Kmet honored with marketing legend award
By Monica Sather | Student reporter
Carolyn Tang Kmet, senior lecturer in information systems, received a marketing legend award for her 20 years in data-driven marketing, including work for Groupon, Orbitz, and digital marketing agency All Inclusive Marketing.
She was honored as part of the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Awards presented at Affiliate Summit West 2018, the largest conference for the performance marketing industry.
Here, Kmet discusses the award, her work in marketing, and how she brings it into the classroom.
Tell me about the Affiliate Marketing Legend award.
The Affiliate Marketing Legend award is not given out every year. It is only awarded when the Affiliate Summit founders, along with an advisory committee, see that someone has distinguished themselves throughout their career.
For me, this was the ultimate award that I could have received. I never imagined that my work would have been recognized at this level, and it is humbling to think that my colleagues recognize and appreciate my contributions to the field.
Tell me about your work in data-driven marketing strategy.
I have been working in the performance marketing industry since the late 1990’s, when e-commerce just started taking off. I started working for a company called MyPoints.com, and helped establish affiliate advertising partnerships with online retailers. After significantly growing that particular marketing channel for them, I got the opportunity to pursue my MBA at Loyola. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.
Getting my MBA positioned me for more senior management roles, and after graduation, I went to work at numerous companies, eventually rising to a CMO position with All Inclusive Marketing, a digital marketing agency.
As my career grew, so did the field of analytics. With e-commerce, you can track just about any consumer activity. Even before a consumer steps into your online store, you can dig into the data and see what they are interested in and what motivates them. Using that data, you can personalize your marketing, merchandising, and messaging. If you give a consumer exactly what they want, you will likely see a higher conversion rate.
Every strategic decision I have ever made, at every stage of my career, was informed by data.
Why did you decide to enter academia?
Dr. Raymond Benton Jr., professor emeritus at the Quinlan School of Business, has always been a wonderful mentor for me. Just over 10 years ago, he asked me to teach a graduate-level marketing course over the summer.
I loved it so much that I started picking up a couple classes here and there, in addition to my full-time roles. It was almost like an outlet for me. Working with the students kept me engaged in my own field, and I loved seeing them get excited about the material. When a full-time teaching position opened up within the Information Systems department, it was a natural segue for me given my background in marketing analytics.
No one has ever succeeded in life without the help of others, and I am so fortunate to have had such a strong support network throughout my career, including Drs. Mary Malliaris and Nenad Jukić at Quinlan.
How do you bring your experience into the classroom?
A lot of best practices from the corporate world make their way into lectures. I have also had former colleagues come in as guest lecturers, and I have done short case studies based on some of my personal experiences.
I think coming in as a practitioner helps me augment the coursework with real-world, personal examples.