The Digital Marketing Research Cluster (DMRC) was founded in 2019 with the general aim to foster exchange between researchers with an interest in digital marketing. The DMRC brings together researchers who analyze different aspects of digital marketing. The focus is less on single industries or sub-disciplines of marketing; instead, the cluster brings together researchers who look into how digitalization is changing consumer behavior (e.g., purchase behavior in multichannel environments, response to digital marketing along the purchase funnel, brand perceptions), organizations (e.g., digital advertising, influencer marketing, sales), as well as the society (e.g., privacy and its influence on how companies and consumers use the online channel) and higher education (e.g., teacher-student interactions in the digital space).
The vision of the DMRC is to establish the Department as leading in the field of digital marketing in Scandinavia and to establish awareness internationally. We aim to focus on questions that are relevant from managerial, academic, and societal perspectives.
Highly talented staff and internationally leading scholars
The DMRC has attracted members with diverse backgrounds from the Department, demonstrating its inherent diversity and focus on transformation at its core. The cluster started its activities only in the fall of 2019; yet, within a year, the cluster has grown from its initial four members to eleven members. The cluster includes members with different methodological backgrounds (qualitative research, experimental research, dynamic modeling, and quantitative methods) and various research focuses (e.g., sales, consumer behavior, tourism, innovation, and online advertising). Members come from almost all levels of tenure.
As a consequence of the above, topics of current research projects are very diverse, comprising, for example, online promotions and customer value, risks of programmatic advertising, adoption drivers of voice assistants, the impact of social media on decision-making and purchasing behavior, influencer marketing, marketing in the platform economy, digital platforms, Internet of Things / smart product-service systems, or digital decision-making tools. All these topics relate to transformational aspects of the business environment caused by digitalization. Importantly, research projects in the cluster study the transformational nature of digitalization from different angles, for example, from an individual consumer perspective, from an organizational perspective, or from the perspective of specific industries and markets. Apart from digitalization as an object of research, the cluster also excels in digital data collection and analytical methods.
The diversity enables the cluster to foster discussions and exchange that span different areas within the discipline of marketing; at the same time, the diversity offers avenues to connect to researchers outside of our discipline. This diversity has also shown to be important to explore the ‘big question’ of how digitalization affects businesses, markets and society, as we take different perspectives towards the subject. We also expect the cluster to be an important element of the Department when it comes to attracting, developing, and retaining highly talented staff and internationally leading scholars.
The DMRC aims to focus on questions, which are relevant from both managerial and academic perspectives, and to show the societal impact of our findings. Therefore, our cluster strategy is inherently geared towards strengthening the connection between individuals, organizations, and society by overcoming silos of thinking and acting and by addressing pressing issues of the digital transformation. This is in line with Copenhagen Business School’s strategy.
Fundamental business knowledge and research excellence
The cluster brings together researchers with different backgrounds, who have shown research excellence through publications in top marketing journals such as Journal of Marketing Research, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Service Research, and Journal of Interactive Marketing.
The cluster conducts research activities, which favor the intra-cluster exchange and collaboration, and enable exchange with external top scholars and companies. We have already implemented a research seminar series, where in every term we invite top scholars from other universities to give research talks. In fall 2019, Michel Clement from the University of Hamburg was invited. In spring 2020, the cluster organized a talk by Gianfranco Walsh (University of Jena). A research seminar with Michael Haenlein (ESCP Business School) has been planned for April 2021. The research seminars are open to all employees at Copenhagen Business School.
In addition, we organize brown-bag lunch meetings to provide collegial feedback on ongoing projects. In spring 2020, we organized an online research talk on geo-locational methods by Szilvia Gyimóthy, and we plan to organize one more brown-bag lunch in fall 2020.
Engagement with the wider academic community
In terms of research collaborations, members of the DMRC collaborate with researchers from different universities from around the world including UC Davis, Tuck Business School, University of Groningen, University of Hamburg, WU Vienna, University of Edinburgh Business School, University of Southampton Business School, Aalto University Helsinki, ESCP Business School, University of Auckland, University of Münster, Lund University, and Rovira i Virgili University.
In addition, cluster members regularly visit important marketing conferences such as Marketing Science, EMAC, and AMA, and engage in the organization or chairing of (special) conference sessions. In order to engage with inter-disciplinary projects related to digitalization, some cluster members plan to visit conferences, which join scholars from different disciplines such as sociology, media and communications, or information systems (e.g., the Association of Internet Researchers Conference). Cluster members are also reviewers with important journals of the field such as Journal of Marketing Research, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Business Research, and Information Technology & Tourism.
Esprit de corps
Members or the DMRC cluster are especially proud of having established the cluster within such a short period of time, and of the activity track organized by the cluster members. We all investigate digitalization from different perspectives and with different methods, and this multiplicity of perspectives is what drives and unites this cluster. Our common objective is to increase awareness of the cluster within and outside Copenhagen Business School, and to position the Department as an important knowledge hub in digital marketing research.