Reinventing Integrated Marketing Communications with Don E. Schultz

“A brand is a relationship between a customer and an organization.” Don E. Schultz has spent his storied career navigating, teaching, and writing about that very complex relationship. He’s a Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University’s Medill School, President of Agora, Inc, and author of over twenty-eight books on marketing. He’s also this week’s guest on the On Brand podcast.

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About Don E. Schultz

Don E. Schultz, BBA (University of Oklahoma), MA and PhD (Michigan State University) is Professor (Emeritus-in-Service) Integrated Marketing Communications, The Medill School, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL and President of Agora, Inc., a global marketing, communication, and branding consulting firm. Schultz consults, lectures, and holds seminars on integrated marketing communication, marketing, branding, advertising, sales promotion, and communication management in Europe, South America, Asia/Pacific, the Middle East, Australia, and North America.

He is the author/co-author of over twenty-eight books and over one hundred and fifty trade, academic and professional articles and serves on the editorial review board for a number of trade and scholarly publications. He was the founding editor of the Journal of Direct Marketing, the associate editor of the Journal of Marketing Communications, and the International Journal of Integrated Marketing Communication.

Schultz is a member of the American Marketing Association, American Academy of Advertising, Advertising Research Foundation, Business Marketing Association, Direct Marketing Association, Association for Consumer Research, and the International Advertising Association, as well as the director and US Chairman for Brand Finance, London. He also provides consultancy services to a broad variety of marketing organizations, agencies, media and non-profit groups around the world. Schultz has received numerous awards, including the AAA (American Academy of Advertising) Ivan Preston Outstanding Contributions to Research Award in 2014.

He lives in Chicago with his wife Heidi who is also his business partner.

Episode Highlights

Northwestern University has been teaching advertising since 1903! To say that Schultz teaches at one of the most historic institutions for advertising instruction is an understatement. “In the 1980s — with so much new technology emerging — we started asking, ‘how do we bring all of this together?'” And that’s how integrated marketing communications was born.

“You have to start with customers,” says Schultz. “What do they need? You’re really not trying to sell anything. Persuasion is out of date. It’s a reciprocal process of solving problems for the customer.”

Even integrated marketing communications needs reinvention. “We found we needed to adapt or adjust the process. Today it ends with a sale and operates from campaigns. How do we get beyond solving the individual issue? We need to think about lifetime customer value. How do we get to be more responsive?”

What skill is timeless for marketers? “The technology is coming so fast. If we started teaching the technology, it’d be out of date by the time students graduate.” What skill is timeless and valuable for marketers? “An innate curiosity about people. It’s very important to immerse yourself in culture.”

What brand has made Don smile recently? “Wimbledon. Those people really understand branding and how their brand relates to the world.”

To learn more about Don, you can send him an email at [email protected].

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community …
Recently Darren De Matas gave us a shout on Twitter for our episode on influencer marketing featuring Lee Odden. Thanks for listening, Darren!

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