This series will shine a light on the faculty behind the Henley Executive MBA. The people teaching, leading and convening on each module bring experience not only from their academic experience and extensive research, but from real-world business too.
Dr Rodrigo Perez-Vega is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Henley Business School. On the MBA, he teaches the Digital Marketing module. His research interests also include online consumer behaviour, social media marketing, social CRM, and applications of AI to marketing.
Where did you study and work before coming to Henley?
I did my first degree in Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Then I did a Masters in Strategic Project Management in Politecnico de Milano, followed by a PhD in Management at Heriot-Watt University. My first job was working for Kellogg’s in their kids and adult new brands portfolio. After that I worked for a couple of years in Digital Marketing agencies, before I started my academic career. I have worked as an academic in the UAE launching digital marketing postgraduate programs there, at Kent Business School leading their Digital Marketing programs as well, and now at Henley. In the interim I was also involved in the launching of an online platform that provides 24/4 therapy called Instant Counselling.
What areas of research do you focus on and why?
My areas of research are related to consumer-technology interaction in both online and offline environments. I’m interested in how AI-applications can be used to enhance business outcomes, but also to make the life of consumers better. Some of my research is around digital literacy of new technologies among older people – like robots in care homes. I’m also assessing the impact of sustainable behaviours in desirable online and financial outcomes for companies.
What module do you teach and what do you hope the cohort take away from it?
I teach the Digital Marketing modules at Henley for the MBA program. I hope to give the cohort a demystified view of digital marketing and engage them in a discussion on how technology is changing how brands interact with their customers, as well as the ethical implications of some of those interactions.
Why would you recommend doing an MBA at Henley?
I think the Henley MBA prepares its graduates to create a wider impact within their organisations and the communities in which they operate. At a personal level, I have moved my research to areas that will align with this ethos, and I try to convey that message in my lectures and seminars too.
What do you think we should expect from the future of business and work?
Businesses will continue reaping the benefits of using more sophisticated tools to serve their customers better. This will lead to hyper-personalisation in many more aspects of our life, from online services that cater to our needs, to better recommendations of products and places to visit.
In the world of work, we will see new efficiencies as new generative AI tools are integrated in our day-to-day work life. We’ll also see a rapid shift on the scope of many roles, so the capacity to keep learning and adapting to these changes will be essential to remain relevant in the work environment.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
I’d probably like to have dinner with John McCarthy. He was an American computer scientist and cognitive scientist, and he was one of the founders of the discipline of artificial intelligence as a field of knowledge. It would be interesting to discuss more in depth his vision and the way he thought technology would evolve.