As an addition to our ongoing series with marketing professors, one of our digital marketing specialists, Maureen Darrah, interviewed Karen Eutsler, a professor at Xavier University’s Marketing Department.
Read her interview below!
1. How long have you been teaching marketing? What made you want to pursue it?
I started teaching Professional Selling in 2006 as an adjunct while I was still working in corporate. I came on board at Xavier full time in 2016.
2. What is your favorite course to teach and why?
Principles of Marketing. I really enjoy seeing students’ a-ha moments during class. I especially like when students tell me that they like the subject so much they’re going to become a marketing major!
3. Tell me a little bit about yourself (education background, any other relevant work experience). What types of organizations are you involved in?
I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. My BS is in Education from the University of Dayton; however, I pursued a sales career right after graduation. To me, sales is simply educating prospective buyers about your products and company. I feel my undergraduate degree, which taught me to effectively communicate information, was great preparation for sales.
I earned my MBA from Xavier University in 2006 and was hired at XU to teach Selling three months later. I switched industries from technology to legal in 2011. I served as the Director of Marketing and Client Service for five years before joining academia full time in 2016. I LOVE my job. A college professor is what I want to be when I ultimately retire.
4. What do you consider to be the most important and/or interesting aspect about the current state of marketing?
The evolving use of technology. First, we had the internet which let marketers build web pages, then e-commerce platforms, social media, and now data analytics.
I believe successful marketers will be bold in adapting to new technology and using it to enhance our decision-making and communications.
5. What types of research do you do as part of your role? How do you incorporate it into your coursework?
As a teaching professor, I do not engage in traditional research like my PhD colleagues. Instead, my development comes in the form of professional engagement.
I am still very active in the business community and work diligently to get my students to be outside of the classroom too.
6. Where do you feel the future of marketing, particularly digital, is heading?
Building on my answer to #4, I think that marketers have access to an extreme amount of data. The key is what we do with it. How do we find the meaningful bits and use them to accomplish our goals quicker, cheaper, and more accurately?
This applies to all kinds of marketing – social media, shopping patterns, buyer research habits, the channels we use to engage with people, etc.
7. With digital marketing changing at such a rapid pace, how do you see marketing being taught differently in the future?
I think it is very important for marketing classrooms to move away from theoretical and toward active learning where students can do things. Let them dig into Google Analytics.
Give them real buyer data and have them search for patterns. At Xavier, we strive to bring experiential learning, like opportunities for students to work with professionals on actual business problems, to the forefront. I am a firm believer in this approach.
8. What advice would you give to young marketing professionals?
Read. If you are a reader already, commit to making every fourth book you pick up be one related to your profession. Malcolm Gladwell, Dale Carnegie, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Daniel Pink, and Chip and Dan Heath are some of my favorite business-book authors.
If you’re not a book reader naturally, commit to subscribing to a blog and reading a post daily. This quick five minutes will bring you value; maybe not that day, but some day for sure.
9. You were recently voted the 2018-2019 Williams College of Business Professor of the Year by your students. What do you think sets you apart from other professors at Xavier University?
How flattering of you to comment about this. I’m really very proud of this award. I think there are two main things that contribute to my success at teaching:
1) I try to get to know my students as people, not just as filled seats in my classroom. I go to their soccer games, we talk over coffee, and I spend time reviewing their resumes and sending them job leads.
2) I make sure that I teach and assess learning in a variety of ways. Lecture is one approach but so is group work, debates, role plays, brainstorming sessions, and guest speakers. Not everyone is a good writer, or test taker, or presenter, or whatever, so I try to have a multitude of opportunities and ways for my students to show me they are understanding the material. It makes the class more interesting, and therefore more fun, for both me and them.