Social marketing research centre launched

Griffith academic Sharyn Rundle-Thiele sits behind her office desk.
Associate Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele.

Griffith Business School launched Queensland’s first research centre for social marketing on Friday night. It is only the second social marketing centre in Australia.

Social Marketing @ Griffith is the first social marketing research centre to extend its focus beyond health, to include a broad range of areas needing change.

Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Powell officially opened Social Marketing @ Griffith at the Ship Inn Function Room on Griffith’s South Bank campus.

President of the Australian Association of Social Marketing, Rebekah Russell-Bennett was the guest speaker at the launch.

Associate Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele is to be the inaugural director of the Social Marketing @ Griffith Centre which currently includes 24 full-time staff and students.

“The potential for social marketing to influence behaviour for the better continues to gain recognition and respect with high growth in the field in recent years,” Dr Rundle-Thiele said.

“It is important to build on this momentum and the establishment of this research centre is a significant step.”

Social marketing involves the use of commercial marketing techniques to influence and facilitate behaviours that benefit individuals and communities.

Social Marketing @ Griffith researchers are currently developing and evaluating a variety of projects addressing Australia’s drinking culture, the obesity epidemic and the struggle to make time for physical activity.

A study of eating habits in the Australian Defence Force and a school-based program aimed at changing teenage attitudes to alcohol are two leading projects at present.

Attitudes towards human trafficking are also under the social marketing microscope.

“Marketing’s very success has led some to view marketing as a negative force that stimulates unnecessary demand,” Associate Professor Rundle-Thiele said.

“Social Marketing @ Griffith is building a substantial base of evidence to show that marketing can be used for social good and the betterment of society.”