The Industrial Marketing Research Group at KTH will conduct research into a number of key areas of concern to scholars, practitioners and policy makers. In many ways these areas of research overlap with the research priorities of the Marketing Science Institute, the premier body for the advancement of research, and the practical application thereof, in marketing. The research activities of the group include, but are not restricted to:
- Understanding Customer Experience and Behavior
Advances in technology mean that customers increasingly seek experiences rather than merely purchase and consumer products and services. This is reflected in the way they search for offerings, and the ways in which they interact with suppliers. The group conducts research into the mechanisms available for staging optimal customer experiences, both in real-world and online environments. Particular attention is given to smart phone applications and the use of tablet computers.
- Managing Brands in Changing Markets
The group gives special attention to the role of brands and their management in the modern economy. It studies the nature and the value of brands and their architecture, particularly in online environments. Brand communities and their strengths and liabilities are considered, and luxury brands and their peculiarities also receive attention.
- Using Alternative Data Sources to Study Markets and Aid Decision-Making
The online environment provides a plethora of data sources that can be accessed to study various aspects of markets, and also provide insight to managerial decision-making. The group employs a variety of tools and methods of analysis to gain insight into these data sources. For example, one stream of research employs content analysis of graphic cartoons to track public sentiment toward various facets of marketing, such as personal selling and advertising over extended periods of time.
- The Role of the Sales Force in Marketing Strategy
Despite advances in Internet technologies and online purchasing options, the role of the sales force has not diminished for many firms in an array of markets. There is a dearth of research on salesperson performance that the group attempts to resolve by studying various aspects of salesperson communication, behavior and motivation and their consequences for sales effectiveness. For example, a current project considers the effects of nonverbal expressiveness among salespeople on other behaviors, such as willingness to receive feedback, and the relationship between personality type and nonverbal expressiveness.
- Allocating Resources to E-Commerce Activities
Organizations need to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of their e-Commerce strategies. Particular attention needs to be given to aspects such as website design and performance, pricing, distribution, and the acquisition and retention of customers. The group gives research attention to all of these factors, focusing particularly on the level of investment in e-Commerce activities of firms, how this spending can and should be allocated, and on the calculation of a return on investment on e-Commerce spending.
- Market Impact of new technologies and services in an international context
Over the past decade globalization, servicification, new technologies, new industries as well as new types of services and products have been introduced in several markets and thereby transformed the industry landscape. The group carries out research projects with this as a focus. For example, a project which deals with how the consulting industry as well as traditional industries transforms and adapts the climate issue on the company's strategic agenda. The group has thereby also an interest in how different types of market forces and environmental factors, converts and reshapes industries in different ways.