Thematic Sections

Società Italiana Marketing is structured in thematic and territorial sections created at the initiative of at least 5 academic associates and 5 managing associates.

The following are the activated sections.

  1. International Marketing (Professor Maria Chiarvesio-Professor Michela Matarazzo)
    go to in-depth analysis
  2. Consumer Behavior (Professor Matteo Corciolani-Profesor Daniele Scarpi)
    go to in-depth analysis
  3. Marketing Communication & Branding (Professor Federica Ceccotti- Professor Rossella Gambetti)
    go to in-depth analysis
  4. B2B Marketing & Supply Chain Management (Professor Roberta Bocconcelli- Professor Chiara Cantù)
    go to in-depth analysis
  5. Retailing & Channel Management (Professor Edoardo Fornari- Professor Beatrice Luceri)
    go to in-depth analysis
  6. Tourism, Culture, & Arts Marketing (Professor Giacomo Del Chiappa-Professor Fabiola Sfodera)
    go to in-depth analysis
  7. Technology & Innovation Marketing (Professor Eleonora Di Maria-Professor Michele Simoni)
    go to in-depth analysis

  8. Digital Marketing (Professor Raffaele Donvito-Professor Milena Viassone)
    go to in-depth analysis

  9. Sustainability Marketing (Professor Laura Michelini-Professor Alfonso Siano)
    go to in-depth analysis

  10. Services (Professor Roberto Bruni-Professor Francesco Izzo)
    go to in-depth analysis

In-depth analyses:

1. International Marketing

Marketing activities in international contexts can be managed and organized following two main approaches. On the one hand, companies focus on the replication abroad of practices developed within national boundaries, without considering differences existing between home and host country, even if some adaptations might be needed; on the other hand, there might be a specific attention to the management at the international level of differences emerging in each different foreign country, which may require different policies.

In this context, a variety of strategies can emerge, both for large multinationals and small and medium exporting companies.

Relevant themes and topics include, but are not limited to, entry modes in international markets, distribution and communication strategies, international branding, the role of culture in the international marketing decision making process, the country image and country of origin effect, the impact of digital technologies on international marketing, the management of international relationships and networks.

In this domain, we promote an interdisciplinary approach encouraging researches with a holistic perspective to the international marketing and analyzing the interdependencies between marketing and other firm activities (e.g. corporate strategy, operations, R&D, etc.).

The International Marketing section aims at developing these themes by promoting studies in Italy and abroad, the discussion among the best papers during the national conference, the creation of co-joint research projects among different universities, and by fostering collaboration opportunities with companies, even internationally.




2. Consumer Behavior 

Researchers in consumer behavior study how individuals, groups or organizations choose, purchase, consume and dispose of goods, services, experiences and ideas in order to satisfy their needs and fulfill their goals. This section analyzes both the attitudes and the behaviors of individuals with regards to their purchase and consumption choices. The study of consumer behavior bases on theories and methods from different scientific fields (e.g., psychology, sociology, statistics, anthropology, neuroscience, economics, information technology). It provides researchers and managers with a variety of approaches and analytical tools, both quantitative and qualitative. It aims at obtaining a solid knowledge and insights on a plethora of aspects that are central to the formulation of marketing strategies. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

· The impact of environmental, historical and cultural variables on consumer behavior;

· The role of social factors (e.g., groups, communities, families) in the interpretation or forecasting of consumer behavior;

· The psychological processes through which consumers think, process information, remember, form preferences and make choices;

· The emotions that intervene  in the decision-making processes concerning purchase and consumption;

· The different steps of the purchasing and consumption process;

· The role of marketing-related variables (e.g., product, brand, price, commercial spaces, etc.) in influencing consumer behavior.


3. Marketing Communication & Branding

This section hosts a lively academic debate focused on the main challenges that brand and communication are increasingly facing in a competitive and social scenario that is more and more complex, liquid and mutating. The crisis of traditional concepts such as brand equity and brand loyalty is severely testing the brand system. Yet, it is also revealing new opportunities for companies that can leverage on brand’s capacity to co-create value for consumers. The debate generated by this section involves profit and non profit companies in search of new paradigms; marketing communication professionals striving to change; and contemporary consumers, who are more mindful, critical, and empowered in the determination of their choices and who are autonomous content and meaning creators. The section encourages the presentation of multidisciplinary papers that offer a critical reflection on the meaning and the value that brand and communication currently express. Both empirical and conceptual works are welcome, conducted with either qualitative or quantitative methodological approaches, or with a combination of the two.


4. B2B Marketing & Supply Chain Management
Ongoing technological and economic transformations profoundly affect B2B markets with consequences on the strategic behavior of the companies acting within such contexts.

Business Marketing thus faces important challenges both from the managerial and academic point of view, in a perspective of increasing integration and multidisciplinary approach.

Researches presented in the B2B Marketing & Supply Chain Management section during the last conferences shed light, in line with what emerges from international literature, the close integration between business marketing and hot topics in the fields of innovation, knowledge transfer and value creation, internationalization. Frontier issues include the impact of new technologies - Industry 4.0, Data analytics, Social Media - and sustainability on marketing organization within B2B companies, on dyadic relations between companies, and more generally on the Global Value Chain (GVC).

The relationship between Marketing and other functions, servitization processes within the broader Industry 4.0 context, customer journey & relationship value and the role of Social Media, customer-driven Supply Chain, offshoring and reshoring processes, sustainability and the reorganization of the GVC, are just a few themes that B2B Marketing can contribute to effectively address.

The aim of the Business Marketing & Supply Chain Management Section is to stimulate the debateamong scholars and managers on the new managerial approaches that could be adopted to effectively manage industrial relations, in the light of the changes we have outlined above and with reference to increasingly service-orientedoffering systems


5. Retailing & Channel Management 

Retail marketing and channel management are today facing ever fiercer market challenges and more unpredictable technological pathways. If to these are added legislative and socio-demographic evolution, a significant degree of ongoing discontinuity is seen to be emerging that requires updated managerial best practices and new theoretical perspectives. 

The Section focuses on one hand on retail companies’ value creation, based on their managing relations with final consumers along with branded manufacturers and, on the other, on go-to-market policies of the same manufacturers together with their trade marketing strategies. More traditional topics are treated along with avantgarde ones that are linked to the breaking-down of barriers between physical and digital dimensions.

Of particular interest are manufacturer-retailer relationships, trade/shopper marketing strategies, elements of inter-intra-type competition among store formats/channels, the phenomenon of multi-omni-channeling, supply chain management policies, internationalization practices of retailers, evolution of shopping behaviors, issues of store loyalty and CRM policies, assortment strategies, retail branding and inter-brand competition models, retail pricing options, store format digitalization and e-commerce drivers. The Section’s activity is open to both scholars and practitioners who are keen on proposing a rigorous, innovative analytical approach in order to generate a wide-ranging debate on theoretical and managerial implications of research outputs.


6. Tourism, Culture, & Arts Marketing

Tourism, heritage, art and culture are strategic assets for any country worldwide. This Special Interest Group (SIG) aims to stimulate and deepen the scientific and managerial debate around consumer behaviour in tourism and around the marketing strategies, policies and operations that organisations and tourism destinations can plan and implement, also as a result of entrepreneurial-based path growth, to satisfy the needs and expectations of their visitors and guests, to stimulate their behavioural intentions and to make their experience memorable. This SIG also aims to deepen our scientific understanding around the research area related to destination marketing and management (network governance, destination branding, destination smartness, etc.) also paying attention to the analysis of the co-marketing strategies and activities that businesses and organisations can create by developing horizontal, vertical and lateral partnerships to increase the value they can co-create and co-deliver to their stakeholders. Last, but not least, this SIG aims to add to the current body of knowledge about the key role that the Internet and new technologies (robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, big data, etc.) can play in supporting the planning and implementation of an effective experience design strategy in tourism and cultural-based settings.

Finally, this SIG also aims to further disclose at an international level the whole body of knowledge that Italian academicians have produced over time around the research areas related to this SIG. To achieve this goal, one of the main objectives of this SIG is to increase the number of international attendees. This will favour stronger networking among national and international scholars with the aim to also increase opportunities for setting up international research projects.



7. Technology & Innovation Marketing 

The thematic section aims to stimulate research and welcome the contributions of all scholars who investigate the multidimensional relationship that links technology, innovation and marketing, assuming two perspectives of analysis: the first, more closely related to the marketing of high-tech companies; the second, more oriented to deepen the impact generated by the spread of new information and communication technologies and the most recent technologies related to the fourth industrial revolution on the marketing function.

In particular, recent phenomena such as the spread of the open innovation paradigm among companies (i.e. extreme forms of open innovation such as crowdsourcing), the emergence of new enabling technologies (i.e. 3D printing, the Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, robotics and artificial intelligence) and the new customer role with respect to value creation processes (i.e. the Sharing Economy models and the makers' movement) are producing a radical rethinking of marketing logics, approaches, methods and tools.

Therefore, the section wants to take up the challenge posed by a scenario in rapid change and represents a point of reference and a "place" for sharing knowledge about research activities that - from different points of view and theoretical perspectives - analyze Technology and Innovation Marketing.

As a mere indication, the research questions the section intends to contribute to can be related to 3 macro-categories:

- how marketing is changing in response to changes in technology;

- how new marketing approaches are changing the process of innovation development (in particular in relation to technology-related innovation) and its diffusion on the market;

- how new technologies and marketing models are changing the customer's role in innovation and value creation processes.


8. Digital Marketing

The emerging digital economy challenges contemporary marketing whose borders and application fields are continuously evolving. Digital Marketing - considered as integration of digital technologies and paradigms with marketing –provides economic actors the ability to reach customers throughout innovative approaches that meet new and emerging wants and needs.Firms are increasingly recognizing the importance of creating a digital and omnichannel relationship with customers. Digital technologies, devices and touchpoints such as smartphones, smart products, IoT, artificial intelligence and deep learning are setting bases for meaningful transformations in the customers’ life (at a B2B and B2C level) in the next future.This thematic section aims at understanding how digital technology development is redefining the marketing process and strategies, and how it impacts on consumers behaviour.This section is devoted to theoretical and empirical studies focused on marketing digitalization from the supply and the demand side, with particular attention to the dynamics of customer-firm relationships. From the supply side, we encourage contributions focused on a scientifically rigorous analysis of the use of digital technologies and devices in order to achieve marketing objectives, and on the advantages that a digital marketing approach can bring if compared to a traditional marketing approach.From the demand side, we invite the community of researchers to contribute by deepening the impact of digital technologies on consumers’ perceptions, attitudes, and behaviours.

This thematic section is open to academics and professionals that want to enrich the debate on digital marketing phenomenon.


9. Sustainability Marketing

The economic, social, and environmental changes together with the criticisms pointed towards the marketing ethics forced businesses to review overtime their marketplace policies. The new objective is to guarantee the satisfaction, even long-term, not only to the single consumer but also to the entire community. Within this context, sustainable marketing is the strategic approach and the set of instruments adopted by businesses in order to reconcile their economic growth with environmental constraints and the protection of human rights. The track, through the introduction of theoretical, empirical and case-studies research efforts, intends to see that an advancement in the concept of sustainability is achieved and to highlight how the implementation of marketing strategies can provide an important contribution to the sustainable development. In this context, this section encourages, particularly although not exclusively, contributions applied to different industrial sectors on the following topics: CSR and value creation shared in marketing policies; sustainability and product choices; green marketing; marketing in hybrid organizations (social enterprises, B-corporations); and environmental communication.


10. Services

In a long process of evolution, service marketing research have first explored fundamental fields of contemporary management, from customer relationship to the role of personnel and the environment (servicescape), from experiences in value proposition to value co-creation. The progress of technology has strongly transformed the heterogeneous plot that constitutes the service industry, but this has not diminished the identity character of organizations whose "product" is to a large extent an act, an action, a performance, a combination of knowledge and skills "embedded" in people. In other words, selling or sharing an experience with the promise of a result. This is the element shared by very different organizations, from global consulting or auditing big companies to local firms that provide public services, from advertising agencies to software houses, from small design studios to large hotel chains, from healthcare to finance, to transport network. However, a variety of industries that share an approach to marketing based on the creation of value through personal interaction between the organization and the customer and that have stimulated scholars with elements of innovation to be explored and investigated. The section aims at encouraging research about application of marketing approach to the service design and management with a theoretical-practical perspective for managers and scholars. In a marketing perspective, contributions on service design, service management, value co-creation, service / context, service innovation, experiential marketing, Transformative Service Research (TSR), social innovation are greatly welcomed. It is suggested to contextualize research projects applied to the service industries in which the companies and organizations included in the SIM Steering Committee are involved.


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