Message from the Director

Jean-Pierre DubéThe James M. Kilts Center for Marketing continues to serve as the hub for Chicago Booth’s thriving marketing community. Our faculty, students, and alumni continue to lead the industry with an analytical, multidisciplinary approach. Thanks to a $4.25 million gift from Jim Kilts this year, we are now able to fund the Kilts Family Professorship and the Kilts Family Faculty Research Prize for Excellence in Marketing. The gift also provides support directly to the Kilts Center. 

Through a relationship with Nielsen, the Kilts Center distributes a variety of datasets, including consumer panel, retail scanner, and the historic Ad Intel dataset. More than 1,100 researchers from more than 145 academic institutions worldwide are using Nielsen data through Chicago Booth for cutting-edge research in the fields of marketing, economics, public policy, and more. Two recent research papers that have been made possible by these data are “The Effect of Disposable Carryout Bag Regulations on Unregulated Bags” and “Generalizable and Robust TV Advertising Effects.”  The Center has also expanded access to its TransUnion dataset to more than 15 Booth researchers. Research from these data has already resulted in five working papers such as “How Do American Repay Their Debt? The Balance-Matching Heuristic.”

Additionally, the Kilts Center has secured a new dataset from Label Insight which contains additional nutrition characteristics that merge with the Nielsen data.

Chicago Booth marketing faculty continue to lead the way in the application of data analysis and analytic methods. They have established a prominent position at the heart of research and practice, working recently in collaboration with companies as diverse as JPMorgan Chase, LoseIt, and Nielsen. This year, Ph.D. candidate Tesary Lin won the prestigious Alden G. Clayton Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Competition with her dissertation proposal on “Measuring Intrinsic and Instrumental Preferences for Privacy,” in which she proposes, “a framework for understanding why and to what extent people value their privacy.” Ph.D. candidate Ali Goli received an internship with Pandora, where he spent the summer of 2019 working on research involving large-scale advertising experiments.


This past spring, the Kilts Center hosted the second annual Chicago Booth Marketing Summit, which brought together more than 70 executive-level alumni from around the country. Participants debated and learned frontier thinking on various topics regarding the next steps after the digital transformation of marketing. In his keynote address, Dan Doctoroff, JD ’84, President and CEO of Sidewalk Labs discussed the newest trends in urban innovation and the implications for companies and consumers.  Professor Nick Epley spoke about the importance of human interaction, specifically the power of the human voice in an increasingly automated society. In contrast, Professor Sanjog Misra explored the evolution of AI and its implications for marketers.


The Kilts Center community continues to come together to exchange ideas and discourse through on-campus programs. Last academic year, the center welcomed leaders from technology and CPG spaces such as Kurt DelBene, '90, Chief Digital Officer, Microsoft and Deanie Elsner, ’92 former President of Snacks at Kellogg Co. (now CEO of Charlotte’s Web). Each of these alumni offered students valuable insights about the importance of marketing skills to career success and how Booth’s analytical approach to the field has been influential in helping them rise to the top.

To give students real-world marketing experience, the Kilts Center collaborated with MillerCoors for a case competition that required students to tackle a business problem involving marketing strategy and analytics. Students analyzed partnerships within the NFL and the allocation of a marketing budget to maximize impact across the target audience. The winning team received first-round interview priority with MillerCoors.

For students interested in careers in the technology sector, the Kilts Center worked closely with the student-led BoothTech Group to host a Product Management Workshop. Alumni from Amazon, Facebook, LendUp, and Microsoft helped students understand and prepare for the pursuit of a product management role in the tech sector.

In the spring, the center sponsored Booth TechCon—an event that educated students on themes in the technology industry and helped prepare them for summer internships. The event featured speakers such as James Phillips, ’97, Corporate Vice President and leader of Microsoft’s Business Applications Group who discussed Microsoft’s resurgence; and John Kim, '99, President of HomeAway, who explored the growing competitive advantage of one’s humanity as technological advancement leads to the loss of traditional jobs. 

Carla Dunham, ’98, MBA, ’03, former Vice President of Marketing at Equinox Fitness Clubs served as this year’s executive in residence. She assisted students competing in the New Venture and Social New Venture Challenges by coaching them on how to tackle such core marketing challenges as communication, customer acquisition, and channel strategy.
This long list of Kilts Center initiatives ensures that marketing within Chicago Booth and the practice and recognition of the Chicago Booth Approach to Marketing more broadly continue to flourish.

Jean-Pierre Dubé
Faculty Director, Kilts Center for Marketing
Sigmund E. Edelstone Professor of Marketing, Chicago Booth

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