Preparing Tomorrow’s Marketing Students Begins with Well-Prepared Educators

by Anna Martinez|

SMU Cox Brierley Institute Hosts 52 Marketing Professors

The rapidly changing field of customer engagement—how marketers attract long term customer brand loyalty—was the focus of the third annual Professors Institute at SMU Cox. The school’s Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement hosted the event in January, in partnership with Marketing EDGE, a national nonprofit with a track record of connecting students, academics and professionals to the resources they need to stay ahead.

This is the third year the Brierley Institute at SMU Cox has hosted the event, which was first held by Marketing EDGE in 1981 as a regional conference and later expanded nationally. Participation in the Brierley-hosted event has grown from 25 in 2017 to 52 this year. The invitation-only annual conference brings marketing academics and practitioners together to participate in a collaborative environment, focused on advancing research agendas, networking, and improving how higher education prepares students for successful careers in marketing.

Targeting tenure-track professors earlier in their careers, the leaders of the conference seek to shape the research and teaching of influential academics. Practitioner speakers at the conference, representing Synchrony Financial, McKinsey & Company, American Airlines, Pizza Hut, TGI Friday’s, Neiman Marcus, Brierley+Partners, and Oculus 360 shared opportunities and approaches to issues related to 1) customer engagement, 2) customer experience, and 3) data-driven marketing.

In addition to practitioner presentations, conference leaders shared perspectives on research agendas, trends in marketing that students should learn, and approaches to teaching quantitative analysis to students who are eager to learn, yet need the direction and resources to prepare for today’s marketplace. Hal Brierley, Executive in Residence at SMU Cox said, “These professors will influence hundreds of thousands of students over the course of their careers. We want them to have the tools they need, but more importantly, a passion and enthusiasm for teaching these ideas that are more impactful than ever in today’s data-driven marketing environment.”

“Our alignment with The Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement is one of our most successful partnerships, as we work together to influence and support the lifelong trajectory of teaching and research among young professors nationwide in the field of data-driven marketing,” said Terri L. Bartlett, President of Marketing EDGE. The Professors Institute, which is an important program in its arsenal of academic initiatives at Marketing EDGE, went dormant in 2000, but was revived in 2012 thanks to the support from Brierley, prior to the founding of the Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement at SMU Cox.

Brierley is the chairman and CEO of The Brierley Group, LLC. Over the past 30 years, as founder and chief loyalty architect for Brierley+Partners, he has counseled scores of clients, including such iconic brands as American Express, AT&T, Hertz, Hilton, Neiman Marcus, 7-Eleven, Sony, and United Airlines.

In 1985, Brierley established Brierley+Partners in Dallas, served as president and CEO through 2006, and then as chairman until the firm was sold to Japan’s largest technology services firm, Nomura Research Institute, in 2015. He is also co-founder of Epsilon, a pioneer in database marketing. In 1999, he founded e-Rewards (recently rebranded from Research Now to Dynata), the world’s largest online market research panel providing survey respondents for over 2,500 research firms.

The next Professors Institute will be held in January 2020 at SMU Cox. Applicants may contact

About the Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement
The Brierley Institute, founded in 2016 as the first academic institute in the nation devoted to the study of customer engagement, provides support for research, scholarship, teaching and corporate partnership in the area of customer engagement including, but not limited to, loyalty programs, customer insights and relationship management, in the Cox School of Business. Committed to a transition from traditional customer loyalty to a more holistic view of Customer Engagement, the Institute explores the potential possibility of data-driven personalization and how to motivate behavior change and drive incremental revenue. Funding to establish the Institute was provided by the Hal and Diane Brierley Foundation.

About SMU Cox
The SMU Cox School of Business, established in 1920, is committed to influencing the way the world conducts business via prolific research that provokes innovation, change and global thought leadership. The Cox School of Business offers a full range of business education programs including BBA, Full-Time MBA, Professional MBA (part-time) and Master’s degree programs, as well as Executive Education. Consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools, SMU Cox maintains an active alumni network in more than 80 countries. SMU Cox is accredited by the AACSB

About Marketing EDGE
Marketing EDGE is the only nonprofit with a proven track record of shaping the future of marketing by connecting students, academics and professionals to the resources and relationships they need to see, move and stay ahead. Empowering next generation leaders for more than 50 years, Marketing EDGE expands access to leading research, resources and events, fosters deep personal connections and diverse ideas, and provides real-time insights for real-world impact. Marketing EDGE is supported solely by corporations and individuals who want to give back to the community.