Digital Marketing

Program coordinator: Prof. Koen Pauwels (Ozyegin University and University of Groningen)

Key strategic partners: Harvard Business School, Frankfurt University, Anderson School of Business (UCLA), University of Muenster, New York University (NYU), Ozyegin University, Wharton Business School (UPenn), London Business School.

 “Consumers are moving outside the purchase funnel – changing the way they research and buy your products. If your marketing hasn’t changed in response, it should” (McKinsey 2009)

Focal areas:

1) How digital helps consumer connections

2) How much digital affects firm sales and profits

3) How (1) and (2) compare across conditions

4) Research & Knowledge Sharing Programs on Digital Marketing

The internet has impacted our lives in many ways, including our roles as buyers and sellers.  Before consumers see a brand on the shelves (P&G’s “first moment of truth”) and experience it (“second moment of truth”), they have often heard about it and/or searched for it online (Google’s “zero moment of truth”). Even for fast moving consumer goods that require store visit  for purchase “83% of moms say they do online research after seeing TV commercials for products that interest them, and 79% of consumers use a smartphone to help with shopping” (Lecinski 2011). Meanwhile, social media empowers consumers to share experiences, vastly increasing the speed and the extent of positive and negative word-of mouth. What should marketers do in response? They need to win at zero, first and second moment of truth, invest in consumer-driven touchpoints, integrate digital and traditional actions and measure the return on new and unproven investments.

Our research helps managers address this challenge by focusing on 3 major themes in digital marketing:

1) How digital helps consumer connections (e.g. monitoring social media, enabling connections, motivating consumers to share in brand-relevant communities)

2) How much digital affects firm sales and profits (e.g. 4Ps online, marketing ROI, synergies, allocation)

3) How do (1) and (2) compare across conditions (e.g.  product categories, countries, segments)

Within each theme, this competence area takes stock of what we know and what we still need to learn about, with key examples in below table:

Themes We Know something about We don’t know nearly enough
Connecting Customers Love to connect with each other

Inexpensive and timely tracking

Like to connect with firms, brands?

Does it predict behavior, buying?

Increasing Performance How to execute within platform

Consumer-initiated higher ROI

Deal site profitability (Groupon)

Synergy vs cannibalization

Conditions for Digital Younger, tech savvy customers

Products sold online

Emerging markets

Products sold offline, services


Our published and under construction work on Digital Marketing:

Pauwels and Van Ewijk (2012)

Gupta, Pauwels and Pavel (2012)

De Haan, Wiesel and Pauwels (2012)​