A broad and multifaceted discipline, marketing offers you a variety of fields for study and investigation. In the case of dissertation research, the study of marketing also includes a number of emerging fields, each presenting a distinct possibility to study a phenomenon as it develops and shapes the course of marketing.
As the ethical behavior of companies is scrutinized by consumers and the media, potentially changing consumer behavior, the study of corporate ethics has become a major concern in marketing. You have a number of options within marketing ethics, from assessing the informative nature different labeling strategies like "fair trade", to evaluating the success of different campaigns intended to portray a company as socially responsible. A dissertation in this area could take the form of a case study on the public relations efforts of a specific company after a consumer boycott, or you could write a more theoretical paper about the ethical implications of a specific marketing strategy.
Marketing and New Technology
As communication and information technology change rapidly, marketing has to keep up with new online, mobile and social network technologies that have changed the way people communicate and receive information about products and services. The most effective ways to market on these platforms is constantly evolving. Dissertation topics could include the effectiveness of social media as compared to traditional word-of-mouth, how mobile marketing becomes viral or how firms prepare their products for an online market.
Bottom-of-the-pyramid (BOP) marketing refers to marketing efforts that target low-income consumers. While these consumers have relatively little purchasing power as individuals, the needs of the global poor represents a huge market demand as a whole. Of course, the market needs of the global poor differ greatly from the needs and consumer behavior of the more affluent communities usually targeted by mainstream marketing. Research into BOP marketing covers the kinds of products the poor need, to how to reach low-income consumers.
Marketing Across Cultures
In a globalized world, marketers are increasingly forced to examine how different marketing messages perform in different cultural markets. A message that resonates with the cultural values and desires of a consumer in New York, for instance, is unlikely to have the same effect on a consumer in Sri Lanka. A popular topic in marketing, cross-cultural marketing, examines these differences and provides ample case studies for a dissertation.