to have a group of students present their view in a way that fuels open debate.
Most of the topics covered in the classroom are familiar to students, but I try to facilitate the way they think about a topic in a slightly different way by equipping students with frameworks that prepare them to approach a wide range of problems. Applying these tools in their careers allows them to continue learning and remain open to other perspectives.