Jill J. Avery

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

Dr. Jill Avery is a Senior Lecturer in the General Management Unit at Harvard Business School. Her research focuses on brand management and customer relationship management issues. Prior to her academic career, Professor Avery spent nine years in CPG brand management, managing brands for The Gillette Company, Braun Inc., Samuel Adams, and AT&T, and spent three years on the agency side of the business, as an account executive managing consumer promotions for Pepsi, General Foods, Bristol-Myers, and Citibank.  She remains close to practice by offering marketing consulting services to a range of brands and non-profit organizations, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she serves as a Trustee and the chairman-elect of the Board of Overseers.

Her work has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, European Business Review, Business Horizons, and Journal for the Advancement of Marketing Education.  Her doctoral dissertation on online brand communities won the Harvard Business School Wyss award for excellence in doctoral research and the Marketing Science Institute’s best paper award for work published in the International Journal of Research in Marketing. Her branding insights have been cited in Advertising Age, The Economist, The New York Times, The Financial Times, Forbes and Bloomberg/Business Week.

She currently teaches Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD), a new, experiential field-based required course in the first year of the MBA Program. She also teaches Branding + Different, an elective course in the second year of the MBA program. In the past, she has taught marketing management, brand management, integrated marketing communications, and consumer behavior in the MBA and undergraduate programs at Simmons College, Boston University, and Northeastern University. She received the Simmons School of Management’s award for teaching excellence for her MBA teaching.  She was awarded a Certificate of Distinction in Teaching at Harvard University for her undergraduate teaching.  Her executive education teaching has included sessions in the “Taking Marketing Digital” and "Strategic Marketing Management" programs at Harvard Business School and in the "Strategic Marketing" and the "Digital Strategies" programs for arts and cultural organization leaders at National Arts Strategies. 

She has written a series of teaching cases on branding and social media.  Her case writing includes cases on J.C. Penney, Porsche, Pepsi, EMC, Eileen Fisher, HubSpot, Filene's Basement, and Better World Books.  She has also published a series of "Go to Market" quantitative analysis tools that are available from Harvard Business Review. Her HubSpot case was awarded The Case Centre Marketing Award in 2014.  

She holds a DBA (marketing) from Harvard Business School, a MBA (marketing and finance) from the Wharton School, and a BA (English and art history) from the University of Pennsylvania.  Prior to joining the HBS faculty, she was an assistant professor of marketing at the Simmons School of Management from 2007-2013, where she was awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor. 

  1. HBR's Go to Market Tools: Customer Lifetime Value

    How much are your customers worth? Has your marketing budget been slashed? Need to figure out the best place to invest your time and effort to reach your growth target? HBR's Go to Market Tool helps calculate your customer's lifetime value, allowing you to prioritize your marketing and product development resources on the customers that will provide the biggest returns. This tool allows you to play around with the levers that determine a customer's lifetime value - providing insight into how to maximize the value each type of customer delivers to your company. The relationships a company has with its customers are one of its most valuable assets, and understanding the value of those customer relationships is key to managing them well over time. But not all customers are created equally, and figuring out how much value each customer adds to your bottom line allows you to be most efficient with your marketing and product development investment. Enter your own data into HBR's Customer Lifetime Value tool to figure out: (1) How much to spend to acquire a new customer, or retain an existing one, (2) What levers you could pull to increase a customer's lifetime value, and by how much, (3) Which customer segments you should target to maximize profits, (4) Which customer segments are dragging down your profitability, and (5) How to increase the value of the customers you already have. HBR's Customer Lifetime Value tool includes: a brief tutorial that walks you through the concepts and calculations; guidance for gathering your own data to plug into the tool; and a pre-designed, yet fully customizable PowerPoint presentation to share your results with your colleagues.

  2. HBR's Go to Market Tools: Pricing for Profit

    What price is right?  Figuring out the best price for your product or service can be nerve-wracking.  Your new product launch or marketing campaign's success-perhaps even your career advancement-may hinge on the price you choose. So how do you select a price that's attractive to customers and profitable for your company?  This tool will help you confidently arrive at the most profitable price-by guiding you through a series of questions: How much does it cost to produce each product you sell? How are your competitors' products priced, and how valuable is your product or service relative to those competitors? How many customers will buy your product at various price points? What price maximizes your profitability?  HBR's Pricing for Profit will help you turn your raw data into a clear analysis that will inform your pricing decisions.
  3. HBR's Go to Market Tools: Market Sizing

    Market size matters.  On the hook to launch your division's next great product or service? Need to convince higher ups that your product will fill that gaping revenue hole-and is worth the team's scarce marketing and product development resources? You need hard data to make your case: How many customers will buy it? How much will they pay? What are your competitors' strategies? We can help. Use HBR's Market Sizing tool again and again, to turn your raw market data into a clear analysis that will inform your product development and marketing plans. It will help you (1) gather the data you need to size your own market, (2) use your data to make confident projections, (3) turn your results into a game plan.