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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Firms’ Focus on Brand and Customer Management: Measurement and Development

Published: May 25, 2021


Simeng Han, Goethe University Frankfurt; Werner Reinartz, University of Cologne; Bernd Skiera, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany


In today’s saturated market, firms need to decide on a suitable marketing strategy to make their offer distinctive and profitable. In particular, firms need to choose if they want to focus on brand management (BM), customer management (CM) or both. In our study, we adopt a textual analysis method to construct a new set of measurement for firm-level BM and CM focus, by analyzing the publicly available transcripts of earnings conference calls from 2003 to 2019. Using different textbooks on brand and customer management as our training library, we create separate dictionaries consisting of bigrams on BM and CM. We then match the dictionaries to the transcripts in our sample, and assign separate indices of focus on BM and CM to each transcript. Using the indices, we investigate (a) how firms’ focus on BM and CM develops over time, and (b) whether such development is subject to structural factors.