Michel Wedel, a marketing professor from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, will receive a career achievement award on Feb. 23, 2019, at the American Marketing Association Winter Academic Conference in Austin, Texas.
The Irwin/McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award recognizes sustained contributions to marketing over an extended period of time. Only 35 educators have received the honor since the inaugural presentation in 1985.
Past recipients include Maryland Smith professor Roland Rust, recognized in 2012, and Smith MBA and PhD alumna Valarie Zeithaml, recognized in 2009. Zeithaml now teaches at the University of North Carolina.
Despite his success in marketing research, Wedel started down a different path in the Netherlands, where he was born and raised. After earning degrees in biomathematics, business and statistics in the 1980s, he went to work at a nutrition research institute in The Hague.
That’s where a boss asked him to do marketing research to determine how people choose the food they eat. “A few years and a few publications later, he urged me to do a PhD,” Wedel says.
By this point, Wedel had developed a passion for marketing. So he enrolled in a program at the nearby University of Wageningen, and earned a PhD in marketing while continuing his work at the nutrition institute. “I was struck by the breadth of questions, data and methodologies in marketing,” he says.
Over time, Wedel became increasingly interested in assessing the effectiveness of visual marketing using eye-tracking technology. He also studies targeted advertising, which relies on consumer data from social media and other digital sources.
Wedel, who came to Smith in 2006, serves as Distinguished University Professor and PepsiCo Chair in Consumer Science.