Introduction to marketing
Marketing is the study of how organisations interact with customers (and vice versa). As such, it focuses on how organisations create value for customers and capture value from customers in return. The academic discipline of Marketing is divided into three broad areas or sub-fields: marketing strategy, marketing modelling and consumer behaviour. In the Marketing Group you’ll find scholars from each of these sub-fields.
Watch Professor Jaideep Prabhu talk about the Marketing pathway:
Hi, I’m Jaideep Prabhu, and I’m a professor of marketing, here at Cambridge Judge Business School. I also head the Marketing group here in the School. I’m here to tell you a few things about what you need to know if you’re interested in doing a PhD and pursuing a career as a marketing academic.
So what is marketing all about? Marketing is really about the relationship between organisations and external stakeholders, particularly customers. More formally, marketing is the process of creating and maintaining relationships with customers and their response to these efforts.
At Cambridge Judge, we focus on three areas, the three areas of marketing that most people around the world focus on. First is the area of consumer behaviour, which is the study really of customers in their lives or in their organisations and how they respond to marketing efforts. Typically, people who study customer behaviour tend to use psychology as a theory and experimental lab studies as a way to test these theories.
The second area that we focus on is the area of mathematical modelling, of how firms compete with each other in trying to attract the custom of buyers. This approach is typically influenced by economics. It uses techniques, such as game theory, and often has an empirical component, as well, which uses either experimental data, or naturally occurring data, such as data that’s acquired through stores, through loyalty cards, on how customers respond to price discounts, or positioning of products on the shelf spaces of stores, or advertising inserts in newspapers.
So that’s the second area of focus. A third area is called marketing strategy, and tends to focus more on the decision making of managers within firms vis-a-vis markets and customers. This approach tends to be influenced both by behavioural fields such as psychology, as well as economics and some more organisational series. This area tends to use data that’s generated through surveys or naturally occurring data on panels of firms and their performance over time.
We are fortunate at Cambridge Judge to have people in our group who study each of these areas. So for instance, Eric Levy is very much focused on consumer behaviour and tends to use psychology and lab studies to look at issues, such as prosocial behaviour amongst consumers. For instance, why do some consumers give time versus money in their more charitable activities?
A couple of my colleagues tend to do more of the analytical work that I mentioned. Dominique Lauga and Vincent Mak tend to use mathematical techniques borrowed from economics and game theory to look at how firms compete with each other, for instance, in their advertising or innovation activities, or even how consumers make decisions– for instance, their search behaviour.
So Vincent is very interested in customer search behaviour and has mathematical models of that, which he tests using data from labs. Dominique tends to look at firm competition using game theory. Finally, Eden Yin and myself focus more on marketing strategy and the behaviour of firms in their marketing activities, particularly their innovation activities. So both Eden and I are very interested in how firms around the world make innovation decisions, how they develop new products, and how this affects their performance.
If you were to come to Cambridge Judge to do an MPhil and a PhD, you would decide which of these areas to focus on, and who you would want to work on. And that, of course, would set the pattern for the rest of your academic career. Something that really differentiates our approach within Cambridge is to work quite closely, as far as possible, with organisations.
In marketing, particularly those of us who study marketing strategy and firms behaviour, this is a very fruitful approach. So for instance, in my own research, I tend to work with organisations that use marketing strategies to reach customers, whether in the for-profit or not-for-profit sector. And through this deep engagement with organisations, we hope not only to do more interesting research, but also to be able to influence the world of practise and improve our teaching.
So with those words, I would encourage you, if you are interested in any of these areas, to apply and to get in touch with us. And we’d be happy to speak to you and potentially work with you down the road. Thank you.