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Our research

The School of Marketing aims to deliver high impact and high quality research, contributing to local and international industry.

Marketing Research

Our four core focus areas encompass Communication and Media Effectiveness, Customer Experience Research, Tourism Research and Luxury Branding. They’re each led by Curtin marketing academics, who collaborate extensively with prominent international scholars.

Our marketing and tourism fields of research achieved a world-standard (three star) ranking in the Australian Government’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2015-2016 assessment[1], further adding to the school’s reputation for delivering world-leading research.

With integrated research, teaching and learning, we promote thoughtful engagement with students, the community and industry, contributing to future professional practice.

Within the School of Marketing, there are a four research groups that focus on these key areas of expertise:

Communication and Media Effectiveness

Changes in technology have created seismic shifts in how brands communicate. The explosive growth of social media has enabled brands and stakeholders to interact in new ways. Today, connection and co-creation are integral elements of brand communication. Innovation through co-creation is considered an integral strategy. Technology has had other impacts too – turbo-charging consumer empowerment, redefining linguistics in business and the language of visual communication. In this ever-changing environment, corporations, the public sector and non-profit organisations need to understand how best to maximise their communication effectiveness.

Within the context of these broad changes in technology and consumer behaviour, the Communication and Media Effectiveness Research Group is conducting research in a number of key areas; co-created brand meaning, engagement behaviour in online communities, consumer to consumer influence, consumer empowerment, communication authenticity, digital advertising regulation and online information credibility. The Research Group is addressing these issues, using innovative methods such as discourse analysis, visual analysis, storytelling and archetype analysis. We currently train several Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students, and invite further applications. We aim to publish our research in high impact international journals.

Customer Experience Research Group (CERG)

Faced with increasing competition in the marketplace and rapidly changing customer demands and expectations, firms are trying to create and deliver better value for their customers in the form of ‘customer experience’. However, these efforts have been limited to either providing entertainment or being engagingly creative, which is not a complete picture what the customers expect or appreciate. Hence, it is not surprising to see marketers being disappointed with the lack of response from their customers in the absence of well-conceived, comprehensive strategies to create, manage and leverage superior customer experiences.

Marketers need to begin with a clear understanding of their customers’ expectations, perceptions about the firm’s offerings and their evaluations of the same. Next, they need to incorporate to design their products, services and processes to match or exceed the expectations of their customers and to manage the experience of their customers at every level. Finally, every employee of the firm and all the other stakeholders such as agents, distributors, franchisees and everyone else involved in the value chain, should be aware, involved and fully engaged in the process of managing customer experience.

Customer experience research group (CERG) will address all the above issues by leveraging the collective research experience and expertise of the group members. CERG would work closely with private, public and third sector organisations to help them solve problems and identify opportunities related to their customer experience. We would seek both internal and external funding for our research from government and non-government sources. We would also recruit and train Higher Degree by Research (HDR) and honours students and aim to publish our research in top-tier international journals.

Tourism Research Cluster (TRC)

The Cluster focuses on two of Curtin University’s areas of research strength: Health and Sustainability. Health and wellness tourism is a growing market globally as well as in Australia and Western Australia, where it is of increasing economic importance to the tourism regions of Margaret River and Broome. The long term sustainability of tourism businesses and resources is also a significant challenge for WA.

The Cluster’s research expertise includes research engagement in the areas of:

Sustainability

This includes topics such as sustainable tourism policy, planning, development and management; Climate change and tourism; Natural resource management; Coastal, island and nature-based tourism; Food security and sustainability; and sustainable events and festivals.

Health

This includes topics such as medical tourism; Wellness tourism; Volunteering and wellbeing; Health tourism and demographic change; Health tourism in the context of health policy; Core competence development in health tourism; and nature based tourism and health.

Luxury Branding Research Cluster (LBRC)

Luxury brands contribute more to the consumer experience than the product itself. We use these brands to build a self-identity, to express this identity to others and to feel good. The luxury brand is the    mechanism that allows us to recognise these messages in an instant and that allows the meanings to endure over time. Therefore the brand is a valuable asset for any organisation that can be used to achieve a variety of positive outcomes for the organisation. As well, it is very important for them to ensure that the brand continues to clearly establish the prestige, exclusivity and excellence in workmanship of their product. Achieving this is more and more important as brands proliferate in global markets, markets fragment and people have a lot more choice. Despite increasing recognition of the          importance of understanding how luxury brands work, there is a lot left to understand including consumer reactions to luxury branding, co-creation of luxury brand experiences and strategies for managing luxury brands.

The luxury branding group aims to develop strategies and initiatives to improve the performance of luxury brands and brand in general. The key areas of research interests include brand authenticity, brand prominence and brand mimicry.

[1] Australian Research Council, ERA 2015: Section 5 – Institution Report (2015), p392