By Jacob Moon
Marketing is more than getting people to buy what you have to offer, Bartkus says. It is putting the products people want and need right under their nose.
Bartkus considers this view of his profession as being a "reluctant marketer."
"If you ask the average person, marketing has a negative image," he said. "Everyone thinks marketers are just out to sell you a product, no matter what."
Bartkus said he wants to help people realize that the real purpose of marketing is to find things that make consumers happy and bring those things to them.
"The same could apply for a journalist," he said. "I'm sure there are some [journalists] who are unethical, but the real purpose of journalism is to help inform the public."
This same concept could be applied to a number of fields, Bartkus says. The services of a car salesman, journalist, or marketer are all very important, though they may not seem so to some people.
Bartkus' current research coordinates well with the idea of the reluctant marketer. He is trying to understand the public image of long-term care for senior citizens. The research is part of some pro bono work he is doing for a Logan care center and focuses on the attitudes people have toward nursing homes and day centers for the elderly. Barkus wants to know specifically what marketers can do to help change any negative images.
Looking for a long-term care center, Bartkus says, is a big decision for many people and he wants to understand the attributes people look for when they are deciding.
He compared his research to how people buy cars.
"People buy cars for different reasons," he said. "When you are trying to sell a car you would give different information about the car to several different groups. Some attributes may drive the image more than another."
With long-term care, someone might be more interested in the cost while others focus on good security, he said.
Bartkus received his doctorate of philosophy from Texas Tech University with an emphasis in marketing and has been at Utah State University for more than 10 years.
Although he grew up in California and went to school in Texas, Barkus says he considers Logan home.
"I like the small town feel," he says. "Why not just stay here and get an airline ticket every now and then."
He also said he enjoys his job as a professor because there is always something changing.
"Work as a professor is good because you get to start over each semester with new students," Barkus said. "New students bring new ideas based on their experiences. New things are always happening in my discipline because conditions change in the marketplace."
He enjoys the variety of students who come into his classes and the different stories and experiences they have to share.
"It keeps you pretty fresh," Bartkus said. "One of the secrets to teaching is using the right story at the right times. I'm just always trying to ask myself, ‘How can I apply these stories to my lectures?'"
Graduate student Sherri George said she enjoyed Bartkus as professor and found that he fit what she calls her "Three I Test," which includes intelligence, instruction technique and integrity.
"Dr. Bartkus knows his material," she said. "He is tremendously effective in the techniques utilized to ensure the students know their stuff as well upon completion of his class."
She also said Bartkus has a reputation among students as being easy to work with and she would even take one of his classes again "in a heartbeat."
Even with the intellectual stimulation that comes with being a professor, Bartkus also takes time to spend time with his award winning Welsh springer spaniel.
According to the Prescott Arizona Kennel Club, Bartkus' dog, Fargo, is perfect example of the standard set by the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America.
"No dog is actually a perfect example," Bartkus said. "Some are just better than others."
He said it is important to clarify the terms used when judging dog shows. Fargo, being female, is a bitch, while all males are simply called dogs. At a dog show, these clinical names are very important though.
"I can be walking [Fargo] at the show and someone will pass and say, ‘Nice bitch,'" Bartkus said. "Some people might take offense to that in a normal situation, but to [people at the dog show] it is used in a very clinical sense."
Various ribbons and photos in Bartkus' office tell the story of how well Fargo has done as a show dog in recent years. In a competition in Prescott, Fargo was ranked Best of Winners and Best of Opposite Sex, which each led to the most prestigious title, Champion.
Becoming a champion is a somewhat complicated process. According to The Springfield Kennel Club Web site (springfieldkennelclub.org) a champion dog must earn 15 points at shows sponsored by the American Kennel Club. The dog earns points by being judged against other dogs and the breed standard, which, in Fargo's case, is established by the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America.
The Winners dog and Winners bitch from each show, along with the Best of Breed and Best of Opposite Sex receive points at each show. Fargo walked away from the Prescott show with two of those titles and earned the remainder of her points at other shows in Illinois, Arizona, Kansas and New York.
"Bitches hardly ever win Best of Breed because the males are usually bigger and their coats are more full," Bartkus said. Despite that, Fargo is still a champion.
Bartkus says one benefit of having a Welsh springer, like Fargo, is that he can track her pedigree back four generations. This information can prove to be helpful when showing a dog, because he can see whether his dog will be vulnerable to bad eyes or hips.
Fargo's dad was the top dog in the United States for Welsh springers, Bartkus said, and three puppies from her litter have become champions. Fargo has also starred in a movie about how to clean and take care of her breed of dog.
"Someone at a show asked me if she could be used because she had a perfect demeanor," Bartkus said. "[The judges] were amazed that they could just lift up her lip to look at her teeth or luck under her tail, and [Fargo] wouldn't even move."
Looking back on the $1,500 he spent to buy Fargo, Bartkus doesn't regret a thing.
"She's a great dog," he said. "It was one of the greatest purchases I've ever made."
Bartkus said he feels hobbies like having a show dog can help anyone to become better in their professional life.
"It's important to be multidimensional," he said. "It isn't important to have a little variety in all parts of your life."