Cohort 2 of the PSLI is a Resounding Success

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, Randstad, T. Rowe Price and JLL In 2014, we were proud to welcome a new partner, PwC.

The PSLI targets professional services firms that are global leaders in their industries and are committed to pursuing marketplace excellence. All modules are taught by distinguished Smith School Faculty members. This program emphasizes building skills that help marketers:

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

The first session of the two-part program was held November 4-6, 2014. Participants were a cohort of 23 mid to senior-level marketers chosen by our partners for their career development potential. In this session, participants learned the latest on how to apply classic business models, manage power and conflict in marketing channels, plan traditional marketing communication and digital media strategies, and work effectively with agencies. In the break between sessions, participants completed an online financial analysis course. In the February 24-26, 2015 session, topics included strategies for effective collaboration between marketing and sales, competitive pricing, global branding, and how to enhance communication skills. A highlight of the program is team-based action learning projects (ALPs). In the ALPs, a team from each company analyzes and proposes solutions to challenging strategic marketing problems identified by their firm’s leaders. The program culminated with teams presenting their ALPs to senior executives of our partner firms.

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

European Marketing Academy Honors Roland Rust

Roland Rust, active with research and academic institutions in England and the Netherlands, is one of two people this year to be elected a Fellow of the European Marketing Academy (EMAC). Rust, Distinguished University Professor and David Bruce Smith Chair in Marketing at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, was also recently named as an inaugural American Marketing Association Fellow.

He is one of only two Americans to be an EMAC Fellow.

Rust’s appointment recognizes his outstanding contributions to both the EMAC community and the scholarship and practice of marketing by European academies.

Rust serves as Visiting Chair in Marketing Research at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, and International Research Fellow of Oxford University’s Center for Corporate Reputation. He also currently serves as Vice-President of External Relations for EMAC, the only non-European on the EMAC Steering Committee.

He also is founder and executive director of two research centers at the Smith School: the Center for Excellence in Service and Center for Complexity in Business.

Marketing Association Honors Smith Professor

The American Marketing Association has selected Professor Roland Rust at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business as an inaugural AMA Fellow in a new program that honors top marketing academics.

The AMA, the largest marketing association in North America, selected Rust because of his contributions in teaching, research, practice, service and leadership.

Rust, a Distinguished University Professor and David Bruce Smith Chair, is founder and executive director of two research centers at the Smith School: The Center for Excellence in Service and the Center for Complexity in Business. In 1992 he founded the annual Frontiers in Service Conference, sponsored by INFORMS and respected widely as a leading global conference on service research.

Rust’s global activity extends to serving as an International Research Fellow of Oxford University’s Center for Corporate Reputation and as visiting chair in marketing science at Erasmus University in the Netherlands. Other lifetime achievement honors include the AMA Irwin McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award, Fellow of the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science, the Paul D. Converse Award, AMA’s Career Contributions to the Services Discipline Award, AMA’s Churchill Award for Lifetime Achievement in Marketing Research, and the Distinguished Marketing Educator Award from the Academy of Marketing Science.

The award will be presented at the AMA Winter Educators Conference on Feb. 14, 2015, in San Antonio, Texas. The association will induct up to three AMA fellows annually.

Roland Rust is New Editor of International Journal of Research in Marketing

The CES is proud to announce that Roland Rust, Executive Director of the center, has been named editor of the International Journal of Research in Marketing.

The International Journal of Research in Marketing (IJRM) is an international, double-blind peer-reviewed journal for marketing academics and practitioners. Building on a great tradition of global marketing scholarship, IRJM aims to contribute in a meaningful way to the field of marketing research by providing a high-quality medium for the dissemination of the new marketing knowledge and methods. Among IJRM's targeted audience are marketing scholars, practitioners (e.g., marketing research and consulting professionals) another interested groups and individuals.

Professor Rust was founder and first editor of the Journal of Service Research. He is also former editor of the Journal of Marketing.

For more information on IJRM, please click here.

Janet Wagner Moderates U.S. Department of Labor Customer Service Panel

Janet Wagner, Director of the CES, moderated a panel on customer service feedback for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), on September 25, 2014. Professor Wagner launched the discussion with a brief presentation on the importance of managing customer feedback well, and how customer feedback can be used to improve customer service quality. The panel featured Tina Jones of OSHA, and Doug Robins and Danielle Germaine of the OASAM. Panelists presented best practices in customer service from their offices, and fielded questions from DOL staff located onsite and offsite. The panel was offered as part of the DOL's customer service community of practice program.

Roland Rust Publishes The Handbook of Service Marketing Research

 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

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.