Research Interests: competitive strategies in global markets, innovation and organic growth, marketing management, strategic processes and methods, and organizational change.
George S. Day is the Geoffrey T. Boisi Professor Emeritus at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He founded the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the Wharton School, where he is presently Faculty Emeritus in Residence. He was previously the Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute and is currently an Academic Trustee.
He has consulted to numerous corporations such as General Electric, IBM, Metropolitan Life, Unilever, E.I. DuPont de Nemours, W.L. Gore and Associates, Coca-Cola, Boeing, LG Corp., Best Buy, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, and Medtronic. He is the past chairman of the American Marketing Association and serves on Boards of Directors including the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Zoological Society of Philadelphia and the Lower Merion Conservancy. He is also the co-chair of the Ag Sustainability Center of the Sonoma County Winegrowers.
Dr. Day has authored eighteen books in the areas of marketing and strategic management, including: Peripheral Vision: Detecting the Weak Signals that Can Make or Break Your Company (with Paul Schoemaker) 2006, Strategy from the Outside-In: Profiting from Customer Value (with Christine Moorman) 2010, and Innovation Prowess: Leadership Strategies for Accelerating Growth, 2013. His most recent book is See Sooner/Act Faster: How Vigilant Leaders Navigate Digital Turbulence, forthcoming in 2019 from MIT Press.
He has won ten best articles award and one best book award, and two of his articles were among the top 25 most influential articles in marketing science in the past 25 years. He was honored with the Charles Coolidge Parlin Award in 1994, the Paul D. Converse Award in 1996, the Sheth Foundation award in 2003, and the Mahajan Award for career contributions to strategy in 2001. In 2004, he received the AMA/Irwin/McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award. In 2015 he was chosen as one of eleven “Legends in Marketing,” and in 2017 he was awarded the William L. Wilkie, “Marketing for a Better World” award.
George Day and Greg Shea (2018), Grow Faster by Changing the Innovation Narrative, MIT Sloan Management Review.
Abstract: The work systems model of organizational begins with a plausible growth-affirming narrative, and works backwards to identify obstacles to achieving that future. The heart of this change model is picking a few organizational levers to pull to achieve a new narrative. Our research has identified four levers that best distinguish growth leaders from growth laggards.
Christine Moorman and George Day (2016), Organizing for Marketing Excellence,.
Abstract: The marketing organization is the interface of the firm with its markets and where the work of marketing gets done. This review of the past 25 years of scholarship on marketing organization examines the individual and integrative roles of four elements of marketing organization--capabilities, configuration (including structure, metrics, and incentives), culture, and the human capital of marketing leadership and talent. The authors show that these four elements are mobilized through seven marketing activities (7As) that occur during the marketing strategy process. These activities enable the firm to anticipate market changes, adapt the strategy to stay ahead of competition, align the organization to the strategy and market, activate effective implementation, ensure accountability for results, attract resources, and manage marketing assets. How well the firm manages these seven activities throughout the marketing strategy process determines the performance payoffs from marketing organization.
George Day and Paul Schoemaker (2016), Adapting to Fast-Changing Markets and Technologies, California Management Review.
Abstract: The dynamic capabilities framework identifies three components as critical for successful organizational adaptation, sensing, seizing and transforming. By contrasting two distinct business cases, a long-term biofuel investment by DuPont and Novartis's rapid deployment of digital technologies in marketing, this article assesses the managerial implications of each of these components. It develops an embryonic contingency model that illustrates why the relative importance of dynamic capabilities varies across firms. The article also highlights the critical role played by strategic leaders, who must selectively adapt and refine dynamic capabilities and also serve as a last line of defense in times of rapid change.
Abstract: Purpose – To investigate how business-to-business (B2B) firms view the opportunities and threats of the internet and determine which firms are most likely to gain from the internet. Design/methodology/approach – A nation-wide survey of marketing, sales and MIS managers in B2B firms provides the data necessary to explore the impact of the internet. Findings – Managers view the internet positively as it will reduce customer service costs and allow firms to tighten relationships with customers. The positive potential outweighs the negative potential of increased competition and new pricing models. However, not all will benefit. Practical implications – While there is much optimism about the internet, those most likely to benefit are those firms already proficient at forging close customer relationships. Originality/value – This paper provides lessons about who will benefit from the internet.
George Day and Paul Schoemaker (2004), Driving Through the Fog: Managing at the Edge, Long Range Planning, Peripheral Vision: Sensing and Acting on Weak Signals, Long Range Planning. 10.1016/j.lrp.2004.01.004
Abstract: Although the periphery does not occupy the centre of our attention, it should be ignored at our peril. This paper gives many examples of companies that have been heavily influenced by peripheral events, whether they started out there, or whether they hopelessly misread the oncoming signals. It argues that a monitoring of the periphery can help diffuse small problems before they becomes crises. It provides a roadmap for organisations by describing how to define the field of view and how to assess the signals from it.
David Reibstein and George Day, “Managing Brands in Global Markets”. In The INSEAD-Wharton Alliance on Globalizing: Strategies for Building Successful Global Businesses, edited by Hubert Gatignon and John R Kimberly, (Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 184-206
George Day (Working), Marketing and the CEOs Growth Imperative.
Abstract: Corporate leaders are being squeezed between the pressure by equity markets, for sustained growth in earnings, and shrinking opportunities for growth in their saturated and hotly contested markets. This squeeze is being worsened by the recent stock market plunge which has ruled out growth by stock swap acquisitions and precluded accounting manipulations that artificially grow earnings. This puts organic growth close to the top of the personal agendas of most Chief Executive Officers. Will CEO’s get much help from marketing in resolving their organic growth dilemma? The growth gurus, including Clay Christensen, Richard Foster, Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, are dismissive. In their view marketing is too close to the immediate demands and requirements of current customers and competitors to be a source of breakthrough sources of growth. At the same time new organizational forms are subordinating marketing’s traditional functional role in the innovation process. My intention is first to challenge this restrictive view, because it is not in the organization’s best interest to have marketing performing below potential, and then show how good marketing practice can enhance fast-paced growth through discontinuous innovation.
Description: Corporate leaders are being squeezed between the pressure by equity markets, for sustained growth in earnings, and shrinking opportunities for growth in their saturated and hotly contested markets. This squeeze is being worsened by the recent stock market plunge which has ruled out growth by stock swap acquisitions and precluded accounting manipulations that artificially grow earnings. This puts organic growth close to the top of the personal agendas of most Chief Executive Officers. Will CEO’s get much help from marketing in resolving their organic growth dilemma? The growth gurus, including Clay Christensen, Richard Foster, Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, are dismissive. In their view marketing is too close to the immediate demands and requirements of current customers and competitors to be a source of breakthrough sources of growth. At the same time new organizational forms are subordinating marketing’s traditional functional role in the innovation process. My intention is first to c
Abstract: What capabilities distinguish customer relationship leaders? George Day finds that databases and software for managing customer information are necessary, but CRM initiatives based on technology alone have little chance of success. Instead, incentives, accountability, resources, shared beliefs, and openness to sharing customer information set leaders apart from the rest. What makes some companies so much better at managing customer relationships than their competitors? Why are companies like Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Fidelity Investments, Orange Wirefree plc, Lexus, and Intuit able to stay more closely connected to their best customers than their rivals, in ways that significantly enhance their profitability? This question was the basis of a survey of 342 senior managers in medium-to-large firms in diverse industries, supplemented by in-depth interviews with senior managers in 14 companies. The findings of both studies demonstrate that relationship leaders are able to leverage a superior customer-relating capability to offer customer value that their competitors can’t match. The capabilities of relationship leaders were distinguished by: (1) an openness to sharing customer information, (2) a shared belief that customer retention was a priority for everyone, (3) incentives that emphasized customer retention, (4) customer-facing organizations with clear accountabilities for customer relationships, and (5) adequate resources to support CRM initiatives. The real pay-off comes when all these elements are aligned and reinforce each other. These conclusions held up in all types of markets, whether B2B or B2C, slow or fast growing, with many or few customers. CRM technologies, including databases and software for coordinating customer contacts, did not distinguish relationship leaders from followers. This helps explain why firms are so often disappointed with CRM initiatives that are motivated to solve internal problems or neutralize a competitive advantage. Indeed, the installation of CRM technology should be the last step in the improvement process. Successful change comes from a deep understanding of customers’ needs and behaviors, followed by changes in the incentives and the organization’s structure.
George Day (2003), The Market Driven Organization,, Business: The Ultimate Resource.
Abstract: Customer retention has always been a high priority in business-to-business markets, and it is now at the center of the strategy dialogue in most markets. Customer relationships are seen as among the most valuable and durable of all advantages. Most firms have started, or will start, a major customer relationship management initiative to achieve: a continuing dialogue with customers, across all their contact and access points, with personalized treatment of the most valuable customers, to increase customer retention and the effectiveness of marketing initiatives. However, for many firms, this initiative will be purely defensive, and will not result in advantages. In addition, as firms diffuse best practices, and vendors make relevant software widely available and economical, all competitors will be equally equipped. Most importantly, the organizational capability to provide a personalized experience for each customer is more difficult to achieve than a transactional or product-focused approach. In fact, few firms will master it. What factors distinguish firms that are more capable than their rivals? How do firms achieve an alignment that enables them to successfully execute customer relationship management? What actions can strengthen the customer-relating capability?
This course views marketing as both a general management responsibility and an orientation of an organization that helps one to create, capture and sustain customer value. The focus is on the business unit and its network of channels, customer relationships, and alliances. Specifically, the course attempts to help develop knowledge and skills in the application of advanced marketing frameworks, concepts, and methods for making strategic choices at the business level.
RETAIL ECOSYSTEM ACTION LEARNING PROJECTS: This course offers graduate students from Wharton and other Penn schools an opportunity to work on real-world projects for companies in the retail industry and in the wider retail ecosystem. It requires the exploration and analysis of actual business issues or opportunities identified by sponsoring/client companies, as well as the formulation of recommendations. It combines 1) academic principles, 2) application of prior business knowledge to the project at hand, and 3) a solutions-oriented mentality. In addition to supervised project work and regular updates to the corporate client/project sponsor, the course involves classroom meetings and discussions on topics pertaining to the projects. While this course focuses on "marketing" topics, projects might also incorporate topics from related disciplines such as operations, management of innovation & technology, data analytics, international management, design, and real estate. Indeed, the goal will be to constitute interdisciplinary teams from Wharton and other relevant Penn graduate schools. ADVANCED STUDY PROJECT (GENERAL): The principal objectives of this course are to provide opportunities for undertaking an in-depth study of a marketing problem and to develop the students' skills in evaluating research and designing marketing strategies for a variety of management situations. Selected projects can touch on any aspect of marketing as long as this entails the elements of problem structuring, data collection, data analysis, and report preparation. The course entails a considerable amount of independent work. (Strict library-type research is not appropriate) Class sessions are used to monitor progress on the project and provide suggestions for the research design and data analysis. The last portion of the course often includes an oral presentation by each group to the rest of the class and project sponsors. Along with marketing, the projects integrate other elements of management such as finance, production, research and development, and human resources.
A student contemplating an independent study project must first find a faculty member who agrees to supervise and approve the student's written proposal as an independent study (MKTG 899). If a student wishes the proposed work to be used to meet the ASP requirement, he/she should then submit the approved proposal to the MBA adviser who will determine if it is an appropriate substitute. Such substitutions will only be approved prior to the beginning of the semester.
Winner (with Christine Moorman) for Strategy from the Outside-In (McGraw-Hill 2010)
"The Path to Customer Centricity" with Denise Shah, Roland Rust, A. Parasuraman and Richard Staelin.
Award for Aligning the Organization with the Market (MSI Report 05-110).
For the best article published in the Journal of Marketing that has made a long term contribution to the field of Marketing
AMA/McGraw-Hill Irwin Distinguished Marketing Educator
Erskine Fellow, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
For career contributions to marketing strategy, awarded by the American Marketing Association
From the Wharton Graduate Association
For teaching excellence at The Wharton School, 1992, 1997, 1998
For research on interfunctional issues
For outstanding contributions to the development of the science of
marketing, awarded by the American Marketing Association.
For best working paper “The Capabilities of Market-Driven Organizations”
For most significant contribution to marketing theory and thought for the article “The Capabilities of Market-Driven Organizations.” This article was also the runner-up for the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation Award.
In recognition of outstanding contributions to marketing and marketing education
INFORMS Society for Marketing Science picked my article "The Capabilities of Market-Driven Organizations" which appeared in the Journal of Marketing in 1994 as one of the Top 20 articles that have most affected the practice of marketing science.
For most significant contribution to marketing theory and thought, Jointly with Mary Lambkin for article on “Evolutionary Processes in Competitive Markets: Beyond the Life Cycle.”
In 1980 and 1988
For most significant contribution to marketing practice, Jointly with Robin Wensley for article on “Assessing Advantage: A Framework for Diagnosing Competitive Superiority.”
For outstanding contributions to the use of computers in the field
of business education
For ACustomer-Oriented Approaches to Identifying Product Markets,” with Allan D. Shocker and Ray Srivastava
For most significant contribution to marketing practice, 1978, for article on “Diagnosing the Product Portfolio”
With publication of Buyer Attitudes and Brand Choice Behavior in 1970 by Free Press
1964 and 1965
The venerable multinational firm has seen its stock decline more than 40% in a year. What will it take to turn things around?Knowledge @ Wharton - 2018/01/30