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Challenging the Boundaries of Marketing

Challenging the Boundaries of Marketing

Since its founding in 1936, Journal of Marketing has played a significant role in shaping the content and boundaries of the marketing discipline.

Too often, marketing research stays within the safe confines of familiar theories, assumptions, and study topics. This Journal of Marketing series of conceptual articles is intended to offer disruptive ideas and advance new areas of inquiry that do exactly what the title describes: challenge the boundaries of marketing as a discipline of study and a field of practice.

Access the Current Articles and Commentaries in the Series

Challenging the Boundaries of Marketing

Christine Moorman, Harald J. van Heerde, C. Page Moreau, and Robert W. Palmatier

Marketing in the Sharing Economy

Giana M. Eckhardt, Mark B. Houston, Baojun Jiang, Cait Lamberton, Aric Rindfleisch, and Georgios Zervas

The last decade has seen the emergence of the sharing economy as well as the rise of a diverse array of research on this topic. This article defines the sharing economy as a technologically enabled socioeconomic system with five key characteristics (i.e., temporary access, transfer of economic value, platform mediation, expanded consumer role, and crowdsourced supply). It also examines the sharing economy’s impact on marketing’s traditional beliefs and practices in terms of how it challenges three key foundations of marketing: institutions, processes, and value creation.

Commentary: Marketing and the Sharing Economy: Digital Economy and Emerging Market Challenges

Yubo Chen and Liantao (Tarry) Wang

Commentary: The Twilight of Brand and Consumerism? Digital Trust, Cultural Meaning, and the Quest for Connection in the Sharing Economy

Arun Sundararajan

Uniting the Tribes: Using Text for Marketing Insight

Jonah Berger, Ashlee Humphreys, Stephan Ludwig, Wendy W. Moe, Oded Netzer, and David A. Schweidel

This article provides an overview of automated textual analysis and details how it can be used to generate marketing insights. The authors discuss how text reflects qualities of the text producer (and the context in which the text was produced) and impacts the audience or text recipient. Next, they discuss how text can be a powerful tool both for prediction and for understanding (i.e., insights). Then, the authors overview methodologies and metrics used in text analysis, providing a set of guidelines and procedures. Finally, they further highlight some common metrics and challenges and discuss how researchers can address issues of internal and external validity.

Commentary: Mind Your Text in Marketing Practice

Chris Chapman

A Theories-in-Use Approach to Building Marketing Theory

Valarie A. Zeithaml, Bernard J. Jaworski, Ajay K. Kohli, Kapil R. Tuli, Wolfgang Ulaga, and Gerald Zaltman

This article’s objective is to inspire and provide guidance on the development of marketing knowledge based on the theories-in-use (TIU) approach. Beginning with a description of the TIU approach and comparing it with other research approaches, the authors discuss the benefits of engaging in TIU-based research. Next, they review criteria for selecting research questions that are particularly well-suited for examination with TIU-based research. This is followed by detailed suggestions for TIU research: focusing on developing new constructs, theoretical propositions (involving antecedents, moderators, and consequences), and arguments for justifying theoretical propositions. The authors close with a discussion of future theory-building opportunities using the TIU approach.

Creating Boundary-Breaking, Marketing-Relevant Consumer Research

Deborah J. MacInnis, Vicki G. Morwitz, Simona Botti, Donna L. Hoffman, Robert V. Kozinets, Donald R. Lehmann, John G. Lynch Jr., and Cornelia Pechmann

Consumer research often fails to have broad impact on members of the marketing discipline, on adjacent disciplines studying related phenomena, and on relevant stakeholders who stand to benefit from the knowledge. By detailing five impactful articles and identifying others, they show that boundary-breaking, marketing-relevant consumer research can influence relevant stakeholders including academics in marketing and allied disciplines as well as a wide range of marketplace actors. The authors articulate what researchers can do to break boundaries and enhance the impact of their research. They also indicate why engaging in boundary-breaking work and enhancing the breadth of marketing’s influence is good for the field of marketing.

Branding in a Hyperconnected World: Refocusing Theories and Rethinking Boundaries

Vanitha Swaminathan, Alina Sorescu, Jan-Benedict E.M. Steenkamp, Thomas Clayton Gibson O’Guinn, and Bernd Schmitt

Technological advances have resulted in a hyperconnected world, requiring a reassessment of branding research from the perspectives of firms, consumers, and society. Brands are shifting away from single ownership to shared ownership, as heightened access to information and people is allowing more stakeholders to cocreate brand meanings and experiences alongside traditional brand owners and managers. To help establish a new branding paradigm that accounts for these changes, the authors address the following questions: (1) What are the roles and functions of brands?, (2) How is brand value (co)created?, and (3) How should brands be managed?

Fields of Gold: Scraping Web Data for Marketing Insights

Johannes Boegershausen, Hannes Datta, Abhishek Borah, and Andrew T. Stephen

Marketing scholars increasingly use web scraping and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to collect data from the internet. Yet, despite the widespread use of such web data, the idiosyncratic and sometimes insidious challenges in its collection have received limited attention. How can researchers ensure that the datasets generated via web scraping and APIs are valid? While existing resources emphasize technical details of extracting web data, the authors propose a novel methodological framework focused on enhancing its validity. In particular, the framework highlights how addressing validity concerns requires the joint consideration of idiosyncratic technical and legal/ethical questions along the three stages of collecting web data: selecting data sources, designing the data collection, and extracting the data. The authors further review more than 300 articles using web data published in the top five marketing journals and offer a typology of how web data has advanced marketing thought. The article concludes with directions for future research to identify promising web data sources and to embrace novel approaches for using web data to capture and describe evolving marketplace realities.