Marketing Maestros

Haas leads the way in teaching marketing strategy in a data-heavy world.

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Haas also is a leader in teaching a data-driven approach to solving marketing problems, reflecting the evolution of marketing from a qualitative, creative field to a quantitative science.


"You learn a very thorough, analytical methodology at Haas," says Intel CEO Paul Otellini, MBA 74, who few people realize started in the marketing and sales side of Intel to become the first non-engineer to head the semiconductor giant. At Haas, "we relied heavily on a strategic data-driven approach to problem-solving. That has worked extremely well for me in the high-tech industry."


Indeed, Otellini was executive vice president of Intel's sales and marketing group when Financial World named Intel the world's third-most valuable brand, thanks in part to its innovative "Intel Inside" campaign. The campaign is considered among the most successful ever in marketing.


Glazer gave Haas a head start in the data-driven marketing movement. In 1999, his influential article "Winning in Smart Markets" defined a smart market as a turbulent, information-intensive field with constantly changing products, customers, and competitors. Such markets, he argued, require a shift in performance goals from profitability per product to profitability per customer.


Passionate Scholars

Glazer is one of several Haas faculty members who have influenced the field of marketing with pioneering research. "The research culture of the faculty is focused singularly on making path-breaking contributions to marketing strategy and behavior rather than incremental contributions," says Professor Ganesh Iyer, also co-chair of the Haas Marketing Group.


"We not only value the understanding of marketing problems through the development of theory, but also empirical analysis that validates the theory or uncovers phenomena," Iyer adds.

Glazer, who joined the Haas in 1989, and Professor Emeritus David Aaker, who was at Haas from 1968 to 2000, are among the school's forward-thinking faculty who have helped turn Haas into one of the top-ranked marketing schools in the world. Aaker is one of the world's leading branding experts and an award-winning author of more than 100 articles and 14 books. He returns to Haas every spring to give a special marketing lecture, and will return in 2011 to talk about his new book, Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant, which will come out in January.


While Glazer and Aaker have taught a generation of students about marketing, a new cadre of influential scholars has picked up the torch. They include Professor J. Miguel Villas-Boas, who this year won the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science's inaugural Long-Term Impact Award for a ground-breaking paper that launched a significant change in marketing methodology. The paper, which Villas-Boas co-wrote a decade ago, led marketers to incorporate a range of "marketing-mix variables" into strategic marketing plans.


Villas-Boas and Assistant Professor Zsolt Katona teach Marketing Strategy courses at Haas, using a computer simulation to allow students to make key decisions over the life of a firm. Katona says the core message to students is “you can’t be successful if you don’t think of the big picture.” 


Successful Alumni

Indeed, alumni in marketing repeatedly credit their success to their high-level, strategic thinking combined with strong analytical skills–both developed at Haas.


Take Chas Murphy, EWMBA 07, who last year made AutoWeek's list of “10 Secret People,” who the magazine said are distinguished by “smarts, talents, wit, charm, capabilities, and single-minded drive.”


As a manager overseeing the sports car lines for Audi
of America, Murphy helped steer the company's
decisions while it was entering the high-end exotic sports car market. Murphy used multiple regression analysis (a statistical tool to forecast event probabilities) that he learned at Haas to predict how many new sales Audi would gain from launching a sports car with a V10 engine and how many sales would cannibalize customers from its V8 line.


We were going to compete in a space we never had before with customers coming to our brand from Ferrari and Lamborghini, and we needed data to make the right decisions," says Murphy. "I was able to present to the board what I thought the loss or gain in sales would be along with model mix and the optimal price positioning.


"When the car launched, I was correct with my prediction," adds Murphy, who was promoted in September to head the company's strategy planning department. The president and CEO of Audi of America cited Murphy’s strong analytical reputation in the company in giving him the new job.


The Future
Glazer believes marketing still has a long way to go in terms of taking advantage of the ever-increasing abundance of data.  “We’re moving into a phase where the customer co-creates the product,” he says. Custom-styled Levis and Nikes, customized computers from Dell, and highly personalized news from Google are just the beginning of these types of marketing-driven partnerships between firms and consumers that will power Glazer's "smart markets" future.


In this future, a successful firm is the one that pulls up close to its customers, invites them inside, and takes them where they want to go. With the marketing skills that students develop at Haas, there's no doubt that the school's alumni will be driving that success.  CB


For more information about the Haas marketing curriculum, visit



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