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Marketing Research


The Marketing Research Group incorporates the former research group Centre for Research in Entrepreneurship and Marketing (CREAM), and encompasses research and scholarly activities covering a spectrum of marketing-based inquiry, practice, policy formation and consulting activity.  

These activities include marketing at its interface with entrepreneurship (MEI), consumer behaviour, digital marketing and transformation, marketing at the design-thinking interface, marketing and its impact on economic development, innovative methodologies for market research and marketing strategy.

Group members are active in PhD recruitment and supervision within a number of marketing-related areas which contribute to research streams and provide valuable contributions to knowledge and practice.

Members of the group are active in academic research, but this is also contextualised with the practical application of this research within a commercial environment, and takes into consideration professional body requirements from a practitioner perspective. 

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Members of the group can be found consulting to organisations large and small and acting as Non-Executive Directors for a number of organisations. Such external activities are used to inform and develop teaching, learning and research activities, including course and module design to give students real-life exposure and contextualisation of theory.

Research to inform policy and professional practice

The research interests of the group fall into the following broad areas where marketing interfaces with each construct:

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Economic Development
  • Strategy
  • Creativity

Research projects

The BizX project is an initiative that curates a mixture of ‘practitioner’ focused materials available as a free resource to our regional business community during and post C19.  The content is housed in our 'Exchange' area - part of the Commercial Services Office and is promoted both by the University and the South Wales Chamber of Commerce and professional bodies. 

The content available is a mix of re-purposed content from within (so content that we use as part of our academic activity but cut down to align with an SME audience), new content specifically produced for the crisis (recovery) and also external content that works with what we have and is of obvious interest to the SME community (through and with our external partners and Visiting Fellows). The current demand is for content around digital transformation and marketing creativity/strategy.

All content offered is 'bite sized' (15 mins max watch or read) in line with a TedX format, and will be developed to include workshops and seminars for SMEs dependant upon requested content.


In Wales the Mountain Biking sector alone is thought to contribute upwards of £30M to the rural economy. The cycling sector continues to grow in Wales however the cycling ecosystem is not yet fully understood nor particularly well catered for in terms of economic support and business development opportunities. Using a similar approach that was used for the (then) little understood ‘gastro pub’ sector ecosystem (Deacon and Harris, 1997) whereby we are seeking insight into the connections between businesses, tourism (hospitality), manufacturing, events and policymakers in order to facilitate less network friction and a more robust basis for business decision making within the sector.

This project encapsulates activity across the marketing research group and contributes to research in many diverse areas of marketing.   The annual Telling the Story of Business symposium is a group initiative, is held in January each year, and allows contributors world-wide a platform for sharing their storytelling research with academics and practitioners alike. 

Business storytelling is used within teaching and learning as an alternative approach, to illustrate the rich, thick data that this methodology can expose, and students are encouraged to engage with the method to produce assignments ranging from dissertations to PhD theses which contribute to marketing-related theory, methodology and good professional practice.  

External associates are also involved in this project which reaches out to professional partners, fosters cross-faculty collaboration and network development. The marketing research group is gaining recognition as trailblazing storytelling as a business-research methodology.  Several members of the group belong to the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling


  • Diverse publications, PhD theses and research streams, theoretical development, teaching and learning development, working with businesses to demonstrate how storytelling can be used in strategic/brand development. Symposium has significant impact upon practitioner-based research.  

  • Teaching and learning  using storytelling as a methodological approach.  The concept is embedded within Trends in Marketing and Strategic Marketing post-graduate modules and doctoral supervision.

  • Research: publications, book chapters, also text-book development. 

  • Practitioner contribution: using storytelling as a form of brand development with (particularly online) audiences and consumer stories, stories used to influence consumer behaviour, stories as a market research method to gain deep insight.  Work with BT, CIM, and USW Business Clinic clients is ongoing and informs practice.

Academics within the Marketing Research Group are part of the ASTUTE 2020 (Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies) along with colleagues in SCOPE, Cardiff University, Swansea University, University of Wales Trinity St Davids, and Aberystwyth University. 

ASTUTE 2020 aims to strengthen and support industry in Wales by developing and embedding advanced and sustainable Industry 4.0 technologies into manufacturing companies. 

The project aims to stimulate transformational and sustainable growth by facilitating and de-risking the development and adoption of advanced technologies, increasing competitiveness and future proofing.   


Members of the Marketing Research Group collaborate with manufacturing firms within East Wales on industry-led projects in manufacturing systems engineering, with a particular emphasis on ideation, market identification, user experiences and commercialisation of new product development. Since the ASTUTE 2020 programme began in 2010 it has created: 

  • 383 products, processes or services launched 
  • 42 products, processes, or services registered 
  • 10 enterprises created in West Wales and the Valleys 
  • 174 jobs created in West Wales & the Valleys 
  • Over 250 SMEs benefited from ASTUTE’s assistance 
  • Investment induced of £9,256,336 
  • Total funding applications submitted as a result of ASTUTE interventions of £49,882,644 
  • Potential of savings over 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per year in the UK alone. 

SMEs in Wales and the UK are the fundamental lifeblood to the economy and the socio-economic sustainability with local, regional and national communities.

We work with small and medium sized enterprises within Wales, to help them gain an understanding of the opportunities and barriers to digital transformation within a small organisational context. Members of the Marketing Research Group assist small firms in the of management and training strategies to enable SMEs to facilitate transformation through reciprocated communities of practice and reciprocated customer engagement. 

Academics in the group have worked within a variety of industry and market contexts from leisure and tourism; food and drink production; and marketing/advertising practitioner development of SME needs.


  • Teaching and Learning (SME / entrepreneurial marketing embedded within MSc Marketing and MBA Global modules).
  • Research activity (Research work presented at the Academy of Marketing, The Global Research Symposium for Marketing and Entrepreneurship and the Effectuation Conference ESCP Europe.
  • Consultancy, 2020 (Welsh Cycling, Freshwater, Therefore Corp, Welsh Water).

Recent macro and micro environmental impacts on the socio-economic health of the Welsh economy have exposed the need for a different approach to marketing. No longer are consumers and businesses looking to consume or make profit at any cost. Both consumer and business approaches to value is, and has changed. 

Sustainability, purpose, nearness and localism, health and wellbeing of staff and consumers, as well as diversity and inclusivity have been placed higher in priority over profit at any cost. During Covid-19 there has been a realisation that the economy, communities and support networks are fragile due to the over reliances on globalised supply chains. 

Members of the group are actively researching in the fields of New capitalism; reinvention, renewal, revolution and resilience – agile organisations.

Headline outputs of the research suggests that, generational attitudes and the expectations of changing workforces and investors has meant that the new employee and new employer seek advocacy in relation to wellbeing, environmental issues and work/life balance. 


  • Teaching and Learning (SME / entrepreneurial marketing embedded within MSc Marketing and MBA Global modules).
  • Research activity (conference and research paper presentation/publication).


Visiting Staff

  • Gary Gillespie
  • Luan Wise
  • Dr James Whitehead

Research students

  • Alexander Bowsell, PhD: The Consumer Behaviour of LGBTQ+ Individuals During ‘Pride Month’: A Thematic Analysis
  • Morna Manson, PhD: Customer Tribalism and How Deviant Customer Behaviour Can Impact SMEs
  • Hamad Hazeem, PhD: How to utilise CRM systems to win back HNWI trust and confidence in the banking industry in Bahrain
  • Tina Thomas, PhD: Exploring parental influence on a child’s sports consumer behaviour from a social identity perspective

Contact us

If you would like to know more about our research, commission or collaborate with us, please contact Dr Elizabeth Lloyd-Parkes. 

We welcome UK and international applications from suitably qualified graduates interested in joining us for postgraduate research

Key partners

European marketing Confederation

Welsh Cycling Logo

GB Entrepreneur Awards

Astute Logo - Business Research