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.

– – – – – – –

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.

Two Papers in the Las Vegas Services Forum

I recently received excellent news: two papers I authored have been accepted int the Service Management and Science Forum in Las Vegas this August. I will be traveling to Vegas to present the papers.

One paper is called Network Narratives Revisited and looks at how authenticity affects audience acceptance of seeded commercial blog posts.

Another paper is called Developing a Customer Evangelism Scale Using Faith-Based Volunteer Tourism Data. This paper, co-authored with Professor Jamie Murphy, is the first step toward using quantitative techniques to identify customer evangelists from a larger sample population.

Two Papers in China

I am lucky to have a colleague, Jamie Murphy, present two papers we collaborated on at the Asia-Pacific Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education Conference in May this year.

The first paper is called The Road to Damascus Leads to One Infinite Loop:
An Introspective Adventure into Apple Computer Customer Evangelism. It is an introspective account of one Apple user’s journey to evangelism (me!).

The second paper is called Towards A Folk Taxonomy of Popular New Media Marketing Terms and classifies terms we use all the time in common language and in marketing: Geek, Maven, Alpha User, Evangelist, Fanboy. It is a folk taxonomy primarily because these words came to be used in the common vernacular in the first instance. Later they were co-opted into technical marketing terms. There is still a lot of confusion around these terms and the purpose of the paper is to carve out an evidence-based place for each term.

Thanks to Jamie for traveling to China and presenting these papers on our behalf.


Two Papers at the World Marketing Congress, Melbourne Australia

I am pleased to share that I will be delivering two papers in Melbourne at the Academy of Marketing Science’s World Marketing Congress.

One, titled The Ideal Marketer is an Authentic Marketer, is another paper supporting the 360 Authenticity Framework which was the subject of a book chapter and conference paper I co-authored.

The other, titled Of Geeks and Achievers: Brand Community Tourism and the Infinite Game further supports the papers I co-authored on Brand Communities and the application of the Infinite Game metaphor to marketing.

The papers will be posted to this web site later in the year, however feel free to contact me if you wish t have a preview.

Two Papers in Queenstown

I had the good fortune of attending two marketing conferences in Queenstown, New Zealand.

First, the Gender, Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Conference was truely insightful for someone who has never delved in to gender based research before. The experience of the conference, and preparing for it, forced me to consider the research topics I cover from a gender perspective. The attendees were so supportive of my newness to the field as well. It was a great welcome to Queenstown. The paper at this conference, which focused on Liminal Space/Places, can be sourced here.

The Asia-Pacifc Association for Consumer Research Conference held a variety of insights. I was the last paper up, with an exploratory study correlating quintessence and perceptions of value. The paper can be sourced here.

I will shortly be leaving Queenstown and driving to visit the legendary Unviersity of Otago and having a look around.



Watch the 3 minute update

This short video is a three minute update of the research I am conducting in to Customer Evangelism. Preliminary results are in and, as is usually the case with these kinds of things, the data supports some of the claims in the literature; doesn’t support others and with some–well, you just can’t tell what it is saying. By the way, I am speaking slowly in this video as it was originally put together for an audience of academics in China; so I tried to speak slowly for maximum comprehension.

This is a condensed version of a talk I delivered recently at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia.

In other news, I am thrilled to have a paper accepted to the Asia-Pacific Association for Consumer Research Conference in Queenstown, New Zealand in July 2012. The paper focuses on behaviours arising from Transcendent Customer Experiences and Quintessence. I was lucky enough to have two great co-authors on this: Jamie Murphy and Hanna Glaebe.

With several papers currently out for review I hope to have some more good news about further publications accepted soon. Keep your fingers crossed for me!