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University of Exeter Business School

 Philip Stern

Philip Stern

Emeritus Professor of Marketing


 +44 (0) 1392 725088

 Streatham Court 


Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK


Philip Stern previously worked at Loughborough, Bangor and at Warwick Business Schools. He is a Senior Marketing Scientist and visiting Professor at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute at the University of South Australia.

He has managed and contributed to numerous executive courses for companies including Unilever, TNT, Barclay’s, Diageo, Carlsberg, HSBC, and Severn-Trent.

His expertise and research has been sought by companies including Bristol Myers Squibb, GfK, Glaxo Smith Kline, Novartis, Lilly Industries, Napp Pharmaceuticals, Organon, Procter and Gamble, IQIVA, Avnet, Atkins and the National Audit Office.

Before becoming an academic Philip worked in new product development for Unilever and spent time in Nigeria running a cosmetic factory. He also worked for Avon in European category management.

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Research interests

Philip’s research is focused on market segmentation, the pharmaceutical industry and the prescribing behaviour of general practitioners.

He has published many articles in journals including Management ScienceJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, International Journal of Research in Marketing, European Journal of Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, Marketing Letters, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Advertising Research, Long Range Planning, British Journal of Management, Omega, Journal of Brand Management, Communications Law.

He is also co-author of “Marketing Management and Strategy” a leading text in the area and has contributed chapters to edited books.

Philip is interested in the realities of buying behaviour using real data to better understand the replicable patterns of consumption in a wide range of markets from fast moving consumer goods to pharmaceutical prescribing and from industrial contracting to charitable donation.

These realities often stand in contrast to the rhetoric frequently found in marketing literature: for example it transpires that pursuing customer loyalty is frequently quixotic rather than a strategy which makes economic sense.

Philip’s research leads directly to the development of empirical generalisations in the field of marketing and where possible generalisations which are simple and easy to use in practice.

Current research activities

Philip is collaborating with Professor Malcolm Wright at Massey University in New Zealand to identify the characteristics of innovative General Practitioners.

A second collaboration with Professor Wieringa of the University of Groningen and Professors Nenycz-Thiel and Dawes at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute is examining category purchase behaviour including the Pareto share of retailers, on line versus off line purchase behaviour and gender-based loyalty patterns.

Other current collaborations:

  • A study on Internet Diffusion and Its Effects on Physician Prescription Behaviour (with Professors Jank and Zantedeschi at the University of South Florida and Uktarsh Shrivastava of Western Michigan University)
  • Modelling Competitive Reactions (with Professors Holtrop, Maastricht University and Wieringa and Gijsenberg at Groningen)

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External Engagement and Impact

External positions

  • Senior Marketing Scientist and Visiting Professor Ehrenberg - Bass Institute University of South Australia
  • Chair of the European Board of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science
  • Editorial Board Industrial Marketing Management
  • Editorial Board Journal of Medical Marketing

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Everyone is a consumer and their experience of marketing provides an understanding of many aspects of the discipline. This provides the basis for class discussions about key marketing issues.

Philip is particularly interested in applying the results of his research to teaching and this often challenges participant preconceptions about how to succeed in the marketplace.

He is a keen user of case-studies and simulations which help course participants to contextualise and experiment with important constructs.



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