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Dr Alan Shaw

Senior Lecturer: Digital Marketing

Department: Newcastle Business School

 Dr Alan Shaw

Dr Alan Shaw is a senior lecturer in Digital Marketing at the University of Northumbria. Prior to joining Northumbria, he worked for a number of universities, including the University of Huddersfield and Sheffield Hallam University. He has a PhD in Social Marketing, which focused on the challenges of influencing positive health behaviours of those individuals living with diabetes.

Alan’s main research interests are in Social Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Social Network Analysis, Social Listening. Much of his research focuses on the health sector because of his experience of working within epilepsy, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, inborn metabolic disorders and wound management sectors. Alan has been involved in patient advocacy groups and helped the Expert Patients Programme transition from being part of the NHS to becoming a community interest company (CIC) then a charity. He is also a Trustee at XPERT Health, a national charity supporting diabetics through structured education and a director of Strategic Planet Ltd, a boutique digital marketing agency.

Alan has over 25 years’ experience of working in industry, much of this was in the health sector. Some notable deliverables were 1) the role out of the concept home delivery for prescription products related to individuals living with Phenylketonuria (PKU) in the UK and a number of European countries, 2) the development of a digital ‘Keto-Calculator’ to support the management of paediatric epilepsy, and 3) the design of a patient management system to support the concept home delivery for prescription products in Australia.

Campus Address

CCE1 012
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne

0191 227 3664


PhD, FHEA, PGDip (Marketing), MSc, BSc (Hons)

Research Themes & Scholarly Interests

Social Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Social Network Analysis, Social Listening.

Professional Activity

Dr Shaw’s professional activities include:

  • Being a director of Strategic Planet Ltd.
  • Speaking about Social Listening at the Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry conference and providing a workshop on how practitioners should implement it.
  • Running a workshop for the Department of International Trade and the Chartered Institute of Marketing on ‘How to sell your B2C offering globally via e-commerce’.

Sponsors & Collaborators

Working with Xpert Health, a national provider of diabetes structured education to the NHS, looking at creating digital platforms that are integrated between patient and General Practitioner (GP).

Current/Recent Projects

Dr Shaw’s recent projects include:

  • Analysing the perceptions using social media in ‘Small and Medium Sized-Enterprises’ (SMEs) classed as Business to Business (B2B) providers. This research was completed for the Marketing Trust.
  • Designing and delivering a digital animation programme to support Xpert Health’s Type II diabetes course: a national programme provided by the NHS.
  • Completing a ‘Social Return On Investment’ review for a social enterprise in Leeds to support their funding bid to the Big Lottery Fund: the received just under £500K to support them over a five year period.
  • Working on a European Regional Development Fund project supporting ‘Small and Medium Sized-Enterprises’ (SMEs) in the Yorkshire and Humberside region to prosper and grow. He supported over 50 enterprises over a two-year period.

Key Publications/Outputs


Shaw, A (In Press) ‘Using the social return on investment framework to evaluate behaviour changes of individuals living with learning difficulties’. Social Marketing Quarterly.

Shaw, A (2011) ‘Market segmentation and the impact of online media’. Journal of Medical Marketing: Device, Diagnostic and Pharmaceutical Marketing, 11 (3), pp. 254-262. ISSN 1745-7904



Boumsoud, W.I., Canavan, B., Shaw, A., and Suleiman, Y (2018). ‘Social Marketing and Sustainable Tourism: A Systematic Review of Research Papers 2000-2017’. In: European Social Marketing Conference, 6-7th September 2018, Antwerp, Belgium.

Shaw, A. (2017). ‘Adapting Bronfenbrenner’s Bio-ecology Theory to Enhance Social Marketing’. In: World Social Marketing Conference, 16-17th May 2017, Washington DC, USA.

Shaw, A (2014) ‘The suitability of SROI to assess Social Marketing Campaigns’. In: ‘Broadening the Scope’ Proceedings ISM Open Conference 2014 : The Open University. pp. 57-59.

Shaw, A (2014) ‘Should Social Marketing Campaigns be centralised or decentralised?’ In: Academy of Marketing Conference, 7-10th July 2014, Bournemouth University

Shaw, A (2014) ‘How to enhance the Social Ecological Framework by incorporating Bronfenbrenner’s Process, Person, Context and Time Model.’ In: Academy of Marketing Conference, 7-10th July 2014, Bournemouth University

Shaw, A (2014) ‘Using Social Marketing To Change the Health Behaviours of Individuals Living With Diabetes.’ In: Academy of Marketing Conference, 7-10th July 2014, Bournemouth University

Shaw, A (2013) ‘The business of healthcare’. In: Interdisciplinary Research Seminar, February 2013, Hull



PGR Supervision

Dr Shaw is looking for potential PhD students focusing on social marketing or social listening.

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