Professor of Digital Marketing

Dr. oec.

T +41 41 229 58 80

Frohburgstrasse 3, Room 4.B36


Professor Reto Hofstetter received a PhD, MA, and BA in business administration and economics from the University of Bern Switzerland, and also a BA in computer science from the University of Applied Sciences of Bern.

Professor Hofstetter is currently a Professor of Marketing at the Faculty of Economics and Management of the University of Lucerne. Before Lucerne, he was Associate Professor at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) and Assistant Professor at the University of St. Gallen. He visited the Wharton School and Stanford University as part of his research.

Professor Hofstetter’s current research focuses on digital consumer behavior, social media, influencer marketing, crowdsourcing, open innovation, digital self-presentation, -reporting and disclosure. His research has been published in top-tier academic journals, including the Journal of Marketing Research, Management Science, Journal of Business Ethics, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Product Innovation Management or the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and has been featured by Forbes, Harvard Business Review, or National Geographic.

He teaches courses related to General Marketing, Digital Marketing, Pricing, Quantitative Marketing, Marketing Analytics and Data Science. His teaching was recently recognized by the Crédit Suisse Best Teaching Award.

Curriculum Vitae Reto Hofstetter (PDF)


Selected Publications

Hofstetter, R., Dahl, D. W., Aryobsei, S., Herrmann, A. (2020). Constraining Ideas: How Seeing Ideas of Others Harms Creativity in Open Innovation, Journal of Marketing Research. Link:

Seele, P., Dierksmeier, C., Hofstetter, R., & Schultz, M. D. (2019). Mapping the Ethicality of Algorithmic Pricing: A Review of Dynamic and Personalized Pricing. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-23. Link:

Hofstetter, R., Rueppell, R., John, L. K. (2017), Temporary sharing prompts unrestrained disclosures that leave lasting negative impressions, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 114(45), 11902-11907. Link:

Shriver, S. K., Nair, H. S. Hofstetter, R. (2013), Social ties and user-generated content: Evidence from an online social network,  Management Science, 59 (6), 1425-1443. Link:

Miller, K.+ , Hofstetter, R.+ , Krohmer, H., Zhang, J. Z. (2011), How Should We Measure Consumers’ Willingness to Pay? An Empirical Comparison of State-of-the-Art Approaches, Journal of Marketing Research, 48(1), 172-184. (+ Equal contribution). Link:

Public Working Papers

Hofstetter, Reto, Gabriela Kunath, and Leslie K. John (2020),  From Sweetheart to Scapegoat: Brand Selfie-Taking Shapes Consumer Behavior, Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 20-085, February 2020. Link:

Hofstetter, R., Nair, H., Misra, S. (2020), Can Open Innovation Survive? Imitation and Return on Originality in Crowdsourcing Creative Work. Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 18-11. Available at SSRN:


In the News

Bilanz Reden statt tippen
Neue Zürcher Zeitung Ämäson und Guugel losed jetzt mit
Forbes Beware The Lasting Impression Of A Snapchat Selfie Or Instagram Story
Harvard Business Review Rethinking Crowdsourcing
National Geographic Can you solve the plastics problem? New prize invites ideas.


Research Priorities

  • Digital Marketing
  • User-Generated Content
  • Digital Consumer Behavior
  • Sharing on Social Media
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Ethics
  • Digital Self-Presentation, -reporting and -disclosure
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Open Innovation
  • Voice User Interfaces
  • Augmented/Virtual Reality
  • Marketing Research Methodologies
  • Survey/Marketing Research



Journal Article

Contribution in Conference Proceedings/Paper


  • Anita Bossard, administrative assistant
  • Melanie Clegg, research assistant
  • Stefanie Jans, student assistant
  • Gabriela Kunath, research assistant
  • Marek Gorny, postdoctoral researcher
  • David Finken, research assistant

Written Works

Term Paper and Bachelor's Thesis

Finding a topic

The chair maintains a topic list which is published on the website at the beginning of each term. The current topic list can be found hier.

The topics relate to the fields of research of Prof. Hofstetter’s scientific assistants and serve as a guide. In the course of the work, the advertised topics are further narrowed down.

Own topic suggestions are possible, as far as they match the corresponding research focus of the assistant.

Central Points of Research:

  • Digital consumer behaviour
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Creativity
  • Pricing
  • Self-presentation and -reporting

Applying for Topics

Students apply with a short motivation letter of max. 200 words for the desired topic. Multiple applications are possible, stating priorities (max. 3). The application letter should express your motivation for the topic and state your specific research question. Please write your application letter in either in German or English. Choose the language in which you intend to write your paper.

All applications must be submitted under specification of the subject number and the name of the supervising assistant (Melanie Clegg, David Finken, Gabriela Funk) by March 1 (in spring term) and by October 1 (in fall term) to the Chair of digital Marketing ( via email. Acceptance or rejection takes place within one week after the deadline (March 1 or October 1).

Please note that both the term paper and the bachelor’s thesis are conceptual (i.e. literature-based). In exceptional cases and after consultation with the supervisor, empirical papers can be written.

Scientific Concept

After being accepted for a topic, students have about three weeks to write a rough scientific concept (=Forschungskonzept).

The deadline for submitting the rough scientific concept is April 1 (in spring term) and November 1 (in fall term). The concept will be sent to the respective supervisor via email.

The rough scientific concept outlines the research topic and includes a draft of the table of contents as well as a draft of the introduction, which already cites the most important literature sources. The rough concept comprises a maximum of 5 pages (more information on the rough concept under «Further Information and Materials»).

Concept Meeting

After submitting the rough concept, an appointment for a personal meeting is arranged in consultation with the supervisor. This meeting lasts approximately 15 minutes.

Supervising Relationship

Term paper: A maximum of two emails with questions will be answered during the processing time of the term paper. An additional personal meeting is not planned until further notice.

Bachelor’s thesis: The type of individual support (personal meetings, questions via email etc.) during the processing time of the bachelor’s thesis is discussed with the supervisor at the beginning.

Submission Regulations

Term paper: The deadline for submitting the term paper is July 1 (in spring term) and February 1 (in fall term). The term paper will be sent to the supervisor in electronic form (PDF; incl. registration form) by email. In consultation with the supervisor, the work must also be submitted in printed form.

Bachelor’s thesis: The deadline for submitting the bachelor’s thesis is December (for students following the “Start in spring semester” model curriculum) and May (for students following the “Start in fall semester” model curriculum). The exact dates for the submission of the bachelor’s thesis are published by the Dean’s Office. The bachelor’s thesis will be sent to the supervisor in electronic form (PDF and Word) via email. If required by the supervisor, the work must also be submitted in printed form. The bachelor's thesis needs to be sent to the dean's office in electronic form (PDF; including registration form) via email (

Further Information and Materials

Further information and tips on writing the rough scientific concept and a literature review as well as on literature research can be found in the general guidelines for term papers and bachelor’s thesis of the chair.

The following formal requirements of the chair apply to all papers at the chair (english version will be uploaded soon)

The elaboration of the paper also complies with the following requirements of the Faculty of Economics:

Master’s thesis

The master thesis is an empirical work. A mandatory prerequisite for writing the master thesis at the Chair of digital Marketing is the attendance of the Research Seminar in Marketing, which is held in the fall semester. Attending the seminar parallel to writing the thesis is also possible.

Finding a topic: Students who would like to write a master's thesis at the chair are welcome to contact to receive the current list of topics. Students can suggest their own topics. However, topics should match the research assistants' focus:

  • Digital consumer behaviour
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Creativity
  • Pricing
  • Self presentation and reporting 

Application: Students apply with a letter of motivation (max. 200 words) for the desired topic. Multiple applications are possible with indication of priorities (max. 3). In the application, please indicate the topic number, the name of the supervising assistant and the type of thesis (Master's thesis). The application must also be accompanied by a curriculum vitae and current proof of performance. Please write your letter of application in the language (German or English) in which you would later like to write the thesis. The application including enclosures should be sent to the Chair of digital Marketing (

Supervision: After acceptance of the application, the type of individual supervision (personal meetings, questions via e-mail, etc.) will be discussed with the supervisor during the processing time of the Master's thesis.

Submission: The deadline for submission of the Master's thesis is set by the Dean's Office (in December and May) and must be adhered to.