Hugh is passionate about leveraging marketing theory to achieve sustainability in business and society. He currently has three main strands to this endeavour, in collaboration with colleagues in WBS and further afield:
1. Marketing practice in purpose-led organisations. Many firms are defining a higher purpose that relates to society's social and environmental goals. Making that purpose a reality is a massive challenge. This research strand explores what marketing practice should look like in a purpose-led organisation.
2. Changing consumer behaviour at scale. Businesses often need the help of consumers in achieving their social and environmental sustainability goals. This research strand explores what techniques work best for nudging them. For example, see our Harvard Business Review article "Why our customers' social identities matter" (Champniss, Wilson & Macdonald, 2015).
3. Developing policy for sustainable lifestyles. Policy-makers need help with prioritising between multiple ideas for achieving sustainable lifestyles, from solar cells on roofs to electric cars. This strand aims to provide a framework for policy-makers . It also involves estimating the impact of different lifestyle innovations to underpin these policy recommendations. A recent large EU-funded project called EU-InnovatE made real progress with this; more needs to be done.
Hugh welcomes informal approaches from prospective PhD and DBA students who are interested in these topics. These topics suit a variety of methods: experimental research, analysis of large datasets, and qualitative research. He is also open to other research topic suggestions. Hugh also welcomes contact from people in business, government and other sectors working on these and similar sustainability challenges.
Hugh Wilson joined Warwick Business School as a Professor of Marketing in 2019, having previously held a similar position at Cranfield School of Management, UK. After degrees in mathematics at Oxford and computer science at Cambridge, Hugh spent a number of years in management roles with IBM and Xerox, among other firms. He now teaches and researches on sustainability marketing, B2B relationships and customer experience management, and works on these issues with companies such as Unilever, Mercedes Benz, Pfizer and Nestlé.
Hugh has published in Journal of Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Service Research, Journal of the American Statistical Society and British Journal of Management among others. He writes equally for practitioners, contributing regularly to Harvard Business Review. His books include The Multichannel Challenge (2008) and Marketing Plans (8e 2016, with M McDonald).
Hugh initiated Cranfield University's carbon programme which has reduced the university's carbon emissions by 32% so far. He is listed in the Chartered Institute of Marketing's "Guru Gallery" of "50 leading marketing thinkers alive in the world today", alongside such names as Jack Welch and Bill Gates. He has also been honoured by Tim Berners-Lee as one of the hundred "Internet Decade" individuals who had most influenced the development of e-commerce.