Skip to main content

The Reed College of Media and College of Creative Arts will merge to form the new WVU College of Creative Arts and Media as of July 1, 2024. Get details.

Wrote the Book on Marketing Channels

With Legend Louis W. Stern

Longtime Northwestern Kellogg School of Management professor Louis W. Stern, back in 1977, published the top textbook about distribution channel strategy, also known as “pull marketing.” Since then he’s been the go-to guru in this important one of the 4 Ps. Join us to learn Lou’s key insights into how to determine the best way to go to market, and to manage your channels effectively. You’ll also learn why he believes that omnichannel is the most exciting new development in the field, and the correct response to changing buyer behavior. Lou is now retired and playing tennis in Tucson. A lucky man, and a legend of marketing you’ll want to know.

"No one today can afford not to have multiple channels of distribution. Why is that the case? Because the consumer wants it. The person that is going out and buying your product wants to be free to buy it in whatever way he or she determines." Louis W. Stern, Professor Emeritus of Marketing

About Marketing Legends

Marketing Legends, a series in the WVU Marketing Communications Today podcast, features marketing thinkers, innovators, practitioners and founders — legends of the marketing world — who will talk about their careers and share their wisdom with the marketers of today.

About our Guest

Louis W. Stern, Professor Emeritus of Marketing at Northwestern

Louis W. Stern
Professor Emeritus of Marketing

Louis W. Stern is the John D. Gray Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University. Professor Stern joined the Northwestern faculty in 1973.

Prior to that, he was Professor of Marketing at The Ohio State University. He was appointed to the Ohio State faculty in 1963 after having spent two years at the industrial research firm Arthur D. Little, Inc., Cambridge, Mass. From January 1965 until June 1966, he served as a principal economist for the National Commission on Food Marketing in Washington, D.C., and during the 1969-70 academic year, he was a visiting associate professor of business administration at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1977 to 1980, he served as Chairman of the Department of Marketing at Northwestern, and from 1983 to 1985, he was Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute, Cambridge, Mass. During the 1984-85 academic year, he was the Thomas Henry Carroll Ford Foundation Visiting Professor at Harvard Business School. From 1998 to 2001, concurrent with his position at Northwestern, he was appointed a visiting scholar at the Haas School of Business at The University of California, Berkeley. From 2004 to 2006, he was designated the Dorinda and Mark Winkelman Distinguished Scholar at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a Senior Fellow of the Wharton School, and co-director of Wharton’s Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative, positions he held in addition to the John D. Gray professorship at Kellogg.

Professor Stern’s research efforts have focused on issues related to designing and managing marketing channels and on antitrust issues. His articles have appeared in a wide variety of marketing, legal, and behavioral science journals. Among the books he has co-authored are Marketing Channel Strategy (Taylor & Francis Group, 9th Ed., 2020), Management in Marketing Channels (Prentice-Hall, 1989), and Legal Aspects of Marketing Strategy: Antitrust and Consumer Protection Issues (Prentice-Hall, 1984). His article "Distribution Channels as Political Economics: A Framework for Comparative Analysis” (with Torger Reve) was named the best article on marketing theory to appear in the Journal of Marketing during 1980.

In 1986, he received the Paul D. Converse Award from the American Marketing Association for “outstanding contribution to theory and science in marketing.” In 1989, he was named “Marketing Educator of the Year” by Sales and Marketing Executives-International, and in 1990, he received the same honor from the Sales & Marketing Executives of Chicago. In 1992, he was voted “Outstanding Professor of the Year” by the students at Kellogg, and, in 1993, he was the recipient of the Alumni Choice Faculty Award. He received six times the “Outstanding Professor Award for Electives” from Kellogg’s Executive Masters Program. In 1994, he was selected as the recipient of the American Marketing Association/Irwin Distinguished Marketing Educator Award, which is designed to be “the highest honor a marketing educator can receive.” Also in 1994, he was named as one of the twelve best teachers in U.S. business schools by Business Week magazine. In 1999, his Kellogg classroom was purchased and named in his honor by his former students, friends, clients, and family. And, in June 1999, he was the first recipient of Kellogg’s newly created Special Lifetime Achievement Award for Teaching Excellence.

Professor Stern has participated in distinguished lecturer/visitor series at numerous universities. He taught at the Hernstein Institute in Vienna and at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration in Bergen, and was a faculty associate at the Management Centre Europe in Brussels.

Professor Stern served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Research, and Marketing Letters. He was on the Board of Directors of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. from 1978 to 1983 and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Massachusetts. From 2007 to 2017, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving student achievement in chronically failing urban schools. Since 1986, he has been a member of the Executive Directors Council of the Marketing Science Institute.

Among the numerous business firms for which he has consulted are IBM, Ford, Hewlett Packard, S.C. Johnson, Brunswick, Roche Laboratories, Steelcase, ExxonMobil, Xerox, Boise Cascade, Johnson & Johnson, and Motorola. He also served as a consultant to the Federal Trade Commission and as an academic trustee of the Marketing Science Institute.

AB, Economics, Harvard College (1957); MBA, Wharton Graduate Division of the University of Pennsylvania (1959); PhD, Marketing, Northwestern University (1962).

Meet the Hosts

Cyndi Greenglass

Cyndi W. Greenglass is a founding partner and president at Livingston Strategies, a data-informed, strategic consulting firm that helps clients develop, execute, and measure their customer communications with a close focus on results. Cyndi has razor-sharp strategic skills matched by impeccable on-the-ground savvy and tactical abilities. She is an Adjunct Instructor in the Data Marketing Communications online master's degree program from West Virginia University.

Greenglass has twice been named into the Top 100 Influential BTB Marketers by Crain’s BtoB Magazine and was the 2012 CADM Chicago Direct Marketer of the Year. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for BRAND United and has taught, trained and presented at over 50 conferences throughout the world.

Ruth Stevens

Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, for business-to-business clients. Ruth serves on the boards of directors of the HIMMS Media Group, and the Business Information Industry Association. She is a trustee of Princeton-In-Asia, past chair of the Business-to-Business Council of the DMA, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York.

Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain’s BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She serves as a mentor to fledgling companies at the ERA business accelerator in New York City.

WVU Marketing Communications Today: Marketing Legends is presented by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, which offers renowned online master’s degree programs in Marketing Communications. Interested in growing your career with a master's degree in Data, Digital or Integrated Marketing Communications? Request more information today!