Research areas

Our ambition is to produce innovative, relevant, and rigorous research on consumer behavior, marketing strategy, and quantitative marketing, with a focus on the following areas:

Research in consumer behavior explores how people interact with firms, products, or other people before, during, and after consuming a good or service. Taking root in base disciplines such as psychology, sociology, social anthropology, and economics, researchers in this area utilize diverse methods and theoretical approaches to study a wide variety of substantive areas of interest. Insights help provide information to guide the actions of marketing managers, policy makers, or consumers themselves.

Not only decision making processes, also individual and collective experiences, habits and rituals, the way we do things and ascribe meanings to them are important in defining who we are and how we relate to our environments. Through the lens of Consumer Culture Theory (CCT), our research aims at improving the understanding of how market-mediated consumer culture shapes consumers’ identities, and how individual and collective practices are intertwined with power structures and institutions. Across the areas of inquiry, our discovery-oriented work provides implications for theory, organizational practice, public policy, and consumer’s lives.

In a consumer context, studying judgment and decision making (JDM) concerns describing how consumers evaluate options and choose among them, understanding why they behave as they do, and prescribing ways consumers or marketers can improve outcomes. The area draws on basic disciplines such as psychology and economics and utilizes experiments, secondary data, and other approaches to research. Understanding consumer judgment and decision making can help marketing managers identify opportunities or problems that may exist in the ways the firm interacts with consumers. Consumers may also benefit if decision environments are structured to help them make better decisions.

Brands are not defined just by their material elements such as products or services. Brands provides meanings, emotions, and a wide array of cultural resources to consumers and society at large. Through their mission statements, goals, stances and politics, brands play as powerful institutions that take part to multiple individual and collective moral discourses. Managing a brand successfully requires a deep understanding of both consumers’ behavior and the ways brand management impacts on individuals and groups. Our research aims at providing original knowledge and insightful managerial implications on all the dimensions that are implied in the consumer-brand relationship and are relevant for brand management. Typical research topics are brand consumption, the role of brands in identity construction processes, brand authenticity, brand trust, brand extension strategies, brand loyalty, brand architectures and brand analytics.

As the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) is disrupting many business sectors, it has sparked multidisciplinary academic research. In marketing research, ML plays an increasingly important role as a research method. First, the application allows researchers to understand the important implications of ML-informed automated marketing decisions (e.g., pricing). Second, the application has been used to extract new managerial insights from user-generated content available in various data formats such as texts and images. Lastly, while most application in data science focuses on predicting outcomes, recent research in marketing integrates the application in making more robust causal inference from purely observational (i.e., not from randomized trials) data.

Firms and consumers do not exist in a vacuum but in an ecosystem where laws, regulations, taxes, and funds are simultaneously present. Government policies affect how companies operate, which products buyers pay for, and shape the welfare of different consumer segments. Rigorous marketing research over the last decades has provided us with a rich set of empirical, analytical, and experimental tools scholars can rely on to learn about consumers preferences. A better understanding of consumer actions and motives can also support policymakers to optimize interventions such that social welfare is maximized. Recent research on the intersection of marketing and public policy helped to address fundamental questions concerning e.g., privacy laws, commodity taxation, social inclusion, inequality, mental and physical well-being, nutrition, and sustainability.

Customer journeys (search to purchase to aftersales) are complex due to the coexistence of multiple channels, media, and touchpoints. The increase in the variety of paths to purchase has made managing customers and creating an excellent customer experience more difficult for firms. The latest advancements in academic research helped develop high-powered statistical models, new metrics, and methods to enhance marketing productivity across channels and stages of the journey. Major topics in this field include customer acquisition, retention and profitability, marketing effectiveness, 360-view of the customer and customer-centricity, online engagement, multi-touch attribution models, omnichannel retailing, channel management, new channel structures, and emerging selling formats.

Digital platforms have fundamentally changed the landscape of our business, economy, and society. This novel business model leverages network effects for value-creation by facilitating the interactions between different players in its ecosystem. The past decades have witnessed how platform business disrupts various industries and almost every aspect of our life. People use lift sharing platforms to commute to their workplace, watch Netflix and listen to Spotify to get entertained, and use dating Apps to make friends. A better understanding of platform economy would enable value co-creation by the platforms and their participants and benefit our whole society. Topics in this research area include but are not limited to strategies for platform launch and growth, platform governance, data and analytics for platforms, antitrust & regulation issues raised by platforms, and information sharing between players of a platform (e.g., online reviews).

Inter-firm relationship management focuses on the empirical reality of business markets where firms tend to establish and develop lasting relationships with each other. Drawing on a variety of theoretical perspectives and empirical approaches, this research area revolves around the study of the nature, processes, and consequences of these relationships. The major topics of this research area include: the nature of inter-firm relationships and its connection to the market exchange paradigms, the dimensions and forms of inter-firm governance, collaboration and competition within inter-firm relationships, cooperation with rivals, managing value creation and value appropriation within inter-firm relationships, learning and innovation in inter-firm relationships, inter-firm relationships and firms financial performance.

Marketing-Finance interface tackles interdisciplinary research questions that integrate marketing, finance, and accounting to have a better understanding of the relationship between firm marketing behavior and its financial market outcomes. Firms increasingly invest in marketing activities to generate off-balance sheet/intangible market-based assets, which account for an integral part of firm value, and CMOs and marketing executives are under pressure to demonstrate marketing accountability. Accordingly, research in marketing-finance interface seeks to understand the role of marketing assets (e.g., customer and brand equity) and marketing actions (e.g., innovation and advertising) in creating financial market performance and firm value. In addition, it examines financial market impacts of disclosure of marketing information (e.g., information on firm innovation, customer metrics, marketing expenditure). By doing so, Marketing-Finance interface provides implications that help demonstrate the value of marketing in firms in terms of financial language.

Sales management focuses on understanding how to optimize the process of planning, directing, controlling and evaluating personal selling. It investigates how to improve and optimize the management of people and resources that are involved in sales activities in order to achieve organizational sales goals, and it includes recruiting, selecting, equipping, assigning, supervising, paying and motivating the personal sales force.