The new Medill IMC Spiegel Digital & Database Research Center was formally launched at the McCormick Tribune Center on Wednesday. The scope of the research center will be to understand the links between the purchasing power of customers and their engagement with companies’ social media. This project is the first major center in Medill history for Integrated Marketing Communications work and research.
The late emeritus Edward "Ted" J. Spiegel (1930-2013), a former IMC professor, came up with the idea for the center. His vision was to utilize the university’s research talents to understand how people’s engagement with media affects their buying behaviors. His wife Audrey Spiegel showed representation at the launching.
“This vision that was brought to us by Ted, and supported by Audrey, really was something Ted talked about literally up until the day before he passed away. He deeply cared about what we were doing. He wanted to be sure this vision of his was up and going and that we build insights that would impact the academic community but also the broader practitioner community,” said Tom Collinger, Executive Director of the Medill IMC Spiegel Digital & Database Research Center.
One of the first to speak, President Morton Schapiro spoke at the presentation in admiration of the Spiegel’s family and of the special meaning behind this new research center contributing to legacy of Medill and Northwestern.
Next, Collinger spoke of the background behind Spiegel’s vision and initial studies for the new center. While, professor Ed Malthouse disclosed further research behind the connection of the financial impact of consumers and their participation on multiple media platforms.
Associate Dean and IMC Department Chair Frank Mulhern closed the presentation with a few words about what this center means for the progress of Medill.
“When the next generation of me is up here talking, they may refer back to 2014 as another threshold moment in the history of IMC and the history of Medill. This is really a big deal. This is a big center and this is really moving us in the direction of where the industry is going, and we see ourselves at the forefront of this,” said Mulhern.
Ted Spiegel had a career in direct and database marketing and came to Medill where he helped form the marketing concentration that would later become the Integrated Marketing Communications Program.