Marketing Theory (MKT 531)

Marketing begins and ends with the consumer - from understanding consumer preferences and needs to providing consumer satisfaction. Thus, a clear understanding of consumers is critical in successfully managing the marketing function in any organization. This course examines the nature of consumer behavior and consumer decision process. We study the effect on consumer behavior and decision making of psychological influences (such as learning, motives, perception, and beliefs and attitudes). Understanding consumers' behavior and the irrationality of the human decision-making process is key to developing winning marketing strategies for advertising, branding, pricing or promotions. We will discuss in this course also econometric models of such consumer behavior, and then investigate the implications for optimal firm decision making and market outcomes.

The lectures on "Interactive Marketing" cover the following topics:

  1. Part: Principles of Behavioral Economics & Social Psychology

    1. Foundations of Preferences, Judgment and Choice

      • Definition and Characteristics of Individual’s Preferences
      • Individual’s Judgment & Choice

    2. Prospect Theory and Mental Accounting

      • Prospect Theory An Analysis of Decision under Risk
      • Mental Accounting

    3. Foundations of Social Psychology

      • Attribution Theory
      • Feelings-as-Information Theory
      • Social Cognitive Theory
      • Cognitive Dissonance Theory
      • Attachment Theory

  2. Part: Consumer Behavior

    1. External Influences - Social Status and Reference Groups

      • Demographics and Generations
      • Social Classes and Social Stratification
      • Types of Groups
      • Reference Group Influence
      • Communication within Groups and Opinion Leadership
      • Diffusion of Innovations

    2. Internal Influences - Consumer Perception

      • The Nature of Perception
      • Exposure
      • Attention
      • Interpretation
      • Perception and Marketing Strategy

    3. Internal Influences - Consumer Learning, Memory and Product Positioning

      • Memory‘s Role in Learning
      • Learning Under High and Low Involvement
      • Learning, Memory, and Retrieval
      • Brand Image and Product Positioning

    4. Internal Influences - Consumer Motivation, Personality and Emotion

      • The Nature of Motivation
      • Motivation Theory and Marketing Strategy
      • Personality
      • The Use of Personality in Marketing Practice
      • Emotion
      • Emotion and Marketing Strategy
      • Emotion in Advertising

    5. Internal Influences - Consumer Attitudes and Influencing Attitudes

      • Attitude Components
      • Attitude Change Strategies
      • Individual and Situational Characteristics That Influence Attitude Change
      • Communication Characteristics That Influence Attitude Formation and Change

  3. Part: Consumer Decision Process

    1. Pre-Purchase, Purchase and Post-Purchase Processes

      • Pre-Purchase Processes
      • Need Recognition
      • Search
      • Pre-Purchase Evaluation
      • To Buy or Not to Buy
      • Purchase and Consumption
      • Post-Purchase Processes
      • Post-Consumption Evaluations
      • Retailing and The Purchase Success
      • Determinants of Retailer Success or Failure
      • Purchase Behavior in the E-commerce Revolution

  4. Part: Marketing Strategy

    1. Creating Marketing Strategies for Customer-Centric Organizations

      • Market Analysis and Market Segmentation
      • Bayesian Analysis
      • Marketing Mix Strategies
      • Customer Loyalty and Retention Strategies
      • Reaching the Consumer and Selective Exposure
      • Grabbing Consumers‘ Attention

    2. Shaping Consumers' Opinions and Helping Consumers to Remember

      • Opinion Formation
      • Classical Conditioning
      • The Content of Processing
      • Opinion Change
      • How Business Shape Consumers‘ Opinions
      • The Product‘s Role in Shaping Consumers‘ Opinion
      • Advertising‘s Role in Shaping Consumers‘ Opinion

This course will be offered in spring term. Further information about this course and documents to all lectures are available on the e-learning platform ILIAS (


Further information:
Course Code:MKT 531
ECTS Credits:4
Lecturer:Prof. Dr. Florian Stahl
Teaching Assistant:Andreas Lanz
Assesment:Written Exam (100%)
Timetable:Lectures: Thursday (8.30 - 10.00am), Room: M 003
Registration:No registration required!
Range of application:Mannheim Master in Management,
Mannheim Master in Business Research (MMBR),
M.A. Culture and Economy / Business,
M.Sc. Business Education,
M.Sc. Business Informatics,
M.Sc. Business Mathematics,
M.Sc. Economics,
Diplom Business Administration.


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