In October 2014, the German Research Foundation (DFG) approved a new research unit under the aegis of the University of Hamburg. The project "Marketing of Hedonic Media Products in the Age of Digital Social Media" marks the first-ever DFG-funded research unit to work exclusively in the discipline of business administration. At the end of the first funding period in late 2017, the research group was extended for another three years.
The DFG research unit brings together leading researchers from the University of Hamburg, the University of Münster, the University of Cologne, and the Kühne Logistics University ( » members ). A number of distinguished researchers from the Columbia Business School, Penn State University, and Cornell University in the United States, the IDC Herzliya in Israel, and the London Business School also participate in the unit as international fellows.
Our unit pursues central questions relating to marketing in the age of digital and social media. We research the way in which businesses are able to build and shape social networks for the purposes of marketing communication, how extremely negative word-of-mouth propaganda (for example, trash talk and shitstorms) impact on the value of a brand, or how to evaluate brands within social media using virtual stock exchanges and crowdfunding mechanisms.