Prof. Dr. Jan Becker

Associate Professor of Marketing and Service Management

Dean of Research

Jan Becker is Dean of Research and Associate Professor of Marketing and Service Management at Kühne Logistics University. He studied Business Administration in Kiel and Bayreuth and holds a doctorate in Marketing from the Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel. Before joining the KLU faculty, he gained industry and consulting experience in the telecommunication and media/entertainment sector and taught at the universities of Kiel, Passau, and Rostock. At KLU, he teaches several Marketing courses in the bachelor, master, and doctoral programs.

Becker’s research focuses on Customer Relationship Management, Strategic Marketing, as well as Innovation Research and Service Management. His research has been published in Journal of Marketing, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Marketing Letters, and Journal of Media Economics. He is a regular visiting scholar at the Anderson Graduate School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).


Tel: +49 40 328707-221
Fax: +49 40 328707-209


Selected Publications

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1509/jm.16.0057

Abstract: Geographic proximity has become increasingly relevant due to the growing number of marketing services that use consumers’ geographic locations, thus increasing the importance of gaining insights from this information. In five studies (both field and experimental), the authors analyze the effect of geographic proximity on social influence and demonstrate that not only social proximity but also perceived homophily can trigger social influence. They find that this effect holds under alternative representations of geographic distance and is confirmed for a range of different services and even for physical goods. Furthermore, the authors show that geographic proximity has a relative effect because the social influence of a closer sender is stronger than that of a more distant sender, regardless of the absolute distances. They present managerially relevant conditions under which the influence of geographic proximity not only is comparable to other types of information such as age or gender but also provides sufficient informational value for customers to offset differences among alternatives (e.g., due to higher prices) in trade-off decisions.

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Abstract: Referral programs have become a popular tool to use the customer base for new customer acquisition. We replicate the work of Schmitt et al. (2011) who find that referred customers are more loyal and valuable than customers acquired through other channels. While our results confirm that rewarded referrals indeed reduce the risk of customer churn, we do not find that referred customers are necessarily more valuable. Analysis of the relationship between senders and receivers of referrals demonstrates that demographic similarity drives the referred customer value.

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Abstract: When companies launch new products, they need to understand the impact of publicity and advertising on sales. What is their relative effectiveness? Do they strengthen each other (have a positive interaction effect) or weaken each other (have a negative interaction effect)? Further, does the timing of these activities (before or after launch) affect their impact on sales? This paper develops hypotheses regarding the elasticities of pre- and post-launch publicity and advertising on sales. The hypotheses are tested on a large-scale empirical data set that tracks sales, publicity, and advertising for 3336 video games across 52 weeks covering the pre- and post-launch phases. The results demonstrate that pre-launch publicity is more effective than pre-launch advertising but that the reverse is true post-launch. Surprisingly, the analysis reveals a negative interaction effect between pre-launch advertising and publicity, which means that publicity becomes less effective when it is accompanied by higher levels of advertising for the same product. Simulations indicate that companies can gain most sales by focusing on publicity pre-launch, and that there is little benefit from increasing publicity and advertising during the same phase, which is consistent with negative (pre-launch) and zero (post-launch) interaction effects.

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Research Projects

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Academic Positions

Since 09/16Dean of Research at Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg, Germany
Since 2011

Associate Professor of Marketing and Service Management, Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg, Germany

2010 - 2011

Assistant Professor of Marketing and Service Management, Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg, Germany

2008 - 2009

Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA

2007 - 2010

Assistant Professor of Marketing, Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel, Germany



Dr. habil., Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel, Germany.
Habilitation: "Essays on Issues in Marketing and Innovation Management"


Dr. sc. pol., Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel, Germany.
Dissertation: "Economic Analysis of User Motivation in File-Sharing Networks"
Co-Chairs: Sönke Albers and Joachim Wolf


MSc. in Business Administration (Marketing, Controlling), Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel, Germany


BSc. in Business Administration, University of Bayreuth, Germany