Mary Pearlman
Mary O'Brien Pearlman

Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing

Print Overview

Mary O'Brien Pearlman is a Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing at Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.   She has been teaching in the Marketing Department at Kellogg since 1995.

Professor Pearlman teaches Advertising Strategy at the MBA level.  This second-year elective course focuses on the strategy and execution of advertising with a particular emphasis on the consumer insight behind the strategy and integrated execution that includes all aspects of communication (advertising media, packaging, promotions, PR, etc.).  In addition, Pearlman is a speaker for numerous Kellogg student events and counsels students regularly on career opportunities/decisions.

In addition to teaching at Kellogg, Mary also serves on numerous boards in the Chicago community, including the Chicago Child Care Society (Trustee and Past President, Board of Directors), Northwestern University Women's Board (Past President), IES Abroad (Institute for the International Education of Students Trustee, Board of Directors), and Lincoln Park Zoo Women's Board.

Prior to joining the Kellogg faculty, Pearlman worked approximately 10 years at Kraft Foods where she worked in marketing and strategy, and successfully managed businesses including Kraft Natural Cheese, Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese and Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese.  She also led the introduction of several new refrigerated products. 

Pearlman earned her MBA from Kellogg with a concentration in Marketing and Finance.

Mary lives in Wilmette (suburb of Chicago) with her husband and has three children. 

Areas of Expertise
Brand Management
Consumer Products
Marketing Management
Marketing Research
Marketing Strategy

Print Vita
MBA, 1985, Finance, Marketing, Northwestern University
BS, 1980, Nursing, Ohio State University

Academic Positions
Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing and Director of Clinical Faculty Development, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1994-present

Other Professional Experience
Brand Manager, Manager of Strategy, Kraft Foods Inc., 1985-1994
Registered Nurse, Prentice Operating Room, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, 1982-1984
Registered Nurse, Emergency Room, Children’s Memorial Hospital, 1980-1981

Print Research

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Advertising strategy
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Advertising Strategy (MKTG-454-0)
$250 billion is spent on advertising in the United States. Much of it has no effect--not because of an absence of creativity, but because the problem is due to an absence of a compelling ad strategy to serve as a foundation for developing creative executions and media plans. This course provides a balanced analysis of advertising strategy and execution. The first half focuses on selecting an attractive target for advertising and developing an effective brand position. This section stresses the importance of customer insight as a basis of creating coherence between target and position. Following the approach of the introductory marketing course, students examine in depth how planning is made operational in terms of advertising and other communication devices. The remainder of the course examines the execution of the strategy. We also examine ways to evaluate the likely impact of ad copy and review approaches to measuring the effectiveness of advertising as a vehicle for enhancing the impact of ad campaigns.