Experiential and Services Marketing Research Cluster

Dedicated to aiding service sector organisations, our research focuses on enriching customer relationships through meaningful, sustainable experiences beyond transactional marketing. We explore avenues to foster enduring connections and gain valuable consumer insights, leveraging interdisciplinary expertise from marketing, retail, wellness, tourism & hospitality, and events management.

Through global collaborations with academia, businesses, and policy groups, our research focuses on the service economy, encompassing the entire environment where businesses, residents, customers, policymakers and visitors interact. By empowering businesses, our research facilitates the cultivation of memorable customer experiences, generating value for both them and their local communities.

The cluster operates in collaboration with prominent academic, business, public, and third-sector partners across a diverse range of disciplines. Our collective goal is to establish a robust and critical foundation that can effectively contribute value to the evolving service economy.

By leveraging expertise from various sectors and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, we provide rigorous insights that go beyond conventional approaches. We adopt both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and have a particular interest in the ZMET interview technique and Appreciative Inquiry. Our collaborative effort seeks to anticipate and address the challenges and opportunities that the service economy of tomorrow may present, ensuring our research has a lasting and meaningful impact on the industry.

Our core themes are:

Research Cluster Team

Our research

We work on a wide portfolio of projects varying in size and scope. Our research has been funded by organisations such as Innovate UK, the Academy of Marketing, the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies, the National Centre for Rural Enterprise, the Global Wellness Institute and the EU International Centre for Migration Policy Development.

Our researchers act as Board members and advisors for a range of non-academic regional organisations such as the Cathedral Quarter (Derby) Business Improvement District, Derby City Council and Visit Peak District and Derbyshire. Work produced by the cluster has also informed the UK government and acted as evidence for two tourism-related parliamentary reports (Promoting Britain Abroad and Reimaging Where We Live).

In addition, members of the group act as advisors, committee members and editors for several academic organisations such as the British Academy of Management Marketing & Retail Special Interest Group, THE INC International Conference, the International Journal of Spa & Wellness and several tourism and retail journals. We are also a founding member of the Association of Tourism, Hospitality and Events Networks in Academia (ATHENA).

To support our research interests and those of others, we run a seminar series featuring talks by academics working in the areas of experiential and services marketing. 


Examples of PGR Projects

Exploring the UK High Street department store offering

Postgraduate student Bowen Shang discusses her research on the decline of the department store on the UK high street.

Bowen Shang / ZMET

View Exploring the UK high street department store offering: A ZMET-based retailer brand equity study video transcript

Join us

We welcome applications for doctoral study in areas relating to services marketing, particularly in the retail and tourism industries. Please contact Professor Carley Foster for an informal discussion.