The Chair for Value Based Marketing conducts research that combines scientific rigor with managerial and societal relevance. Our research approach is interdisciplinary (e.g., marketing, management, and socio-psychology) and based on sophisticated qualitative and quantitative empirical methods. The results of our research are published in leading international journals and have received several awards.

Key Research Areas

Value Based Marketing

Value based marketing defines the central objective of marketing as contributing to the maximization of firm value. Marketers that focus on firm value choose strategies and tactics that provide the highest potential for value creation and use metrics and dashboards that show marketing’s contribution. Value based marketing is important because it improves the acceptance and influence of marketing within the firm which has been diminishing in the past decades. Fortunately, most of many company’s value resides in intangible marketing assets such as brands and customer relationships.

In our research, we are interested in the interrelationship between the different marketing assets and how double-counting can be avoided when measuring their value. Moreover, to which extent and how should marketing assets be reported in financial accounting? When and how do certain strategies (e.g., using multiple channels to distribute products and services) enhance firm value? What are relevant drivers of long-term customer relationships (e.g., customer loyalty programs) and how should they be designed to create value?

Selected Publications:

- Marchand, André, Michael Paul, Thorsten Hennig-Thurau, and Georg Puchner (2017): How Gifts Influence Relationships with Service Customers and Financial Outcomes for Firms, in: Journal of Service Research, 20 (2), 105-119.

- Paul, Michael, Thorsten Hennig-Thurau, Dwayne D. Gremler, Kevin P. Gwinner, and Caroline Wiertz (2009): Toward a Theory of Repeat Purchase Drivers for Consumer Services, in: Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 37 (2), 215-237.

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New Media & Omnichannel Management

In the field of new media and omnichannel management, we deal with firms offering numerous channels and touchpoints to distribute their products and to communicate with customers. The immense growth of digitalization technologies in general and the Internet in particular has spurred retail and service managers’ interest in omni-channel strategies.

Today, more than 80% of retailers distribute their merchandise through two or more channels. Service firms increasingly use multiple channels to provide advance selling and after sales services. Digital services, such as videos on demand, interactive news and music, and banking and financial services can be fully delivered via electronic channels. In order to optimize the customer experience, firms also have to consider all kinds of other earned, owned, and paid touchpoints.

Key research questions in the area of new media and omnichannel management involve determining optimal omnichannel strategies, measuring the customer experience, and integrating multiple channels and touchpoints.

Selected Publications:

- Gahler, Markus, Jan F. Klein, and Michael Paul (2019): Measuring Customer Experiences: A Text-Based and Pictorial Scale, in: Marketing Science Institute Working Paper Series 2019, Report No. 19-119, 1-53.

- Emrich, Oliver, Michael Paul, and Thomas Rudolph (2015): Shopping Benefits of Multichannel Assortment Integration and the Moderating Role of Retailer Type, in: Journal of Retailing, 91 (2), 326-342.

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Services Marketing

Most advanced economies have become service-dominated, with services accounting for at least 70% of their gross domestic product and employment. The chair deals with the long-term success of service firms, measured in terms of psychological, behavioral, and financial performance outcomes. An important driver for service firm success and a distinguishing characteristic of services is the service encounter.

In our research, we thus focus on this interface between the service firm and its customers, which can be provided by frontline service employees and/or self-service technologies. How do service frontline employee characteristics and behaviors influence customers, and vice versa? What are the antecedents and consequences of employee’s emotional labor strategies? What are optimal conditions and mechanisms to achieve organizationally desired frontline employee attitudes and behaviors (e.g., prevent that customers are discriminated by employees)?

Selected Publications:

- Lechner, Andreas T. and Michael Paul (2019): Is this Smile for Real? The Role of Affect and Thinking Style in Customer Perceptions of Frontline Employee Emotion Authenticity, in: Journal of Business Research, 94 (1), 195-208.

- Hennig-Thurau, Thorsten, Markus Groth, Michael Paul, and Dwayne D. Gremler (2006): Are All Smiles Created Equal? How Emotional Contagion and Emotional Labor Affect Service Relationships, in: Journal of Marketing, 70 (3), 58-73.

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Awards and Nominations

Title: Wolfgang Wirichs Förderpreis Handel

Organization: Wolfgang Wirichs Stiftung

Received by: Markus Gahler

Date: June 8, 2022 in Moers, Germany


Title: HORIZONT Award

Organization: HORIZONT-Stiftung

Received by: Markus Gahler

Date: October 13, 2021 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany


Title: SERVSIG PhD Dissertation Award

Organization: AMA SERVSIG

Nominee: Andreas Lechner

Date: July 28, 2020


Title: Best Paper in Track

Organization: AMA Summer Academic Conference

Received by: Michael Paul, Markus Gahler

Date: August 10-12, 2018 in Boston, United States of America


Title: Best SERVSIG Conference Paper

Organization: SERVSIG Conference

Received by: Michael Paul, Markus Gahler

Date: June 14-16, 2018 in Paris, France


Title: Best Paper Award Based on a Doctoral Dissertation

Organization: EMAC Annual Conference

Nominee: Nico Friederich

Date: May 23-26, 2017 in Groningen, the Netherlands


Title: Best in Track Paper

Organization: AMA Winter Marketing Educators' Conference

Received by: Michael Paul

Date: February 15-17, 2013 in Las Vegas, United States of America


Title: Faculty Prize

Organization: Faculty of Business Administration and Economics of the University of Passau

Received by: Andreas Lechner

Date: June 28, 2013 in Passau, Germany


Title: Best Paper

Organization: Rostocker Dienstleistungstagung

Received by: Michael Paul

Date: September 11-12, 2008 in Rostock, Germany


Title: Best Paper Presentation Award

Organization: International Colloquium in Relationship Marketing

Received by: Michael Paul

Date: September 13-16, 2006 in Leipzig, Germany