Candidates are required to have:
- An excellent undergraduate degree with Honours in a relevant business, scientific/technological or social science subject
- A Masters degree (or equivalent) will be strongly preferred
- Students may also have other relevant experience or skills which are relevant to this project
- Candidates who are not native English speakers will be required to provide evidence for their English skills (such as by IELTS or similar tests that are approved by UKVI, or a degree completed in an English speaking country)
- An ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate experience of the services marketing domain either through study or employment
*Amount awaiting confirmation
Services marketing literature suggests that understanding customer experience requires consideration beyond individual service encounters in firm-customer dyads due to the fragmentation of markets into multiple channels, delivery networks and customer journeys (Tax et al., 2013; Lemon & Verhoef, 2016). In addition, the roles of customer and provider have become blurred as customers increasingly influence each other and utilise behaviours which go beyond the traditional customer role (Jaakkola & Alexander, 2014). To fully understand customer journeys, both company-controlled touchpoints, as well as touchpoints beyond customer-firm interaction should be considered (Lemon & Verhoef, 2016).
The Marketing Science Institute defines “delivering integrated, real-time, relevant experiences in context” as one of their research priorities for 2016-2018 (Marketing Science Institute, 2016). Although marketers, through digital, location based offerings, have the ability to customize customer experiences and content it is the customer who is increasingly in control of the information (Rose et al, 2012). This means getting the value proposition right in real time and at the appropriate points in the customer journey (Oliver, Rust, & Varki, 1998). However, the increasing role of technology in service delivery has seen an increase in firms’ use of technology to provide customised services (Truel and Connelly, 2013). Customisation can influence feelings of control and the ability to be an active part in co-creating the customer’s unique experience (Cheng et al, 2010). Thus, there is an increased need to learn how to get marketing ‘right’ in real time, how to design and deliver offerings so that they are relevant to each customer’s specific preferences in context.
The notion that many customer experiences may be repeated according to cyclical patterns of time forms the basis of a research stream entitled “time-of-day (ToD) services marketing” (Dacko, 2012), which emphasizes the situational influences on customers, as well as the effect of intra-day temporal aspects. The intersection of research on customer experiences, mobile and ToD marketing offers many opportunities for the service sector. The rapid advancement of mobile technology, and the subsequent service innovation deriving from it, is causing consumer behavior to evolve in terms of how consumers interact and utilise service delivery channels that are accessible to consumers anytime, anywhere (Shankar et al, 2016). The number of smartphone users is expected to continuously grow with 5.5 billion people expected to be using smartphone devices by 2022 (WARC, 2017), while at the same time, consumers’ willingness to use mobile commerce (m-commerce) is witnessing rapid growth beyond expectations (Chaffey, 2017).
Through the use of smartphone devices as a vehicle of service delivery, firms can use greater understanding of ToD to adapt aspects of service offerings from changes in value propositions and physical evidence to customized promotions and flexible pricing. Critically, by interacting with an increasingly engaged customer base, aspects related to time-of-day customer behavior and preferences can help firms tailor strategies and service offerings thus gaining competitive advantage and increasing contextual perceived value of the market offering.
The main aim of this research therefore is to explore the effect of cyclical time on value creation and understand how the application of ToD strategies through technological innovations such as the smartphone can benefit service firms and provide customers greater customization in service experiences. To meet this aim the research will consider the following objectives:
- explore the effect of ToD marketing on customer perceived value;
- the implementation of ToD on the service experience through journey touchpoints;
- investigate how mobile applications can be utilised to customize service offerings in real-time;
- consider strategies to enable retail managers to be more efficient in timing their strategies and offerings?
This studentship is fully funded for UK/EU students and is based in the Department of Marketing. Successful candidate will study three years full time at The University of Strathclyde’s city centre campus in Glasgow.
Chaffey, D. (2017) Mobile Marketing Statistics, Smart Insights Online, Available From: https://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/ [Accessed 07/11/2017]
Chang, W. L., Yuan, S. T., & Carol, W. (2010) Creating the experience economy in e-commerce, Communications of the AMC, 53, 7, 122-127.
Dacko, S. G. (2012). Time‐of‐day services marketing. Journal of Services Marketing, 26(5), 375-388.
Forrester Research (2017) Dynamics that will shape the future in the age of the customer, Available From: https://go.forrester.com/wp-content/uploads/Forrester-2017-Predictions.pdf [Accessed 13/11/17]
Jaakkola, E., & Alexander, M. (2014). The Role of Customer Engagement Behavior in Value Co-Creation A Service System Perspective. Journal of service research, 17(3), 247-261. doi:1094670514529187
Lemon, K. N., & Verhoef, P. C. (2016). Understanding customer experience throughout the customer journey. Journal of Marketing, 80 (November), 69-96.
Oliver, R. L., Rust, R. T., & Varki, S. (1998). Real-time marketing. Marketing Management 7(4), 28–37.
Rose, S., Clark, M., Samouel, P. & Hair, N. (2012) Online Customer Experience in e-Retailing: An empirical model of Antecedents and Outcomes, Journal of Retailing, 88, 308-322.
Shankar, V., Kleijnen, M., Ramanathan, S., Rizley, R., Holland, S. & Morrissey, S. (2016) Mobile Shopper Marketing: Key Issues, Current Insights, and Future Research Avenues, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 34, 37-48.
Tax, S. S., McCutcheon, D., & Wilkinson, I. F. (2013). The service delivery network (SDN) a customer-centric perspective of the customer journey. Journal of service research, 16(4), 454-470.
Truel, O., & Connelly, C.E. (2013): ‘Too busy to help: Antecedents and outcomes of interactional justice in web-based service encounters’. International Journal of Information Management, 33, pp.674-683.
WARC (2017) 5.5bn people will use mobile devices by 2022, WARC Online, Available From:https://www.warc.com/NewsAndOpinion/News/5.5bn_people_will_use_mobile_devices_by_2022/39021 [Accessed 26/10/2017]
How to apply
At this stage, we are inviting applicants to apply for the scholarship only. The successful candidate will then be asked to complete an application for PhD study at Strathclyde.
All applications should include:
- a cover letter indicating the candidate's relevant skills/experience and how they can contribute to this research
- a CV and relevant qualification transcripts
- two references (please refer to guidance on references)
When sending the above documents please use the following file-naming convention: fullname_typeofdocument
Apply now by uploading your documents.
NB Whilst this scholarship application deadline is 28th February, candidates will be considered on receipt of application. The scholarship award may be allocated before the deadline (at the discretion of the supervisor), so please ensure early submission to avoid disappointment.