At the AMA Winter Academic Conference, two leading marketing researchers were asked how marketing research can affect other disciplines. Here’s what they had to say:
According to Andrew Stephen, Associate Dean of Research at the University of Oxford, marketing is a broad concept that can influence thinking in many different areas. Marketing academia can be insular, but academics can expand marketing’s horizons in two main ways:
1. Take theories and insights related to customers and markets in a business context and actively port those ideas into other fields. Marketing academics should take an active role in making this happen in order to have a broader impact.
2. Embrace a broader view of where marketing questions and issues emerge, including fields such as healthcare, public policy, technology, engineering, and science. Many marketing concepts can be relevant to these fields. Marketing research can be inspired by other fields such as politics.
Overall, embracing other fields can make marketing research more impactful.
According to Juliano Laran, Professor of Marketing at the University of Miami, marketing research can influence other disciplines in four main ways:
1. Methodological approach: Marketing research is more methodological than in many other fields. Other disciplines could improve by emulating the way marketing researchers put consumers in real-world situations to learn how they behave.
2. Integration: Marketing researchers combine quantitative methods and controlled experimental research to produce unique insights in ways that other disciplines don’t necessarily do.
3. Helping society: Marketing has spent decades trying to understand how to help society. Any discipline that’s trying to understand what people desire, what makes them feel good, what they need, and how to have a better life (policy making, for example) could benefit from marketing’s existing body of knowledge.
4. Contributing to widely researched topics across different disciplines: The marketing literature contains a wealth of knowledge in certain topics that is applicable to other disciplines but has not been widely utilized. Two marketing research topics in particular that could be heavily utilized in other disciplines are self-control and social media.