Jakki Mohr – High Tech Marketing Professor, Author, Consultant

Dr. Mohr is a Regents Professor, the Jeff and Martha Hamilton Distinguished Faculty Fellow and Professor of Marketing in the School of Business Administration at the University of Montana-Missoula.  She received her Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1989). Prior to joining the University of Montana in the Fall of 1997, Dr. Mohr was an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder (1989-1997).  Before beginning her academic career, she worked in Silicon Valley in the advertising area for both Hewlett Packard’s Personal Computer Group and TeleVideo Systems.

The winner of numerous teaching awards, including the 2008 Outstanding Marketing Teacher Award (presented by the Academy of Marketing Science), the 2005 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching “Montana Professor of the Year,” she also received the Most Inspirational Teacher of the Year Award at the University of Montana in 2002, voted on by graduating seniors.

An innovator in the field of marketing high-technology products and services, Mohr has achieved international acclaim for Marketing of High-Technology Products and Innovations (co-authored with Sanjit Sengupta and Stanley Slater), a textbook that has become the work of choice in business schools at colleges and universities worldwide, as well as for private industry managers in company training sessions. In addition, her book has resulted in invitations for her to teach at a number of other universities, including the University of Bern (Switzerland), the Scuole Superiore Sant’ Anna (Pisa, Italy), the Indian School of Business (Hyderabad), Ecole de Management (Grenoble, France), and the Drucker School of Management (Claremont Graduate University).  She has also served as a keynote speaker at a number of technology industry association meetings.

Dr. Mohr’s research has received national awards, and has been published in the Journal of Marketing, the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, the Journal of Product & Innovation Management, the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, the Journal of Retailing, the Journal of High Technology Management Research, California Management Review, Marketing Management, and Computer Reseller News. 

Dr. Mohr has also consulted with a range of high-tech companies on marketing issues, including large corporations such as Fujitsu and Level 3 Communications, and smaller start-ups.

She engages in professional and community service in a variety of domains, including serving on the editorial review board of the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, volunteering as a writing coach at a local high-school, and assisting with strategic planning for the university, among other things.

In her spare time, she enjoys many outdoor activities with her active family:  Michael, Willy (age 16), and Claire (age 13).

What are you working on right now?

Given that we just completed the third edition of our book, Sanjit, Stan, and I are working to spin off a few papers from some of the book’s newest contributions.  For example, we are working on an nuanced approach to technology outsourcing that effectively manages the risks/rewards involved; and a second paper examines how technology companies are solving global problems in base-of-the-pyramid markets (such as poverty and healthcare in developing countries).  

I’m also re-vamping both my Principles of Marketing course and my High-Technology Marketing course to cover some of the latest trends, such as location-based marketing (combining mobile technologies and sales promotions), a renewed interest in antitrust enforcement by the Obama administration and the implications for business strategies, cloud computing, and energy/automotive technologies.  

Time permitting, I’d like to do more on-line marketing for our book, including a Google AdWords account, some Web 2.0 “stuff” (including an entry on wikipedia and a blog on our Website www.markethightech.net), etc.

3 Trends that excite you?

Sorry,  I have 5 trends that excite me:  

Technology transfer in the university, bridging the gap between technology innovation and business/marketing strategies/commercialization.  

Web 3.0, including the semantic Web, mobile computing, and enhanced (e.g., fourth-generation) telecommunications networks

Base-of-the-pyramid markets, and market-based approaches to solving problems associated with poverty in developing countries (including corporate social responsibility initiatives, social and environmental entrepreneurship) 

Companies’ development of sustainable (in environmental terms) business strategies (both product offerings and business operations).  

Biomimicry as a source of sustainable innovation.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I struggle with time management.  In addition to having too many irons in the fire and demands on my time, I find that in order to make progress in any one domain, I have to be totally immersed.  So, the long and short is:  I don’t know that I have any productivity insights except to focus, focus, focus and say “no” to maintain quality and focus in the endeavors one undertakes.

What are some tips to successful high-technology marketing?

Successful marketing for high-technology products and innovations is more complicated that successful marketing for more traditional goods and services.  The industry context for many technology-related companies is characterized by:  a high rate of obsolescence, high R&D expenditures, competition arising from unknown start-ups, customers who aren’t convinced that new technology will actually add value to their lives, and other myriad complicating factors.  In light of this, high-tech marketers are concerned not only with standard marketing issues such as appropriate segmentation, targeting, and positioning, but also strategic decisions surrounding:

  • Development of the eco-system surrounding the customer experience of the technology-related product – this includes prioritizing possible partners who can provide complementary products (e.g., independent software vendors for apps) as well as partnering with possible competitors to establish industry standards for interoperability of various hardware and software models
  • Decisions regarding open source versus “walled garden” approaches to development, with pros and cons associated with either course of action
  • Rapid development of an installed base of customers in order to create value for users (when other customers are key to the value received from the technology as in the case of social networks, multi-player games, and other technology that relies on communication and connectivity among users), to develop barriers to entry for competitors, to develop a revenue stream, and to create an incentive for independent developers.

These are myriad other issues are discussed in our book, Marketing of High-Technology Products & Innovations (2010, Prentice Hall Business Publishing).  The book provides a platform for “best practices high-technology marketing” and draws extensively on well-known experts (such as Geoffrey Moore, Chris Anderson, and others) in its development; for more information see www.markethightech.net.

What motivates you?

I am intellectually curious and like to tackle new issues/problems.  I don’t want to become stale.  I want to make a contribution.


UM Business School Faculty Page

Marketing of High Technology Products and Innovations