Practice meets science: A group from IfM visited Audi

A team of students and scientists from the Chair of Marketing Management (IfM) visited the headquarter of Audi AG in Ingolstadt for the final part of the seminar "Latest Methods in Marketing Research." Over the two days, an inspiring exchange took place between representatives of science and practice, focusing on the intersections of research, sales, and innovation. Ph.D. and Master's students presented in front of a team of Audi AG, giving employees of the sales team "direct customers" insights into current findings from various research fields. In addition to the technical presentations, there was time for discussions, informal networking, and a factory tour. The event finished with a workshop prepared by the IfM.

The trip began on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, at the train station in Münster, from where the group started to Ingolstadt. After the arrival, the group met Audi representatives for dinner in a relaxed atmosphere.

The second day started with a highlight on the practical side: During the plant tour, the participants got a close-up look into automobile production. "When you walk through a production facility like this, you get a completely different view of the product and of your own field of activity," a participant summed up afterward.

In the following, the content-related, scientific part was opened by the students, who presented their seminar results. Each presentation gave a deeper insight into one of the latest quantitative research methods and their application in marketing research.

After a lunch break, student assistants of the IfM gave an insight into the state of research on the agency model in the automotive industry. The Ph.D. students completed the research part of the day and presented one of their current research projects, always giving an outlook on the relevance of the automotive industry. Specifically, the topics included how automotive showrooms can benefit from sensory marketing, what role perceived price fairness plays in price negotiations, and how automotive sales are changing. In the evening, there were opportunities for further exchange and discussion while having Bavarian specialties for dinner.

On Thursday, two workshops, prepared by Frederik Ferié and Sertan Eravci, were conducted. The first dealt with the use of virtual reality in sales and the second with the question: "Direct business leads to customer contact: What does the organization need to be able to do?" Audi sums it up in a post on LinkedIn: "With the results [...] we can work even more specifically on further strengthening customer centricity."

For everyone involved, it was a very successful event in which everyone was able to take something away. Thanks go to everyone who contributed to the success and especially Audi AG. When practice and science meet and exchange ideas, this is an opportunity that enriches everyone.