Reflections on Building a Career in Marketing at Booth

Reflections on Building a Career in Marketing at Booth

Kilts Marketing Summit May 2022 (photo by Anne Ryan)

For many, the idea of marketing elicits scenes of Mad Men and tropes of the Golden Age of Advertising. But these idyllic days are long gone, and marketing today is much more than a jingle, an ad in the New York Times’ Sunday Edition, or a 30-second commercial spot. 

Marketers are now charged with managing every facet of a brand, juggling both the consumer-facing creative touchpoints and the broader brand operations and strategy. This includes navigating supply chain challenges, developing product line extensions, determining optimal pricing, identifying the creative promotional mix, and more. Through experiences both in the classroom and beyond, Booth prepares students to become well-rounded marketers equipped with the skills to tackle these challenges and successfully lead a brand.

In class, we learn from marketing experts leveraging their latest research, as well as how to employ emerging analytical tools and the Kilts Center for Marketing’s proprietary data sets. To complement the in-class education and enable students to amplify their marketing abilities, the Kilts Center enlists its broad and engaged network of marketers, giving students opportunities to learn about present-day challenges that brands and Booth alumni navigate as marketers. This year’s Kilts speakers covered a broad range of topics allowing students to see how the Chicago Booth Approach to Marketing can manifest in real-world business settings.

For example, following Super Bowl LVI, students engaged with a panel of alumni including Chandreyi Saha Davis, ’06, Colin Kinsella, ’89, Michael Sprague, ’96, and Adjunct Professor of Marketing Tom Hafen, ’04, who assessed the creativity and effectiveness of the game’s advertisements. The workshop underscored the many considerations marketers must weigh when developing brand creative. From this workshop, I learned the dedicated task brands face as they try to balance the brand’s goals against consumer needs. Additionally, this workshop gave students a high-level understanding of how brands engage with their creative agencies. 

Later in the quarter, we were able to build on this knowledge at the Kilts Center’s “From Brief to Campaign” workshop, where leaders from Kraft Heinz and their creative agency presented a thorough case study detailing the creative briefing process highlighting how a business challenge manifests into a promotional campaign.

As marketers in a world where consumers are increasingly more diverse and socially conscious, it’s important that we create marketing programs that are inclusive and reflective of today’s society. Through its “Marketing for Good” speaker series, the Kilts Center offers students the opportunity to harness their marketing skills to effect positive change in society. 

Earlier this year, Leandro Barreto, Global VP of the Dove Masterbrand, joined Kilts to discuss the importance of consumer-centric purpose-driven branding. Barreto detailed how insights informed the brand’s strategy and what metrics Dove used to evaluate success. Further, Barreto underscored the value for brands to embrace their consumer’s needs and adapt their products and brand messaging to meet the changing needs of consumers.

In addition to ensuring the brands we work with are inclusive and representative of our evolving society, it’s important that we as marketers lend our skills and talents back to the communities in which we live. Booth alumni Terry Peigh, ’76, joined the Kilts Center and the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation to highlight the need for marketers to leverage their skills in service of their local communities. 

Early in his career, Peigh identified volunteering through board service as an opportunity to leverage his professional talents to catalyze positive change while also broadening his own skills and network. At Booth, students can engage in local board service through the Net Impact Board Fellows program, which allows students to put the skills they’ve developed at Booth to work for a good cause.

Throughout my first year, the Kilts Center’s programming and events have enabled me to broaden my understanding of marketing and my marketing skills while also shedding light on the many opportunities marketers have to effect positive change, whether it’s through more inclusive products and campaigns or by lending our skills and time to local organizations serving our communities.

Kilts Marketing Summit May 2022 (photo by Anne Ryan)