7 Questions with the Kilts Center for Marketing


The James M. Kilts Center for Marketing advances marketing at Booth by facilitating faculty research, supporting innovation in Booth’s curriculum, and creating engaging programs that enhance the careers of our students and alumni. We connected with the Kilts Center team to ask a few questions about Chicago Booth's unique approach to marketing education.

What is the Chicago Approach to Marketing?

The Chicago Approach to marketing grounds marketing students in the core disciplines—economics, psychology, and statistics. It equips Booth students with scientific tools and analytical frameworks that are essential in today’s business climate, so that they can formulate effective strategies and make optimized decisions that grow business.

How does the Kilts Center facilitate using data to problem solve/innovate/make decisions? 

In addition to organizing programming and events for the Chicago Booth marketing community, the Kilts Center serves as the exclusive academic clearinghouse for Nielsen datasets. More than 1,000 researchers from Chicago Booth and institutions around the world use the data for their work in economics, marketing, public policy, sociology, and more.

The Center also allows Booth MBA students to collaborate with Booth faculty to incorporate the data into courses such as Data-Driven Marketing, Pricing Strategy, and Data Science for Marketing Decision Making.

What are some of the hands-on opportunities for students, and why are they advantageous?

Experiential learning is integral to the marketing curriculum here at Booth. The Kilts Center facilitates project-based courses called Marketing Labs, during which student teams tackle real-world business problems with major companies such as Google, PepsiCo, McDonald’s, Uber, and Walmart.   

In addition to these opportunities in the classroom, the Center hosts an annual marketing case competition in partnership with a business partner looking for fresh perspectives on real challenges they are facing. Students rely on various data sources and use these to support their solutions.

For students interested in innovation and design, the Kilts Center offers a robotics workshop at a local design studio. As part of this experience, students have the chance to get familiar with the nuts and bolts of creating a new product. 

How is tech product marketing and product management an integral area of interest within the Kilts Center purview?

A marketing mindset is critical to a range of roles including brand manager, product manager, general manager, and entrepreneur.  Marketing skills are essential because these roles revolve around knowing your consumer. Booth graduates prove to have an advantage over their peers because of Booth’s focus on an analytic approach to marketing.

What types of research is the marketing faculty currently conducting?

Marketing faculty at Chicago Booth have been trained in the core disciplines of economics, psychology, and statistics. They are pioneers in the fields of quantitative and behavioral marketing. Their research covers topics such as the efficacy of personalized pricing, how advertising can contribute to wellbeing, and how consumer behavior is influenced by how a person predicts a future self. Reflective of Booth’s competitive advantage in data-driven marketing, many faculty have been capitalizing on quantitative marketing data for decades – long before the current trend. Leveraging these skills, several of them work on various marketing projects with companies such as Amazon, Verizon, Zip Recruiter, and Yahoo!

What are our alumni doing in marketing?

Booth marketing alumni are leaders in roles across multiple industries—CPG, tech, retail, and entrepreneurship. At Microsoft alone, Booth has two incredible alumni: Satya Nadella, ’97, CEO, and Kurt DelBene ’90,  Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Core Services Engineering and Operations. Some of our leaders in CPG include Sally Grimes, ’97, who is in charge of a quarter of Tyson’s $40 billion business and is currently spearheading their innovation efforts, and Brian Niccol, ’03, who is charged with turning around Chipotle Mexican Restaurants as CEO and Director. Ann Mukherjee, ’87 AB, ’94, is Global Marketing Officer for SC Johnson and Sons.  Among recent graduates, Amazon was the third largest employer of graduates, and nearly seven percent of students accepted full-time traditional marketing roles.

Why is Booth the best MBA in Chicago for Marketing?

For the same reason we are the best school for finance: our graduates are masters in analytics. Our award-winning quantitative and behavioral faculty prepare students for the top jobs in marketing at companies that demand a comfort with using data to drive their decisions and create value in a business.

Learn more about the Kilts Center »