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Marketingseminar (Master­thesis)

MKT 720

Verantwortlicher Dozent Prof. Dr. Florian Stahl
Veranstaltungs­art Seminar
Leistungs­punkte 6 ECTS
Semesterwochenstunden 2
Semester Frühjahrssemester/ Herbstsemester
Sprache Englisch
Registrierung Anmeldung und Registrierung erforderlich!
Zugelassene Teilnehmer Mannheim Master in Management, Mannheim Master in Business Research (MMBR), M.A. Culture and Economy / Business, M.Sc. Business Education, M.Sc. Business Informatics, M.Sc. Business Mathematics, M.Sc. Economics, Diplom Business Administration, MaKuWi (MaKuWi: Um die Master­arbeit im Bereich Marketing schreiben zu können, muss der Prüfungs­ausschuss diese Angelegenheit genehmigen)

    Weitere Informationen

  • Allgemeine Informationen

    Die Seminararbeit ist Voraussetzung für die Anfertigung einer Master­arbeit an unserem Lehr­stuhl. Sie richtet sich in erster Linie an Studierende des Master of Management (MMM), steht aber auch Studierenden der Fächer Kultur & Wirtschaft, Wirtschafts­informatik, Mathematik und Wirtschafts­wissenschaften offen. Master­studenten werden sich mit einem Thema auseinandersetzen, indem sie Literatur zu einer spezifischen Forschungs­frage im Bereich Marketing recherchieren. Jeder Student erstellt eine individuelle Seminararbeit (ca. 22-25 Seiten) zu dem zugewiesenen Thema. 

  • Voraussetzungen

    Teilnahme an den Modulen MKT 510 sowie MKT 520 und an einem der folgenden Module MKT 531/MKT 540/MKT 545/MKT 545/MKT 560 (parallele Teilnahme möglich).

  • Bewerbung & Anmeldung

    Um sich zu bewerben, senden Sie bitte bis zum 31. August 2018 folgende Informationen als ein pdf-Dokument an Dr. Sabrina Haas (sabrina.haas(at)bwl.uni-mannheim.de):

    • Liste von 3 Seminarthemen in der Reihenfolge ihrer Präferenz (in Englisch)
    • Lebenslauf (in Englisch)
    • Aktuelle Noten (Master-/Diplom­studien­gänge)

    Bitte bewerben Sie sich nicht parallel bei den anderen Marketing-Lehr­stühlen; die vier Marketing-Lehr­stühle vergleichen ihre Listen. Die Seminarteilnehmer unseres Lehr­stuhls (MKT 720) werden am 4. September 2018 per E-Mail benachrichtigt. 

  • Angebotene Themen für Marketing-Master­seminararbeiten

    Digital Business, Pricing and Product Strategies


    Der Einsatz digitaler Technologien zur Erreichung von Marketingzielen ist heute aktueller denn je. Große Datenmengen ermöglichen es, das Kunden­wissen enorm zu verbessern, was bestenfalls in der gewinnbringenden Gewinnung und Bindung von Kunden gipfelt. Dennoch sind klassische Marketingansätze nicht direkt übertragbar, sondern müssen an die Charakteristika des digitalen Marktes angepasst werden, z.B. insbesondere bei der Preisgestaltung oder beim Produkt­management. Daher ist ein Umdenken im Zeitalter unbegrenzter Datenmengen von größter Bedeutung. Wenn Sie daran interessiert sind, Strategien für den Marketing-Manager von morgen zu entwickeln, werfen Sie einen Blick auf die folgenden Themen:

    • Topic 1News Consumption via Social Media – Following the Footprint of the Digital Consumer. In their everyday lives, people tend to retrieve news articles more and more from their social media news feed. For example, they read the headlines displayed on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter, from which they can access the original newspaper article. What does this imply for newspaper websites and both the breadth and depth of information users get? This seminar thesis aims at understanding consumer behavior across multiple platforms by providing an extensive overview of relevant recent insights.
    • Topic 2: Paid Subscriptions to Online News – A justifiable means of generating revenue? Due to fluctuations in revenue, more and more companies opt for more traditional revenue models for digital goods and introduce paid content. However, it is questionable who can afford a costly subscription to a prominent online news outlet. Low-income consumers might be excluded from at least parts of the news outlet by freemium or metered business models and hence more drawn towards alternative, potentially more biased outlets. This seminar thesis will, among others, address the following question: Are business models in the media world accountable for the social divide in news availability?
    • Topic 3Loyalty of The Digital Customer – Consequences of Variety versus Consistency-seeking Behavior. The possibility to tailor marketing efforts to particular customers or customer segments helps in making a company’s marketing strategy more effective. One way to identify different customer segments is by looking at the consistency versus variety they include into their consumption patterns. Whether a consumer seeks for consistency or variety when making multiple choices among a set of options may have a considerable effect on how loyal the consumer behaves towards an item, company or brand. The purpose of this seminar thesis is to provide an extensive overview of the relevant literature on the link between consistency versus variety seeking behavior and customer loyalty.
    • Topic 4Paid News Content – What is the Value of Surprises in Sports? At the beginning of a sports season, it is mostly unpredictable which team will be the winner. Whenever a sports tournament is determined in the final rounds before the end of the season or when the winner won very unexpectedly, newspaper websites will observe a surge in traffic. Articles covering the tournament will be highly demanded, especially paid articles that offer exclusive information. Starting from the “measure of unexpectedness” (Baker and Bloom 2013), the aim of this seminar thesis is to provide an extensive overview of recent literature on the value of surprises for the revenue generation of newspaper platforms.
    • Topic 5:  Managing Promotion across Channels. Which is the right channel, right content, and right time to reach a customer? What analytics are needed to address multichannel promotion? This seminar thesis aims at providing an overview about existing literatur about the (spillover-)effects of promotions on consumers' choice and demand in an omni-channel context.

    Digital Communications Strategies

    In der heutigen Zeit sehen sich Unternehmen mit abnehmender Werbewirksamkeit konfrontiert. Andererseits sind Social Media im Alltag allgegenwärtig geworden. Unternehmen versuchen daher, ihre Markenbekanntheit zu steigern, indem sie das enorme Potenzial von Social Media nutzen. Wenn Sie neugierig sind, wie Marketer Social Media am effektivsten nutzen, sollten Sie die folgenden Themen in Betracht ziehen:

    • Topic 6Cross-Channel Promotion and Distribution. Both communication as well as retail channels are fragmenting. On the one hand, this enables firms greater options for reach and creates new business opportunities within the channel. On the other hand, fragmentation makes channel management substantially more complex. Typical questions are: What is the right product mix and pricing in the right channel? Which is the right channel, right content and right time to reach a customer via certain channels? Which promotions best align with which channel?
    • Topic 7Omni-Screen and Omni-Channel. How does the inceasing number of screens and channels change decision making and behavior? In partucular, what is the impact of mobile on: search, networks, choice, behavior, the overall journey/path to purchase?
    • Topic 8: Managing Customer Experience: How to Measure Customers' Journey in B2C. Identifying the critical paths to purchase in B2C environments using causal models. Which methods exist to reveal customer's journey and to improve customer experience across channels and time.
    • Topic 9Assessing Causality in the context of Marketing campaigns. Secondary data are limited in their ability to disentangle causal outcomes (for example, there may be no independent variation in two causals, or there may be reverse causality). Using such data to guide marketing decisions can lead to wasteful spending. How can a marketer attribute and apportion outcomes to various causal factors? How can one measure long-term branding effects? How does one disentangle long- and short-term effects of media (including looking beyond direct-response to branding)?
    • Topic 10Channel structure. Radical changes in distribution raise questions about whether or how marketers should partner with channel members. As demand becomes more fragmented with a larger number of retailers, how should retailer and manufacturer partnerships evolve?

    New Data, New Methods


    Der laufende Wandel im Marketing der Firma zeigt sich am besten in der Fülle neuer Datentypen und neuer analytischer Ansätze zur Gewinnung von Er­kenntnissen. Wenn Sie daran interessiert sind, ein Verständnis für neue Ansätze zu entwickeln, die es Unternehmen ermöglichen, Er­kenntnisse aus Big Data und multiplen methodischen Ansätzen zu gewinnen, und unterschiedliche Methoden zusammenzubringen, um das Handeln voranzutreiben, sollten Sie sich für die folgenden Themen entscheiden und sich auf diese konzentrieren:

    • Topic 11Machine Learning Methods used in Marketing Research. The aim of the master seminar thesis is to identify current machine learning methods used in marketing research. One or two of the methods should then be explained in more detail.
    • Topic 12The Use of Artificial Intelligence for Creating Customer Experience. Technology continues to radically and rapidly change the nature of service, customers’ service experiences, and customers’ relations­hips with service providers.  How is and how can artificial intelligence change these experiences.
    • Topic 13The Future of Statistical Significance in Marketing Research. Statistical significance tests are used widely in marketing research and other areas. However, current trends in psychological research suggest that statistical significance should play a different, perhaps less important role in the future. The aim of this master seminar thesis is to summarize the basics of statistical significance testing and current trends in psychological and marketing research.
    • Topic 14“A picture is worth a thousand words” [1]. Images play an increasingly important role on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Social media users love to post pictures additionally or instead of text. The aim of this work is to investigate why users often prefer images instead of or in addition to text and to characterize the information transmitted by the image between the sender and the recipient of the message.
    • Topic 15“A picture is worth a thousand words” [2]. Images play an increasingly important role on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The aim of this work is to identify image characteristics that can be automatically extracted from images and which can be used to classify images posted on social media platforms.

    Markengestaltung und Marken-Management

    Marken gelten als eines der wertvollsten Marketinginstrumente und sind ein Kernkonzept im Marketing. Der Aufbau von Marken schafft einen enormen Wert für Unternehmen und Konzerne. Marken vermitteln einheitliche Qualität, Glaubwürdigkeit und Erfahrung und sind daher für Unternehmen entscheidend, um sich vom Wettbewerb auf dem heutigen globalen Markt abzuheben. Darüber hinaus ist aufgrund der steigenden Internetnutzung eine starke Marke und Marken-Website-Strategie von zentraler Bedeutung für die Generierung von Empfehlungen und viralem “Traffic”. Schließlich ist es angesichts der aktuellen wirtschaft­lichen Herausforderungen erwähnenswert, dass Marken schwierige Zeiten besser überstehen als No-Name-Produkte. Deshalb ist Branding wichtiger denn je.

    • Topic 16Impact of Brand Perception on Usage and Consumption. Past research has extensively demonstrated how brand associations affect buying behavior. A relevant issue for marketers, however, is to understand how brand perceptions connect with consumers’ usage and/or consumption behaviors. This seminar thesis aims at establishing how different brand characteristics translate into different behaviors.
    • Topic 17The Impact of Brand Characteristics on Customer Acquisition and Retention. Customer acquisition and retention rates are two key components of customer lifetime value and widely accepted as a financial performance measure and firm objective. This seminar thesis aims at analyzing how different brand associations affect a prospect’s decision to try out a new product versus an existing customer’s repurchasing decision.
    • Topic 18Recent Research on Branding and Brand Management. Brands stand at the core of marketing and are central to marketing communications, WOM, and firm profits. Therefore, branding has been studied for decades now. The objective of this seminar paper is to provide an overview of recent (past decade) theoretical and empirical work on branding and brand management.


    Consumer Behavior and Psychology and Its Relevance for Marketing Practice

    Die jüngsten Entwicklungen im Bereich der digitalen/mobilen Technologien haben eine datenreiche Umgebung geschaffen, die Marketingmanagern und Forschern neue Herausforderungen und Chancen bietet. Die Studie von Verbrauchern hilft Unternehmen und Organisationen, ihre Marketing­strategien zu verbessern, indem sie Themen wie z.B. wie...

    • The psychology of how consumers think, feel, reason, and select between different alternatives (e.g., brands, products, and retailers);
    • The psychology of how the consumer is influenced by his or her environment (e.g., culture, family, signs, media);
    • The behavior of consumers while shopping or making other marketing decisions;
    • Limitations in consumer knowledge or information processing abilities influence decisions and marketing outcome;
    • How consumer motivation and decision strategies differ between products that differ in their level of importance or interest that they entail for the consumer; and
    • How marketers can adapt and improve their marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to more effectively reach the consumer.

    Wenn Sie sich für diesen Forschungs­bereich interessieren, werfen Sie einen Blick auf die folgenden Themen:

    • Topic 19Thinking, Fast and Slow. Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman sees human thinking and decision making in two forms that he calls System 1 and System 2. The former is an automatic, fast, and often unconscious way of thinking, whereas the latter is effortful, slow, and controlled. The aim of this seminar thesis is to analyze the implications of these two modes of thinking for consumer decision-making. 
    • Topic 20Subconscious Preference Formation. Existing literature about the characteristics of conscious and unconscious thought shows that people are sometimes unaware of the existence of a stimulus that importantly influenced a response. Also, that simple choices (such as between different towels) produce better results after conscious thought, but that choices in complex matters (such as between different houses) should be left to unconscious thought (‘‘deliberation-without-attention’’ effect). The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the existing literature in consumer behavior about subconscious preference formation.
    • Topic 21: Cognitive Biases [1]: Decision-making, belief, and behavioral biases. In this seminar thesis you summarize and provide an overview about cognitive biases studied in marketing research with respect to belief formation and perception.
    • Topic 22Cognitive Biases [2]: Decision-making, belief, and behavioral biases. In this seminar thesis you summarize and provide an overview about cognitive biases studied in marketing research with respect to decision making.
    • Topic 23: Cognitive Biases [3]: Social biases and Attributional Biases.  In this seminar thesis you summarize and provide an overview about cognitive biases studied in marketing research with respect to social biases and attributional biases.
    • Topic 24: Decision-making, belief, and behavioral biases in Advertisments: In this seminar thesis you summarize and provide an overview about the literature studying how perceptual, behavioral and decision-related biases are used in advertisments.
    • Topic 25: Social and Attributional Biases in Advertisments: In this seminar thesis you summarize and provide an overview about the literature studying how social and attributional biases are used in advertisments.
    • Topic 26Spillover effects in consumer behavior: To what extent do customer perceptions and experiences spill over from one domain or context to another? Does a customer’s experience with a provider in an unrelated category influence their expectations of and experience with a brand? These exemplary questions should be answered by giving an overview of existing research and theories in the seminar paper.
    •  Topic 27: The Future of Online Retailing. Online retailers (especially fashion retailers) increasingly rely on videos instead of simple photos for demonstrating their merchandise. Many retailers also encourage customers to share private pictures of product usage on the retailer’s website. The goal of the seminar thesis is to analyze the effectiveness of such emerging trends in online retailing.
    • Topic 28: Customer satisfaction after delays and waiting time. How unsatisfied do customers get when e.g. their call is placed on hold. Are there situations where customers are less likely to be unsatisfied when a delay occurs? For example: Do travellers show more acceptance for flight delays when the cause is a volcanic eruption versus a broken aircraft?
    • Topic 29: Consequences of Product Recalls. The number of product recalls has dramatically increased over the past years. Dependent on the reactions of the market, product recalls can have a significant impact on the respective producer’s competitive position, both short- and long-term. The goal of this seminar thesis is to study the impact of product recalls by thoroughly analyzing the link between consumer perceptions and their consequences for the firm.
  • Ablauf des Marketingseminars (Master­thesis)

    • Ausgangspunkt des Seminars ist das Kick-off-Meeting. Wir geben Ihnen eine kurze Einführung in das wissenschaft­liche Schreiben und stellen Ihnen die Themenverteilung vor. Alle Teilnehmer sind verpflichtet, an diesem Treffen teilzunehmen. Danach erwarten wir von Ihnen, dass Sie sich mit Ihrem Berater in Verbindung setzen, um ein Startpaket an Literatur zu erhalten und Ihren individuellen Zeitplan abzustimmen.
    • Sie verfassen Ihre Seminararbeit als Einzel-Assessment.
    • Die Präsentation der Seminararbeiten erfolgt in einem Blockkurs. Jeder Teilnehmer hat ca. 15 Minuten Zeit, um seine Seminararbeit zu präsentieren. Anschließend findet eine Diskussion von 5 Minuten pro Vortrag statt. Genaue Präsentations­zeiten für jeden Teilnehmer werden in den Tagen nach Abgabe der Seminararbeit per E-Mail verschickt.
  • Zeitplan

    Ankündigung der Themen: Anfang August 2018 (Homepage)
    Bewerbungs­frist 20. August bis 31. August 2018
    Bekanntgabe der Teilnehmer per E-Mail 4. August 2018
    Kick-off-Meeting (Themenverteilung und Einführung in die wissenschaft­liche Arbeit) 11. September 2018 um 16:00 Uhr; die Teilnehmer müssen an diesem Treffen teilnehmen
    Übergabetermin der Seminararbeiten Woche des 7. November 2018
    Präsentation der Seminarthemen November 2018; die Teilnehmer müssen an diesem Treffen teilnehmen
  • Leitfaden zur Erstellung der Master­seminararbeit

    Akademisches Schreiben und Editieren zur Verfügung gestellt von Tanvi Mehta:

    The Academics? Little Helper: A Writing Guide

  • Benotung

    Die Note für die Seminararbeit beträgt 70%, die Note für die Präsentation 30% der Gesamtnote des Seminars. Für das Bestehen des Seminars muss eine Mindest­note von 4,0 in beiden Teilen erreicht werden.