Think marketing is only about advertising? Then you need to listen to this. In a podcast of easy-listening conversations, Dr Paul Harrison and Dr Gini Weber delve into the world of marketing, research, and how it impacts our everyday lives.
How do you transform complicated research into accessible, understandable know-how?
Deakin Business School’s (DBS) Dr Paul Harrison says it’s nothing to do with ‘dumbing down’ and everything to do with simplifying.
Communicating academic knowledge and research into everyday language is one of the hallmarks of Dr Harrison’s career, and for the past decade he’s been a familiar face, voice, and writer across many of Australia’s television, radio and news outlets.
Now with colleague Dr Gini Weber, he co-hosts a popular podcast – The Marketing Lab (at Deakin) – that explores the world of marketing, business and culture through the lens of DBS’s Department of Marketing.
While podcasts may seem like a relatively recent trend, Dr Harrison began using the platform 16 years ago as an innovative way to talk about marketing, research, society and culture.
‘Back then nobody had any idea what it meant but a podcast is really about having a conversation and it’s a platform with which I’m really comfortable and confident,’ he says.
Dr Harrison and Dr Weber both specialise in teaching and research that revolves around consumer and human behaviour, marketing technologies, and wellbeing.
‘We explore what marketing tells us about current events, culture and society through the lens of our research specialities,’ says Dr Weber.
Wellbeing, or what’s good for humanity says Dr Harrison, is the foundation for research into marketing.
‘The overarching view of marketing is not about selling more stuff but rather how can the knowledge we have help people lead more fulfilling lives. As academics we have a responsibility to a much broader community, so that even when we do research that helps companies make more money, there should always be an ethical and wellbeing framework that sits underneath.’
With 18 episodes recorded, the podcast covers a range of contemporary topics, features regular special guests, and attracts a large global audience.
‘We have thousands of listeners all over the world from all sorts of backgrounds,’ says Dr Harrison.
‘Our audience is people who are curious about human behaviour and the way that marketing influences how we live our lives. Through our networks, we’re also able to tap into the expertise of colleagues anywhere in the world who are always willing to share their insights and perspectives on the podcast.’
So why is it important to have an academic perspective on matters of marketing?
Because any real insight into a discipline is nuanced and that complexity deserves to be understood by a broader audience says Dr Harrison.
‘The more we can get people thinking that the world is not binary, that there’s not a simple answer to everything, the more willing they’ll be to accept doubt and accept the idea that any problem requires more effort than pressing a smartphone. Our job as academics and researchers is to not only simplify difficult ideas but also to remind people that most problems are actually quite complex and multi-faceted.’