Dr. Debra Zahay-Blatz  has developed numerous programs and courses in the Digital/Interactive Marketing area and helped inspire hundreds of students to seek jobs in search, social, email, and web design, and analytics, among other areas.  She developed the Digital Marketing, Social Media Management, Advanced Marketing Management and and Principles of Marketing courses in the undergraduate Marketing Major. 

As Department Chair, she led the effort to incorporate Digital Marketing and Analytics throughout the Marketing major and create a Digital Marketing minor, open to all St. Edward's students. The Entrepreneurship Faculty in her area also modernized the curriculum and created an Entrepreneurship Minor. 

At the graduate level, Dr. Zahay-Blatz  developed and teaches several classes across the graduate curriculum  and also served as Program Director for the  Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Analytics from 2018 to 2022. There she co-developed the introductory digital marketing and analytics courses.  For the MS-DgMA she also developed and has taught the Predictive Modeling course and a course Managing the Digital Marketing Organization. These courses involve incorporating IBM SPSS Modeler and Tableau into the curriculum. 

A thought leader in digital marketing with an international reputation, Dr. Zahay-Blatz researches how firms can facilitate customer relationships, particularly using customer information. She is also skilled in data analytics techniques and has taught these techniques in database marketing courses. She has published 31 referred journal articles and three books.

Dr. Zahay-Blatz has co-authored the  fifth edition of the textbook Digital Marketing: Foundations and Strategy with Lauren Labreque, Brooke Reavey and the late MaryLou Roberts, is solo author of Digital Marketing Management: A Handbook for the Current (or Future) CEO, Business Experts Press and is a lead author with Janna Parker on the third edition Cengage text, Social Media Marketing:  A Strategic Approach, second  and third edition.

She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Database Marketing and Marketing Strategy Management, the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Analytics and Industrial Marketing Management and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing from 2012 to 2017.

Before entering academics, she worked for companies such as Dun & Bradstreet and MCI Telecommunications (now Verizon) producing leading-edge data-driven marketing programs.  She serves as President of her own Digital Marketing Strategy consulting firm, Zahay, Inc.

My philosophy is that of learner-centered teaching with everyone taking an active role in learning. I am a “guide on the side” or a coach rather than a “sage on the stage” or a lecturer. My students are actively involved in service learning and do projects for both local and national companies.

Academic Appointments

Professor of Marketing, Program Director, Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Analytics Marketing (2018 to 2020), Entrepreneurship and Digital Media Management Chair (2015-2019).
St. Edward's University
August 2015- Present

Full Professor of Marketing
Aurora University
August 2013- August 2015

Associate Professor of Marketing, Area Coordinator, Interactive Marketing Area of Study
Northern Illnois University
August 2003- August 2013

Assistant Professor, Ecommerce Marketing
North Carolina State University
August 2000- June 2003


Year Started

Languages Spoken

<p>English, Russian, French, German</p>


Ph.D. University of Illinois
M.B.A. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
J. D. Loyola University School of Law
A. B. English Literature, Washington University in St. Louis

Achievement & Involvement

Honors and Awards

Best Paper Marketing Education Review, November, 2023. Zahay, D., Pollitte, W., Reavey, B. & Alvarado, A. (2021). An Integrated Model of Digital Marketing Curriculum Design, Marketing Education Review

Invited Keynote:  Cairo University CUCBS Conference, April, 2018, The Internationalization of Digital Marketing,

Marketing Management Association Inaugural Master Scholar Award, Finalist, March 2017.

Robert C. Clarke Outstanding Educator Award Recipient Marketing EDGE, June, 2016

Best Paper Journal of Interactive MarketingJournal of Interactive Marketing, October 2014
Peltier, J., Zahay, D. & Lehman, D. (2013). "Organizational Learning and CRM Success: A Model for Linking Organizational Practices, Customer Data Quality and Performance," 27, pp. 1-13.

Jacobs & Clevenger Casewriter's Competition, Midwest Marketing Educational Foundation
2009, Gold, 1996, 2010, 2013, Silver, 2014, Bronze.

Best Paper DMEF Direct Marketing Educational Foundation Educators’ Conference, October 2007
Zahay, D. L., Peltier, J., & Schibrowsky, J. (2007). Organizational and Strategy Formation Factors Relating to Quality Customer Information in Financial Services Firms,

Best Paper DMEF Direct Marketing Educational Foundation Educators’ Conference, October 2005
Zahay, D. L., Peltier, J., & Schoenbachler, D. (2005). Organizational and Strategy Formation Factors Relating to Customer Information Management Practices.

Best Paper DMEF Direct Marketing Educational Foundation Educators’ Conference, October 2003
Zahay, D.L. The Role of Transactional versus Relational Data in IMC Programs: Bringing Sales and Marketing Data Together.

Additional Honors and Awards:
American Marketing Association (AMA) Doctoral Consortium Student for University of Illinois
Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA) Scholar of the Year 
Verdell Frazier Young Award
Stellner Fellowship, David Kinley Fellowship, J.M. Jones Fellowship
Elected to Phi Beta Kappa
George E. Mylonas Honorary Scholarship to Washington University, providing full-tuition plus expenses for four years of undergraduate education

Community Service

Symposium Planning Committee
Digital Analytics Association
July 2012 – May 2015
Helped secure speakers and chart direction of Annual Symposium; work to involved more students and educators with the organization.

Organizations, Boards and Memberships

Chicago/Dallas Digital Analytics Association
Symposium Planning Committee
Since August 2012

Academy of Marketing Science
Member, Track Co-Chair Digital/Social Marketing 2015,2018,2019 Conferences
Since May 2013

Chicago Association of Direct Marketing
Board Member August 2009- August 2012
Member 2003- 2015

Direct Marketing Association
Academic Member, Academic Conference Co-Chair
Since September 1997

American Marketing Association
Vice President, Business and Services Marketing, Chicago Chapter 1992-1993
National AMA Business to Business Council 1993-1994
Member since August 1990

Business Marketing Association
March 2003-March 2013

Licensed Member of Illnois Bar
Licensed Attorney in State of Illinois
Since 1983

Publications & Articles



Reavey, B. & Zahay, D. (2022), Teaching Conceptual Models: Using Direct Interaction to Enhance Metacognition, Marketing Education Review, forthcoming

Reavey, B., Zahay, D. & Rosenblum, A. (2021), Updating the Marketing Research Course to Prepare the Marketing Generalist. Journal of Marketing Education, Special Issue

Zahay, D., Pollitte, W., Reavey, B. & Alvarado, A. (2021). An Integrated Model of Digital Marketing Curriculum Design, Marketing Education Review

Zahay, D., (2021). Advancing Research in Digital and Social Media Marketing, The Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 29(1), 125-139. Published online March 8, DOI: 10.1080/10696679.2021.1882865Zahay, D., Altounian, D., Pollitte, W. & James, J. (2019). Effective Resource Deployment in Digital Marketing Education. Marketing Education Review, 29 (3), pp. 182-192.

Johnson, D.,  Muzellec, L., Sihi, D. & Zahay, (2019).The Marketing Organization's Journey to Become Data-Driven, Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing,13(2), pp. 162-178

Zahay, D. Hajli, N., & Sihi, D. (2018). Managerial Perspectives on Crowdsourcing in the New Product Development Process, Industrial Marketing Management, 71(May), pp 41-63.

Zahay D. &  Roberts, M. L. (2018). Internet Marketing, Integrating Online and Offline Strategies in a Digital Environment, Fourth Edition, Cengage/Southwest Publishing.

Hajli, N., Shanmugam, M., Papagiannidis, S, Zahay, D. & Richard, M.-O. (2017). Branding Co-creation with Members of Online Brand Communities, Journal of Business Research (Online August 30, 2016) , 70 (January), pp. 136-144.

Barker, M., Barker, D., Bormann, N., Roberts, M.L. & Zahay, D. (2017). Social Media Marketing:  A Strategic Approach, 2nd Edition, Cengage/Southwest Publishing.

Zahay, D. (2015). Digital Marketing Management, Business Expert Press.

Zahay, D.  Schultz, D., & Kumar, A.  (2015). Reimagining Branding for the New B2B Digital Marketplace, Journal of Brand Strategy, 3(4), pp. 257-372.

Zahay, D., Peltier, J., Krishen, A. & Schutlz, D. (2014). Organizational Processes for B2B Services IMC Data Quality, The  Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 29 (1),  pp. 63-74.

Peltier, J., Zahay, D. & Lehman, D. (2013). Organizational Learning and CRM Success: A Model for Linking Organizational Practices, Customer Data Quality and Performance, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 27, pp. 1-13. Winner of Journal Best Paper, 2014.***

Peltier, J., Zahay, D. & Krishen, A. (2013).  A Hierarchical IMC Data Integration and Measurement Framework. The Journal of Marketing Analytics, formerly Journal of Database Marketing and Customer Strategy Management, 1 (1), 1, 32-48.

Zahay, D., Peltier, J., & Krishen, A. (2012). Building the Foundation for Customer Data Quality in CRM Systems for Financial Services Firms, Journal of Database Marketing and Customer Strategy Management formerly Journal of Database Marketing, 19 (1), pp. 5-16.

Zahay, D. L., Griffin, A., & Fredericks, E. (2011). Information Use in NPD: An Initial Exploratory Empirical Test in the Chemical Industry, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 28 (4) 485-502.

Zahay D., Scovatti, C., Peterson, R. and Domagalski, S. (2010). Identifying and Assessing Fundamental Competencies: What Does it Mean to be a Direct and Interactive Marketer, Journal for the Advancement of Marketing Education, 17 (Winter), 52-62.

Zahay, D. L. & Griffin, A. (2010). Marketing Strategy Selection, Marketing Metrics and Firm Performance, Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 25 (2) 84-93.

Zahay, D., Mason, C. & Schibrowsky, J.  (2009), The Present and Future of IMC and Database Marketing, International Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications, 1(2), 13-30. (Invited Piece, peer reviewed).

Zahay, D. L. & Fredericks. E. (2009). Podcasting to Improve Delivery of a Project-based Internet Marketing Course, Marketing Education Review, 19(1), 57-63.

Caravella, M., Zahay, D., Jaeger, C., & Ekachail, G. (2009), Web 2.0: Opportunities and Challenges for Marketing Educators, Journal of Advertising Education, (Spring), 58-63.

White, T., Zahay, D. L., Thorbjornsen, H., & Shavitt, S. (2008).  Getting Too Personal: Reactance to Highly Personalized Email Solicitations. Marketing Letters, 19 (1), 39-50.

Zahay, D. L. (2008).  Successful B2B Customer Database Management. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 23 (4), 264-272.

Zahay, D. L. & Peltier, J. (2008).  Interactive Strategy Formation: Organizational and Entrepreneurial Factors Related to Effective Customer Information Systems Practices in B2B Firms. Industrial Marketing Management, 37 (2), 191-205.

Peltier, J., Schibrowksy, J. A. , Schultz, D. E. , & Zahay, D. L. (2006).  Interactive IMC: The Relational Transactional Continuum and the Synergistic Use of Customer Data. Journal of Advertising Research, 46 (2), 146-159.

Payton, F. C. & Zahay, D. L. (2005).  Why Doesn't Marketing Use the Corporate Data Warehouse? The role of trust and quality in adoption of data-warehousing technology for CRM applications. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 20 (4/5), 237-244.

Zahay, D. L., Peltier, J., Griffin , A., & Schultz , D. (2004).  The Role of Transactional versus Relational Data in IMC Programs: Bringing Sales and Marketing Data Together. Journal of Advertising Research, 44 (1), 3-18.

Zahay, D. L. & Griffin, A. (2004).  Customer Learning Processes, Strategy Selection, and Performance in Business-to-Business Service Firms. Decision Sciences (Journal of), 35 (2), 169-203.

Zahay, D. L., Griffin , A., & Fredericks, E. (2004).  Sources, Uses, and Forms of Data in the New Product Development Process. Industrial Marketing Management, 33, 657-666.

Zahay, D. L. & Handfield, R. (2004).  The Role of Learning in Adoption of B2B Technologies. Industrial Marketing Management, 33, 627-641.

Zahay, D. L. & Handfield, R. (2003).  Using the Value Chain Concept to Improve Interactive Marketing. Interactive Marketing, 4 (4), 343-354.

Payton, F. & Zahay, D. L. (2003).  Understanding Why Marketing Doesn't Use the Corporate Data Warehouse for CRM Applications. Journal of Database Marketing, 10 (4), 315-326.

Zahay, D. L. & Griffin, A. (2003).  Information Antecedents and Consequences of Personalization and Customization in Business-to-Business Service Markets. Journal of Database Marketing, 10 (3), 255-271-326


Dr. Zahay-Blatz has published 34 refereed articles and three books on various aspects of data-driven digital marketing and the use of digital marketing technology in teaching in various Journals including Journal of Product Innovation Management and Decision Sciences. A proud achievement was being awarded best paper 2014 by the Journal of Interactive Marketing. Her recent article with Dr. Brooke Reavey received an Honorable Mention from Journal of Marketing Education for Outstanding Article of the Year. A list of citations and publications are available from Google Scholar and ResearchGate.

School Group

The Bill Munday School of Business