We contribute new ideas and fresh thinking to the academic discipline and research community of marketing, retail, service, and consumer behaviour. We aspire to collaborate with organisations locally and internationally to shape future systems and processes.
We actively regularly publish in top-tier academic journals in marketing, management and innovation. The department members hold editorial posts in a variety of highly ranked journals and have won several research-related awards. Our research, both theoretical and managerial focused, is core to our scholarly activity. We continuously develop new, insightful, and leading research with fellow colleagues within the department, the University, and co-authors across the world.
Our department conducts research specifically focused on topics related to:
- Services Marketing and Management
- Retail Marketing and Management
- Technology and Digital Marketing
- Business-to-Business Marketing
Services Marketing and Management
- Customer service experience & well being
- Service employee experience & well being
- Sharing economy
- Sustainability & Ethics
Services differ from traditional goods in that they are sold as a performance promise and require customer integration. This means customers, their information, time, effort and/or objects are required for the delivery process, e.g., during a theatre play, at the dentist, tax advisor or maintenance & repair services for their goods. Because the customer is part of the delivery process, customers frequently interact with service employees so that services marketing in contrast to more traditional (fast moving consumer) goods marketing has a particular focus on customer and employee experience & wellbeing including issues like time management, process management. This is why for services we often use the term management rather than marketing. One service that has received particular attention in the last decade are services in the so-called sharing economy. Transactions in the sharing economy are characterised by a triangle of actors, a platform (e.g., Airbnb) that does the matchmaking between a provider owning some assets (e.g., host) and a customer wanting access to these assets (e.g., a guest). All these topics in service marketing and management need to be seen in the light of sustainability and ethics.
Academics in our department address evolving research questions including: what does the sharing economy change for service management? How customer-to-customer interactions impact the customer’s service experience and well-being? What are bright and dark sides of customer participation in the service provision? Why do consumers engage and voice their opinions online? What are the implications of the customer’s engagement on their well-being?
Retail Marketing and Management
- International retailing
- Convenience retailing
- Marketing and management of retail locations
- Omni channel retailing
Issues in retail marketing and management underpin an integral part of the research of the department, and of its teaching. A range of topics are addressed in our research, which makes a significant contribution to both theory and practise. Current research topics include the internationalisation of retailing in relation to online and store-based approaches. Omnichannel retailing is also addressed more widely in our research with regard to the changing marketing activities of firms, consumer behaviour and regulatory context. Departmental research also addresses the changing nature of retail locations, with a particular focus on debates on the sustainability of town and city centres. The research of the department’s academics makes a notable contribution to debates and practise in relation to convenience retailing, which informs its successful Convenience Leadership Programme. The department’s research on retailing is published in leading academic journals in business and management studies, and more widely including in economic geography, and it is disseminated widely across the press and media.
Academics in our department address cross-disciplinary research questions including: what are the critical opportunities and challenges facing omnichannel retailers in the new retail landscape? How do consumers react to changing retail practices? How can retailing contribute to sustainable town and city centres? What priorities will guide retail internationalisation in the next decade, and how will retail processes change as a result?
Technology and Digital Marketing
- AI & Consumers
- Service Robots
- Self-service technologies
Technology is vital for expansion of the service economy. From e-commerce and social media marketing to the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) has substantially changed both marketing strategies and customer behaviours. Over previous years, the use of AI and robotic technology is rapidly gaining traction, with its applications ranging from frontline service interactions to customer relationship management, to back-office processing activities. Businesses that embrace the opportunities and experiment with the technologies, to determine which evolving technologies best enhance operational efficiency and which best enhance the customer experience, are likely to be the most successful. Despite the growing adoption of AI in service industries, replacing humans with non-human agents could also incur unexpected costs in the form of damaging customer experience or increasing the likelihood of consumers misbehaviour.
Academics in our department address cross-disciplinary research questions including how do AI agents (e.g., service robots, chatbots) affect customers' service experience and emotional reactions (e.g., positive including surprise and amusement, negative including anger, frustration)? What are the psychological mechanisms underlying customer misbehaviour in interaction with AI agents? How does shifting autonomy to AI agents affect the perceived responsibility of customers and service employees for service quality? How does AI agents' errors (resulting in dissatisfaction/service failure/low confidence) impact the customers' repurchase intention and WOM behaviours?
- Service innovation and servitization
- Business relationships and account management
- B2B sales management
Business-to-business (B2B) marketing focuses on how organisations propose value to other businesses by offering goods, services, and customised solutions. B2B marketing techniques rely on the same basic principles as consumer marketing but are executed in a unique way. While consumers choose products based not only on price but on many emotional triggers, B2B buyers make decisions on price and profit potential alone. Because B2B marketing often involves large orders and long-term relationships between the producer and the business customer, the process from first pitch to close of sale is often more complex than the process between a business and a private customer through several intermediaries, including suppliers and distributors.
Academics in our department address evolving research questions including how do organisations develop and strengthen their business relationships with their customers as well as their business network (e.g., suppliers, distributors)? How do account managers monitor and mitigate the dark side of business relationships? How do organisations implement transition from traditional business models to solution-based business models? How new technologies and emergence of Industry 4.0, servitization, and digitalization affect the current B2B marketing practices?
Capital discipline and financial market relations in retail globalization: Insights from the case of Tesco PLC
Start date: 2017
End date: 2017
We encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and communication with all interested parties from across the academic and professional communities. Find out more about other research activities within Surrey Business School.