Marketing and society
Our marketing and society research looks at macro trends influencing consumer decision making. This includes sustainability, pollution and health, and the relationship between marketing and society. Also, our research explores how consumers and organisations respond and change the environment in which they operate.
We explore key managerial and policy challenges related to the contemporary growth in marketing activity, particularly in relation to the digital economy and microprocesses of change. Issues we explore include presumption, consumers as change agents, managing negative consumer behaviour, consumer privacy and public policy, shifts in demographics and how marketing can generate positive behavioural and social change.
We explore how business can reach new markets in new ways through the growth in digital platforms, such as websites, which can be accessed from anywhere, across any device and can open up completely new customer bases. Through well-thought out websites, online market giants like Amazon have completely transformed the way people shop online.
Similarly we research on how consumers engage with consumption practices in the digital age and what implications these might have for producers and policy makers.
As new digital platforms and business models reach a global scale, marketers and policy makers need a solid understanding of the changing interface between marketing and society. Marketing has been perceived historically as solely concerned with maximising revenues, but now it plays a much broader role in society, from communicating health risks and raising awareness of conditions, to addressing and preventing societal issues like fake news.
Our research can help policy makers understand these complex social phenomena and develop marketing strategies to address them. Our research has already achieved impact by using social marketing to help tackle India's breast cancer crisis.
Our research covers the following topics
- Sustainability action and communication
Sustainability has become a strategic imperative for companies worldwide. As consumers increasingly demand that companies make substantial efforts toward responsible business, those companies recognise the importance of communicating their sustainability initiatives. Sustainability is moving from the corporate sidelines into the mainstream. Unresolved questions remain about how consumers respond to companies’ sustainability implementation and communication. Our research investigates consumers’ attitudes and behaviours towards sustainable products and their engagement with sustainability communication.
- Consumers as change agents
Living in a digital age creates more transparency and thus reduces power distance, which in turn leads to more democratic citizenship. It is important to not only look at producers, policy makers and institutional endeavours (i.e. Macro elements) but also look at the ways individual consumers and companies respond, and more importantly proactively act toward the structural forces of the context in which they perform. Our research explores micro-process of change and how consumers and companies shape and reshape the markets.
Eastman, J., Modi, P. and Gordon-Wilson, S. (2020). The impact of future time perspective and personality on the sustainable behaviours of seniors. Journal of Consumer Policy.
Ghaffari, M., Svystunova, L., & Jarvis, L. (2021). Cracking the box or stretching its walls? Exploiting institutional plasticity in Iranian creative advertising. Human Relations.
Ghaffari, M., Jafari, A., & Sandikci, O. (2019). The role of mundane and subtle institutional work in market dynamics: A case of fashion clothing market. Journal of Business Research.
Grazzini, L., Acuti, D., & Aiello, G. (2021). Solving the puzzle of sustainable fashion consumption: The role of consumers’ implicit attitudes and perceived warmth. Journal of Cleaner Production.
Discover our areas of expertise
Discover the research we're doing in advertising and branding – across topics such as ethics and sustainability, gender stereotypes, and brand attachment.
Interested in a PhD in Marketing?
Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Marketing postgraduate research degrees page.