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Potential research areas for students

Marketing at Otago has a range of exciting potential research areas for postgraduate students

Take a look at the list below of the current research areas, and the staff member in charge of each area, available to students within the Department.

The socialisation of young consumers

The commercialisation of childhood is an important area of concern in a society where materialistic values are becoming the norm and pressures to consume are increasing.

Staff Contact: Professor Rob Aitken

The effects of emerging technologies in business markets

Emerging technologies such as machine learning, the internet of things, and the digitalisations of everything are becoming ubiquitous. Marketers used to one-on-one interactions with customers are likely to face an intelligent machine as a counterpart or to have an intelligent machine supporting their interaction. Emerging research questions include: how will business-to-business relationships develop? What will the value of such relationships be in securing customer loyalty?

Staff Contact: Dr Sergio Biggemann

Gendered consumption and progressing SDG 5

Achieving SDG 5 (Gender equality) requires buy in from all sectors of society, yet accusations of ‘get woke, go broke’ inhibit many businesses from supporting and progressing gender equality for social wellbeing. Projects addressing this could relate to critical success factors of gendered brand activism, virtual discourses disrupting singularised body tropes and influencers’ advocacy of diet culture.

Staff Contact: Dr Shelagh Ferguson

Visual Research Lab: Creative marketing for positive change

Three particular research themes are part of the Visual Research Lab: (1) visual campaigns (video/images and copywriting) for positive social, sustainability and conservation change, (2) storytelling using 360 video, music and ambisonic sound, and (3) science marketing (the power of marketing communication for science).

Staff Contact: Dr Wiebke Finkler

Consumer decision-making, Consumer value driven food innovation

  • Low involvement consumer decision mechanisms
  • Public good marketing initiatives relating to food consumption.
  • Point of purchase communication such as packaging promotions etc.
  • Food related consumer behaviour, especially the study of consumer needs and consumer decision mechanisms.
  • Market driven value added as a holistic channel exercise
  • The generation of environmental and sustainable packaging systems that preserver value added in the channel.

Staff Contact: Dr Rob Hamlin

Sensory Marketing, Food Choice and Consumption

Understanding and examining the role of different sensory features used in marketing activities across consumer behaviour contexts, specifically in food choice and consumption.

Staff Contact: Dr Euejung Hwang

Place Branding, Resident Engagement, Overtourism

Understanding the complexities of the place branding process for local communities in a global society. How do residents engage with the place branding process and perceive the benefits and losses of urban development including tourism.

Staff Contact: Dr Andrea Insch

Co-creative entrepreneurship: Effectuation and new opportunity creation

Applying the idea of co-creation to entrepreneurship in explaining entrepreneurial new opportunity creation. New opportunity can be entering a new market (national or international), developing new product/service, business model innovation and so on. The context of study is small business.

Staff Contact: Dr Masoud Karami

Customer engagement and actor engagement in service networks

I’m interested in how customers as well as other business actors such as firms, employees, social groups and regulators engage with digital platforms (e.g. social media, knowledge sharing platforms etc.) and technologies (e.g. AI, blockchain etc.). My current research focus on the dynamic process, valence (positive and negative), and intensity of actor engagement, and how they influence value co-creation in service ecosystems. My research methods involve quantitative survey, structural equation modelling, and abductive reasoning with case studies.

Staff Contact: Dr Loic Li

Modern Chinese markets for NZ produced foods

Trends and changes in Chinese market factors and their interactions; Substantial differences in marketing insights amongst food categories, e.g. dairy, meat, fresh produce, etc.. Food security and safety.

Staff Contact: Dr Damien Mather

Consumption Behaviour, Identity and Self, Fashion and Sustainability

Understanding consumption behaviours as part of social and private identities; consumer socialisation; the meaning of sustainability in fashion consumption and; luxury goods marketing.

Staff Contact: Associate Professor Lisa McNeill

Social Behaviour and the Application of Technology in Marketing and Business Solutions

Three particular areas of interest: Quality of Life, Bornefree (an intervention project aimed at modifying binge and heavy drinking in women of childbearing age through social media) and digital marketing.

Staff Contact: Dr Mathew Parackal

Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol Container Labelling

It is a legal requirement to include standard drink information on alcohol containers in New Zealand. Standard drink information is intended to assist consumers to drink responsibly. However, this is based on a number of assumptions including: consumers know what a standard drink is; consumers know what responsible drinking is; and consumers want to drink responsibly.

Staff Contact: Associate Professor Kirsten Robertson

Resident attitudes towards tourism, Co-creation and tourism, Cruise tourism, Tourist motivations and satisfactions

Maree’s research focus is consumer behaviour, in particular tourist behaviour. She has over 20 years’ experience in examining tourists’ needs and wants, determining how we can best meet these to provide a satisfying experience.

Staff Contact: Professor Maree Thyne

Culture and Consumer Behaviour, Sustainable Consumption, Children as Consumers

My research interests focus on two main areas: Culture and Consumer Behaviour – specifically the influence of culture on consumption, and cross-cultural research methodologies; and Marketing and Society – specifically consumer values and lifestyles, sustainable consumption, and consumer socialisation.

Staff Contact: Associate Professor Leah Watkins

Making marketing education and research more relevant for business people and job seekers

  • Advertising effectiveness, especially digital advertising and promotion.
  • Skills and attributes demanded by employers of graduates with Marketing degrees
  • The role of Marketing in NZ organisations: functional or strategic?
  • What is the role of analytical skills and numeracy in Marketing education? Do we need more, or less?

Staff Contact: Dr John Williams