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Dr Lizette Vorster


Department: Newcastle Business School

Interdisciplinary academic combining research in marketing, consumer behaviour and social psychology, with a particular focus on the role of marketing in facilitating consumer engagement and marketplace wellbeing in superdiverse societies. By incorporating a sociological perspective and creative design thinking into strategic and applied research avenues, my approach dictates: 1.) attention to nuanced intricacies of contemporary societies, 2.) use of innovative methods, like socio-semiotic multimodal analysis, to improve understanding of real-world problems, and 3.) pursuit of collaborative means to solve these real-world problems with an extended stakeholder network including consumer co-creation projects.

Teaching in multiple communication subjects including Digital Marketing, Marketing, Campaign Management, Advertising Analysis and Report Writing, International Marketing and Creative Industries. My teaching experience also includes digital lab sessions and individual sessions with junior members of staff, honing creative skills and crafting creative projects for commercial use.

I am also an award winning marketing practitioner with insight into working in developing countries and both Western and Non-Western contexts.


Lizette Vorster

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My research combines marketing, consumer behaviour and social psychology, with a particular focus on the role of creative marketing communications in facilitating consumer engagement and marketplace wellbeing. Furthermore, my research examines the social role of marketers in aiding intercultural relations and informing policy development in diverse communities through intercultural marketing strategy. I am a qualitative mixed methods researcher and use a range of innovative methodological tools like in-depth interviews with visual-elicitation, diaries, socio-semiotic multimodal analysis; critical visual analysis and systematic reviews of grey sources.

My key research projects include:

1. The Sustainable Role of Marketing in Connecting Marketplace Actors (2016, ongoing)
My research draws lessons from marketers’ versus consumers’ visions of community building agendas, to identify lags in marketing’s institutional vision for representing and cultivating ‘lived multiculture’. Currently based within the South African context, investigating National Heritage Day as a case study of Rainbow Nation ideology. Using a socio-semiotic multimodal analysis approach, I examine Rainbow Nation representations and meaning-making from both perspectives and build on socio-cognitive legitimacy strategies within Neo-Institutional Theory. My work argues that existing marketing strategy, such as multicultural marketing, is not sufficient in addressing expectations of consumer spheres where non-optimal lived realities necessitate developments in intercultural interactions and community development. Through combining traditional marketing with social science theories - Intergroup Contact Theory and Creolization - I propose Intercultural Marketing Theory as a developmental direction to engage consumers and cultivate synergistic marketplace interactions.

2. Consumer Wellbeing in a Multicultural Marketplace (2018, ongoing)
This project is part of my ongoing engagement in the Transformative Consumer Research (TCR) movement and, broadly, focuses on understanding and defining the role of (multi)cultural marketing activity on wellbeing of individuals and communities in culturally diverse markets with a particular focus on the effects of advertising (mis)representation on identity threat and inclusion/exclusion perceptions in the marketplace. Future research related to this project spans beyond 2021 and includes multiple avenues of dissemination, such as: papers in international journals, development of curricula and educational tools (for example a mobile application and digital repository for researchers, students and marketing professionals). TCR is a movement within the Association for Consumer Research (ACR - that seeks to encourage, support, and publicize research that benefits consumer welfare and quality of life for all beings affected by consumption across the world.

Key Publications


  • Multi-disciplinary Design BA (Hons) November 28 2008
  • Marketing and Market Research PhD
  • Certificate Strategy & Business Models 2016
  • Certificate Business Writing 2016
  • Certificate Marketing Analytics 2015
  • Certificate Game Design 2015
  • Certificate Web design 2014

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