Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and KPMG LLP, the audit, tax, and advisory firm, announced the creation of the Georgetown Institute for Consumer Research, Sponsored by KPMG. The institute will focus on developing innovative, ground-breaking consumer research to illuminate the challenges and opportunities of understanding and marketing to technologically empowered consumers.
The institute, established within Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business in Washington, D.C., will also serve as a forum for global business executives and leading academics to share learnings and perspectives on the constantly changing habits of consumers and to help consumers make better purchasing decisions.
“We have made it a priority to develop scholarly research that advances business practices, and the Georgetown Institute for Consumer Research, Sponsored by KPMG, is our latest initiative to have an impact on the way the world does business,” said David A. Thomas, dean of Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. “The institute will add to the transformational educational experience we provide our students by exposing them to real-world problems faced by marketing professionals and the solutions generated by our research.”
“With the rapidly changing world economy, our clients need insights from research they can take directly to the marketplace and achieve results,” added Lynne M. Doughtie, KPMG vice chair-advisory. “Thought leadership from the institute will be particularly relevant, given the seismic shifts in consumer behavior and buying patterns.”
By bringing together Georgetown marketing scholars and students, KPMG internal talent, the wider business community, and other key stakeholders, the institute will support two to three targeted, high-quality research projects each year. In addition, it will sponsor a series of interactive dialogues that present new knowledge about consumer research or solutions to consumer issues. Existing research titles by Georgetown marketing faculty, such as “How to Stop Consumers from Fixating on Price,” “The Discriminating Consumer: Product Proliferation and the Willingness to Pay for Quality,” and “Go Green! Should Environmental Messages be so Assertive?” serve as examples of the areas the Institute will explore.
“Working on research with a respected university like Georgetown provides an added level of academic rigor and intellectual horsepower to address the rapidly evolving world of consumer marketing,” added Alton Adams, a KPMG principal and sponsor of the Institute. “Complexities around new technology-driven areas such as social media and the cloud, along with a general lack of fact-based research, have created a thirst for consumer behavior insight. The Institute aims to satisfy this demand by producing unique research that carries both an academic and a business world stamp.”
The Institute will be directed by Executive Director Robert Thomas, professor of marketing, and Research Director Kurt Carlson, associate professor of marketing, along with an Executive Committee comprising representatives from both Georgetown and KPMG.
“Georgetown’s outstanding research programs, faculty, and students, teamed with KPMG’s deep understanding of the marketplace, will provide powerful new research that can be put to use immediately to help businesses understand consumer behavior and build stronger customer relationships,” Robert Thomas said.