Marketing and Sales


Mr John Willis

  • Qualifications: MA MCIM Chartered Marketer PGCTLH
  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer
  • Address: Portland Building (room PO3.64), Portland Street, Portsmouth, PO1 3AH.
  • Telephone: 02392844620
  • Email:
  • Department: Marketing and Sales
  • Faculty: Portsmouth Business School


I joined the University of Portsmouth in 1989 as a visiting lecturer, whilst following a commercial career in marketing and management consultancy. 

Now full-time, I teach at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in most marketing subjects, particularly international marketing, global marketing and marketing strategy. I head and co-ordinate two units – on the European Business Programme – International Marketing and on the Foundation degree – Marketing.

I have taught across most marketing subjects for CIM, and have been a CIM examiner.

I have taught in several universities in the UK, in Western and Eastern Europe and off shore Europe. I have taught also in Malaysia and Hong Kong teaching on MBA programmes. I am deputy manager for the collaborative partnership – Informatics, Singapore and Hong Kong for under-graduate business programme degrees. John sat on Informatics’, Hong Kong’s International Academic Board.

I have been a personal, business coach to a Singapore-resident, Indian business man for a number of years.

Teaching Responsibilities

International Marketing, Global Marketing, Marketing Strategy.


I am especially interested in marketing and business developments in People’s Republic of China, (PR of C). I have visited some twenty cities in PR of C and has advised a number of manufactures and Chinese business people on the adaptation of marketing and business ‘best practice’.

My particular interest is how China could move up the value chain from – made in China, designed in China, branded in China to finally bought in China. This assumes the move to more Chinese-involvement and autonomy, greater profitability especially with the development of a home market.

I was responsible for the Chinese version of website offering free marketing lessons in Mandarin. I developed a specification and commissioned a Shanghai-based web-designer and sourced a Shanghai-based Chinese-English translator. This was developed for the Greater China Region.

I am fluent in everyday, conversational French and have enough spoken Mandarin/Puthonghua to get by alone and when travelling around in PR of C for everyday survival.

My research interests cover how Western businesses must ‘adapt’ to Chinese business practices especially guanxi and also how Chinese business practices need to evolve to ‘world class standards’ by using, unique, as yet unknown – ‘best of the West, best of Chinese’, business practices.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile