Online culture expert comes to Sydney
22 July 2008
Dr Robert Kozinets, international on-line communities and branding expert, says consumers have awoken to the fact that they have power over marketers.
A visiting professor at the University of Sydney's Faculty of Economics and Business, Dr Kozinets will present a keynote address at a marketing awards ceremony today discussing how consumers are regaining their power over mass marketers and starting an on-line revolution.
"The barrier between producers and consumers has fallen," said Dr Kozinets at the NSW AMI Awards for Marketing excellence. "Selling a product is no longer a one-way street where companies dictate an agenda to naïve consumers.
"The advent of on-line communication tools like Facebook, You Tube and blog sites have made consumers more aware of the power they have to generate their own content for their own purposes."
He said there are many examples now of how small but passionate online communities have affected significant change in the way business is done, and believes it is vital that ethnographic research into this area continue despite the difficulties involved in capturing and measuring data.
"There is an increasing interest from marketers to understand this on-line revolution, so part of my role as a spokesperson for the industry is to inspire a new generation of researchers to take up the cause and delve further into communal consumer culture."
Dr Kozinets was lured to the University off Sydney by the Head of the Discipline of Marketing, Professor Paul Henry. Professor Henry and his colleague Dr Marylouise Caldwell met Kozinets at the Association of Consumer Research Annual Film Festival in 2002 while presenting an ethnographic film about the Cliff Richard fan club in Sydney.
"I'm honored to speak about my work in a place like the University for Sydney, which so highly values research excellence. And, if I inspire just one PhD student to investigate this subject further, it has been well worth travelling for."
Dr Kozinets will be at the University of Sydney advising Faculty of Economics and Business PhD and Masters students until 3 October.
About Dr Kozinets
Robert Kozinets is Associate Professor of Marketing at York University's Schulich School of Business in Toronto. He has been a full-time faculty member of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Business.
He is recognised as a global leader in the application of anthropological marketing research to the online environment. He co-edited the book Consumer Tribes in 2007 and will publish Netnography: Researching Cultures and Communities Online, in 2009.
Contact: Mandy Sacher-Grusd
Phone: 02 911-40622