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Maria Ek Styvén, professor of industrial marketing

Published: 28 October 2021

It was when Maria Ek Styvén wrote her master's thesis that she became attached to the tension between what companies want to convey and how their target groups perceive it. That excitement took her to the research topic of industrial marketing.

Maria Ek Styvén's research is largely about consumers, how they behave and why. But it is also about the companies' point of view; including how to use information to better understand the customer and make their experience as good as possible. Maria has studied many different areas; for example, customers' shopping behaviors online and in stores, how residents and visitors perceive places, and how tourists search for and disseminate information about travelers. What she finds interesting is what people do and why they do it.

When Maria Ek Styvén ends her professional life, she wants to have contributed to companies having a slightly better understanding of their customers and potential customers, and of the employees' important role in value creation. The goal of the research is to understand customers and their needs, behaviors and attitudes in order to better create, communicate and deliver value. What drives her is a curiosity, a desire to want to find out things. Her interest is people and why they do as they do, and what behaviors it leads to. The most fun thing about her job is that she gets to work with what she is actually curious about. She learns something new every day.

Maria Ek Styvén, born in 1969 in Stockholm, defended her dissertation in 2002 from Luleå University of Technology with a dissertation on music on the internet. She is extra proud of the Attractive Employers project, where they studied employer branding by examining current and potential employees' views on employers in trade and the hospitality industry. As a child, she read and wrote a lot and wanted to become a writer, something that has been useful during the writing of a bunch of research articles and a dissertation.