Embracing Change

PROVO, Utah – Feb 19, 2020 – Some people fear change, but BYU Marriott Marketing Lab director Matt Madden embraced change to pursue a career that combines his professional experience in marketing and insights consulting with his desire to teach.

Leaving his previous career and accepting the position of Marketing Lab director and marketing associate professor was not the first time Madden embraced change to pursue a different career path. As an undergrad at BYU, Madden considered a career as a high school math teacher, but he decided to study statistics instead. “I was looking for something that was going to be more practical and hands-on, and at least at the time, math seemed really theoretical to me,” says Madden. “And I wanted to do something that tied a little bit more into business, so I switched from studying math education to getting a statistics degree with a business emphasis.” After this switch, Madden graduated from BYU with a BS in statistics and an emphasis in business in 2000 and an MS in statistics from BYU in 2003.

After his graduation from BYU, Madden accepted an internship with the Modellers, a market research company based in Salt Lake City, while it was still in its startup stages. As the company grew, so did Madden’s role within the company. He became the director of analytics in 2005 and eventually became VP of analytics in 2009. Madden then became global head of analytics in 2014 when the Modellers merged with Omnicom’s Hall & Partners, a research consultancy that helps companies build brand relationships. Previous to his position as BYU Marriott’s Marketing Lab director, Madden was a managing partner at Hall & Partners.

Though Madden enjoyed his time at the Modellers and Hall & Partners, he was ready to embrace change when he heard about the BYU Marriott Marketing Lab director and associate professor of marketing position. “Working in the marketing program was too good of an opportunity to pass up,” says Madden. “When I heard about the opportunity, I knew it would be a perfect marriage of everything I've done professionally and everything that I would love to do on the education side of things, and it was time to change in life.”

The opportunity to combine teaching students with professional experience hasn’t disappointed Madden. His professional experience in marketing consulting enables him to advise students in the Marketing Lab as they work with professional companies. This past semester, Madden led the lab’s student employees on projects to build brand equity in solar energy, improve customer experiences in retail, and segment in financial services.

In one project, the lab helped a finance client improve their product offering and messaging as they served the low-credit, under-banked community. “For some people, a refrigerator breaks, and they have a tough time filling that financial gap to replace it,” says Madden. “Finding ways to connect with that market and help people with few resources to obtain legitimate financing so they don't get abused by poor lending terms or payday loans was a cool and meaningful project.”

Madden also enjoyed helping students apply marketing theory to their projects with the three sections of marketing research he taught. “Students in the marketing research class had to create their own survey for the development of a new product,” says Madden. “Reviewing those surveys with groups of students who met with me and talking about how they were doing their research and what they were going to analyze was rewarding.”

Madden’s classes and students’ experiences in the Marketing Lab helps students prepare for the workforce. “The BYU Marriott marketing program makes marketing science practical in industry,” says Madden. “Everything in the BYU Marriott is amazingly hands-on, and students get to apply theory to real marketing projects. I want to use the Marketing Lab and my classes to give students practical experience.”

Matt Madden is the director of BYU Marriott's Marketing Lab and an associate professor in BYU Marriott's Department of Marketing and Global Supply Chain. Photo courtesy of BYU Photo.
Matt Madden
Madden with BYU Marriott Marketing Lab employees. Photo courtesy of Matt Madden.
Madden with BYU Marriott Marketing Lab employees. Photo courtesy of Matt Madden.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Natalia Green