ESR4 – Anna Hermes – Testimonial

Anna Hermes


Johannes Kepler University


My mission. To contribute in-depth knowledge in the field of customer psychology to help retailers in providing highly customer-centric experiences.


Why is it important? Mobile phones, social media, AI, VR — customers’ and companies have never had so many ways of communication. Yet, companies – especially small and medium-sized retailers – seem to struggle with providing an optimal customer experience throughout all retail and shopping channels. Further, to optimize the customer’s experience, in-depth knowledge of customers’ behaviors, needs, and psychological factors is crucial. Hence, the goal of my research is to contribute to the field of customer experience and channel choice from a psychological perspective. Findings will be important for the academic community as well as for industry and retail.

The roots of my motivation. My research and corporate communications interests have always been highly customer-centric. I believe, only if we put the customer first, the business can thrive. Hence, my master’s thesis considers customers’ uses and gratifications of online ads. The purpose of this study was to research how and why customers engage with interactive features in online ads for example hyperlinks. One major finding of the 830-participant survey was that having control over the content was the biggest gratification of online ad engagement. The findings can help companies to incorporate interactive features in a way that it benefits the customers. The same customer-centric approach, I have also applied in corporate communication strategy development, user research, campaign management, search engine optimization, website development, as well as content development and blogging

PERFORM and me. I joined the PERFORM Innovative Training Network since it gives me the unique opportunity to deepen my knowledge in customer psychology while also working with industry partners, other project researchers as well as the MSCA community. The tight interactions between academia and industry allow us to research real retailer issues with real customers. Training weeks at different universities throughout Europe ensure that we receive high-class lectures and feedback sessions.

My educational and professional background. In 2016, I received my Masters of Science in Mass Communication, Journalism, with honors from the Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, USA. For my extraordinary contribution on campus, I was named Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and I further received the outstanding research award. In 2014, I was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Communication and Multimedia Management from the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf with honors. Professionally, I have been working in corporate communications for over 10 years, and I gained experiences in marketing and public relations of startups, government, and academic organizations in Germany as well as the San Francisco Bay Area.


I am looking forward to getting in touch with you. Please reach out via email or connect on LinkedIn.

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