Mastering Marketing: Professor Alessandro Feri
Marketing Professor Alessandro Feri joined JCU’s Department of Business Administration in Fall 2022. He holds a Ph.D. in Marketing and a postgraduate certificate (PgCert) in Business and Management Research Methods from Edinburgh Napier University. Professor Feri is also Associate Researcher at Edinburgh Napier University Business School, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA,) and a member of the Marketing Society Scotland. In Spring 2023, Professor Feri is teaching Principles of Marketing, Integrated Marketing Communications, and International Marketing.
How did you become interested in marketing? What are the rewards and challenges of being a university professor?
From the very beginning, I felt that academia was the perfect environment in which to develop professionally and to express myself as an individual, a researcher and, above all, an educator. The vibrant multicultural atmosphere I encounter every day at JCU inspires me intellectually and psychologically. Teaching and conducting research with the purpose of contributing to academic knowledge, as well as sharing my passion with those who recognize my values and beliefs, is intrinsically rewarding for me.
Tell us about your research interests. What changes have you seen and what trends have emerged post pandemic?
My current research interests include several projects that gravitate around the areas of brands with a conscience, brand purpose, impulse buying and sustainability. I have explored the role of marketing agencies in shaping brands with a conscience and investigated the perceptions of an expert audience into brand purpose and what makes it seem authentic to brand stakeholders. I have also identified visual cues in the shopping environment that influence impulse food buying. I am also developing a consumer framework for reporting and prioritization of sustainable issues and I am investigating the benefits and barriers of sustainable modes of mobility. Finally, I am exploring the application of promotional strategies in the metaverse to support non-profit organizations to reduce food waste. Although these themes may seem diverse in nature and scope, they share a common critical and emancipatory approach to marketing, which is deemed as necessary in a post pandemic environment.
What is your teaching philosophy and what are your goals as an educator?
My passion for teaching and determination to perform to high standards has pushed me to grow professionally, which helps me provide students with a positive learning experience. During my teaching journey, I have had the opportunity to support students of different nationalities, cultures, and backgrounds. This experience has enabled me to expand my boundaries and allowed me to understand the wider context in which education takes place. As a result, my approach to teaching has become more reflective and is constantly evolving in order to enhance my mentoring skills.
In an increasingly digital world, what is the key to an effective marketing plan?
An effective marketing plan should be designed in light of the constantly evolving environmental conditions and context, as well as the firm’s capabilities. Without a doubt, the digitalization of the business arena had led to profound changes in data management, fragmentation of media and markets, and communication style. The growth of online retailing, digital channels, consumer touchpoints, data availability, digital personalization, and focus on the user experience are just the tip of the iceberg moved by the digital revolution. New digital technologies, increased digital competition, and changing customer behavior are phenomena that cannot be avoided when researching, creating, promoting, branding, pricing, and distributing products and services.
What advice would you give to recent marketing graduates or prospective marketing students?
Try to make the best of your experience. Go to class (even the 8.30 am classes!), engage with university life. Plan in advance, join a club, go for that volunteering opportunity – you never know what it may bring you. Study in the library, attend events and seminars, apply for internships, mentor someone, make international friends, and most of all, enjoy your journey – you’ll miss it!