Isenberg Professor Explores Social Media Frontiers

October 26, 2012

Prof. Bruce WeinbergProf. Bruce WeinbergBring cutting-edge academics and industry practitioners together in a synergistic project-based setting and good things will happen, observes Isenberg marketing department chair Bruce Weinberg. That was Weinberg's experience in Munich at The Social Media Think:Lab Thought Leaders' Summit 2012, hosted September 19-21 by the University of Munster, Cass Business School, Journal of Interactive Marketing, and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. At the three-day gathering, Weinberg and two dozen other leading experts in social media explored and defined state-of-the-art issues in their field. Their collaborations will be highlighted in a forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Interactive Marketing.


During the conference, six working groups each focused on a different social media/ management topics. Weinberg chaired a team-three academics and a global manager from Dell-that tackled "Organizing the Enterprise for Social Media Excellence." The group dissected best practices from Dell's recent multi-year initiative to adopt and employ social media throughout the organization. The undertaking has transformed the company's service and communication with its customers, as well as business processes and communication among internal stakeholders.


Dell, notes Weinberg, has leveraged Twitter, community forums, blogs, and other social media to engage with and learn from its customers. The upshot has been dramatically improved service and greater profitability. "Dell has taken information from those channels very seriously-the input has had a decisive impact on the company's service culture," he emphasizes.


Weinberg joined Isenberg as its marketing chair in September after spending 12 years on the marketing faculty at Bentley University (including a stint as its chair from 2007-2011). His research, which is both theoretical and applied, has appeared in leading journals and periodicals such as Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Harvard Business Review and The Wall Street Journal. Along with the likes of Clay Christensen, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, John Deighton, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, he is ranked as one of 50 Business Professors You Should Follow on Twitter. Next spring, he will offer Isenberg undergraduate and graduate students an innovative seminar in social media, a course that is expected to generate considerable student demand.


The conference in Munich, added Weinberg, was a fantastic networking experience for academics and industry practitioners-social media enthusiasts who take their social networking seriously. Beside the representative from Dell, it included participants from the German marketing & consulting firms the Otto Group, GfK Verein, and BuzzRank as well as two dozen academics from leading universities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. One participant, Lauren Labrecque, an assistant professor of marketing in the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago, was a 2010 Isenberg Ph.D. graduate in marketing. Labrecque has a growing reputation in research involving digital/interactive marketing and sensory marketing and design (that focuses on the use of color). "No surprise to discover members of the Isenberg community wherever I go-including overseas," remarks Weinberg.