Using the experiential approach in marketing and management: A systematic literature review


  • Fabio Forlani University of Perugia
  • Tonino Pencarelli University of Urbino Carlo Bo


The experiential perspective has become the primary lens adopted in the current economic and managerial literature. In recent years, the marketing literature has recognized the importance of the contributions of consultancy work on the Experience Economy, Experiential Marketing, and Customer Experience Management.
This work defines the experiential approach as the managerial tool that puts the customer experience (CE) at the center of a company’s decision-making processes. It also recognizes that experiential management studies constitute a rich and important research field, but one that has not yet been clearly defined or characterized.Moreover, this paper describes the evolution of the state of the art of the experiential approach and outlines possible future developments.

To this end, a systematic review of the literature is offered in order to make the review process both transparent and reproducible. It is built on the articles published in the SciVerse Scopus database up until December 2018. To answer the research questions, a bibliometric analysis of the citations in the database itself is conducted and an inductive content analysis undertaken, by studying the database in the keywords sections through T-Lab software. Using keywords to identify the subject of published articles, a content analysis (co-word analysis) serves to determine the main experiential approach adopted as well as the principal sectors (e.g. food, tourism, events, etc.) in which the various experiential approaches have been applied.
This study is a first attempt at quantitative measurement of the diffusion of experiential marketing and management concepts in academic literature. While acknowledging the need for further qualitative studies, the analysis provides insight on the main experiential approaches adopted and points to the need for a theoretical framework able to coherently synthesize them.

Author Biographies

Fabio Forlani, University of Perugia

Assistant professor in Tourism Marketing and Management, Department of Economics

Tonino Pencarelli, University of Urbino Carlo Bo

Full Professor of Economics and Management of the Firms, Department of Economics, Society, Politics


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