Leading companies are strongly customer focused and thus heavily committed to marketing. These organisations strive to understand and satisfy customer needs while still achieving their short and long term business objectives. Marketing therefore performs a critical function in the management of modern organisations and in shaping their strategic directions.

This unit provides a general introduction to the discipline of marketing, covering topics such as marketing planning, market definition and segmentation, market research, consumer behaviour, product development, pricing, distribution and communication, as well as recent developments in marketing theory and practice.

Researcher expertise

Customer Relationships, Social Responsibility, Networks, Internal Branding, Word of Mouth.

Who this research helps

Marketing managers, Brand managers, Communications managers.

Research overview

Focuses on how organisations can foster relationships with all stakeholders to successfully market products and services through engaged communication across multiple networks and environments, by examining how to:

  • Effectively manage relationships between customers and organisations in offline and online environments 
  • Identify the right customers and manage relationships with them in the best possible way
  • Manage internal relationships to ensure employees engage with and support the brand
  • Make decisions and adopt practices so market entry strategies have useful business outcomes.

Research streams

Relationships in marketing

 As with all human activity, marketing occurs within the context of social relationships. These relationships have a direct and indirect impact on how people work, interact and react as leaders, employees and customers.

This stream of research investigates:

  • The impact of organisational relationships on customers
  • How strong relationships are created and affect customer behaviour
  • The importance of these relationships to an organisation’s bottom line.

Research collaborations span the tourism, allied health and retail sectors. Results clearly demonstrate that:

  • Employees who have a strong relationship with the organisation are more positive towards, committed to and engaged with their role, employer and customers
  • Relational leadership styles, ethical cultures and internal marketing efforts make it far easier for organisation’s to develop strong relationships with all stakeholders.

Social customer relationship management

Investigates the impact of social CRM tools and techniques, such as Web 2.0 Facebook, Twitter and viral marketing. Also examines developing social media trends and issues.

Corporate brand strategy and social responsibility

Examines how corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives:

  • Relate to corporate and brand strategy and product development
  • Are perceived within organisations
  • Are perceived by external stakeholders, such as customers, distributors and investors
  • Need to be implemented, developed, managed and sustained e.g. marketing and encouraging continued investment into green energy solutions.

Social network perspective in marketing

Focuses on understanding the causes, types and consequences of social interactions in marketplaces and how firms can actively manage these.

To clarify the complexity of social interaction, the research integrates theories from a wide range of disciplines including:

  • Sociology
  • Social-psychology
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Epidemiology
  • Social network theory.

Sound theoretical frameworks

This research enables:

  • Thorough analysis of current market challenges
  • Innovative solutions that contribute to marketing theory
  • Best practice to be developed.

Industry collaborations driven by this research include:

  • An intervention measuring the reach and impact of word of mouth marketing campaigns
  • An online referral project that optimised the acquisition and retention efforts of a social commerce entity
  • Analysis of corporate and individual use of social media during emergency and crisis situations.

International market entry strategies

Examines how:

  • Organisational leaders and managers make decisions when developing and implementing entry strategies in the international market.
  • Organisations can ensure an entry strategy matures into a sustainable set of practices that support successful and innovative business outcomes across a complex, multicultural and uncertain landscape. 

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