John Peloza

Subject: Global Marketing Management (Global Executive OneMBA)

Bio: Dr. John Peloza is Professor of Marketing at the University of Kentucky. Before pursuing an academic career, he worked for over a decade in the marketing communications industry. During his career, he worked with firms across a range of industries and categories: InBev, IBM, Subaru, Hewlett-Packard, Bell Communications, Eli Lilly, and Procter & Gamble to name a few. His research interests focus on corporate social responsibility and prosocial consumer behaviour, as is characterised by interdisciplinary theories and methods.

Can you describe your teaching experience at RSM so far? What has been the most memorable moment?

“The OneMBA has been my home for the past five years. It’s by far the best MBA teaching experience I’ve had here, anywhere, quite frankly it’s the teaching I have enjoyed the most. As part of the global faculty team, I teach the Global Marketing course for the OneMBA programme, but I also coordinate with faculty from the other partner schools to make sure we have sub-common elements across all of them. We also work together on mentoring the global teams. There’s a lot of memorable individuals when I think back over the last five years. However, the most memorable moment for me is the very first class I taught when I came to RSM. It became apparent quickly that was a very different group as compared to other MBA teaching I had done before. The session was on a whole different level that I had not seen before; the quality of discussion, the way in which the case I used in the first class was discussed, the degree of engagement, not only with the material, but with each other. The experience during that first session will always stick with me, because it was so different at a quality-level I hadn’t been exposed to in prior experiences. I loved it; it was challenging for me as a teacher, because those were incredibly smart, highly-educated and experienced people.”

Can you tell us a bit more about the subject you teach at RSM, Global Marketing Management?

“One of the things I do is looking at marketing from a value-creation point of view. It’s really a question of how individuals in the firm work together to create value for, particularly customers, but other stakeholders as well. As a marketer I take the customer perspective and think about the ways in which companies create value; in doing so, it becomes clear that everybody sitting in the lecture room is a marketer, because everyone works to create value for customers. For instance, the people who work in Finance, who have never taken a marketing course in their life, are marketers, because they create capacity for companies to create products and services that will help create value for customers. There is a quote I always show students in the first class from Peter Drucker: “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs”. I take that perspective very seriously, so everything in the course is designed with a focus on the value-creation process.”    

What is your favourite book?

“My favourite book is a book I read years ago. It’s called “Walden” by Thoreau. He was an American writer from the 1800s and he wrote that book which is about going to the woods and living very simply by the woods. “Walden” is the name of the pond where he built his cabin at. The book is all about simplicity in life; I remember that line where Thoreau says “to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life”. It’s about trying to live as simply as you can and appreciating life and the simplicity of life as much as possible, stripping away distractions. I read this book when I was a teenager and it feels like it set me on a path in my life that still is affected by it. I like to think that I have, and try to keep, a simple lifestyle; I try to keep a perspective on life which is very much grounded in the idea that we need very few things to be happy. I try to always remember that happiness comes from an appreciation of  everyday life and simplicity of life.”