Symposium answers growing interest for Marketing-Finance interdisciplinary approach

Hosted by the School of Business and Economics and the Graduate School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University on 3 October 2013, the second GSBE Marketing-Finance Symposium will bring together researchers from the marketing and finance disciplines, as well as captains of industry, to discuss recent developments and future challenges regarding the marketing-finance interface.

In the following Q&A piece, Prof. Pennings, Dr. Hoffmann, Drs. Simone Wies, Dr. Kalogeras, organisers of the event, explain the theme and the goal of this year’s symposium.


(from left to right) Dr. Arvid Hoffmann, Drs. Simone Wies, Prof. Joost Pennings
(Photo credit: Kai Klasen, Sander Oleana, Eye on Eye photography) 

What has changed in the interdisciplinary field of Marketing-Finance, since the first Marketing-Finance Symposium of 2008?

Prof. Pennings: The 2008 Symposium inspired many researchers to further conduct work on the Marketing-Finance interface. For example more work has been done on relating marketing activities and strategies to the firm’s stock price performance. Other research focuses on how the marketing-finance approach that was presented at the 2008 Symposium can be used for product development. Important economics, marketing and finance journals have called for papers on the intersection of marketing and finance. When we organised the conference in 2008 we witnessed the start of the global financial and economic crisis. The Marketing-Finance approach has been helpful to understand better the impact of the crisis on firms and at the same time provide tools for firms to respond to the crisis so that firms can turn it (at macro level) into an opportunity for the firm to create value.

It has been very interesting to see that  the interest in the Marketing-Finance approach has been growing fast not only in the academic field, but that also the industry is now using our research. This has been very beneficial for our Marketing-Finance Master’s programme, as many students write their thesis in conjunction with a firm. As a result the placing of these students is excellent. That is how the MF research at Maastricht reinforces the academic programmes. Therefore, we decided to establish the Marketing-Finance Research Lab at Maastricht this year which combines the academic programmes, research and outreach programmes. Our second symposium on October 3 will feature the recent developments and will further reinforce and strengthen this exciting interdisciplinary field.

What is the reason behind the title “The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts”?

Dr. Arvid Hoffmann, Co-director of MSc-IB in M-F & Marketing-Finance Research Lab: The central idea underlying the title of our Marketing-Finance Symposium is that marketing and finance are not just two necessary ingredients of a firm’s business operations that can operate in isolation of each other, but are able to provide additional value beyond their individual value when used in tandem in a strategic manner and when the interface between these two business areas is systematically managed in a firm.

Imagine, for example, a firm that aims to reduce its risk. Most managers might think of the possibility that some clients add risk to a firm while some clients reduce firm risk, but integrating theory from marketing and finance will teach managers that they have to examine their client portfolio instead of looking at individual clients one-by-one. Doing so will show managers that some clients’ returns are negatively correlated with those of other clients, and that selecting a specific mix of clients might not lead to the maximum possible returns per se, but will improve the risk-return trade-off, which is most important.

Other aspects in which combining marketing and finance actually leads to more than the simple sum of its parts is when observing the behaviour of financial market participants. Only looking through a finance lens might lead researchers to quickly dismiss some investors’ behavior as irrational and not worthy of academic study, while complementing the finance lens with a marketing lens will show that there may be important non-pecuniary reasons why some investors trade in a certain way and that taking a marketing-finance perspective could help to understand their decision-making behaviour. The marketing-finance approach therefore reduces managers’ and researchers’ myopia.

Marketing-Finance Research Lab (MFRL) at Maastricht University
(Photo credit: Kai Klasen, Sander Oleana, Eye on Eye photography) 

What is the main goal of this second edition of the Marketing-Finance symposium and in what way is it different from the first one?

Drs. Simone Wies, PhD Candidate of Marketing-Finance Research Lab: The second symposium is the natural follow-up of the first one. In 2008, we inaugurated the then new Marketing-Finance Master’s programme. It was a highly successful conference, with a great participation rate and blend of renowned scholars, industry leaders, and motivated students.

In the last five years, we have seen the Master’s programme growing in size and reputation, and we find that the topic of marketing-finance spurs increasing interest among both academics and practitioners. We therefore reinvent the theme of the first symposium and provide a further state-of-the-art snapshot of the discipline. We hope this symposium provides the platform business leaders and academics need to progress in the field.

Who should attend the symposium and why?

Nikos Kalogeras, Co-director of MSc-IB in M-F & Marketing-Finance Research Lab: Our symposium brings together high-profiled researchers from both disciplines, affiliated with many highly-ranked and globally known American and European universities (Duke University, Groningen University, Maastricht University, Aalto University) as well as captains of industry (e.g., Deutsche Bank, Procter & Gamble, Chicago Mercantile Exchange), to discuss future developments and research challenges regarding the marketing-finance interface. That is, the unique theoretical discussions through the lens of managerial implications will allow for everyone to gain a unique experience of learning the “real” marketing-finance world.

By means of its interactive setting, we ensure that the symposium’s interdisciplinary themes provide value for every academic researcher, applied researcher, industry manager, analyst, policy maker and highly qualified young scholar (PhD & MSc students and graduates), whose work is relevant to both fields, marketing and finance, and/or the combination of the two: the newly and highly promising inter-disciplinary field of “marketing-finance interface”.

Thus, lessons will be exchanged and learned through this interplay of theory and practice. Everyone that holds such an academic and/or industry profile and interest is mostly welcome to join our unique, worldwide, Marketing-Finance event!

Would you like to add anything?

We, Prof. Pennings, Dr. Hoffmann, Drs. Simone Wies, Dr. Kalogeras, warmly welcome all Marketing-Finance friends and colleagues to participate in the symposium. We promise you an unforgettable symposium experience that is meaningful and that creates value.

We look forward hearing from you.



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