CES Welcomes PSLI Participants Back to Smith

The Professional Services Leadership Initiative (PSLI) is an exciting new executive development program, offered by the CES in conjunction with Smith Executive Programs and Expertise Marketing, Inc.  The  PSLI was launched in fall 2013 with  three founding partners, RandstadT. Rowe Price and Jones Lang LaSalle.  The program targets professional services firms that are global leaders in their industries and are committed to pursuing marketplace excellence.  This program emphasizes building skills that help marketers: 

  • Address the unique challenges and opportunities of marketing in the professional services business environment
  • Collaborate with their internal colleagues to deliver optimal marketing results
  • Understand their company’s business imperatives as it seeks to increase global market share
  • Improve their capabilities in problem solving, collaboration, execution, communication, and leadership.

The first session will be held November 4-6, 2014, a cohort of 30 mid-level marketers from Randstad, T. Rowe Price, and Jones Lang LaSalle, will learn how to apply classic business models, develop global branding strategies, analyze “big data,” create integrated marketing communication strategies, and work with marketing communication agencies. The CES is hosting the second session of the two-part program February 24-26, 2015. 

In the upcoming February session, distinguished Smith faculty members will present the latest in best practices in marketing professional services.  Topics include designing an effective distribution channel, strategies for effective collaboration with sales, competitive pricing, and how to enhance communication skills.  A highlight of the program is team-based action learning projects (ALPs). In the ALPs, teams from each company analyze and propose solutions to challenging strategic marketing problems identified by their firm’s leaders.  Teams will present their proposed solutions to executives from the partner firms at the end of the second session.

For the 2014-15 program agenda, please click here.  For biographies of participating Smith School faculty, please click here.   For additional information, please contact Janet Wagner, Director of the CES at, or Suzanne Lowe, President of Expertise Marketing, LLC, at


Roland Rust, executive director of the Center for Excellence in Service, has just published The Handbook of Service Marketing Research. This volume brings together an all-star team of leading researchers in service marketing to explore many of the hottest topics in service marketing today. Cutting-edge topics include: customer relationships and loyalty, customer-centered metrics, managing customer contacts, product and pricing, digital service marketing, rethinking the marketing function, and service for society. This book, which includes authors from both academia and industry, will provide academics with an invaluable current view of the field and practitioners with a window into the latest academic thinking. With chapters from internationally renowned contributors, this comprehensive yet concise handbook will appeal to service marketing academics, researchers and service practitioners. Professor Rust’s co-author is Professor Ming-hui Huang of National Taiwan University, who is a research fellow of the CES.




The University of Tampere EMBAs Visit the Smith School

Univ. of Tampere EMBAs

The University of Tampere in Finland partnered with the Center for Excellence in Service (CES) to offer an executive education program focusing on service marketing and management.  The CES  hosted 17 EMBA students from the Finnish university from May 14-16, 2014.  Professors P.K. Kannan and Yogesh Joshi presented, respectively, seminars on customer equity management and service innovation.  Our Finnish guests were hosted onsite by managers at the Corporate Executive Board, in Arlington, VA., for a seminar on the “effortless” customer experience, and by marketing managers at The National Aquarium in Baltimore, to learn about its innovative marketing program. Onsite visits incorporated themes discussed in the program to provide students the opportunity to learn from leading marketing practitioners.

The CES Hosts Social Media Panel at the Smith School Business Summit 

The Center for Excellence in Service (CES) held a successful panel on social media at the third annual Smith School Business Summit (SSBS) on March 28, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Bethesda, Maryland.  The CES invited four panelists working as social media managers or consultants to discuss the challenges and rewards of using social media to provide customer support and build customer relationships.  The panel was moderated by Associate Professor & Director of the CES, Janet Wagner and included four panelists: Alphonse MacDonald, Director of Marketing and Technology of The National Academies; Lucia Stoller, Director of Social Marketing at Marriott International; Brian Lustig, Partner at Bluetext; and Jonathan Rick, Digital & Social Media Marketing Consultant of The Jonathan Rick Group. 

The panel began with a brief introduction of the panelists followed by questions from the moderator and members of the audience.  Topics of discussion included strategies for identifying social media platforms and metrics for success, tips for monitoring and managing customer feedback, and the role of social media in a company’s marketing communications program.  Panelists also discussed how to successfully pitch a social media plan to senior executives by identifying the right metrics to increase the return on investment (ROI).  Strategies on how to utilize social media to engage with customers and strengthen customer relationships, tips to successfully manage social media platforms during an internal or external crisis, as well as how to find the right balance between social media and sales platforms were also shared.


For Smith School events, please click here.