Marketing Dissertation Topics
A dissertation should have something to add to the existing literature in a given field, while building on the current debates and issues within the topic area. Dissertations should be focused on a narrow topic rather than broad, aiming to add to the literature in a manageable way bearing in mind time and resource constraints. Marketing dissertation topics should reflect this, being more narrow than broad, building on established theories and areas of study. This helps when it comes to setting clear, concise and manageable research aims, questions and objectives. Added to this, the choice of marketing dissertation topics should reflect the research setting where the study took place, and choose appropriate research methods to investigate the areas of concern. To help in the preparation of your marketing dissertation, this article suggests areas and marketing dissertation topics that you could base your research on. These subject areas include relationship marketing, branding, direct marketing, international marketing, consumer psychology, online marketing, mobile marketing, marketing mix, social networks and marketing ethics.
Relationship Marketing Dissertation Topics
Relationship marketing refers to the use of relationships rather than purely transactional means, while focusing on long term customer engagement. This lets companies acquire customers, while also maintaining customer loyalty that results in repeat custom for the firm. It is an important area for modern businesses, and a topical area on which to base your marketing dissertation with highly diverse topics:
• What are the challenges for Tesco’s loyalty card scheme in today’s competitive business environment?
• Are switching costs effective barriers to customer retention in the airline industry?
• How can Amazon.com charge a premium price by using its diverse set of services and products?
• What are the motivations and expectations behind loyalty schemes for businesses to attract customers in the long run?
• How and why can the relationship marketing be used to attract new customers through social media?
• How does product quality affect customer loyalty among high and low contact products?
• Can luxury goods retailers prevent barriers to switching by locking in customers through a unique set of services and products?
• How do retailers cope with polygamous behaviour among consumers?
• How does customer loyalty at Waterstone’s change when customers shop at their online store rather than in the high street as compared to customers of Amazon.com?
• In what ways does Waterstone’s improve its customer loyalty through its online store and smart phone apps?
• How can companies adopt social media for successful development of relationship marketing with customers?
• What are the challenges for small companies when adopting social media for increasing customer loyalty?
• Using smart phone apps to attract and retain new customers: Advantages and challenges for MNCs.
Branding Dissertation Topics
Branding is the promise of a company to their customers. Branding is an umbrella term to refer to a wide body of literature examining how businesses can use their brands to achieve a competitive advantage, through building brand equity, launching brand extensions, managing global brands, and so forth. Marketing dissertations on branding could be based on the following topics:
• An examination of the relationship between perceived risk and brand equity: A comparison of supermarket retailers in UK.
• Do consumers really understand a company’s brand values? The case of Starbucks vs McDonalds
• How does the relative importance of tangible and intangible brand values vary across product types?
• Do leading brands need to have the products which attract to a large number of customer segments?
• How is brand image affected by product availability for SME?
• Can brand image be transferred between sectors? The case of Virgin Cola in the UK.
• How does unethical behaviour affect brand image? The cases of Shell, Nike and Starbucks.
• How do firms use corporate social responsibility to build brand equity? The case of Body Shop.
• How can innovations sustain brands through the use of social media marketing?
• Can brand equity be transferred to a supermarket’s own branded products in the low price segments?
• Using social media marketing to attract customers to brands of small companies.
• How can companies use smart phone apps to improve brand equity? The case of Starbucks and Café Nero
• Targeting customers in ethnic markets: The case of Indian food customers in the UK supermarket sector
Direct Marketing Dissertation Topics
The world of direct marketing is changing rapidly, as new technologies and social media allows companies to connect directly with the customer. This involves a wide range of tools and techniques that can be used to target consumers in a predominantly transactional manner. Direct marketers rely on information and a series of direct marketing media such as direct mail, magazines, newspapers, TV/radio, co-ops, telemarketing/teleservices and increasingly social media to disseminate their messages and acquire new customers. We have provided some suggested topics on direct marketing based on current trends, which you could use for your marketing dissertation:
• How do Tesco and Body Shop use their loyalty schemes to sell directly to the customer?
• How does the importance of factors that influence online selling vary according to product type in the services industry in the UK?
• Do customers respond differently to short and long-term offers in a competitive online environment? The case of online book sales
• In what ways do free online chat rooms influence consumers’ response to direct sales promotions in social media environments?
• How does the nationality (accent) of telemarketers influence customer response in an increasingly diverse international selling environment?
• Do consumers know how to protect themselves from unscrupulous direct marketing tactics used by social media marketing companies?
• How does message length affect the success of direct marketing messages? A comparison of online and offline mediums.
• Can direct online and social media marketing be used to build customer relationships or is it simply a transactional medium to acquire new customers in the short run?
• Can online marketing be as effective as a group-orientated tool as it is an individual-orientated one?
• How do prospecting methods differ in an online and offline environment? The case of the airline industry in the UK.
• Using SMS and email to connect with customers: Advantages and limitations of direct marketing.
• Social media marketing as a tool to target luxury customers: Advantages and issues for small companies.
• Using social media to reduce the cost of direct marketing: The case of small companies in UK.
Cultures and Marketing Dissertation Topics
For some products and services, cultural considerations can play an important role in how marketers interact with consumers. With the increasing globalisation of business, firms have to pay greater attention to how national culture impacts upon consumer behaviour and customers’ reactions towards different types of marketing communication. Marketing across cultures is becoming more prominent in business, as more and more businesses are expanding throughout the world. This creates an ideal area to base your marketing dissertation on.
• How does innovation and culture influence the market performance of SMEs in China?
• What are the effects of social media on organisational culture in the UK’s fashion industry?
• How is globalisation affecting the organisational culture of Toyota’s global operations?
• How does language impact upon brand identity? The case of Coca-Cola in the People’s Republic of China.
• How does culture affect the marketing of automotives? The Case of Toyota in China
• What effect does culture have on marketing communications? The case of Coca Cola in India
• How do marketers take into account regional differences in “national” culture? The case of banks in the Basque country and Catalonia, Spain.
• Can automotive vendors afford to treat consumers as a homogenous mass? The case of the North-South divide in Sweden.
• How does individualism-collectivism influence the sales of mobile phones? The case of the People’s Republic of China.
• How do supermarket chains overcome language differences in Switzerland?
• How can banks use pricing strategy to boost customer satisfaction and profitability
• How can national culture explain the prominence of Scottish whiskey sales in the global whiskey market?
• How can countries use national culture to help them promote major exports? The case of the Champagne region, France.
Consumer Psychology and Marketing Dissertation Topics
Marketing is fundamentally underpinned by consumer behaviour, which can largely be explained by examining consumer psychology. This highlights how consumers behave in each stage of the buying process and why they react as they do. On this basis, marketers can design and implement communication strategies that target specific customer groups based on their psychological profiles. Some suggestions to base your marketing dissertation within the area of marketing and consumer psychology are as below:
• What motivates consumers to purchase products from Amazon?
• How does marketing intelligence and planning affect sports marketing?
• How can organisations make effective use of Big Data to gain an understanding of their customers’ psychology?
• What are customers’ perceptions towards green marketing?
• What are customers’ attitudes towards digital marketing activities of Burberry?
• What are the antecedents of word-of-mouth communications? The case of blockbuster marketing.
• What are the effects of negative word-of-mouth communications on organisational performance?
• How does gender effect information processing among consumers of luxury goods?
• What role does motivation play in buying behaviour? An examination of the mobile ringtone market in the UK.
• How does gender effect selective distortion among luxury goods buyers?
• What role does learning play among functional online advertisements?
• Does the importance of beliefs and attitudes vary across low and high involvement products?
• How does gender influence online purchase behaviour of luxury goods?
• How is social media affecting the buying behaviour of luxury goods in the fashion industry?
Online Marketing Dissertation Topics
When marketing moves online the traditional rules are either broken or extended. Such extensions include the need to take into account privacy, security, the greater ability to customise and personalise user experiences, the changing nature of consumer behaviour and the interaction of online and offline mediums. Online marketing has become essential for organisations in gaining competitive advantages and enhancing their business performance. Online marketing is a useful and current area of market research. Some suggestions to base your dissertation on online marketing are as below:
• How can firms customise their products? The case of Apple.
• What are the effects of a successful digital marketing campaign on Dior’s brand performance?
• What are the benefits and challenges of using social media to market luxury goods?
• How does using web analytics for digital marketing enhance brand performance?
• What is the impact of digital marketing innovation on Apple’s performance?
• What are the benefits and challenges faced by Burberry in using digital marketing?
• How can firms personalise their products? The case of Nike.
• An assessment of the value of assortment to customers: The case of Dell Computers.
• How does a consumer’s perception of control affect their choice of brand? The case of buying computers online.
• How does visual constituency affect site identity and product attitude?
• How does gender affect online consumption behaviour?
• How can firms successfully combine online and offline shopping features? The case of Amazon.com/Toys-R-Us.
• What product attributes are most valued by consumers in search, comparison and purchase decision-making online?
• How do consumers react to brand alliances online? The case of Amazon.com and Wal-Mart.
• An investigation of the antecedents of consumer behaviour in online auctions? The case of eBay.
Mobile Marketing Dissertation Topics
Mobile marketing has become the latest marketing communications medium which enables large brands such as Coca-Cola, Nintendo, MTV, New Labour, Lastminute.com, and others to attract new customers and retain existing ones in both traditional and non-traditional ways. With the lowering of mobile phone tariffs and the increased levels of Internet browsing using mobile phones, this medium has become increasingly important to marketers. Below are suggestions for dissertation topics in the area of mobile marketing:
• How does permission-based marketing impact mobile marketers when developing and implementing international marketing campaigns?
• How can brand image be conveyed in a mobile marketing environment?
• Can a strong brand image be built through mobile marketing techniques?
• What do customers want from mobile marketing messages?
• How does location influence mobile marketing communications?
• What role does timeliness play in mobile marketing communications?
• What are the advantages and disadvantages of push and pull mobile marketing strategies?
• How can mobile marketing be used as a viral marketing tool?
• How can mobile payment services increase revenue for mobile marketers? The case of Vodafone.
• How can customer relationship management (CRM) be applied in a mobile marketing environment to improve customer loyalty?
• How can marketing managers drive consumer acceptance of mobile marketing?
• What impact does brand personality have on purchase intentions in the context of mobile marketing?
• What are the diffusion and success factors of mobile marketing?
The 4Ps (Price, Product, Promotion, Place) of marketing mix
The 4Ps concept represents the cornerstone of marketing is widely used by marketing managers when trying to influence consumer decision-making processes. Below are suggestions for dissertation topics in the area of the Marketing mix:
• How do price adjustment strategies vary in online and offline environments? The case of music sales.
• Can an overt international pricing strategy negatively affect brand image? The case of iTunes.
• How effective are public relations campaigns following brand failures? The cases of Nike, Shell, and Marks and Spencer.
• The impact of firms varying the frequency of their advertisements in online and offline environments on customers’ purchase intentions? The case of Waterstone’s.
• The impact of product information availability and persuasive advertising on consumer behaviour.
• Differences between comparison and non-comparison advertising and the impact on customers’ purchase intentions? The case of the alcoholic drinks industry in the US.
• Advantages and disadvantages of online advertising in international marketing.
• Can point-of-purchase promotions be as effective in an online environment as they are offline?
• How important is location to customer choice in the UK’s airline industry?
• How has the Internet helped unsought goods build brand awareness? The case of comparison websites.
• Is word-of-mouth (i.e. online customer reviews) the new element of the Marketing mix?
• How important is the Marketing mix to non-profit organisations?
• The effect or brand awareness on consumers’ purchase intentions. The case of low and high involvement product categories.
Social Media Networks and Marketing Dissertation Topics
Social media networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) are not only changing the consumers’ attitudes and behaviours, but they are also presenting marketing practitioners with new challenges when trying to reach and acquire customers online. As social media networks become more popular, a marketing dissertation in this area will be timely and in line with current marketing research trends.
• An examination of the positive, neutral and negative user comments on Facebook and their impact on future participation in discussions
• Why have functional applications on Facebook achieved so little success compared with their fun counterparts?
• How do applications of Facebook turn users into sales? The relationship between total installs, daily active users, and application valuation.
• A comparison of the effectiveness of banner advertising on different social media networks? The cases of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
• What impact does newsfeed restriction have on consumers’ attitudes and behaviours towards using Facebook?
• Is electronic word-of-mouth more persuasive than traditional word-of-mouth? An investigation into online customer reviews.
• Does traditional customer loyalty apply to consumer behaviour in social media networks?
• How do non-profit organisations execute marketing campaigns on social media networks such as Facebook?
• Can firms measure the ROI of their social media marketing?
• An investigation of the impact of brand post popularity on Facebook brand fan pages on social media marketing.
• Usage, barriers and measurement of social media marketing: Implications for marketing managers.
• The impact of social media marketing on brand loyalty.
• How do firms use social media marketing to encourage customers’ purchase behaviours?
Ethics in Marketing Dissertation Topics
The power of the media in changing consumer attitudes has a significant impact on how firms are expected to behave, as well as how they should integrate ethics into their marketing campaigns. As a consequence, marketing ethics is concerned with a range of issues from ethical business practices, to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes and cause-related marketing. Below are suggestions for dissertation topics in the area of marketing ethics and CSR:
• The role of EasyJet’s low fare online pricing strategy on changing customer demand trends?
• The impact of Fair Trade labels on consumers’ purchase behaviours?
• What impact do published codes of conduct have on customer buying behaviour? The cases of The Body Shop, Levi Strauss, and Marks and Spencer.
• How do ethical purchase intentions and ethical awareness affect purchasing behaviour? A comparison between the sales of battery and free range chickens.
• What impact do cause-related marketing campaigns have on consumer buying behaviour? The case of Starbucks’ Raise a cup to a good cause campaign. .
• Why do some controversial marketing communications work whilst other fail? The case of PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
• How have spam laws improved marketing ethics online?
• What factors distinguish a consumer’s choice of most and least socially responsible firms?
• How do firms use public relations to recover from consumer boycotts? The case of Shell and Nestle.
• The role of gender differences in the impact of CSR perceptions on corporate marketing outcomes.
• The relationship between marketing ethics and corporate social responsibility: Serving stakeholders and the common good.
• The role of trust on building company reputation and brand equity through CSR initiatives.
• Firm performance and corporate social responsibility. An investigation into the role of marketing competence and market environment.
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