Supervisor: Professor Stan Maklan


Traditional, even emerging, marketing practices will be challenged by the intersection of new technology and their commensurate data streams permitting disruptive new business models.  I believe that practitioners and academics are dealing with new technology largely as a series separate phenomena of interest/investment decisions: customer analytics, predictive modelling, real time - mobile data, local manufacturing (aka 3D printing), social media, crowd resourcing, multi-channel, wearable technology and marketing automation.  The relentless pace of change threatens to overwhelm marketers and widen the much discussed practitioner-research gap.  Practitioners and academics need a more comprehensive framework in which to research the impact of new technology and manage the changes they generate in a coherent fashion.

Possible Areas of Research

The study of the impact of Big Data (and related technologies) upon marketing theory and practice can take a number of directions, often involving interesting cross-disciplinary approaches.

  1. Marketing Practices: The dynamic nature of real time predictive analytics challenges the traditional sequence that we have taught for decades: Segment-Target-Position.  There is a logic of understanding customer needs and wants, determining how you will meet them better than competitors (profitably) and then reconfigure the offer to deliver.  Customers will be crafting their own solutions and systems will be making offers without reference to normal management processes often in real-time.  What should the new text books on marketing management look like?  How should marketing organise to meet the new environment?  What questions should marketers ask of the data that they are assembling?
  2. Marketing Theory and Frameworks:  Will the new processes for consumer search, specification and purchasing change that which we now accept to be "theories of consumer behaviour"?  Or, is the big data future merely a change in context?  Will the new context necessitate changes in core frameworks of marketing such as the integrated marketing mix (4P, 7P), the decision-making-unit or segmentation?
  3. Marketing and Information Systems (IS) Literatures:  The IS literature has dealt with the issue of how to extract value from IT investment in far greater depth and breadth than marketing, perhaps not surprisingly.  Yet discussions about the returns from IS led marketing innovation, such as CRM and social media, feature  prominently in both academic and practitioner marketing journals.  I have co-authored an article that contrasts the literature in both fields with respect to the return on CRM investment.  The conclusions have implications for other IT led marketing programmes and there are opportunities to make contributions to marketing by leveraging the IS-marketing interface and contribute to theory and practice in both.
  4. Marketing and Supply Chain (Operations):  Similar to the above, technology will reconfigure the traditional top-down logistics thinking.  We have a mental model of marketing generating demand that supply-chain management fulfils.  Just as was the case with Amazon, supply-chain innovation can generate demand and change marketing activities associated with demand management.  There is room for innovative contributions that integrate the operations (supply-chain) and marketing literatures.

Suggested Reading

This is only a start - the scope of the four themes above is very wide and you would need to focus your search.

Maklan, S., Peppard, J. & Klaus, P., 2015.  Show me the Money: Improving our Understanding of How Organizations Generate Return from Technology-Led Marketing Change.  European Journal of Marketing.

Baines, T.S. et al., 2007.  State-of-the-Art in Product-Service Systems.  Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers - Part B - Engineering Manufacture (Professional Engineering Publishing), 221 (10), pp. 1543-1552.

Jüttner, U., Christopher, M. & Baker, S., 2007.  Demand Chain Management - Integrating Marketing and Supply Chain Management.  Industrial Marketing Management, 36(3), pp.377-392.

Jüttner, U., Godsell, J. & Christopher, M.G., 2006.  Demand Chain Alignment Competence - Delivering Value Through Product Life Cycle Management.  Industrial Marketing Management, 35(8), pp.989-1001.

Peppard, J., Ward, J. & Daniel, E., 2007.  Managing the Realization of Business Benefits from IT Investments.  MIS Quarterly Executive, 6(1), pp.1-17.


Professor Stan Maklan, Tel: +44 (0)1234 751122