Tom Betts

Portrait photo of Tom Betts


  • MBA (with honors) in Marketing-General Business, Western Michigan University (1995)

  • BBA in Business-Marketing, University of Michigan School of Business (1985)

Professional experience

  • Owner - Betts Marketing and Business Consulting
  • Vice President of Marketing - Consumer Relationships & Research at Zondervan
  • Sr. Director of Strategic Marketing - Zondervan
  • Marketing Director - Direct Marketing and Partnerships at Zondervan
  • Marketing Director – Research, Operations & Database at Zondervan
  • Marketing Manager- Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Business Manager - InterVarsity Press
  • Youth Director - Suburban Bible Church in Highland, IN
  • Account Manager - Financial Systems at NCR Corporation

For more information, go to


Professor Betts has a passion for teaching and working with young people so he moved from working in the business sector and joined Calvin's staff full-time in 2010. But he could not give professional practice up fully, so still operates his own marketing and business consulting firm that brings strategy development, marketing planning, research expertise, and consumer-based decision making to a variety of business and nonprofit clients.

He is a collaborative leader who combines strong analytic skills with a creative mind to develop consumer-driven strategies and compelling marketing messages. He has a variety of marketing, leadership, sales, and business management experience over his 25 years in business. Before coming to Calvin he was Vice President of Marketing at Zondervan, an international leader in Christian communications (owned by HarperCollins/NewsCorp). During his 13 years at Zondervan, Tom lead multiple departments that handled strategic planning, research, market analysis, promotion planning, direct marketing, consumer databases, internet/web marketing, product development, trade show management, retailer relationships, and product category captain teams for Borders/Walden, Wal-Mart, and others. His work has been recognized with several industry awards.

As a volunteer, Tom has spent countless hours coaching sports and teaching youth classes. He enjoys fishing, hunting, music, computers, and playing sports.

As a volunteer, Tom has spent countless hours coaching sports and teaching youth classes. He enjoys fishing, hunting, music, computers, and playing sports.

Research and scholarship

Market Research. Conducted primary survey research with Reformed Benefits Association’s plan participants and on the employee benefits marketplace to develop a marketing strategy. Summer 2015.

Advanced research on Common Grace and Price Discrimination with Dr. Jill Risner and Professor Robert Eames. 2014.

Branding Research. Working with Calvin’s branding team to do research from a variety of stakeholders on changes to the Calvin brand and its execution in the market. 2014-15.

Student Enrollment Research. Working with Calvin’s enrollment team to analyze results of the Choice Survey and other student decision surveys. Recommended changes for future surveys. 2014.

2012 Consumer Annual for the Christian Book and Bible Markets: Demographics & Buying Behaviors. Worked with consumer buyers panel data (owned by Bowker/The Nielsen Company) to create an updated look at the industry and trends affecting it. 2012-2014.


  • Why Are We Eating Cookies in Class?: Using group-based experiential learning to introduce the complexities of consumer research. A peer-reviewed poster presentation given at the Christian Business Faculty Association Conference in October 2015.
  • 2013 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics & Buying Behaviors: Annual Review for Christian Fiction and Nonfiction Books. Primary author of this complete view of the U.S. religion book consumer, based on 2012 consumer panel purchasing data. Published by The Nielsen Company in March 2014.
  • "5 Kinds of Christians: Understanding the disparity of those who call themselves Christian in America." Leadership Journal, October 2007
  • "The Future of the Industry." A joint presentation and panel discussion by industry experts. Presented at the Christian Booksellers Association Convention, July 2005


  • Effie Award for marketing The Bible Experience (honor the most significant achievements in the business of marketing communications: ideas that work), 2008
  • Audie Awards (2) for The Bible Experience (including 2007 Audiobook of the Year), 2008
  • Marketing Sherpa Silver Mouse Award (Best Email Newsletter for Marketing Purposes), 2007
  • Trailblazer Award for Marketing Organization of the Year from the American Marketing Association—West Michigan,1996
  • Member of Christian Booksellers Association Research and Point of Sales Tracking Committee, 2002-2008
  • Steering Committee Member of Book Industry Study Group's Product Coding and Research, 2006-2008.
  • Convention Director for the National Pastors Convention, 2007-2008.
  • Christian Booksellers Association Convention and Bible Steering Committees, 2006-2008.


Learn more about Calvin's excellent faculty and learning environment by scheduling a campus visit.

Visit »

  • Course code:
  • Credits:
  • Semester:
  • Department: