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John Deighton is the L’Oreal Visiting Professor in Marketing at the Said Business School, Oxford University, and the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is an authority on consumer behavior and marketing, with a focus on digital and direct marketing.
His research on marketing management and consumer behavior has been published in all of the leading marketing journals including the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Marketing, Marketing Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and the Harvard Business Review. His research has also received a number of commendations, including the American Marketing Association’s Best Article Award for an article in the Journal of Marketing and an honorable mention from the Journal of interactive Marketing. He received the European Case Clearing House Award in Marketing (2012), the Edward N. Mayer, Jr. Award for Education Leadership (2011), the Direct Marketing Education Foundation Robert B. Clarke Outstanding Educator Award (2002), and the University of Chicago's Hillel J. Einhorn Excellence in Teaching Award (1995). He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo, Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and the Judge School of Business at Cambridge University.
John has made a number of conceptual and empirical contributions to research in Marketing.
Some conceptual contributions include:
The concept of Addressability, as the technological enabler of interaction between consumers and marketing organizations. The concept is foundational to the regulation of consumer privacy.
The distinction between Acquisition and Retention marketing, and the concept of Customer Equity as the criterion by which the balance between acquisition and retention investments can be optimized.
Work on the consumption of Performance. By articulating the processes by which consumers choose and evaluate events, as distinct from products, this work provides a foundation for the field of experiential marketing.
Some empirical contributions include:
He is a past editor-in-chief of the Journal of Consumer Research, the leading outlet for scholarly research on consumer behavior, and was the founding co-editor of the Journal of Interactive Marketing, which reports academic research on marketing and the Internet. He is the immediate past Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute, a member of the Chairman’s Advisory Council of Marketing Edge, and a Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He has been with HBS since 1994 and received the Greenhill Award for outstanding service to the school.
Prior to joining HBS, he was on the faculties of the University of Chicago and the Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth College). He has a Ph.D. in Marketing from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from the University of Cape Town. He also has a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Natal. His applied research includes consulting with a number of U.S and international corporations.
Areas of Expertise
“The Value of Data: Consequences for Insight, Innovation, and Efficiency in the U.S. Economy.” This study assessed the size, scope, and effects of the ecosystem that relies on individual-level consumer data to operate markets.
“Economic Value of the Advertising-Supported Internet Ecosystem.” This study, first conducted in 2007 and replicated in 2011, analysed the size of the Internet in the U.S. and the sources of its funding.
“Anonymity and Identity.” In most consumer markets, consumers are accustomed to operating in relative anonymity. As it becomes ever less expensive to gather and store individual-level data, anonymity is often no longer the default condition of a consumer’s life in the marketplace. As a consequence, a complex social adjustment is taking place. New conceptions of privacy are being constructed by processes of public policymaking and marketplace negotiation in settings that range from healthcare to security in air travel to email spam. This research is building a conceptual framework and empirical evidence on consumer preferences for anonymity and identity.
He publishes commentary on developments in digital marketing on Twitter at HBSMktg.
John is and has been engaged with practice in three main areas.
First he is a participant, through his research, in the policy debates in the United States on the regulation of individual-level consumer data and digital advertising. He has been commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau to study how the Internet is funded, estimating what proportion of the cost of the Internet was borne by advertisers and marketers in 2007 and 2011. He has been commissioned by the Direct Marketing Association to investigate the value of individual-level data to US GDP and to efficiency in the operation of markets.
Second he has served as executive director of the Marketing Science Institute, a grant-awarding body that allocates funds from about 75 of the largest marketing firms to academic researchers, and organizes conferences to disseminate the research results.
Third he has served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Consumer Research, the leading outlet for academic research on consumer behavior, and was founding editor and is currently on the Policy Board of the Journal of Interactive Marketing, an equivalent outlet for Internet-related research.
In addition he consults to corporations, serves on corporate boards, and serves as an expert witness in litigation on Internet-related matters. He is a Director of the Berkman Center for the Study of the Internet and Society at Harvard University. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo, Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and the Judge School of Business at Cambridge University. His research has won awards from the Journal of Marketing and Journal of Interactive Marketing, and a case received the European Case Clearing House Award in Marketing. He has won awards for teaching and educational leadership.
John teaches the Core course in Marketing during the Hilary term and an elective in Digital Marketing Strategy in the Trinity term.
The Core Marketing course is conceived of as practical professional training in the skills needed to design and execute a marketing plan, and to influence others of the value of the plan. Because the emphasis is on practice, the course is structured around a series of case studies. In each class session, members of the class propose and debate solutions to the problems that they diagnose from the facts contained in the case. While the instructor offers some frameworks to aid in diagnosis and solution, and the frameworks have their roots in tested theory, assessment is not based on recall of the theory but on the solution and its warrant in the facts of the case.
Digital Marketing Strategy is a survey of marketing methods that rely on the Internet and big data. While, like the Core course, case analysis is the method of instruction used in most of the classes, some sessions are devoted to more abstract discussion of technologies. The course is designed to appeal to two kinds of audience: people who need to advise enterprises whose go-to-market processes have to take advantage of digital marketing, and people interested in entrepreneurship that develops digital marketing products and processes.
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