Berkmann, Manuel (2019). Essays on Customer Engagement Strategies and Tactics in Business and Consumer Markets. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.


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In the last decade, customer engagement has become a key topic for both practitioners and researchers. Classically, customer engagement deals with customer behavior beyond purchase and thus non-monetary contributions by the customer, such as Word-of-Mouth (WOM), feedback and online reviews, or participation in the innovation process. While previous literature largely focused on the conceptualization of customer engagement itself, only a few studies have investigated how managers can actually stimulate and/or facilitate customer engagement. However, the latter is of high importance since only a few customers are truly engaged and it is often left to the firm to take the initiative to engage the customer. Thus, marketers need to understand how to design and successfully implement customer engagement initiatives. Accordingly, this dissertation investigates customer engagement strategies and tactics. While customer engagement strategy pertains to the overarching plan to leverage customer engagement to achieve the firm’s goals, customer engagement tactics deal with single actions taken by the firm to facilitate customer engagement across the various touchpoints in the customer journey. Specifically, this dissertation includes three essays, each addressing distinct questions with respect to customer engagement over the customer journey. Specifically, the first essay is conceptual in nature and provides an analysis of the strategic relevance of customer engagement in business-to-business (B2B) markets. The second essay explores how industrial firms can leverage service touchpoints as opportunities to engage their B2B customers in the post-purchase phase by employing the field service force for cross- and up-selling. Finally, the third essay investigates how marketers can use executional content cues in their TV advertisings (e.g., informativeness, creativity, or branding) to engage consumers and mitigate zapping behavior. Both empirical studies are based on unique datasets of real-world engagement tactics and related customer behavior obtained from co-operating companies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-112955
Date: 23 October 2019
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Management, Economy and Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences > Business Administration > Marketing > Professorship for Business Administration, Retailing and Customer Management
Subjects: Management and auxiliary services
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Customer engagement & partner engagementEnglish
Business-to-business, business value chain, vertical and horizontal collaborationEnglish
Assertiveness & cooperativenessEnglish
Field service employeesEnglish
Service-sales ambidexterityEnglish
Motivation-Opportunity-Ability (MOA) frameworkEnglish
TV advertisingEnglish
Advertising avoidance / zappingEnglish
Advertising contentEnglish
Date of oral exam: 30 January 2020
NameAcademic Title
Reinartz, WernerProf. Dr.
Marchand, AndréProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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