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Institute for Research in Marketing (IRM)

The Institute for Research in Marketing brings together the expertise of the Carlson School’s marketing faculty with top marketers and market research professionals from global brands, creating thought-provoking dialogue and driving the science and practice of marketing forward. This two-way conversation provides greater context for faculty research and encourages real-world adoption of that research, leading to better business strategies and more effective public policies. Michelle Champlin Bergner, an accomplished global marketing professional and adjunct marketing faculty member, serves as director of the Institute.

The Institute’s Board of Advisors is essential in maintaining a combination of rigor and relevance. The collection of industry leaders from major firms provides guidance, facilitates partnerships, and assists with national outreach and advocacy.

Thank You For Attending Ignite 2021!!!

Marketing GPS: Navigating The New Era of Constant Change

How Organizations Can Be More Agile to Cope with an Unpredictable, Volatile, Rapidly Evolving Marketplace. Are You Adapting to Cope or Adapting to Win?

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Welcome David Wilson to the IRM Advisory Board!

David Wilson

David Wilson is the VP, Revenue Generation, Brand, and Media at Northstar which is a long-standing fintech company led by the Fingerhut brand.  Fingerhut is the leading provider for underserved customers seeking to build, rebuild, or establish credit.  As VP, David oversees teams responsible for brand strategy, promotions, customer loyalty, new customer acquisition, advertising, external agency partnerships, and internal creative.  David’s formula for success is simple.  People matter.  Data is power.  Creativity is crucial.  He enjoys merging those three elements into one successful and fun work environment that accelerates revenue growth.

Prior to joining Northstar, David worked in similar roles across a number of different industries including consumer packaged goods, medical devices, and financial services after starting his career in market research.  He holds a MBA from University of Virginia Darden School of Business and a BS in psychology from Brigham Young University.

View David's LinkedIn Profile


Learn About Bluestem Brands

Bluestem brands

Bluestem Brands is the parent company to 5 eCommerce retail brands. They are as strong and determined and adaptive as the prairie grass for which they are named. Whether it’s through their diversity of brands, their unique business model or their company culture, they are forging their own path. By continually innovating and improving, they achieve roughly $2 billion in annual sales, yet they still have our sights set extremely high.

Their mission? To build a dynamic retail enterprise that wins with direct-to-customer excellence and entrepreneurial-minded employees focused on serving their customers’ unique needs. To help them achieve that mission, they follow six key values: Integrity – Consistency in their words and actions. Motivate Excellence – Empowerment and accountability help them deliver positive results. Positive Workplace – Every employee is treated with kindness, dignity and respect. A Will to Win – Searching for new solutions and opportunities daily. Customer Focus – Understanding and supporting every single customer. Teamwork – Trusting everyone to do their jobs, while also challenging each other to improve. Together, the first letter of each value forms the word IMPACT, which serves as a reminder that individually and collectively, the work they do every day will have an impact on the success of our mission.

Visit the Bluestem Brand Website



Featured Faculty Member: Bill Hedgecock

William Hedgcock Discovery

William (Bill) Hedgcock is an Associate Professor in the Marketing Department at the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. His teaching and research focuses on consumer behavior and the neuroscience of choice. Professor Hedgcock’s research utilizes a range of techniques from simple paper and pencil preference questionnaires to physiological measures and functional brain imaging. His primary research stream involves identifying cognitive declines that affect financial decisions in seniors and the physiological and neural correlates of these declines and has been has  published in journals such as the Journal of Marketing Research, Neuropsychology, Management Science, Psychological Science, and the Journal of Consumer Psychology. 

Prior to Carlson, Professor Hedgcock was an Associate Professor and Director of the Marketing PhD Program at the University of Iowa, Tippie College of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management in 2008.

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Featured Board Member: Erin Dady

Erin Dady

Erin Dady has served as Bremer’s Chief Marketing Officer since December 2017, where she oversees all marketing functions, including digital marketing, creative services, external and executive communications, and community relations. Erin was tasked with delivering Bremer’s new brand, which launched May of 2019. Driven by her belief that the world’s problems will be solved at the intersection of the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Erin brings diverse sector experience to her role at Bremer.

Just prior to joining Bremer, Erin led government and community relations at the University of Minnesota. She also previously worked at the City of Saint Paul, serving as director of marketing and the Mayor’s chief of staff. Erin earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Northwestern University, and an MBA from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management.

Erin is deeply committed to the community. She serves as a board member of the Greater Twin Cities United Way, and organization that works to alleviate poverty, and to provide affordable housing and food security in communities throughout the region.  Erin has also served on the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Board and a variety of boards and committees, including Visit St. Paul, St. Paul Chamber of Commerce Foundation, The Jeremiah Program, and Women Winning.  Erin was recognized as a 2008 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal 40 under 40 recipient and named one of the top Executive MBA students in the country by Poets and Quants in 2015. Erin is married with two stepchildren and is passionate about electing more women to public office.

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Featured Faculty Member: Mark Bergen

Mark Bergen

Mark E. Bergen is the James D. Watkins Chair in Marketing at the Carlson School of Management. Bergen's research focuses on pricing and channels of distribution, where he has studied issues such as pricing as a strategic capability, price wars, pricing as truces, pass-through, branded variants, dual distribution, gray markets, co-op advertising, and quick response. Bergen's work has been published in a broad array of scholarly journals and business press, including the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Marketing, Marketing Science, Management Science, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Monetary Economics, Harvard Business Review, and the Sloan Management Review. He teaches undergraduates, MBAs, executives and PhDs in courses on pricing strategy and marketing management, earning him numerous awards for teaching excellence at the Carlson School and recognition as an outstanding faculty member. Additionally, he serves as a consultant with companies in the medical, service, food, retail, and industrial markets. Professor Bergen holds a BS and a PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the University of Minnesota respectively. 

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Michelle Champlin Bergner

Learn About IRM Director Michelle Champlin Bergner

Michelle Champlin Bergner is the Director of the Institute for Research in Marketing, having joined the IRM team in June 2020. As Institute Director, she manages the enterprise responsible for integrating the research programs of the Carlson School with those of local and national organizations engaged in progressive marketing research programs.

Michelle also teaches marketing courses as an adjunct faculty member of the Carlson School, including the undergraduate senior capstone course in Marketing Strategy.

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