Seven Questions with Yong Liu
Associate Professor of Marketing and Eller Professor
Department of Marketing
Ph.D. in Marketing, University of British Columbia
“The Eller Experience means engagement,
experimentation, and collaboration.”
What brought you to the Eller College?
The marketing faculty has diversified interests and expertise in all fields of marketing research, including consumer behavior, marketing models, and strategy. This enables me to have lively discussion of research and close collaborations with my colleagues. On top of these, Tucson is a great place to live!
How long have you been at Eller?
What is your current research, and what most excites you about that area of focus?
My current research looks at two phenomena. First, I study social interactions and influence on the Internet. There are many exciting topics in this area as consumers are increasingly sharing product information with others on the Internet and, at the same time, being influenced by others. Second, I do research on how firms should manage product-harm crises and product recalls. Product recalls are occurring more frequently in recent years across industries. We have seen recently the large-scale recalls by Mattel, Toyota, General Motors, and so on. How to properly manage the recall process is critical for both the firms involved and the consumers.
What are you currently teaching, and what do you most enjoy about teaching?
I teach innovation and produce management courses for the Undergraduate and Eller MBA students. I also teach marketing management in the Executive MBA program. To me, the most enjoyable part of teaching is the ability to design a course that presents the most useful and exciting materials, then deliver to the students in an interactive environment. I like the Aha moment when, after discussion, exercises, and case studies, students (suddenly) realize this is a better way to think about marketing and this is the more productive way to approach innovation.
How do you bring your research into your teaching?
Since my research is based on substantive phenomena that happen every day and matter to both firms and consumers, it is quite natural to bring them to the classroom. I usually present an actual event (such as certain movie reviews posted), and ask the students to discuss how these reviews may be used by different consumers and in different market situations. I will then use my research findings to shed light on the key insights.
Beyond research and teaching, what are your passions?
Travel. I enjoy experiencing different natural environments and cultures.
What does the Eller Experience mean to you?
It means engagement, experimentation, and collaboration. I like what I do for research and teaching, and Eller provides me with the right environment to thoroughly enjoy these activities. Here in Eller, I also found it very rewarding to try new things in teaching, and collaborating with my colleagues on research.
Photo of Yong Liu by Eller College of Management.