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Center for Strategic Marketing and Innovations



The objective of the Center for Strategic Marketing and Innovations of the Graduate School of Management, St.Petersburg University is creation of competences in studying marketing and innovation theories and methodologies using advanced experience of Russian companies in the comparative studies and spreading new knowledge among Russian academics and the businesses.


The Center key working principles are:

  • state-of-art qualitative and quantitative studies
  • emphasis of comparative studies
  • applications of the modern marketing research and data analysis methods.

We are open for collaboration! We welcome students, researchers and business practitioners to participate in programs and projects of the Center. 



About the Center


Strategic Marketing Center of the Graduate School of Management was founded in 2006. In 2010 it was transformed in Strategic Marketing and Innovations Center due to the fact that the main focus of the Center research included not only marketing but also Russian companies innovative development.


Center mission

Research development based on multidisciplinary approach to management issues in multidisciplinary approach to management of innovation development of companies for solution of urgent marketing management problems through application of achievements of modern management theory and practice. 


Center Main Goals

  • Critical reconsideration of existing approaches and concepts of modern marketing and innovations theory, as well as their adaptation for studying consumer and industrial markets in Russia.
  • Qualitative and quantitative research on marketing and innovation and knowledge dispersion to the Russian and international academic community.
  • Managerially relevant models based on the results of theoretical and empirical research of the Center and aimed at improving competitiveness of the Russian companies both in industrial and consumer markets.
  • Development of educational materials based on the Center research results and integration into existing and new courses and studying programs, seminars and professional development programs.
  • Establishment of strategic partnerships with leading Russian and international research centers and business schools in the area of marketing and innovations research in order to share experiences and implement joint educational and research projects.


Programs of the Center for Strategic Marketing and Innovations are implemented through the integration of potential of GSOM SPbU professors and graduate students, specialists from other faculties of St. Petersburg University, and colleagues from the leading international marketing research centers and specialized educational and research institutions.



Research Areas



  • Theoretical and empirical research in the fields of marketing and innovation. 
  • For more detailed information about the projects please visit Projects and Research Areas

Knowledge Dissemination

1. Methodological seminars for academics.

2. Round table discussions, theoretical and practical workshops and expert focus groups for practitioners and experts in the following areas

3. Seminars for Companies

4. Regular research seminars of the Center

5. Presentation of the results of ongoing research in the largest Russian and international scientific conferences

6. Preparation and publication of the scientific articles in the leading international and Russian journals

7. Membership in the leading professional associations

8. Writing case studies  



Main Projects


Center welcomes researchers, business practitioners and experts to participate in thematic round tables, in-depth interviews, and to develop case studies on the basis of Russian companies’ experience. We are looking forward for your suggestions on new discussion topics!


Current Projects


“Creating sustainable advantage in the context of an emerging market: organizational, networking and marketing capabilities of Russian firms”

The contribution and newness of the proposed study stems from the history of the institutional transition of Russian economy. The economic reforms launched in 1990s have turned the previously centrally planned economy into a market-based one. The increasing availability of the branded products in the market, rapid fragmentation of demand and tightening international competition turned the established rules of survival into fierce pursuit for developing new sources of competitive advantage, and as a result, have changed the entire logic of business. The new market-based economy brought competition from the Western market economies and demanded quick adaptation to new rules of the game, where competitive advantage stemmed from innovation and meeting the needs of highly specific market segments. The tightening market competition also had clear implications for the prevailing business philosophies, shifting the primary focus of business from operational efficiency to effectiveness in serving the newly fragmented customer needs.

In this study, we explore implications of this shift towards a market economy for Russian companies both at the level of a firm and at the level of consumer perception.

Despite growing interest to Russian economy over the transition period (1990-2014), existing studies are just trying to shed some light on the changing processes and their outcomes. There is lack of studies that explore the firms' adaptation to the changing institutional and industry/network environments. However, existing literature suggests that firm's behavior as strategic response to the institutional environment in an economy should be a key focus of research. The effectiveness and particularly long-term success of Russian firms thus depend on what they have learned over the transition period. What are the core capabilities they have developed? What is the planning horizon they have in mind by developing these capabilities? Are these capabilities helping Russian firms to be prepared for the new upcoming challenges? Does the market perceive these capabilities as characteristics of sustainable advantage? Has this transition period been used enough to explore the opportunities besides just exploiting emerging market potential? Answers to these questions add value of the study. Moreover, these questions were substantially understudied and not properly covered by existing research.




Fullfilled Projects

  “Methodology of interfim cooperation on creation and commercialization of innovations”
  “Managing brands on emerging markets: forming competitive advantages, protection of trademarks, branding strategies”
  “Innovation Radar — developing method of multifactor measurement of the innovation activities of Russian companies”
  Other Projects





Joint Russian-Finnish Research Seminar on Marketing, Innovation and Entrepreneurship of Graduate School of Management SPbU and Lappeenranta University of Technology

  12.09.2015 | Doctoral students of GSOM SPbSU took part in the second Russian-Finnish doctoral workshop “Marketing, Innovation and Entrepreneurship” Part 2 at Lappeenranta University of Technology

On September 10-11, 2015 the second Russian-Finnish doctoral workshop “Marketing, Innovation and Entrepreneurship” Part 2 was held at Lappeenranta University of Technology

  12.06.2015 | Joint Russian-Finnish Research Seminar on Marketing, Innovation and Entrepreneurship took place

Joint Russian-Finnish Research Seminar on Marketing, Innovation and Entrepreneurship took place on June 1-2, 2015.

  27.04.2014 | Joint International Research Seminar on Marketing, Innovations and Entrepreneurship held by Graduate School of Management SPbSU and School of Business, Lappeenranta University of Technology took place
  Joint International Research Seminar on Marketing, Innovations and Entrepreneurship of St. Petersburg University SPbSU and School of Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) took place on April 24-25, 2014. The seminar was coordinated by Galina V. Shirokova, Professor, Strategic and International Management Department, SPbSU, Maria M. Smirnova, Associate Professor, Marketing Department, SPbSU, Juha Väätänen, Professor, Value Network Management Department, LUT, and Paavo Ritala, Professor, Department of Management and International Business, LUT.   


Regular research seminars and round table sessions of the Center for Strategic Marketing and Innovations

Information on past events available in “News”.





   Center Staff


Dr. Maria M. Smirnova

Associate Professor

+7 (812) 323 84 48




Olga N. Alkanova

Senior Lecturer, Marketing Department


M. Deniz Dalman

Associate Professor, Marketing Department


Joan Freixanet Solervicens

Associate Professor, Marketing Department


Johanna Frösén

Assistant Professor, Marketing Department


Kseniya Golovacheva

Assistant Professor, Marketing Department





Center for Strategic Marketing and Innovations


Address: Office 222, Volkhovskiy pereulok, 3, 199004, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Phone: +7 (812) 323 84 64

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