Dr. Debra Zahay-Blatz  has developed numerous programs and courses in the Digital/Interactive Marketing area and placed hundreds of students in jobs in search, social, email, and web design, among other areas.  She teaches Digital Marketing, Social Media Management and Principles of Marketing. As Department Chair, she recently 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.

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 over 20 referreed journal articles.

Dr. Zahay-Blatz has co-authored the third and fourth editions of the textbook Internet Marketing: Integrating Online and Offline Strategies with MaryLou Roberts, is solo author of Digital Marketing Management: A Handbook for the Current (or Future) CEO, Business Experts Press and is co-author on the Cengage text, Social Media Marketing:  A Strategic Approach, second edition.

She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Database Marketing and Marketing Strategy Management, the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing 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,  Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Digital Media Management Chair
St. Edward's University
August 2015- Present

Full Professor of Marketing
Aurora University
August 2013- August 2015

Associate Professor of Marketing
Northern Illnois University
August 2003- August 2013

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


Year Started


Languages Spoken

English, Russian, French, German


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 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 Digital Analytics Association
Symposium Planning Committee
Since August 2012

Academy of Marketing Science
Member, Track Co-Chair Digital/Social Marketing 2015 Conference
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

Chicago American Marketing Association
Vice President, Business and Services Marketing 1992-1993
National AMA Business to Business Council 1993-1994
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


Winner Best Paper 2013:  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.

Co-Author with MaryLou Roberts (2011), Internet Marketing:  Integrating Online and Offline Strategies, third edition, leading text in the field.

Winner Best Case Award:  Tarter, B., Caravella, M., and Zahay, D. (2009, October). Case:  Allstate Insurance:  Building Relationships through Email Campaigns, Direct and Interactive Marketing Research Summit, San Diego, CA, also published in the International Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications (2010), 2 (1), 71-79.

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

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.

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. & 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.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.


I have published 23 refereed articles on various aspects of data-driven digital marketing and the use of digital marketing technology in teaching in Journals including Journal of Product Innovation Management and Decision Sciences. We recently were awarded best paper 2014 by the Journal of Interactive Marketing. A list of citations and publications are available from Google Scholar http://bit.ly/ISa5sq and ResearchGate http://bit.ly/YL6luN.