Venkatesh “Venky” Shankar’s pioneering works on marketing mix models and attribution techniques have advanced the state-of-the-art in ROI measurement. Multiple marketers have successfully used these to annually benchmark their performance and adjust their marketing strategies and tactics.
At its fall summit last week, MASB, the Marketing Accountability Standards Board, named Shankar, who is Ford Chair Professor in Marketing & E-Commerce and Director of the Research Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School, Texas A&M University, as one of two recipients of the 2022 Margaret H. Blair Award for Marketing Accountability.
“Venky has transformed the common perceptions of marketing as a ‘soft’ and ‘questionable’ function to marketing as a ‘quantifiable and valuable’ function through measurement, analysis, monitoring, and accountability,” reads the nomination by Kiran Pedada, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Manitoba. “In short, he is a brilliant and authentic advocate for marketing accountability and a great ambassador for quantifiable marketing.”
“Venky has consistently used financially sound marketing models to demonstrate return on marketing investment,” wrote former brand executive Suresh Divakar in his nomination. “He practices what he preaches in his teaching. I have been a guest speaker in his classes and I can see how he clearly drives home analytical marketing concepts in his classes.”
Shankar’s paper in Marketing Science (July 2008), A Multicategory Brand Equity Model and Its Application at Allstate, co-authored with Pablo Azar and Matthew Fuller of Allstate Corporation, is a highly regarded and cited case study demonstrating the connection between brand attributes and shareholder value.
“Out-of-the-box thinking, that is exactly what I love about working with industry,” said Shankar at the award presentation, “and that’s what I love about what MASB is trying to do. Put a real value on it and elevate the marketing profession.”
Venky has also championed the use of advanced marketing analytics in consultative engagements, at practitioner conferences, and, of course, in the classroom. Students have benefited from improved intuition formed through his novel use of marketing simulations.
His work on p-service and e-service innovations, summarized in a MASB Finance in Marketing Education video, has framed the opportunity for the industry.
The Blair Award is presented annually by MASB to a marketing executive or academic that has implemented the principles of marketing accountability to 1) drive business growth through continuous improvement in Marketing ROI, and 2) prove the contribution of Marketing to enterprise value.
MASB co-founder Meg Henderson Blair was a pioneer of both marketing measurement and marketing accountability, linking marketing actions to financial performance to improve return. Serving as founding President and CEO, she led MASB through its first decade, recruiting many marketers, measurement providers, industry associations and academics to the cause.
The 2022 Blair Award was also presented to Brand Finance’s David Haigh.