Dr. Blodwen Tarter, Professor and Chair of Marketing and Public Relations at GGU, has been writing award-winning case studies in marketing since 2007. Case studies ask students to analyze real-world situations and develop solutions in order to apply what they learn in classes. Her work has been consistently recognized by Marketing Edge, a national nonprofit organization committed to introducing and engaging professors and university students in the thriving business of marketing. At GGU’s Spring 2017 commencement ceremony, she was presented with the annual Scholarship award, as selected by her peers on the full-time faculty.
This recognition was based on Dr. Tarter’s long-term track record of published outstanding case studies. In 2016, she was awarded two prizes by Marketing Edge in their annual case-writing competition, winning a Silver award for a case on Save the Redwoods’ campaign “Take a walk in the redwoods—on us!” and a Bronze award for a co-authored case about Pacific Gas and Electric. Here is an example of her work from Save the Redwoods’ campaign:
Save the Redwoods League is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the diminishing redwood forests of California. In 2015, outdoor goods retailer REI launched a marketing campaign #OptOutside, which encouraged consumers to enjoy the outdoors on the day after Thanksgiving, rather than to indulge in the shopping frenzy known as Black Friday. Save the Redwoods League leapt on the opportunity to leverage REI’s national campaign by developing Free Redwood Parks Day, offering free park passes for all 49 redwood state parks for the day after Thanksgiving. The case study details the speedy planning and implementation of the event, provides examples of the marketing assets, and shows how metrics confirmed the enormous success of the #OptOutside#IntoTheRedwoods. campaign. Students are then challenged to develop a campaign for the following year.
A key collaborator, the Redwood League’s Chief Communications Officer, Jennifer Benito-Kowalksi, is a 2004 graduate of GGU (MS, Integrated Marketing Communications) and a veteran of Dr. Tarter’s classes. The case features videos interviewing Benito-Kowalski. An outdoor enthusiast, Blodwen was excited to work on this project.
More Awards in 2017
This year, Dr. Tarter was notified by Marketing Edge that a case about Shinola, a lifestyle brand headquartered in Detroit, is another award-winner. She and co-author Matt Fisher, an adjunct faculty member and student in GGU’s Doctor of Business Administration program, will present the case in October at the Marketing Edge annual conference.
We asked Blodwen Tarter to describe the attributes of an effective case study. She listed:
Builds judgment skills by including ambiguities
Has a well-written and compelling story
Requires solutions from the students without a single “right” answer
Often includes extraneous information to encourage critical thinking
Incorporates real data, if possible, about the subject organization
Demonstrates relevance to current marketing issues and practices
About Blodwen Tarter, PhD
Blodwen Tarter has more than 25 years of management experience in marketing, product and systems development (including website development and e-commerce), strategic planning, and operations management with an emphasis on financial services and information technology. Her employers and clients have included Mead (now RockTenn), Knight-Ridder, Charles Schwab, Ziff Corporation, Wells Fargo, and several Silicon Valley start-ups. At Golden Gate University, she teaches a variety of marketing courses, including marketing management, direct and database marketing, digital marketing and e-commerce, as well as new product development and consumer behavior.
Dr. Tarter holds a BA with Distinction and MA from Stanford University, an MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Chicago, and a PhD from Golden Gate University. She chairs the Marketing and Public Relations department in the Ageno School of Business and has received several teaching awards.