Morphology in dialogue - AfM's 43rd annual conference

Dirk Ziems

As a leading research institute and strategic think tank, concept m is in lively dialogue with the academic world, and the managing partners are popular guest lecturers and speakers at universities. To expand the dialogue between practical application of morphological market psychology and marketing theory, concept m hosted this year's annual conference of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Marketingprofessoren (AfM) in Berlin on 22 April.

Over 100 marketing professors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland assembled in Berlin's Grüner Salon and concept m's AlltagsStudio at the 43rd AfM annual conference to look at the trends in their speciality. Topics at the conference included the surge in digitalisation in brand management and new applications of marketing in politics.

A particular highlight was the dialogue between marketing theory and practical examples from morphological marketing research. In a fundamental paper on innovative morphological market research, Dirk Ziems, managing partner of concept m, presented fundamentals of morphological market psychology, with insights from motivational, brand, media and international research.


In the following discussion, marketing professors presented their personal view of the value of morphological research for the marketing process.

Here are some quotes from the participants:

“I see the morphological approach as agreeing with the fundamental idea in marketing, understanding the customer, and I regard it as a central tool for reaching this understanding.

I see the special value of depth psychological and morphological market research as enabling us to understand what’s really involved before we start thinking about a quantitative study.”
(Prof. Dr. Schleusener, Hochschule Niederrhein, University of Applied Sciences)
“Depth psychological and morphological market research is what enables me to get real insight into customers. We’ve come a long way from simply observing and describing behaviour. We need to get to the heart of the matter and identify the motivations underlying the behaviour. This is where classical quantitative market research runs up against its limits very quickly.

Depth psychological and morphological market research and quantitative market research complement each other ideally, since a consolidated view shows the areas where we need to operate as marketers – not only in communication, but also in product design or designing store interiors.”

(Prof. Dr. Ralf Kreutzer, Berlin School of Economics and Law)
“The marketing sciences are strongly committed to working with the behavioural sciences to reach fascinating consumer insights. Currently, neuropsychology is riding high in this connection. However, in many cases qualitative approaches like concept m's morphology are much more useful in practice, because they’re closer to daily life.

I see good prospects in the future of combining the depth psychological insights of morphology with innovative digital tools, such as mobile implicit measurement techniques, e.g. image assessment in online panels by cellphone.” 

(Prof. Dr. Holger Lütters, University of Applied Sciences – Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft, HTW, Berlin)

Dirk Ziems
Dirk Ziems ist Experte für tiefenpsychologisches Marketing und berät auf Basis von Markt-, Medien- und Kulturforschung weltweit Unternehmen und Konzerne in zahlreichen Branchen und Ländern. Als Mitbegründer der Global Research Boutique Concept M und der Marketingberatung Flying Elephant begleitet er Themen wie die Adaption von Erfolgsprodukten in neuen kulturellen Kontexten, das tiefe Verständnis neuer Konsumgenerationen in China und USA, die Transformation der Werbekommunikation in der neuen digitalen Medienwelt oder die Neuorientierung der Brands in Post-Corona-Zeiten. Dirk Ziems ist auch als Gastdozent an verschiedenen Universitäten tätig.

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