Kate KingTitle, department and job responsibilities:I’m an instructor of marketing and management and teach Introduction to Marketing, Retail Strategy and Management, and Freshman Business Experience courses. I also serve as an academic advisor and mentor to undergraduate marketing students and am the faculty advisor to the Butler collegiate chapter of the American Marketing Association, BAMA.

I frequently consult as a marketing subject matter expert for the Butler Business Accelerator. I have participated in a variety of projects related to industrial and retail marketing and branding strategy designed to accelerate the growth and profitability of Central Indiana mid-market companies.

In addition to my faculty role, I serve on the College of Business marketing team, focusing on marketing communication and branding strategy for the COB as well as undergraduate recruiting and yield events such as Butler Business Days and Butler Business Scholars.

Years at Butler:I joined the Butler faculty on a full-time basis in August 2002.

Most memorable academic experience(s) at Butler:My most memorable academic experiences have been those that have allowed me to offer students real world opportunities that transcend the classroom and provide “take-aways” that will benefit them in business and life.

In 2006, I approached Indianapolis based Finish Line Inc. to ask if they would partner with my MK 473 Retail Strategy and Management class. For the past five years, our students have had the unique opportunity of studying a live retail organization – visiting Finish Line’s buying offices and state of the art distribution center as well as hosting FINL executives in the classroom. As part of the partnership, the students have completed an extensive retail research project each year, which culminates in a C-level presentation to FINL executives (an experience worthy in itself). Finish Line has successfully implemented several of the students’ recommendations over the past five years and our relationship has resulted in several internships and the placement of two of my retail students in full-time marketing positions with the company.

In the spring of 2010, I entered my marketing class in a nationwide collegiate competition sponsored by (Product) RED, the non-profit organization whose mission is to raise awareness and funds to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. The students were charged with coming up with a new RED partner brand targeted to college students and to develop a comprehensive marketing plan for their concept including a video (posted on Facebook). We won the national competition and received an all-expense paid trip to New York City to present the concept and marketing plan to the RED organization. This was several students’ first trip to the “Big Apple” and was an exceptional learning experience on many levels!

Projects/research you’re currently involved with: On the academic side, I am currently working on a project with fellow faculty members to update our marketing curriculum. As part of our commitment to real life, real business, we pride ourselves on offering the most relevant and up-to-date marketing education. To that end we are working to be sure that our “product” is going to provide the best learning experiences for our students that will serve them well in their future professional careers.

I am also working with LIDS Sports Group, parent company of LIDS retail headwear stores. LIDS will be the new corporate partner for our retail class. We are working on developing a semester long project for the students that will not only meet the learning objectives for the course but will yield actionable results and recommendations for the LIDS organization.

On the marketing side, I have just finished working on a new interactive website designed to tell the stories behind real life, real business through the use of profile stories, videos and photos. The project is intended to raise awareness and build excitement for an upcoming fundraising initiative as well as serve as a tool for undergraduate and MBA recruiting and COB brand building.

What current intellectual or creative question are you thinking about these days:The question that I’m thinking about right now focuses on how mobile technology is impacting retail strategy. For instance, how do retailers cope with all of the mobile price comparison apps that consumers are using? How can retailers keep these apps from making them just race the competition to the lowest price? How can retailers shape the customer experience at retail in non-price ways to compete effectively, increase value and protect margins? I am currently working on a piece to address these and other questions concerning the balance of high-tech and high-touch in retail strategy.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? The thing I enjoy most about teaching is the privilege to be a part of a young person’s personal and academic journey at this exciting time in their lives. I am especially fortunate because my dual roles in recruiting and teaching often allow me to meet new students as high school seniors, go on to teach them in their first freshman business course and then connect with them again in the classroom as juniors and seniors. The personal and professional transformation they undergo over the four years is truly remarkable.

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