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Marketing Dissertation Topics

Marketing Dissertation Topics

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Example marketing dissertation topic 1:

Overcoming diversity: The marketing of New Orleans as a tourist destination after Hurricane Katrina - an investigation

New Orleans in Louisiana was previously a premier tourism and convention destination; the effects of Hurricane Katrina have wrought havoc on the economy of the city. In the first year after the hurricane, over 100,000 jobs were lost, and the reputation of New Orleans as being problematic in terms of crime plunged even lower. The city is working hard to restore its reputation and its economy and some estimates hold that tourism is almost back to its pre-Katrina level. This study examines the veracity of such statements and considers the city's future.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Holloway, C. J. (2004) Marketing for tourism (4th edn). Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
  • Hudson, S. (2007) Tourism and hospitality marketing: A global perspective. London: SAGE.

Example marketing dissertation topic 2:

Branding and consumer behaviour - A comparative analysis of Pepsi and Coke

As a field of separate study, consumer behaviour analysis emerged during the 1960s. As one of the two dominant global cola manufacturers Pepsi has developed a strong brand of products by creating a wide range of promotional materials. This dissertation analyses different marketing campaigns undertaken by the companies in the last five years and through the use of consumer response survey this study identifies the strengths and weaknesses inherent within them.  These, along with the respective market strengths of the two companies are then analysed in accordance with a range of academic theories.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Aaker, D.A. (1991) Managing brand equity: Capitalizing on the value of a brand name. New York: The Free Press.
  • Bauer, R. A. and Greyser, S. A. (1968). Advertising in America: The consumer view. Boston: Harvard University.
  • Schaeffer, R and Bateman B. (1995) Coca-Cola: A collector's guide, London: Quintet Books.

Example marketing dissertation topic 3:

Repositioning fresh fruit sales within Tesco; A marketing approach

Tesco has announced major plans to revamp its store so as to attract further custom. This dissertation looks at a specific aspect of the core business and relates the approach adopted by Tesco to that of two of its main competitors: Sainsbury's and ASDA. In so doing concepts of perceptual mapping are utilised along with Ansoff's matrix. Making a valuable contribution to the understanding of marketing within the grocery trade this dissertation also benefits from the undertaking of a range of interviews with shoppers and managers to garner a fuller picture of what Tesco needs to do to further boost sales within this arena of its operation.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Fernie, J. and Sparks, L. (eds) (2004) Logistics and retail management: Insights into current practice and trends from leading experts. London: Kogan Page.
  • Hollingsworth, A. (2004) ‘Increasing retail concentration: Evidence from the UK food retail sector', British Food Journal, Vol. 106(8), pp.629-638.

Example marketing dissertation topic 4:

‘Feeding off low self-esteem to create a desire to purchase' - can this criticism of marketing as a business be critically sustained, particularly within an era of economic hardship: A literature based review.

An essential element of the marketing of goods and services is the ability to create desire and wanton need within potential customers. This dissertation suggests that this is particularly the case in the electronic and tele-communications device market, where new products such as X-boxes and iPhones create a desire to replace products which are perfectly serviceable with the ‘new and upgraded' model. Using both a range of marketing theories as well as references to social exclusion this dissertation analyses the extent to which the creation of a false demands based on low self-esteem (if one does not have the product) runs counter to ethical considerations in this time of economic austerity and hardship for a growing number of families across the UK.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Malar, L., Krohmer, H., Hoyer, W.D. and Nyffenegger, B. (2011). ‘Emotional brand attachment and brand personality: The relative importance of the actual and the ideal self', Journal of Marketing, Vol. 75(4), pp. 35-52.
  • Taylor, J.W. (1974) ‘The role of risk in consumer behaviour', Journal of Marketing, Vol. 38(2), pp. 54-60.

Example marketing dissertation topic 5:

The remarketing of personal debt as acceptable: A post 1980s phenomenon?

Personal debt and levels of insolvency are at an all-time high. Inspired by cheaper lending rates in the mid 1990s it can be argued that the true start of this period of increased consumption lay with the liberalisation of the markets under Thatcher. Today, the acceptance of living on ‘the never-never' is far more acceptable socially than was the case in the immediate post-war generation. That debt is acceptable and that purchasing on higher credit is the way to ‘have now that which one cannot afford' has been a marketing success story epitomised by slogans such as ‘pay nothing for a year and then take four years interest free credit'. This dissertation charts the rise of such marketing ploys and contextualises and assesses their impact upon issues of wealth creation and materialism over the last 25 years.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Braunsberger, K., Lucas, L.A. and Roach, D. (2004) ‘The effectiveness of credit-card regulation for vulnerable consumers', Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 18(5), pp.358-370.
  • Dellande, S. and Saporoschenko, A. (2004) ‘Factors in gaining compliance toward an acceptable level of personal unsecured debt', International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 22(4), pp.279-290.

Example marketing dissertation topic 6:

Developing new prices strategies for independent retailers in a period of fuel-based inflation.

The ever increasing price of fuel has a knock on effect for all consumers - not only at the petrol pumps but also with regard to the purchasing of all good s that are transported to stores. At the same time, family budget realities in this period of austerity have led to shoppers seeking ever-greater ‘value for money' with the result that small businesses are facing a further squeeze to their margins. Given that such operators also purchase within an environment in which they do not benefit from the bulk discounts afforded to their larger competitors; this dissertation seeks to devise, with particular reference to independent DIY shops in the Gower peninsula of Wales, a new marketing campaign that will persuade people to pay more so as to be able to buy local. This is a dissertation that can also be seen to tie into movements to save the British high-street and thus combines aspects of marketing with present day socio-political decision making.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Guria, A., Das, B., Mondal, S. and Maiti, M. (2012) ‘Inventory policy for an item with inflation induced purchasing price, selling price and demand with immediate part payment', Applied Mathematical Modelling, not yet published.
  • Head, A., Kumar, A. and Lapham, B. (2010) ‘Market power, price adjustment, and inflation'. International Economic Review, Vol. 51, pp. 73-98.

Example marketing dissertation topic 7:

Marketing the high street: A new challenge in British retailing?

Recent government initiatives have highlighted the perilous state of British high streets. In addition, changing shopping patterns - the increased use of the internet and the ability to park at out of town shopping centres have also meant that shoppers are increasingly removed from the traditional centres of British towns. This dissertation looks at the town of Ludlow in Shropshire and the proactive steps that its shopkeepers and council are taking to reinvigorate the high street and asks whether the model being adopted there could be applicable to the high street sector throughout the UK. A dissertation that combines marketing, economics and politics; this is a cutting edge proposal that could also benefit from the collection of primary data via interviews with consumers, shopkeepers and marketing professionals alike.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Piercy, N.F., Cravens, D.W. and Lane, N. (2010) ‘Marketing out of the recession: Recovery is coming, but things will never be the same again', The Marketing Review, Vol. 10(1), pp. 3-23.
  • Portas, M. (2011) The Portas review: An independent review into the future of our high streets'. London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills/HMSO.

Example marketing dissertation topic 8:

Garra rufa fish: A problem of marketing after health scares?

Two years ago a new craze in alternative therapy swept the UK and, as a consequence a plethora of foot spas opened offering garra rufa fish treatment. Since then, however, a range of health scares relating to dead skin cells and the transfer of disease have been voiced in the media. Though the garra rufa spa business can be found globally the effects of such health scares in the UK have been disastrous for business. Faced with public concern this dissertation seeks to offer advice to the owners of foot spas as to how to remarket their product. Using previous case studies of how to overcome negative publicity (Tylenol with product tampering, eggs with salmonella and beef with BSE) this is a dissertation that combines practical marketing theory with an awareness of business trends within the modern alternative medicine and complimentary therapy sector.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Heistinger, K., Heistinger, H., Lussy, H. and Nowotny, N. (2011) ‘Analysis of potential microbiological risks in Ichthyotherapy using Kangal fish (Garra rufa)', Proceedings of the 4th Global Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Conference, the Egyptian International Center for Agriculture, Giza, Egypt, 3-5 October 2011, pp. 93-98.
  • Sheth, J. (2011) Winning back your market: Inside stories of companies that did it. New York: Marketing Classics.

Example marketing dissertation topic 9:

From failure to success; The changing marketisation of the Millennium Dome to the O2 arena: a lesson for 2012?

The Millennium Dome was, at best, a troubled venture. The brainchild of Peter Mandelson, it enjoyed a troubled existence eventually been closed some months early. Mothballed and unloved it was eventually bought and rebranded as the O2 area: in this guise it has enjoyed unprecedented success as an arts and music venue. This dissertation not only charts the failures of the Dome and the phoenix like success of the 02 arena in terms of marketing but also questions, given the failure of the state to successfully market ‘the Dome'; what the future is likely to hold for similar state built arenas in the aftermath of the 2012 Olympics.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Hemmington, N., Bowen, D., Wickens, E. and Paraskevas, A. (2005) ‘Satisfying the basics: Reflections from a consumer perspective of attractions management at the Millennium Dome, London', International Journal of Tourism Resources, Vol. 7, pp. 1-10.
  • Sexton, J. (2009) Regeneration of the Millennium Dome to the O2 Arena: Failure and success? BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.
  • Thornley, A. (2000) ‘Dome alone: London's Millennium Project and the strategic planning deficit'. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Vol. 24: pp.689-699.

Example marketing dissertation topic 10:

The reinvention of Brighton and Hove: From genteel seaside backwater to the ‘pink' resort of the south coast.

From the time of the Prince regent onwards Brighton has been a popular seaside destination. However, in recent years it has shed its dusty and genteel persona to become an über-cool seaside resort and preferred destination for gay and lesbian couples. This dissertation firstly contextualises the modern day appeal of Brighton and thereafter undertakes a range of qualitative research to ascertain what it is about the seaside town and what it needs to do, in terms of marketing, to retain its position as a jewel in the crown of British seaside resorts.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Smith, M. K. (2004) ‘Seeing a new side to seasides: Culturally regenerating the English seaside town', International Journal of Tourism Resources, Vol. 6, pp. 17-28.
  • Hughes, H. L. (2006) Pink tourism: Holidays of gay men and lesbians. Wallingford: CABI Publishing.
  • Kent, T. and Berman Brown, R. (2006) ‘Erotic retailing in the UK (1963-2003): The view from the marketing mix', Journal of Management History, Vol. 12(2), pp.199-211.

Example marketing dissertation topic 11:

The remarketing of the Labour and Conservative parties - A comparative study

The remarketing of the Labour Party involved more than just a change of name with the addition of the word ‘new'. In a similar vein the attempts under David Cameron to rebrand the ‘toxic' image of the Conservative Party led not only to the electoral name being changed to ‘Conservatives' but also the design of a new logo and a plethora of announcements as to how members of the party were to dress and present themselves. Three years into the ‘new' Conservative project and with the ‘New ‘ Labour project no longer be utilised by David Milliband this dissertation seeks to address what marketing lessons can be learned from the branding changes that both parties have undergone and what it tells us about the presentation of politics and parties in early 21st century Britain.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Lilleker, D.G. and Lees-Marshment, J. (2005) Political marketing: A comparative perspective. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • Lock, A. and Harris, P. (1996) ‘Political marketing', European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 30(10/11), pp.14-24.

Example marketing dissertation topic 12:

Farmers' markets: An analysis of marketing techniques employed

The organic and associated green food market has enjoyed unprecedented growth over recent years. At the same time, whilst traditional weekly markets have declined in the face of stiff competition from supermarkets, farmers'; markets have enjoyed a renaissance of popularity. With merchandising endorsed by celebrity chefs such as Hugh Fernley Whittington and annual awards for the best farmers market, this dissertation looks at the marketing techniques used at Stroud and Ludlow to explain how and why they have become such a haven for foodies. This is a dissertation that, as well as using an n array of academic marketing theories, would also benefit from first-hand primary data.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Latacz-Lohmann, U. and Foster, C. (1997) ‘From “niche” to “mainstream” - Strategies for marketing organic food in Germany and the UK', British Food Journal, Vol. 99(8), pp. 275-282.
  • Morris, C. and Buller, H. (2003) ‘The local food sector: A preliminary assessment of its form and impact in Gloucestershire', British Food Journal, Vol. 105(8), pp. 559-566.
  • Szmigin, I., Maddock, S. and Carrigan, M. (2003) ‘Conceptualising community consumption: Farmers' markets and the older consumer', British Food Journal, Vol. 105(8), pp. 542-550.

Example marketing dissertation topic 13:

A study of the influence of branding and country of origin upon the purchase intentions of customers

Though this dissertation is grounded in existing academic literature its primary focus is on the collation of new primary data. Accordingly it seeks, through the use of both a web-based questionnaire and ‘on-street' surveys to answer three questions. First, it considers the relationship between branding and consumer purchasing decisions, with a specific focus on leisure footwear: Nike, Adidas, and Puma. Secondly, the study determines the existence and nature of predetermined customer opinions as to the quality and value of brands within that market dependent upon country of origin. Thirdly, it explores aspects of existing advertisement campaigns that customers find particularly alluring with regard to the three brands under consideration.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Prendergast, G.P., Tsang, A.S.L. and Chan, C.N.W. (2010) ‘The interactive influence of country of origin of brand and product involvement on purchase intention', Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 27(2), pp.180-188.
  • Bluemelhuber, C., Carter, L.C. and Lambe, C.J. (2007) ‘Extending the view of brand alliance effects: An integrative examination of the role of country of origin', International Marketing Review, Vol. 24(4), pp. 427-443.

Example marketing dissertation topic 14:

An iconic modern brand - marketing the iPhone: An analysis

Using SWOT analysis as well as Porter's Five Forces this dissertation analyses not only the conception and launch of the iPhone but also the continuing marketing ploys used by Apple since its introduction in 2007. In so doing, this dissertation contrasts the marketing strategies used in three countries: Britain, the USA, and France, and evaluates the extent to which the marketing campaigns were altered so as to take account of differences in socio-economic norms as well as issues of cultural diversity. Drawing not only on company reports and existing theoretical theory, this dissertation also undertakes interviews with consumers and professionals within the industry.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Hayes, J. (2005) ‘Reconceptualizing the Xbox Platform', Design Management Review, Vol. 16, pp. 10-17.
  • Lal, D., Pitt, D.C. and Beloucif, A. (2001) ‘Restructuring in European telecommunications: Modelling the evolving market', European Business Review, Vol. 13(3), pp.152-158.

Example marketing dissertation topic 15:

An analysis of the effectiveness of the ‘Visit Lincolnshire' campaign with especial reference to increasing visitor numbers to Scunthorpe

Formerly an industrial town and one of the world's foremost steel centres, Scunthorpe has faced the reality of many British towns: either transform and find new industries or wither. Consequently, Scunthorpe has marketed itself within the ‘Visit Lincolnshire' campaign as a town with a great deal to offer. As well as opportunities to study its industrial past, the town presents itself as a family destination, with steam train rides and woodlands to explore. This dissertation examines the challenges faced by Scunthorpe and considers how it has risen again to preserve its economic future.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Kotler, P., Bowen, J.T. and Mackens, J.C. (2005) Marketing for hospitality and tourism (4th international edn). Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
  • Seaton, A.V. and Bennett, M.M. (1996) Marketing of tourism products: Concepts, issues, cases. London: Thomson Business Press.

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