Digital Research in Marketing Group

The Digital Research in Marketing Group at Birmingham Business School prides itself on the development and contribution of knowledge to both academia and industry, domestically and internationally.

With a focus on digital technology, we cover a wide range of topics that investigate the interaction of individuals and groups, and their consumption practices, as well as the use of technology in business markets. At the heart of our research is the desire to drive ethical and responsible practices by consumers and brands, utilising the many benefits of digital technology and trying to overcome some of the drawbacks that these technologies present to individuals and society more widely. We explore the use of digital technology in the experiences and consumption of branded content, alcohol, food, conceptual art, social media, retail and education; and examine the role of identity and profiling in the transformation of day-to-day practices these technologies invite. 

We have connections with several notable societies and research centres including the Consumer and Organisational Digital Analytics (CODA) research centre at King’s College London, the Lloyd’s Centre for Responsible Business, the Academy of Marketing and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. We have also been awarded several prestigious grants from the ESRC, EPSRC, Marie-Curie Fellowship (European Union funding) and the British Academy. Members of the group have hosted or contributed to several notable workshops for academic, business and public engagement including ESRC social science festivals, creativity workshops at the Birmingham City Centre Library and on the University campus. You may have seen us on BBC Breakfast TV, in several newspapers and magazines including The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Times of India, Women’s Health Magazine, Cosmopolitan and many others; or you may even have heard of us on BBC Radio 4 giving expert opinions on various programmes including a documentary series. 

If you are interested in hearing about us, or wish to engage with us, our research or our creative output, please get in touch with the Group Coordinator, Dr David Houghton, whose details are below. We’d also like to hear from you if you are considering studying a PhD that covers any of the research areas above, or tangential disciplines; for this, please contact our PhD Pathway Director, Dr Sheena Leek.


As well as a number of high profile research papers and awarded grants, we have also presented at a number of specialist and general marketing and digital conferences. These include The Academy of Marketing conference, The Academy of Marketing Science conference, The American Marketing Association conference, European Academy of Management, European Institute of Retailing and Services Studies, the Consumer Culture Theory conference, and the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.


Our notable publications form several themes. These themes are not exclusive, as some articles can belong to multiple, but they indicate the focus of the work and the group, more broadly. 

Attitudes and Behaviour 

Manika, D., Gregory-Smith, D.,& Papagiannidis S. (in press). The influence of knowledge structures on website attitudes and behavioural intentions.Computers in Human Behavior, DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2017.09.024; available online at

Leek, S., Houghton, D. J., & Canning, L. (2018). Twitter and behavioral engagement in the healthcare sector: An examination of product and service companies. Industrial Marketing Management, xx, xx-xx (Online November 2017). 

Manika, D., Gregory-Smith, D.,& Antonetti, P. (2017). Pride in health-related technological interventions: A double-edged sword. Psychology & Marketing, 34, 410–427, DOI: 10.1002/mar.20997. 

Marder, B. L., Houghton, D. J., Joinson, A. N., Shankar, A., & Bull, E. (2016). Understanding the psychological process of avoidance-based self-regulation on Facebook. CyberPsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 19(5), 321-327.

Leek, S., Canning, L., & Houghton, D. J. (2016). Revisiting the Task Media Fit Model in the era of Web 2.0: Twitter use and interaction in the healthcare sector. Industrial Marketing Management, 54, 25-32 (Online January 2016). 

Hodder, A., & Houghton, D. (2015). Union Use of Social Media: A Study of the University and College Union on Twitter, New Technology Work and Employment, 30(3), 173-189. 

Yalkin, C., Kerrigan, F., &vom Lehn, D. (2013). Legitimization of the Role of the Nation State: Understanding of and Reactions to Internet Censorship in Turkey. New Media and Society, 16(2): 271-289. 

Barnes, S. J., & Pressey, A. D. (2012). In search of the ‘meta maven’? An examination of market maven behavior across real-life, web and virtual world marketing channels. Psychology and Marketing, 29(3), 167-185. 

Reppel, A.,& Szmigin, I. (2010). Consumer-managed profiling: A contemporary interpretation of privacy in buyer-seller interactions. Journal of Marketing Management, 26(3), 321-342. 


Thomas, L., Briggs, P., Kerrigan, F.,& Hart, A. (2018). Exploring Digital Remediation in support of personal reflection. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 110, 53-62. 

Marder, B. L., Shankar, A., Houghton, D. J., & Joinson, A. N. (2017). ‘What if my mum sees it?’: Examination of visible brand interaction in the presence of a wider network. Information Technology and People, 30(1). 

Gregory-Smith, D., & Manika, D. (2017). Drinking identities and compartmentalisation: A study of alcohol consumption. Journal of Marketing Management, 33(11-12), 942-972, DOI: 10.1080/0267257X.2017.1310126. 

Thomas, L., Briggs, P., Hart, A., &Kerrigan, F. (2017) Understanding social media and identity work in young people transitioning to university. Computers in Human Behavior, 76, 541-553. 

Kerrigan, F., & Hart, A. (2016). Theorising digital personhood: a dramaturgical approach. Journal of Marketing Management, 32(17-18), 1701-1721. 

Marder, B. L., Joinson, A. N., Shankar, A., & Houghton, D. J. (2016). The extended ‘chilling’ effect of Facebook: The cold reality of ubiquitous social networking. Computers in Human Behavior, 60, 582-592.

Pressey, A. D., Salceivene, L., & Barnes, S. J. (2013). Do Emotional States Influence Higher-Order Needs in Virtual Worlds? Evidence from Second Life. International Journal of Online Marketing, 3(1), 31-46. 

Barnes, S. J., & Pressey, A. D. (2012). Who Needs Real-Life? Examining Needs in Virtual Worlds. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 52(4), 40-48. 

Consumption and Communities 

Kerrigan, F., &Graham, G. (2010) Interaction of regional news-media production and consumption through the social space. Journal of Marketing Management, 26(3&4), 302-320. 

Hackley, C., Bengry-Howell, A., Griffin, C., Mistral, W., Szmigin, I., Tiwasakul, R.(2013). Young Adults and ‘Binge’ Drinking: A Bakhtinian Analysis. Journal of Marketing Management, 29(7-8),933-949. 

Moraes, C., Carrigan, M., &Szmigin, I. (2012). The Coherence of Inconsistencies: Attitude-Behaviour Gaps and New Consumption Communities. Journal of Marketing Management, 28(1-2),103-128. 

Szmigin, I., Hackley, C., Bengry- Howell, A., Griffin, C., & Mistral, W.(2011). Social Marketing in a Culture of Intoxication. European Journal of Marketing, 45(5), 759-779. 

Bekin, C., Szmigin, I.,& Carrigan, M. (2010). Living production-engaged alternatives: An examination of new consumption communities. Consumption, Markets and Culture, 13(3), 273–298. 

Consumer Complaints and Misbehaviour 

Istanbulluoglu, D. (2017). Complaint Handling on Social Media: The Impact of Multiple Response Times on Consumer Satisfaction. Computers in Human Behavior, 74, 72-82. 

Istanbulluoglu, D., Leek S, & Szmigin, I. (2017). Beyond Exit and Voice: Developing an Integrated Typology of Consumer Complaining. European Journal of Marketing, 51(5/6). 

Barnes, S. J., & Pressey, A. D. (2014). Caught in the Web? Addictive Behaviour in Cyberspace and the Role of Goal-Orientation. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 86, 93-109. 

Members of Digital Research in Marketing Group

Group Lead

Dr. David Houghton

Senior Lecturer in Marketing 

Telephone: +44 (0)121 415 2542

David is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham. Currently the Programme Director for BSc Business Management with Marketing, he has a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Bath, and an undergraduate degree in Psychology. His research centres on the psychology of communication online, with a specific interest in the way that consumers interact with brand content, and how this is utilised by brands for marketing. Combined with an interest in technology, privacy and security, David’s research covers a wide area, but ultimately looks to identify how people interact using modern technological platforms.

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David Houghton

Deputy Group Lead

Dr. Doga Istanbulluoglu 

Lecturer in Marketing, Director of Undergraduate Business Management with Marketing Programmes

Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 8592

Dr Doga Istanbulluoglu is a lecturer in the marketing department. Her research interests focus on consumer behaviour on social media with a particular interest in consumer complaining, WOM, user-created content and brand communities.

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Doga Istanbulluoglu

Dr. Sheena Leek

Senior Lecturer in Marketing

Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 6226

Sheena joined the Birmingham Business School from the University of Cardiff in September 2004. In the area of business to business marketing she is interested in the role of information technology on communication within business relationships, the role of social capital in initiating relationships and branding. Within consumer behaviour her research interests include consumer confusion in high tech areas such as the mobile phone industry and convenience and healthy eating.

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Sheena Leek

Dr. Andrew Pressey

Reader in Marketing 

Telephone: +44 (0)121 415 8179

Andrew is a Reader in Marketing at the University of Birmingham, and Deputy Head of the Department of Marketing at Birmingham Business School (BBS). 

He has published (or has forthcoming) in excess of forty journal articles. He has won a number of awards for his research (including Emerald Management Reviews Citation of Excellence, and from the British Academy of Marketing), and acted as guest editor for the Journal of Marketing ManagementJournal of Business and Industrial MarketingIndustrial Marketing Management, and Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

Andrew is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of Marketing Management, and a member of the editorial board of Industrial Marketing Management and editorial advisory board for the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing. He has over eighteen years of teaching and research experience in UK universities and overseas at all academic levels (including UG, PG, executive education, and MBA), and also has extensive programme leadership experience.  

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Andrew Pressey

Professor Isabelle Szmigin 

Deputy Dean of Birmingham Business School, Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer, Professor of Marketing

Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 7357

Isabelle Szmigin has published in a wide range of academic journals including Sociology, Psychology and Marketing, The European Journal of Marketing, and the Journal of Business Research. She is on the editorial advisory board of the International Marketing Review, and the editorial board of the European Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Advertising Research.

Her research interests lie in the area of conceptualising consumer behaviour and understanding the social and policy issues concerned with consumption. Her book Understanding the Consumer examines the complexity and unpredictability of consumers in the marketplace of the twenty first century. 

Isabelle has held ESRC and British Academy Grants and is currently Principle Investigator on a European Foundation for Alcohol Research examining Lifestyle, social media and alcohol consumption. She is also Co-Investigator on an Alcohol Research UK Grant looking at Alcohol marketing to young people via social media and its implication for advertising codes of practice (PI, Professor Christine Griffin, University of Bath). 

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Isabelle Szmigin

Dr Louise Hassan 

Associate Professor in Marketing

Louise (蕭永真) is a consumer psychologist particularly interested in responsible consumption including understanding risky consumption choices and consumer decision-making regarding ethics and sustainable choices. A further interest lies in information processing and persuasion including how best to utilise tools such as product warnings to inform consumers.  She has undertaken projects evaluating policy interventions such as evaluating the introduction of smoke-free legislation in Scotland and evaluating the European Union’s HELP – for a life without tobacco campaign.  She is currently undertaking an interdisciplinary funded project (over £450k) examining sustainability issues regarding consumers’ mask wearing choices. Louise’s research most often adopts quantitative methodologies given her statistics background, but she also incorporates qualitative methodologies within her research work.

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Dr. Inci Toral Manson

Teaching Fellow

Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 4848

Inci has worked in the retail banking industry as a manager, and as a project manager for different technology and banking institutions and has been involved in a number of projects in change and restructuring. The title of her PhD was The Role of Interorganisational Tension and Conflict in Market Creation Practice. This thesis was supervised by Professor Mark Palmer, Dr. Ronan de Kervenoael and Dr.Luigi de Luca. She is now working on publishing her thesis in range of marketing, organisational and technology journal outlets.

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Mr. Julian Barnes 

Doctoral researcher

Julian is a current doctoral researcher on the ESRC 1+3 scholarship. He joined following a career in online marketing and analytics working across a range of industries for companies such as EMI Music, Vodafone and National Express. Prior to this Julian had 10 years in a range of supply chain planning roles for the beauty company Coty. 

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Julian Barnes

Elena Osadchaya

Doctoral researcher

Elena is a doctoral researcher in Marketing at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham. She is a holder of the Business School Doctoral Research Studentship. Before joining the University of Birmingham, Elena completed two Master’s degrees with distinction: MA International Business and MSc by Research in Management (Marketing).  

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If you require any further information on the group or would like to find out more about our research interests please email the group lead, Dr David Houghton (

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