ESF-Project “Multimodal Marketing for SMEs –The usage of all five senses for a successful presentation of products and services”

Tasting wine, trying new clothes, making a test drive with a new car or even trying out a music instrument – important buying decisions will be made with all our senses. We are not only checking the color and cut (visual sense) of trousers we want to buy also the fabric must feel pleasantly on our skin (tactile sense). When buying a new car, we are not only looking at the technical data and the design, we are also affected by the special smell of a new car or by its sound. The sound of the engines or the doors influences our quality valuation as well as the sensation of speeding up or slowing down (sense of position and kinesthesia).


Even though the products are quite cheap high return rates of internet shops show the consumers were missing something perhaps the experience of going shopping. However, the products of small and middle enterprises (e. g., arts and crafts or luxury foodstuff) often are more expensive. For that reason price-conscious consumers normally perceive the added value only through the direct interaction with these products. Offering a holistic product and shopping experience could be especially for manufactories, handicraft businesses and local retail shops a unique selling point compared to the internet stores.

The main research areas of the Department of General Psychology and Methodology at the University of Bamberg are human perception, sensations, thinking and acting. Many of our empirical findings are appreciable for marketing purposes. On the basis of this research the concept of the current project “Multimodal Marketing for SMEs” has been developed that local small and middle enterprises (SMEs) can profit from the findings and improve their presenting of their products and services.

Our top priority is to ensure that the transfer of the current state of research in human perception and advertising psychology may take place in a manner that SMEs can use them to present their brands, products and services in a more successful way.

In cooperation with twelve SMEs in Upper and Lower Franconia areas in Bavaria/Germany we develop an online-based range of seminars transferring current research findings and methodical knowledge of human perception to firm-specific needs in the marketing sector. However, an outcome of this project should focus on the use of this knowledge to develop a positive and long-lasting total impression of products and services (e. g., designing showrooms, show windows, stands at a trade fair, etc.).

The project is funded within the funding program “Netzgestützter Wissenstransfer von Hochschulen in Unternehmen” (WiT-HuB) by the European Social Fund in Bavaria (Germany), the University of Bamberg and the Bavarian Government. Starting in June 2015, the project will run for two years. Please, take a look at our leaflet

The project is managed by Prof. Dr. Claus-Christian Carbon (Head of Department), and assisted by Dipl.-Psych. Stefan Ortlieb, Dipl.-Psych. Thorsten Schmittlutz and Dipl.-Psych. Marius Raab (B.Sc.).