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The field of “Marketing & Consumer Behavior” represents one of the core disciplines of business administration and is one of the most important departments at almost every business school or business faculty. Like all other disciplines of business administration, “Marketing & Consumer Behavior” is undergoing epochal social change, particularly due to digitalisation and globalisation, which is why a repositioning within the framework of the institute landscape seems to make sense.

In 1957, the Research Centre for Commerce was established at the then Handels-Hochschule St. Gallen, which became the Research Institute for Sales and Commerce at the University of St. Gallen in 1967. The latter was renamed the Institute for Marketing and Trade. The Institute for Marketing, the Institute for Customer Insight and the Research Centre for Retail Management emerged from this institute in 2009.

Recently, part of the Institute for Customer Insight was reoriented towards mobility research. Consequently, it was decided to reconnect the area of “Consumer Behaviour” with the marketing area and to form a joint Institute for Marketing and Customer Insight. This new institute combines the strengths of the two predecessor institutes and thus creates optimal conditions to be able to provide top performance in all academic disciplines – basic research, transfer research, teaching, executive education.

The directorate of the new institute consists of Prof. Dr. Johanna Gollnhofer, Prof. Dr. Sven Reinecke and Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Torsten Tomczak, supported by Prof. Dr. Marcus Schögel.

The vision of the Institute for Marketing and Customer Insight is: “We are one of the leading marketing research institutes in Europe, which
(1) generates relevant knowledge in the fields of marketing management & customer insight and
(2) distributes this to the relevant stakeholders (students in initial and executive education and managers in practice) using innovative formats.”

To achieve these goals, the following guiding principles of the Institute’s work have been defined:

1. Customers, companies, politics and society as stakeholders: We make scientific contributions that create sustainable benefits for customers, companies, politics and society.
2. Holistic market orientation – From Insight to Impact: The starting point of our research are relevant challenges in the reality of marketing as well as of customers. We understand marketing as market-oriented and market-driven corporate management as well as comprehensive customer orientation. We pursue a topic-focused and problem-adequate integrative orientation. We conduct research that is highly recognised internationally in science, practice and society. We aim to publish our findings in the leading journals of our disciplines.
3. Innovation in knowledge transfer: We develop innovations in knowledge transfer. This concerns both teaching in university initial education and in executive education. We strive to connect learning processes of science and practice as well as of teachers and learners.
4. Promotion of women: We make special efforts to promote the academic careers of women in the discipline of marketing.
5. Entrepreneurship: Our institute is managed in an entrepreneurial way: The project portfolio should be productive in terms of content and commercially successful or have an impact in the respective markets.

Synergies also result from the fact that the Institute recently took over the management of the newly oriented Masters of Arts in Marketing Management in the university teaching of the HSG.

The backbone of the Institute for Marketing and Consumer Insight is a distinctive executive education programme. Three CAS are currently offered in the areas of marketing, communication and sales:

  • Marketing-Management (CAS)
  • Verkaufsmanagement (CAS)
  • Kommunikation & Management (CAS)

These can be combined into the two DAS: the Diploma Marketing Executive HSG and the Diploma Sales Executive HSG. The Institute also offers numerous short seminars (Key Account Management, Industrial Goods Marketing, Digital Marketing Academy and Strategic Health Care Marketing). The offer is supplemented by a CAS for purchasing managers.

In addition to the open seminars, the Institute for Marketing has already been very successful for years in conducting numerous in-house training courses with leading companies in marketing and sales.

For more than three decades, the Marketing Review St. Gallen (formerly: Thexis) has pursued the goal of promoting the exchange between theory and practice in marketing. The journal is published six times a year and has a circulation of around 3000 – in addition to its own subscriber base in German-speaking countries (university libraries, companies, HSG alumni, marketing executives), members of the professional association Swiss Marketing in Switzerland receive the journal.

All submitted papers are subject to a double-blind review process: Each contribution is anonymously reviewed by a scientist and a manager from corporate practice.

The Institute for Marketing and Customer Insight is one of the oldest and thus most traditional institutes at the University of St. Gallen. In the course of realigning the research landscape, the Institute’s Executive Committee has decided to allocate CHF 1.2 million to promote basic research at the University of St. Gallen. This money will be used to co-finance an assistant professorship at the HSG and to provide significant research funds for a new Institute for Behavioural Science and Technology, which is being established as a spin-off of the Institute for Marketing. With the reorganisation of the Institute for Marketing & Customer Insight, the University of St. Gallen is convinced that it can develop into a globally leading academic institution in the field of marketing and consumer behaviour, which enjoys the highest recognition in science, practice, politics and society for its contributions to meeting the challenges of sustainable development of companies, the economy and society.

Prof. Dr. Johanna Gollnhofer
Prof. Dr. Sven Reinecke
Prof. Dr. Marcus Schögel
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Torsten Tomczak