Busting the Myths about Word of Mouth Marketing

I am pleased to be offering this workshop on Wednesday, 27 June in Manilla to a group of trusted and valued ECU Authorised Education Agents. This s the first opportunity to take this talk international, after its debut in the regional centre of Bunbury, Western Australia and then Sydney.

Based on the current research on Word of Mouth Marketing, Authentic Marketing and case studies on some empowering stories, this is a down-to-earth practical look on what managers can do today to stimulate WOM and more importantly, stop expending resources where it just might be wasted.

Why your IT department hates you (you digital marketers out there)

On Wednesday 18 July, I will be pleased to be presenting on the above topic at AMA Non-Profit Marketing Conference with a colleague, Mr Jeff Volkheimer of Duke Health. Jeff is the Director of Collaborative and Workforce Services. He is the kind of IT guy that works really well with people in my field – or maybe any field. We are collaborating on several research projects, and in the process of doing so mix it up as IT and marketing people tend to do. The idea for this presentation came from our ongoing discourse about the differing cultures of marketing and IT and how now, more than ever, they need to work together.

We have had a great time doing our anecdotal research. Talking to marketing people about IT and IT people about marketing has been fun. Can’t wait to watch the sparks fly at this presentation.

Book Chapter Published in the Review of Marketing Research

I am delighted to advise that my colleagues Jamie Murphy, Dick Mizerski, Hanna Glaebe and myself just had out book chapter Identifying Customer Evangelists published in the Review of Marketing Research. This special edition, focusing on brand meaning and management, was edited by Deborah McInnes – a researcher on whose work much of mine is based. She is brilliant, and her work influential and important.

The book chapter takes the first step in formalising an approach to identifying customer evangelists in a quantitative way – which helps with the stronger push toward analytics and big data in marketing. The research demonstrates that it is possible to identify customer evangelists through key questions in a survey (as their buying behaviour may not differentiate them from other customers) and therefore, once identified, perhaps harness their word of mouth power for various brand-related activities.

This book chapter was also the final piece of research directly related to and incorporated in my doctoral thesis. All of my co-authors on this work not only were colleagues in this paper; they supported me in completing my PhD. I would like to acknowledge their support on both this paper and my research.

I am honoured to address the Australian Human Resources Institute (Perth)

This month I will be presenting to HR practitioners and leaders in Perth about authenticity and organisational voice. The summary of the talk is below.

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Dr Nathalie Collins, Manager of Strategic Business Development, Edith Cowan University, will be presenting ‘Maintaining an Authentic Voice through difficult organisational change.’

HR professionals are often tasked with delivering communications and managing change which is directed at Executive level with an organisational voice. During this talk, Dr Nathalie Collins will draw relevant examples from her research into authenticity and management/messaging to stimulate discussions on effective ways to be perceived as authentic by your audience.

The positives of authenticity range from increasing the credibility of the message to reducing stress on workers who have to deliver corporate messaging. But authenticity is a slippery concept; what does it mean? And how can something so subjective still be applied?

Nathalie’s development of the 360 Degree Authenticity Framework attempts to address authenticity in a practical applied way, while still drawing from its basis in philosophy, psychology, anthropological, sociology and tourism.

For more information about the Institute visit their web site.

New Journal Article Published: “Civitas and Communitas”

Recently the Journal of Global Marketing Science published a special issue on Philosophy and Marketing. Professor Jamie Murphy and I were published in that journal with our article: “Communitas and civitas: an idiographic model of consumer collectives”

The article is part of a two part conceptual journey into consumer collectives. Also called Brand Communities, Consumer Tribes, Subcultures of Consumption and other such names, these communities have products at their centre and act a lot like religious communities. This article draws a comparison between religious communities (as it is defined by American James Carse) and these consumption communities. The comparison explores the tension between the Civitas (or producer/church) and the Communitas (congregation/consumer collective). The two groups do not have the same aims; rather their goals produce a social energy or “game” which generates meaning for all the players.

The contribution of this article is the development of a model of communal consumption behaviour which is mapped to a particular model of the way religion works. Parallels between consumption behaviour and religion have become increasingly common since Apple Computer introduced the approach in the mid 1980s. This article also highlights the work of James Carse, an American scholar of Philosophy and Religion.

 

Paper Presentation on Authentic Student Recruitment

Edith Cowan University recently hosted their Teaching and Learning eCulture Conference. Along with colleagues Lynelle Watts, Renee Strauss, David Hodgson and Richard Brightwell, I presented a paper called “Authenticity in Student Recruitment: Social Work and Paramedicine”. The paper examined the relationship between recruiters and academics at ECU in two programs which had grown in student enrollments over the last 3-5 years. Using a convergent interviewing methodology, we examined the events that led up to and precipitated the ability of recruiters to sell these two courses authentically to future students.

Some of the outcomes included:

(1) Uncertainty on behalf of Academics on how the marketing and sales process works ended up being the catalyst for a constructive relationship;

(2) Courses with the most unmet market demand would tend to get the most attention from recruiters;

(3) Recruiters are more likely to focus on the corporate brand as a form of credibility than Academics do; and

(4) Course accreditation adds value to the future student and current student experience.

Authenticity in relationships between recruiters and academics is not covered in scholarly literature. This study is a step in the direction of exploring what makes an effective recruiter in higher education.