MIT Sloan marketing award honoring GM research pioneer Buck Weaver is presented to Professor Glen L. Urban

Cambridge, Mass., Mar. 26, 2012—Glen L. Urban, Dean Emeritus and the David Austin Professor in Management at MIT Sloan School of Management, was honored with the Ninth Annual Buck Weaver Award for Marketing.

Established by MIT Sloan School of Management in 2003 and sponsored by General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the award recognizes individuals who have made important contributions to the advancement of theory and practice in marketing science.

John D.C. Little, co-founder of marketing science as a field and Institute Professor at MIT; Andy Norton, Director of General Motors North America Portfolio Planning; and Vince Barabba, retired GM Director of Strategic Marketing presented the award to Urban during a two-day symposium of the same name held on Thursday, March 22 and Friday, March 23 at the MIT Faculty Club. Urban’s presentation was entitled, “Implementing Marketing Science: Why is it so Darn Hard?”

Urban is a leading educator and researcher specializing in marketing and new product development. He has been a member of the MIT Sloan School of Management faculty since 1966, serving as Deputy Dean at the school from 1987 to 1991 and as Dean from 1993 to 1998. Urban is co-author of seven books and numerous papers, which have won several prestigious awards including two William F. O'Dell awards. He has received the Paul D. Converse Award and Charles Parlin Award for lifetime achievement in marketing research.

Over the last 10 years, Urban’s research has concentrated on trust based marketing systems and web site design to match the cognitive style of users. This work was supported by MIT-sponsored research projects at Intel, GM, BT, FT/Orange, Liberty Mutual, Suruga Bank, WPP, Google, Cnet and AT&T.

Urban’s most recent research focuses on morphing banners to improve their effectiveness, methods to reach Gen Y, the impact of apps, and the allocation of funds between new and old media. He has founded five companies. The most recent is Experion Systems, a firm specializing in advice software for financial and health decisions, which merged with eHealth in 2010.

According to Barabba, who chaired this year’s award selection committee, Urban was selected from a pool of the very best academics and business leaders who have made fundamental contributions to marketing science in the last 25 years. Barabba said, “Given all that I have read about Buck Weaver and what I know about Glen Urban after working with him for more than 25 years, Buck Weaver would have enthusiastically approved.”

Added Little, “For over 40 years, Glen has astounded me by producing leading edge, marketing science research with largely student teams, publishing the results in top journals, and securing financial support for these activities from private companies, which almost always implement the team findings. He epitomizes academic rigor and relevance.”

Henry Grady “Buck” Weaver was a pioneer in marketing research and market-based decision making in the 1930s. Working for GM, he was the first known director of marketing research who went on to pioneer formal consumer research on attitudes, opinions, styling preferences, and customer design feature priorities. His contributions to the field were noted by Time Magazine in the 1930s. They were recently uncovered by GM's Barabba.

The pioneering research of MIT Sloan faculty in building and implementing marketing models and decision-support systems has enhanced new product development for decades. Other award-winning research projects focus on customer satisfaction and the psychological underpinnings of economic and consumer behavior.