Research Topics & Ideas: Marketing

50+ Marketing Research Topic Ideas To Fast-Track Your Project

Marketing and advertising-based research topics

Finding and choosing a strong research topic is the critical first step when it comes to crafting a high-quality dissertation, thesis or research project. If you’ve landed on this post, chances are you’re looking for a marketing-related research topic, but aren’t sure where to start. If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Here, we’ll explore a variety of marketing-related research ideas and topic thought-starters, covering both traditional marketing (offline media) and digital marketing (including social media marketing, content marketing and the like). We’ll also look at actual dissertations and theses from marketing students to give you a view of what a well-defined research topic looks like.

NB – This is just the start…

The topic ideation and evaluation process has multiple steps. In this post, we’ll kickstart the process by sharing some research topic ideas within the marketing domain. This is the starting point, but to develop a well-defined research topic, you’ll need to identify a clear and convincing research gap, along with a well-justified plan of action to fill that gap.

If you’re new to the oftentimes perplexing world of research, or if this is your first time undertaking a formal academic research project, be sure to check out our free dissertation mini-course. In it, we cover the process of writing a dissertation or thesis from start to end. Be sure to also sign up for our free webinar that explores how to find a high-quality research topic. 

How To Find A Research Topic

Before we look at specific research ideas and topics, it’s useful to first understand what the topic ideation process entails and how to go about finding and refining viable topic ideas. In the video below, we cover exactly that. So, if you’re a first-time researcher, be sure to watch this tutorial before jumping into the collection of marketing research topics we present below. 

Research topic idea mega list

Now that you’ve got a big-picture view of the topic ideation process, we can dive into a few research ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Please note that these research topic ideas are intentionally broad and generic, so you will need to refine them a fair deal using the techniques we discussed in the video above.

To make life a little easier for you, we’ve grouped the topic ideas based on two main categories – traditional marketing and digital/online marketing. For the latter, we’ve divided it up into a few subcategories, including social media marketing, content marketing and search marketing. That said, there is naturally some overlap between topics, so keep this in mind.

Research Ideas: Traditional Marketing

  1. The perceived effectiveness of different types of direct mail campaigns (e.g., postcards, catalogues, brochures) among small business owners in New York
  2. The perception and use of traditional marketing in creating and nurturing customer loyalty and retention among UK Financial Firms.
  3. The impact of demographic targeting on traditional marketing performance among green businesses
  4. The perception of different types of sales promotion (e.g., discounts, coupons, contests) among GenZ consumers
  5. The continued use of celebrity endorsements in traditional marketing campaigns, post-2020.
  6. Exploring factors related to outdoor advertising recall in India
  7. Measuring the ROI of traditional marketing efforts: a review of current methods
  8. Comparing the effectiveness of different traditional media channels (e.g., television, radio, print) in driving engagement and conversions among established brands
  9. The use of public relations in traditional marketing campaigns among large insurance companies
  10. The role of event marketing in building brand awareness and engagement: perceptions among marketing professionals in the UK
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Research Ideas: Digital/Online Marketing

Social media marketing

  1. The use of artificial intelligence in social media marketing among online fashion companies in Sweden
  2. The impact of social media on public relations and media relations: a Case Study of Nandos
  3. The role of Twitter in crisis communication and reputation management: a discourse analysis
  4. The impact of social media influencer presence on brand loyalty and customer retention among Gen X.
  5. The use of social media for market research and consumer insights among SMEs in Kenya
  6. The impact of social media on consumer buying behaviour of fast food in Italy
  7. The challenges and opportunities of social media in global and multicultural marketing: perceptions of marketing departments in large corporations
  8. The relationship between social media engagement and website traffic: an analysis of fitness brands
  9. The effectiveness of influencer marketing on social media platforms for household cleaning products in the UK
  10. The perceptions and understanding of paid vs organic social media advertising among Gen Z consumers in San Francisco

Content marketing

  1. The use and understanding of micro-moments in creating personalized content experiences among content creators in the USA
  2. Comparing the effectiveness of methods of personalization of content marketing: an evaluation of best practice
  3. The experiences and use of SEO in content marketing strategy among small online businesses
  4. The use of social media influencers in content marketing campaigns: a Case Study of Hello Fresh
  5. Comparing different content distribution channels for different types of content: perceptions of best practices among content marketing experts
  6. The use of user-generated content in building brand trust and engagement among green companies in the UK
  7. Measuring the ROI of content marketing efforts among luxury brands
  8. The perception and use of Chat GPT in content creation among small online businesses
  9. The perceptions of interactive and immersive content formats (e.g., virtual reality, augmented reality) in marketing among consumers: an experimental study
  10. Comparing image and text-based content formats in driving engagement and conversions on social media: a multi-case study of NGOs
Research topic evaluator

Search engine marketing

  1. The effectiveness of different ad formats (e.g., text ads, shopping ads, video ads) in Search Engine Marketing for tourist destinations
  2. The impact of search engine algorithm updates on Search Engine Marketing performance – who are the winners and losers?
  3. The perception and use of AI and machine learning in Search Engine Marketing strategy and bidding optimization within a UK marketing agency
  4. The use of voice search and its impact on Search Engine Marketing among food retailers in Switzerland
  5. The role of local SEO in driving brick-and-mortar sales: a case study of a local fashion outlet in France
  6. The impact of mobile optimization on Search Engine Marketing performance and conversion rates in Nigeria
  7. Comparing analytical tools for measuring ROI of Search Engine Marketing campaigns
  8. The effectiveness of different types of keywords and search queries in driving traffic towards restaurants in Italy
  9. The use of remarketing and retargeting in search engine marketing campaigns among marketers
  10. The understanding and use of schema markup and structured data in improving Search engine marketing performance among Start-Ups
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    Email marketing

    1. The perception and use of AI and machine learning in email marketing among NGOs: a focus on personalized content and dynamic segmentation
    2. The effectiveness of email subject line strategies in driving open and click-through rates: an experimental study
    3. Comparing A/B testing and multivariate testing in improving email marketing performance: a case study
    4. The use of personalization on email marketing performance among craft bloggers
    5. The impact of automated email marketing among local online retailers on customer loyalty and retention
    6. The use of automation and triggered emails in increasing engagement and conversion rates for online courses
    7. The perception and understanding of GDPR and other data privacy regulations on email marketing among SMEs
    8. The role of mobile optimization in email marketing targeting Gen Z consumers
    9. The challenges of measuring the ROI of email marketing campaigns: perceptions of SMEs
    10. The effectiveness of different email formats (e.g., text-based, HTML, interactive) in driving engagement: A/B testing for a small online retailer

    Marketing-Related Dissertations & Theses

    While the ideas we’ve presented above are a decent starting point for finding marketing-related research topic, they are fairly generic and non-specific. So, it helps to look at actual dissertations and theses to see how this all comes together.

    Below, we’ve included a selection of research projects from various marketing-related degree programs to help refine your thinking. These are actual dissertations and theses, written as part of Master’s and PhD-level programs, so they can provide some useful insight as to what a research topic looks like in practice.

    • The Influences of Brand Personality, Culture, and Social Media on Iconic Brand Preferences (Whelan, 2021)
    • Customer Success and the Transformation of Customer Relationships (Raines, 2022)
    • The Effects of Online Incentivized Reviews on Organic Review Ratings (Jeong, 2020)
    • Are You For Real? The Consumption-Driven Self-Authentication Process And Its Effects On Perceived Brand Authenticity (Kuchmaner, 2020)
    • You Are What You Eat: How Food Texture And Packaging Influence Consumer Well-Being (Ning, 2020)
    • Social Dialogic Listening: Connecting Marketing Activity To Strategy (Collins, 2020)
    • Millennials’ Attitudes Towards Influencer Marketing And Purchase Intentions (Yu, 2019)
    • Cannibalization between Two Mercedes-Benz Models and Consumer Behavior (Ma, 2020)
    • Selling and Buying Aspects of Used Products That Are Brand Anthropomorphized (Kim, 2019)
    • Global Identity: Conceptualization, Measurement, And Implications For Marketing Strategy (Yoruk, 2022)
    • The Intersection of Organizational Frontline Marketing and a High-Tech World (Krotz, 2021)
    • The Unexplored Impacts of Communication Elements in Marketing (Trinh, 2022)
    • Founder Social Identity As A Predictor Of Customer And Competitor Orientation In Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises (Rutherford, 2021)

    Looking at these titles, you can probably pick up that the research topics here are far more specific and narrowly-focused, compared to the generic ones presented earlier. This is an important thing to keep in mind as you develop your own research topic. That is to say, to create a top-notch research topic, you must be precise and target a specific context with specific variables of interest. In other words, you need to identify a clear, well-justified research gap.

    Fast-Track Your Research Topic

    If you’re still feeling a bit unsure about how to find a research topic for your marketing dissertation or thesis, check out our 1-on-1 private coaching services below.

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