BU Prof Offers Marketing Support to Area Businesses

Nov. 4, 1998

by Alan Hunt

Planning is everything, and Dr. Jim Roberts, newly appointed Mays Professor of Entrepreneurship at Baylor University, is convinced that most businesses need a helping hand when it comes to developing their marketing plan.

With that--and the education of Baylor's entrepreneurship and marketing students, in mind--Roberts has devised what he terms the "perfect" plan, designed to benefit both businesses and the students. He will challenge students in his class to develop a marketing plan for local businesses--all at no cost to the business owners--and then ask the students to present their marketing ideas to the businesses.

Roberts says he has been "shocked" by the apparent lack of marketing knowledge among business executives at the seminars and consulting sessions he has conducted over the years. "A lot of them just don't know beans about the basics of marketing."

He says his plan will help area businesses "get on track" from a marketing perspective and give students first-hand experience in developing marketing ideas. "What I plan to do is enlist businesses locally that would like some marketing support," he says.

Roberts, who was named to his new professorship by Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr., received his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He has been a member of the Baylor faculty since 1991, serving as an associate professor of marketing. The endowed chair he now holds, the Mrs. W.A. (Agnes) Mays Professorship in Entrepreneurship, was established by the Mays Foundation of Amarillo in 1978 as a permanent memorial to Mrs. Mays.

The recipient of numerous awards for his research, Roberts has authored more than 30 published articles on marketing-related subjects. He has presented his scholarly research on such topics as personal selling and sales force management, advertising, and various consumer behavior-related issues at academic conferences across the United States and in Europe.

With his recent appointment, Roberts joins the six-member faculty team that is part of Baylor's nationally ranked entrepreneurship program. Through the Entrepreneurship Studies Program, which is directed by Dr. R. Duane Ireland, a major in entrepreneurship is offered to undergraduate students, and graduate students can complete a concentration in entrepreneurship. Baylor's entrepreneurship courses enable students to acquire and develop the entrepreneurial skills needed to establish and operate a successful business venture. While completing these courses, students participate in various "outreach" activities that allow them to learn while assisting local business owners and entrepreneurs in the areas of management, financial planning, and of course, marketing, among others.

David Allen serves as director of the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship. With an external focus, the center's efforts are geared toward offering programs and activities that are of interest to both practicing and "future" entrepreneurs. Included among the center's activities are the Institute for Family Business, the Innovation Evaluation Center, and the Premier FastTrac program.

Roberts says his contribution to the center will be in developing the "marketing area of the entrepreneurship question." He points out, "An entrepreneur's recipe for success must include a proper marketing plan."

For more information, contact Roberts at (254) 710-4952.

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