Current Research Projects@IWM

Our research focuses on how firms can create value to their customers and ultimately value to the firm. We are highly interested in the influence of digitalization and technologies on consumer behavior and firm performance.

  • Social Responsibility and Economic Performance

    The entire food supply chain creates around 26% of total greenhouse gas emissions, making the implementation of a product range geared towards enhanced sustainability critical. However, whether a move to a more sustainable product offering is beneficial for manufacturers is not clear.

    We seek to quantify the influence of sustainable choices of manufactures on their market performance. Specifically, we address the question how strategic changes in the product portfolio towards enhanced sustainability affect the firm’s success. In our research, we aim to provide insights for manufacturers and retailers by assessing the interaction of a sustainable corporate strategy and economic viability.

    Contact person: Phil Wienecke

  • Social Responsibility in the Video Game Industry

    The video game industry boasts revenues that doubles those of the music and movie industries combined. However, how this revenue is generated differs significantly from the music and movie industry.

    In video gaming, microtransactions reign supreme as the primary revenue-generating mechanism. These transactions manifest in myriad forms, each with its own implications for gameplay and user experience. While some microtransactions are unproblematic, others—such as 'loot boxes'—have been associated with gaming disorder and gambling addiction, particularly among vulnerable consumers. Some countries have already enacted legislations targeting loot boxes, since loot boxes potentially decrease the well-being of consumers. Despite the public debate about monetarization strategies in the video game industry, we lack knowledge what strategies allow firms to be profitable but at the same time ensure consumer well-being.

    This research aims to provide valuable insights for policymakers, consumers, and video game providers and contributes to social responsible acting in the video game industry.

    Contact person: Bruno Gerhartz

  • Designing Digital Customer Interfaces

    The success of online shops depends not only on attractive assortments but also on delivering a superior customer experience. In offline environments, pleasant customer experiences are created by designing visually appealing shops, using sounds, smells, and providing samples.

    In comparison, online shops have finite possibilities and are primarily limited to visual design such as search bars, filters, and product pictures that guide and provide customers with information that is needed to make a purchase. Yet, it is much more difficult to evoke emotions and sensory felling as well as providing a human touch. This restriction can decrease the customer experience and inhibit purchases.  In turn, we need to develop shop designs and orchestrate various shopping tools to address the limitations of online shopping to warrant the success of online shopping business models.

    In our research, we answer the question how to design online shops that create a pleasant experience and affect customers' shopping behavior positively. Thereby, we support online retailers to design pleasant shopping experiences that finally generate value for the shoppers and retailers.

    Contact person: Christopher Stein

  • Marketing Performance Measurement in the Digital Age

    Measuring the return on marketing (ROMI) is what managers from finance as well as marketing departments are interested in. Thus, marketing performance measurement is a cross-functional interest within firms. Today’s digital age comes with an increasing amount of customer data accessible to firms and facilitates new forms of performance measurement. Social media usage, web searching, participating in loyalty programs, and purchasing online are only a few from a wide range of examples where customers leave their traces and provide those who have access to these data with valuable insights.

    Striving to be customer centric, firms are not only interested in measuring their performance on an aggregate level, such as overall sales or revenue. They also increasingly want to understand how successful they are in offering services or products to individual customers and consequently, how much value these customers deliver to the firm (Customer Lifetime Value). The new possibilities of analyzing customers’ behaviors coming with the digital age confront managers with the question: How to measure (marketing) performance? Answering this question with a special focus on the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), the net present value of all current and future cash flows a customer generates for to a firm, is the focus of this research.

    With this research, we contribute to the implementation of the concept of customer centricity which is central to value-based marketing.

    Contact person: Sophie Jansen

  • Intersection of Marketing, Data Science and Social Responsibility

    Over the past years, humanity generated, replicated and consumed more data than ever before. As a consequence, businesses and researchers alike are wondering how to make sense of all the newly generated data, how to help marketers in practice to get valuable insights from e.g. e-WoM such as user generated content on social media and, ultimately, how to increase profit.

    However, with the increased use of large data sources, algorithms and prediction methods, we ask ourselves where we want to head as a society and how we can use these newly gained methods in a socially responsible way. In our research, we therefore critically investigate how firms use loopholes in network policies and regulations such as the general data protection regulation (GDPR) and examine the consequences for customers, businesses and society as a whole.

    With the help of user generated content, we further strive to understand consumer reactions on corporate unethical behavior and to demonstrate the large impact of morally questionable choices in the business context.

    With this research, we want to draw attention to the ethically relevant questions in a data driven world and give insights for marketers and policy-makers to make socially responsible while economically viable decisions.

    Contact person: Stefanie Dewender