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In today’s data-driven business world, quantitative marketing skills are essential across job functions and industries to meet consumer needs. Twenty years ago, James M. Kilts, ’74, founded the James M. Kilts Center for Marketing at Chicago Booth to equip students with the skills they need to successfully lead organizations into the future.

“One of the Kilts Center’s singular and most important accomplishments was to become a source of data for the field of quantitative marketing,” said Peter Rossi, MBA ’80, PhD ’84, the center’s first faculty director, reflecting on the history of Kilts. “We made a bet that quantitative marketing was the harbinger of the future, and we were correct—it was, even to a greater extent than I had ever thought it would be.”

In recognition of the Kilts Center’s 20th anniversary, here are highlights about marketing at Booth and the center’s work over the past two decades to transform the field of marketing through pathbreaking research and mentorship of future leaders.

1.  Decades ago, Chicago Booth faculty were pioneers of quantitative marketing, recognizing that it was the future of business. As far back as the 1960s and ’70s, they were evaluating consumer data from newspapers and retail data from stores to gain insights into optimal product marketing.

2.  Today, the Kilts Center’s data archive includes several comprehensive, unique research datasets to advance marketing science, including Nielsen, TransUnion, Numerator, and Syndigo.

3.  Kilts has provided Nielsen data to more than 1,500 faculty, PhD students, and postdocs from 200+ academic institutions around the globe to foster research breakthroughs.

4.  The center receives regular updates from Nielsen on this data, and the current panel is more than 15 years long—the longest panel available to academics.

5.  Scholars have produced 750+ working papers using data from Kilts datasets.

6.  Many of these research insights are available to business professionals through Chicago Booth Review articles available on the Kilts Center website.

7.  More than 60 of these articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research, and Marketing Science, among others.

8.  Kilts supports innovation in Booth’s marketing curriculum by making possible experiential learning opportunities through several marketing lab classes.

9.  3,200+ students have taken a marketing lab course at Booth.

10.  Booth’s marketing community has completed 360+ projects for real-world clients

“We made a bet that quantitative marketing was the harbinger of the future, and we were correct—it was, even to a greater extent than I had ever thought it would be.”

— Peter Rossi, MBA ’80, PhD ’84

11.  Students alone have worked on marketing projects for 210+ companies.

12.  Leading companies around the globe—including Adobe, Hulu, PepsiCo, and Procter & Gamble, to name a few—come to Booth to recruit marketing interns and full-time employees who take an analytical approach to problem-solving.

13.  In 2019–20, more than 800 companies posted and recruited for Booth marketing and tech roles from industries such as consumer packaged goods, technology, social media, pharmaceuticals, and consumer services.

14.  28% of students from the Full-Time MBA class of 2021 accepted internships in marketing and product management.

15.  15% of students from the Full-Time MBA class of 2020 accepted full-time jobs in marketing and product management.

16.  The center has supported more than 200 MBA and PhD students with scholarships including the Kilts Marketing Fellowship. Kilts Marketing Fellows receive significant tuition support and mentorship from a senior marketing executive.

17.  The center works closely with a variety of student groups, including the marketing and technology groups, to host events that complement the Booth curriculum and cater to students’ unique interests.

18.  The Kilts Center creates engaging programs, such as the Marketing Case Competition, to expose students to careers in marketing. The annual event gives students hands-on experience tackling a real-world challenge for a sponsoring company. Past sponsors include Tyson Foods, Pernod Ricard, and MillerCoors.

19.  In FY21, 50+ alumni participated in Kilts Center events, sharing their expertise, insights, and career journeys with students.

20.  The center’s Marketing for Good series helps advance sustainable marketing practices by exploring how marketers and general managers can catalyze positive change.

“Marketing for good is already synonymous with the long-term profitability of the modern company and its long-term competitive advantage.”

— Professor Jean-Pierre Dubé

While still anchored in quantitative marketing, Booth is betting that marketing for good is the new future.

“I genuinely believe that the right social brand image does have long-term value,” said Kilts faculty director Jean-Pierre Dubé in his 2021 commencement speech for Booth’s part-time programs. Dubé is also the James M. Kilts Distinguished Service Professor of Marketing and a Charles E. Merrill Faculty Scholar. “Marketing for good is already synonymous with the long-term profitability of the modern company and its long-term competitive advantage.”

For the latest events and news from the Kilts Center, follow its LinkedIn page.


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