Marlene Morris Towns is the academic director at the Georgetown Institute for Consumer Research, and a Teaching Professor at the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. She received a bachelor’s degree from the McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia with concentrations in marketing and management and began her career working in Andersen Consulting’s (now Accenture) New York-Metro Change Management Practice, serving clients such as AT&T, Pepsi Co., Marsh & McLennan and Bayway Oil Refinery. Since earning her PhD in marketing from Duke University with a concentration in consumer behavior, Towns has been an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Georgetown University, an Assistant Professor of Clinical Marketing at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, and is currently a full-time teaching professor at Georgetown University.
Over the past several years, Towns has served as an independent marketing/promotions consultant for clients including the U.S. State Department, Geneva Films (Los Angeles, CA), Dream Nightclub and Baker-Schilling Inc. Management Investment firm (Washington, DC) and as an expert witness for the New York State Attorney General’s Office (on the use of hip-hop in marketing) and has served as an associate producer on the documentary film “Staging Hope: Acts of Peace in Northern Uganda.” She has developed and taught a course on marketing for the International Film Commissioner’s Association (2007). She has also been invited to present her unique insights and research on youth/urban market segments at ad agencies such as Grey Worldwide, G-Whiz, and Modernista! as well as at a number of universities and academic/practitioner conferences.
Professor Towns’ area of specialization involves understanding consumers’ sources of information about products/brands and how they are influenced and focuses on entertainment, fashion, branding, non-traditional advertising & promotion, target marketing and youth/urban markets.
Towns is a member of the American Marketing Association, the Society for Consumer Psychology, and the Association for Consumer Research. Her research has been published in the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Affairs, Marketing News, and the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing.