The Marketing research group is led by Professor Veronica Wong and embraces the work of several colleagues whose research activities focus on the strategic underpinnings of marketing and implementation in rapidly changing technological and international marketing environments.
Current research in Marketing addresses three overlapping themes:
Research reflects ongoing work which examines the contribution of marketing to firms’ performance and the limitations of a marketing orientation. One area of research, led by Professor Veronica Wong, examines Marketing Departments’ influence in organizations, with particular attention upon the drivers and consequences of ‘courage’ in the context of marketing managers’ decisions and actions, and their influences on marketing creativity, accountability and innovativeness. This work addresses recent calls from both marketing academe and professional associations (e.g., CIM) to more fully understand the causes of the declining influence of marketing departments within firms, and to examine the forces (e.g., a lack of courage) limiting their influence in business.
Since market orientation was conceptualised, firms have increasingly been recognizing customers as ‘kings’, focusing on satisfying their needs, and asserted customer centricity as their core business value. This narrow understanding of the marketing concept can lead to customer myopia and therefore to firms’ demise in the long term, in face of disruptive innovations. Research led by Dr Goran Vlasic addresses this paradox, and examines how, rather than only being market-driven, firms should take an active role and drive markets. Here, the work focuses on: defining market driving strategies from a consumer decision-making perspective and contingencies under which different market-driving approaches are more valuable than others; testing the impact of market driving vs. market driven strategies on a firm’s long-term and short-term performance and the role of the marketing manager and extent to which individual-, department- and firm-level variables impact on the firm’s implementation of ‘daring’ market driving strategies. This research was awarded the second-prize in the 2011 EMAC-McKinsey Best Dissertation Paper Award.
Our work addresses the role of marketing in new product and brand development and the commercialization of innovations. Projects involve examining issues in a business-to-consumer or business-to-business (including network) context, while some studies have adopted an international market(ing) perspective. In the business-to-consumer domain, research undertaken by Professor Wong addresses marketing communications strategies for really new products (RNPs) that create new product/service categories or significantly expand new ones. The work has identified a new classification of RNPs based on the nature of the process of use and the outcomes/ benefits of the product and shows that the effectiveness of alternative marketing messages (stimuli) to enhance consumer evaluations of a new product is contingent on the nature of the product. This work has received nominations for best paper awards (e.g., EMAC, IPDM). Work is ongoing in this area and currently examines cross-cultural and cross-national consumer responses to marketing communications for RNPs.
At the business-to-business level, research led by Dr Rebecca Liu, examines how business network learning is processed during new product development, how firms engage with their collaborators within innovation networks, and the impact of network learning mechanisms on uncertainty reduction and speed-to-market. Dr. Liu’s research has won several awards from various institutions, including the Institute for the Study of Business Markets (ISBM) and the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA).
While the literature on the key determinants of new product development success and failure is well established, lesser attention has been placed on the dimensions that influence international new product development and multi-country launch processes. In addition, the understanding of new product development in firms within an emerging country market context remains relatively sparse. Research undertaken by Professor Wong and Dr Liu focus on the inter-relationships among external environmental-, organizational- and project- level attributes, and international new product development and launch performance. Particular emphasis is placed on examining the drivers and outcomes of international new product development structures and linkages among firms’ international marketing environment, strategy, organizational structures, new product project team configuration and coordination, and international product launch success.
The issue of whether to standardize or customize the firm’s marketing strategy in overseas markets has a long tradition in international marketing research. Nevertheless, research led by Dr Malcolm Stewart provides new insights into the 'cause-effect' chain in international promotional standardization strategy. This work examines key external environmental and internal strategic factors as drivers and consequences of promotional standardization decision-making of MNCs and their Subsidiaries and Advertising Agencies. In turn, they affect the level of standardization of distinct promotional elements, including advertising strategy, sales promotion and brand positioning. The work also centres attention on the impact of the Internet and new media channels on international promotional strategies.