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School/CompanyManagement School HEC Liege
Job TitleA PhD candidate or Postdoctoral researcher (M/F) in Digital Marketing
AddressRue Louvrex, 14
Job categoryResearch
Career level[not specified]
Desired education levelDoctorate or PhD
Job typeFull-Time
Job description

The HEC Digital Lab1 is the transdisciplinary platform within HEC Liège, spearheading research and education in digital technologies. As part of its expansion, HEC Liège is now looking for a doctoral or postdoctoral scholar to work for an industry-sponsored applied research project.

The project will fall within the realm of digital marketing. Specifically, the project takes an approach to better understand consumer behavior and digital acquisition in the insurance industry through the end-to-end consumer journey.

Sponsored by a leading insurance company (see below), the project has direct application in the managerial world, as well as important academic implications. Research material and relevant dataset has to some extent already been collected.

This project will provide a unique opportunity to the selected candidate to conduct high-impact, relevant research and to provide innovative recommendations on the topic, while acquiring practical knowledge within a business setting.

A brief project description is given below. However, the specific research topics will be refined once the candidate has been selected.


The key question behind this research is:
“How digitalization of the customer experience can support a marketing strategy aiming to both increase brand awareness and online subscriptions, in a context of indirect distribution?”

This can potentially be broken down into several research questions:
• How can the digitalization of the customer experience support a stronger brand awareness
and online conversion rate?
• How can we provide value beyond insurance through continued engagement with (nonconsuming) customers?
• Which factors can influence Belgian consumers to use online touchpoints?

1 Visit us on

• Are there Belgian idiosyncrasies or contextual factors that need to be accounted for? (e.g. recent flooding)

The main goals of the research project will be to:
• Understand how to best communicate the brand positioning online and to segment and target Belgian customers based on their online behaviour;
• Determine the motivations and barriers to purchase online for high involvement, complex purchases;
• Understand how digital tools can contribute to increased brand awareness and online conversions in the context of an indirect distribution strategy.

As a full-time postdoctoral or doctoral researcher at HEC Liège, you will be affiliated to the strategic research field “Strategic Marketing Innovation” at HEC Liège. There is no teaching load associated to this position (a small assistantship load is possible, upon discussion). Regular interaction with the sponsor’s team of practitioners is expected. You will represent HEC Liège in the international
scientific community through (for instance) the participation in scientific conferences and workshops.

 You have a Masters’ degree (for the PhD position) or PhD degree (for the postdoctoral position) in Marketing / Management Sciences with an expertise relevant to the abovedescribed project. Note that you must have graduated your Masters or PhD by the time you enter the position;
 You have a strong interest in studying the issues/challenges of digitalization (especially in the financial services/insurance sector);
 You have an appetence for research and a good analytical/critical mind;
 You master qualitative and quantitative research methodologies;
 You are autonomous and have good organizational skills;
 You are willing to regularly disseminate and publish research results;
 You have an excellent research potential. For postdoctoral candidates, the quality of your research should be evidenced by publications in top-tier peer reviewed journals and/or promising research projects;
 You have very good English written/spoken communication skills (Fluency in French or Dutch is a strong asset for the position –especially for fieldwork).

 Cover letter showing your motivation and eligibility for the position;
 CV showing your past experience and expertise in the research area;
 A copy of your two most recent or representative scientific publications or working papers (for the postdoctoral position);
 A copy of your postgraduate degree and doctoral degrees (for the postdoctoral position);
 Two recommendation letters, to be sent directly by the person recommending you.

Interested candidates should send their application material (a single compressed folder containing all files) by email to Dr. Nicolas NEYSEN, HEC Digital Lab ( with Prof. Dr. Laurence DESSART ( and Prof. Willem Standaert ( in Cc. Incomplete applications will be automatically rejected.

Applications should be received by June, 1st, 2022 at the latest.

! Please note that the call will be closed as soon as we have found the right candidate. Apply as early as you can. As this call is an extension of a previous one, please do not reapply if you have already been rejected for the position.

This is a full-time position. The PhD position is for four years; the Postdoctoral position is for two years. The salary will be set according to the (post)doctoral researcher salary scale of the University of Liège under grant holder status. The candidate can start as early as January 2022, and no later than September 2022.

HEC Liège is the management school of the University of Liège. HEC Liège is one of the leading Belgian university business schools for graduate and postgraduate programs with more than 115 fulltime faculty members and researchers and more than 3000 students. HEC Liège is a dynamic institution that heavily promotes an active pedagogy, leading students to contribute actively to their
own education. The international vision of HEC Liège translates into multiple research activities in management and economics, numerous partnerships with worldwide companies and universities, and growing internationalization of its programs and faculty.
The school's commitment to, and continuing investment in, quality improvement has been recognized through the AACSB award and the EQUIS award delivered by the international accreditation body EFMD. HEC Liège also holds the EPAS award for each of its three main programs: the Master in Management, the Master in Business Engineering, and the Doctoral Program. The specialization
“Banking and Asset Management” of the Master in Management has recently been accepted into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program. HEC Liège is also a member of the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles.

HEC Liège is located in Liège, Belgium’s third largest city, and the largest agglomeration of the Frenchspeaking Walloon region. At the heart of Europe, Liège is the third inland port of Europe and the seventh freight airport in Europe. Recognized for its quality of life and its rich historical heritage, Liège is ideally situated within the Meuse-Rhin Euregio, 30 km from Maastricht (the Netherlands) and
60 km from Aachen (Germany). It is less than 1.5 hours away from Cologne, 2.5 hours from Paris and 4 hours from London by high-speed train (TGV) starting from the new magnificent train station designed by the renowned architect Santiago Calatrava.
A description of the HEC Liège work environment can be found at:

About AG Insurance
With 190 years of expertise in serving customers and over 4,000 collaborators, AG Insurance is a global Belgian insurer with a market share of 28 % in life insurance and 16% in non-life. 2,7 million Belgian put their trust and confidence with us, meaning that nearly 50% of all households in Belgium are our customers. We offer a comprehensive range of products and services to suit all needs through
an integrated distribution model covering bancassurance, brokers and B2B.

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Expiry date2022/06/01