The 51st AMA-Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium program officially started on Thursday morning with a panel of marketing legends. Consortium chair and Notre Dame professor, William Wilkie invited a panel of esteemed scholars to offer their views on the Fasinating Field of Marketing.
Professor Kotler opened the panel discussing the roots of marketing. "Marketing wouldn't be a prominent discipline if we had scarcity," Kotler explained. "If we were in a world of scarcity, which we had been in for so many centuries, people would do anything to get a product."
As industrialization and technology allowed products and brands to become abundant, the need to understand consumer decision making became a valuable discipline of study. In the postwar 1950s, marketing was becoming valued by most major businesses. As marketing became more sophisticated, Kotler pointed to a turning point in the marketing discipline being a Ford Foundation sponsored program at Harvard University that aimed to train professors in quantitative methods. From that program, numerous papers were published that explored applying quantitative methods to marketing.
Valarie Zeithaml picked up where Kotler left off stressing the value in understanding the history of marketing and not just the research from the last ten years. She recounted teaching a marketing theory course and sharing seminal works with PhD students. In some cases new research is being repeated not to test long-standng theory, but because emerging scholars are not aware that the theories have already been developed. David Reibstein offered some forward thinking insights as to how marketing may be studied and the practical implications of great research, but a highlight of his presentation was a video of Wharton faculty sharing why they found marketing to be so fascinating.
Jagdish Sheth Closed the panel thinking specifically about the future and the impact of the Digital Age. "Digital marketing means anytime-anywhere-anyhow marketing," Sheth explained. "It also means a blurring of the lines between advertising, promotion, and word of mouth influence. User-generated content is here to stay." In a reference to Kotler's opening remarks, he explained that just as marketers had to develop metrics to study print, radio and television advertising, they know need to develop new metrics for the growing field of digital media.
Philip Kotler is the S.C. Johnson & Son Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. He is author of 5 dozen books on the subject of marketing and was the first recipient of the AMA Distinguished Marketing Educator honor.
David Reibstein is the William Stewart Woodside Professor of Marketing at University of Pennsylvania. He has served as chair of the AMA Board of Directors as well as Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute. His research focuses on marketing strategy and marketing metrics.
Jagdish Sheth is the Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing at Emory University. He is published nearly 400 papers on the subject of marketing and consumer behavior. His classic text, The Theory of Buyer Behavior (co-authored with his mentor John Howard) is one of the seminal texts in marketing.
Valarie Zeithaml is the current chair of the AMA Board of Directors and the David S. Van Pelt Family Distinguished Professor of Marketing at University of North Carolina. Valarie is a leading researcher in the field of Service Marketing