Michael Swidler, MBA is currently a tenure-track, full time faculty member. He joined Columbia College Chicago in February 2001 as adjunct faculty after a career in marketing that spanned more than three decades. Mike is also a Sam Walton Fellow and faculty advisor of the Columbia College chapter of SIFE - Students in Free Enterprise.
His teaching style is to explore marketing from a very unique perspective - the consumer point of view. Mike doesn't see marketing from the product point of view or the retail point of view or the creative point of view because his expertise as an account planner is to see brands as the consumer does.
From his start teaching Integrated Marketing Communications, Mike's classroom has been more of a laboratory than a lecture hall. Marketing essentials are learned by doing and doing means experiments in marketing strategy. The ultimate learning experiment comes in the Developing a Marketing Plan class where a semester long case project is based on each student's dream brand.
The recent creation of a new class - Interactive Tools for Marketing Communication - allows Mike to bring another of his passions to the classroom - Technology. Focused on the most contemporary, technology driven marketing tools, this class is built on a classroom partnership concept. Sections for this class have been developed and supported by leading companies in a particular area of expertise. Work done in conjunction with Tom Hamilton has led to a partnership with Spectra Marketing Systems who has gifted to the school access to and training support for their market leading information management application and databases. This allows our students to work with the same tools and data that brand managers and strategic planners at the top companies and agencies use daily. Another classroom partnership with Navigation Technologies will bring expertise on global positioning marketing and real time discussion on marketing tools engaging this technology that are so leading edge they are still in early release stages.
Mike started his career in the Marketing Research department of Sieber & McIntyre, a pharmaceutical & health care advertising agency. As SMcI grew to a worldwide firm with offices in Chicago, New York and Tokyo, Mike moved from research assistant to account executive to media director to VP Account Supervisor to VP General Manager of Healthcare Services.
In 1981, Mike joined Keroff & Rosenberg Advertising as Executive Vice President/Strategic Partner and with his partners and associates set out on a twenty year journey to build K&R into one of the largest and most successful independent agencies in Chicago. With a client list that included Motorola, Sprint, Marriott Hotels, CNA Insurance, National PTA, Discover Card, Holiday Inn, Howard Johnson, and Budget Rent-a-car among others, K&R became the Chicago office of MARC USA.
Currently in addition to teaching duties, Mike is Managing Partner of Internal Brand Dimensions, Ltd. Founded on the principal that "Employees are Customers Too!" IBD aids companies in maximizing the performance potential of their own employees through smarter internal communications metrics and programming.