In the end your dissertation topic will be influenced by many factors including which areas of research your PhD program specializes in, and in which areas there is funding for your research.
If you already have specific university or program in mind, your first step in choosing a dissertation topic should be to contact the program or visit their website to learn what which areas of research are currently being worked on in their marketing program, or what areas the program specializes in. If it isn’t listed explicitly, look at faculty and fellowship biographies to see what the professors you might be working with specialize in. You may also be able to find recent dissertations from students in the program published on their webpage, or through the university library.
Even if you haven’t settled on a program yet, it will be helpful for you to have a few ideas for topic when you are shopping around. At the very least you’ll need to know what area of marketing you’d like to focus on—if you end up at a university program that specializes in branding when you are interested in mobile marketing, you likely won’t find the support you need there.
More than almost any other paper in your academic career, it’s important that you choose a dissertation topic that you’re interested in, and that you’re passionate. Chances are you’ll spend the next several years of your life devoted to researching and writing about it, so it’s important to choose something you don’t think you’ll get bored with.
Particularly in a field like marketing that is constantly evolving and changing with technology, you should try to choose a dissertation topic that is relevant and that there is demand for. For instance, with marketing being done increasingly online and through mobile platforms, focusing your research on mail order catalogs is going to make your research not particularly relevant, and will not help your job prospects once its complete.
One common pitfall in choosing a marketing dissertation topic is to settle on a topic without giving any thought to the research methodology that will be used in it. Before you invest too much time on a topic and background research, evaluate what methodology will be needed for it.
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