Research marketing

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction plus a social media overreaction.

Topic: Event

A brave new world: Digital Marketing MBA Masterclass

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📥  Event, social

I’ve only recently joined the Research Marketing team but have been at the University for a couple of years now. One of the advantages I’ve found from working here is having a wealth of academic knowledge in such close proximity, and easily accessible. So when I heard that the School of Management was running a free MBA Masterclass in Digital Marketing how could I say no?

After work on Tuesday I made my way over to the Executive Development Suite in The Edge (very nice, I recommend you take a peek) to see ‘Seven Pillars of Digital Marketing’ by Don Lancaster, Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Researcher.

I’ve pulled out some highlights and my favourite facts from Don’s talk below, and you can watch the recording of the Masterclass in full at the end of the post.

Current marketing landscape

Don started his talk by laying out the landscape: 50% of all advertising budget worldwide is spent on Digital, and the biggest growth sector is mobile. Spending on mobile marketing has gone up 44% in the last year alone.

We all know that our websites have to be mobile friendly (bounce rates of non-mobile websites are 85 – 90%) but there is much more to mobile than just your website – text, email, apps and geo services are all key to fully utilising the Mobile channel.


With digital marketing we are now talking to ‘Digital Natives’ – Generation Connected, Gen C, the YouTube Generation. These are people who probably can't remember the 90's and will never know what it’s like to only have one hour of internet each day. Gen C are digitally savvy, constantly switching devices and multi screening throughout the day; but only have an attention span of seven seconds.

Big data

Now, being a millennial and a marketing professional I consider myself pretty clued up on the ways of the web, but this section of Don’s talk made my eyes widen.

As regular web users we all know and accept that our activity online is tracked and used to sell us stuff, but do we really know how much information is being gathered – and how many people it is being sold to?

Along with our searches and web history, they collate and connect many different sources of information including: IP address, Census data, where you work, ATMs you use, your GPS location, train stations you travel from, how long you spend in the gym, your shoe size… and that’s only the beginning.

With one search or page visit, you give away almost 600 snippets of information about yourself. But how many of us only make one search or visit one page a day? I just checked my history, and yesterday I visited around 80 sites - and that's just on my work PC. If we double that (at least!) for my phone that means yesterday I gave away around 108,000 snippets of info about myself (including the fact I like The Lion King, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and am searching for a new lunchbox).

In total across the net over 1.8 trillion pieces of information are recorded every day. In numbers that's 1,800,000,000,000.

For a sense of scale, here is what 1 trillion stars in the Andromeda galaxy looks like. Double that, and you’re pretty close to the number of pieces of information that is gathered on people including you and me. Every. Single. Day.

What is digital good for?

  • Amplification – A marketing stunt that takes place in the city streets may be seen by 100 people live, but with digital that can then be broadcast to millions for free.
  • Participation – ALS ice bucket challenge anyone? Digital is a great way to get people involved in your brand activities on and offline.
  • Connection – Digital allows you to be friendly and build personal connections with your audience, but this can be a double edged sword. Consumers expect to receive a response from brands within one hour – but how many companies are able to deliver that 24/7?

The Seven Pillars

Watch the recording to see some great examples of these being implemented:

  • Social
  • Film
  • Mobile
  • Big data
  • Native advertising
  • ‘Out of home’ digital display
  • Full integration

What’s next for digital?

In today’s changing landscape Don says that companies need to think past the sell, and work out how they can play a positive and useful role in people’s daily lives. Great examples of this include the Nike Run Club and the fleet of safety drones from insurance company Direct Line.

Don predicts that in the near future there will be no distinction between Marketing and Digital Marketing, as digital becomes even more integral to our day-to-day life. As marketeers, we need to make sure we can keep up.

Watch the talk here:

panopto donal


Marketing Saiful Islam's Ri Christmas Lectures

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📥  Event, Research news, social

Hopefully in between mince pies and merriment you caught this year's Royal Institution (Ri) CHRISTMAS LECTURES broadcast on BBC FOUR over three nights during the festive period and delivered by our very own Professor Saiful Islam.

Professor Saiful Islam - this year's Ri Christmas Lecturer.

Professor Saiful Islam - this year's Ri Christmas Lecturer. (Photo Credit - Paul Wilkinson).

In the time between Saiful being announced as the Ri's Christmas Lecturer for its 80th Anniversary year last August, through to broadcast over Christmas, we worked closely with him and the team at the Ri to ensure we made the most of the event from a marketing perspective - both in terms of Saiful's own research and expertise, as well as for the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, the Department of Chemistry and the University more generally.

'Supercharged: Fuelling the future'

From our end this included a range of marketing outputs: a new online feature on Saiful's journey; an extensive social media campaign across all channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) which included video teasers for the lectures and competition to win tickets for filming; new printed materials to promote the lectures to our students; mail-shots out to our alumni; and of course use of the Digital screens around campus to highlight his involvement.


In addition to all the preparations for filming, at the Ri our colleagues created a dedicated CHRISTMAS LECTURE section of the website; arranged photoshoots; created new printed collateral; and mailed their many thousands of subscribers about Saiful's involvement.

We also worked very closely with the Ri on media exposure too. Of the 150 pieces of national and international coverage across print and broadcast media particular highlights included features in the Observer 'You need more than one electric eel to light a Christmas tree'; an interview for Radio 4's Start The Week with Andrew Marr; as well as coverage across other national print media and, crucially, in the Christmas Radio Times!

All combined, with online traffic to the various marketing initiatives and press coverage, this helped capture an audience in the 100,000s in advance of broadcast. Viewing figures for the CHRISTMAS LECTURES - now available to watch again via the Ri Channel – suggest these were watched by over 1.7 million.

Follow on engagements

Fresh from his Christmas appearances, once back on campus in early January my colleague Chris arranged for Saiful to take part in Reddit AMA looking back at the lectures and focusing in on Saiful's own research. This has had an online reach of 7.5 million (for more on our AMAs see this other blog post).

In late January we then publicised new research from Saiful on developing faster, recharging lithium batteries which has already received significant national and international coverage.

The Ri held a Family Fun Day in early February in which Saiful gave mini-lectures (with bangs) and PhD students from the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies presented a hands-on exhibit on green energy.

We're now eagerly awaiting Bath Taps into Science, where Saiful's family talk on Wednesday night has already sold out, and looking further ahead to Saiful's involvement in our 6 May University of Bath Festival.


Each year tickets to watch filming of the Ri's CHRISTMAS LECTURES are allocated by a ballot in September. This is open to Ri Members and UK schools; you can find out more about supporting the charity by becoming a member here


Engaging our followers through Facebook Live

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📥  Event

Promoting our research and expertise using social media is not a new thing, but over this past year we’ve done much more to think about the ways in which we’re using our main social channels to grow our audiences and better engage people with our stories.  

For the University’s Twitter and Facebook, we’ve seen a significant jump in numbers for our followers and much more engagement (retweets / likes) to boot. More than 50,000 people now follow @uniofbath on Twitter and our Facebook page (/uniofbath) has over 55,000 likes.

That’s a huge audience of students past and present, parents, important stakeholders from different sectors, international partners, media contacts; not to mention staff and members of the local community, each getting updates on our activities on a daily basis.

With better planning of more engaging content (videos, photos, GIFs) we’ve grown our audience and we’re getting more interaction (leading to increased web traffic on our site) as a result.

Going live

For the last two months we’ve also trialled Facebook Live events. This format grew in prominence in 2016 having been adopted by certain media organisations and high profile individuals.

Facebook Live is a free service enabling Facebook users to film content on their iPhones or tablets to broadcast to their followers. As it goes out, followers pose questions, comment on discussions, and others can watch again after the event if they missed it live the first time.

Facebook Live in our Department of Poltitics, Languages & International Studies

Facebook Live in our Department of Poltitics, Languages & International Studies

We’ve used this twice, both times with the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies, drawing on the expertise of their researchers to comment on the big issues of the day: Trump and Brexit in November (with Professor Charlie Lees) and Europe at a crossroads in December (with Professor Anna Bull and Dr Aurelien Mondon - see our videos below).

These are broadcasts of between 20-30 minutes, filmed in 1W on an iPhone, and timed to coincide with people’s lunch breaks (they went out at 12.30PM). With just two examples they’ve shown the potential in using this format to tell other research stories from right across the University in 2017. Upcoming events could include demonstrating research live, going into labs and conducting interviews out and about on campus; we're working on plans.

Our November Live event drew a crowd of nearly 2,000 and our December Live event, filmed on Wednesday 21 December, has already significantly surpassed that (and will continue to grow in reach). Both elicited interesting questions and discussion points from far and wide.

Watch again

Europe at a crossroads in 2017

  • John Evans is joined by Aurelien Mondon and Anna Bull - 21 December 2016
  • Watch again 

From Trump to Brexit

  • Andy Dunne and Charlie Lees discuss a tumultuous year in UK politics and the election of President Trump in the US - 10 November
  • Watch again 

My thanks to Sophie in our marketing team who has been leading much of this work and was on hand to film both. From January onwards we’ll be running more of these, so stay tuned and Merry Christmas / Happy New Year in the meantime!

International Images of Research

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📥  50th anniversary, Event

We had an opportunity on campus last week to celebrate and share our Images of Research with international colleagues visiting from Brazil and, in turn, to learn more about the kinds of projects they are involved in through some brand new, international Images of Research. 

This was all part of a reception, hosted to celebrate our partnership and shared interests with Unicamp, our Brazilian partners who also celebrate 50 years in 2016.

We were able to share our Images of Research with international colleagues from Unicamp at a reception held on campus last week.

We were able to share our Images of Research with international colleagues from Unicamp at a reception held on campus last week.

Celebrating international collaboration

For the past three weeks, 23 of our colleagues from Brazil have been on campus participating in a new course, designed through our Skills Centre, that will foster greater collaborations in the future - more about which you can read here.

During last Wednesday’s reception, Ed Stevens from our Public Engagement Unit, who organise the Images of Research initiative, spoke of the success in uptake we’ve seen in 2016 – this year we received the highest number of entries ever (50) with representation from right across the University and from the academic community at all stages of their careers.

After Ed we heard quick fire presentations from 10 researchers, five from Bath who talked about their Images of Research entries, and five from Unicamp, who displayed their own image and explained their work’s relevance, impacts and potential collaborations in just 5 minutes.

Bath researchers

From Bath it was a chance for Caroline Hickman, Ammar Azzouz, Paul de Bank, Cassie Phoenix and Jamie Francis-Jones to summarise their winning entries for the competition. From Caroline’s through to Jamie’s, these images cover an array of topics such as how our relationship with pets could help shape interventions for Alzheimer’s right through to the development of new optical fibres.

You’ll be able to find more about each of their Images of Research by clicking on the links above.

Unicamp researchers

Topics covered by Unicamp researchers were equally diverse, from the philosophy of happiness right through to carcinogens and future food engineering.

Tristan Torriani

Download Tristan's poster as a PDF.

Click to download Patricia's poster as a PDF.

Download Patricia's poster as a PDF.

Download Afredo's poster as a PDF.

Click to download the Marcelo's poster as a PDF

Please contact me if you would like a copy of Marcelo's poster!

Click to download Adriana's poster as a PDF.

Download Adriana's poster as a PDF.

If you’re interested in contacting any of the 5 Unicamp researchers to discuss potential collaborations please let me know.


Rain couldn’t stop play at water-themed Festival of Nature

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📥  50th anniversary, Event

Apocalyptic downpours could not deter nearly 2,000 visitors who came to Festival of Nature events in Bath last weekend to interact with researchers from our Milner Centre for Evolution and Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT).

Professor Jonathan Knight speaking at the Festival of Nature launch event in The Colonnades, Bath.

Professor Jonathan Knight speaking at the Festival of Nature launch event in The Colonnades, Bath.

The Festival – the UK’s largest free celebration of the natural world – is organised through the Bristol Natural History Consortium and has been running since 2003. This year marks the first time the festival has taken in the region's waterscapes, with events running between Bristol and Bath along the River Avon.

Although we’ve been involved in the Festival for the past two years, as first time sponsors this year, the event in Bath gave us an opportunity to showcase some of our work to the local community and also acted as one of the first events for our 50th anniversary celebrations. Activities in Bath this weekend provided the grand finale for two weeks of river-themed activities that took place in June.

Researchers from the Milner Centre for Evolution demonstrate interact with attendees at the Festival of Nature in Bath.

Researchers from the Milner Centre for Evolution demonstrate interact with attendees at the Festival of Nature in Bath.

Saturday’s event, which took place in Royal Victoria Park, involved researchers from CSCT who used hands-on demonstrations to talk to visitors about climate change, water purification and making polymers from renewable sources. Others performed stand-up and took engineering out on the streets with a new form of busking –‘buskineering’.

Elsewhere researchers from the Milner Centre for Evolution spoke to festival goers about evolution through interactive games and demonstrations with opportunities to analyse fossils.

We’re greatly looking forward to working closely with Festival of Nature ahead of next year’s event in 2017.

Find out more about the Festival at


The one month countdown starts…now

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📥  Event

There’s now less than one month to go now until Britain goes to the polls in the long-awaited referendum on its membership of the EU. As we approach the final furlong in campaigning, get ready for many more stories like this emanating from ‘In’ campaigners and an equal share like this to be pushed out by Brexiteers.

At the University we’ll try to cut through some of this spin in order to help inform the debate and the choices you make from a variety of different perspectives.

EU Referendum

How will voters decide come 23 June?

Colleagues at the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) are lining up a significant new policy report focusing on the impact of the referendum and Britain’s membership across different themes – from migration to jobs and the economy. Crucially, this resource also steps outside the confines of the UK to examine other member states’ perspectives on a potential Brexit. The report will build on recent contributions to the IPR’s analysis blog; more on this very soon.

Next Thursday, 2 June, our first Referendum debate – hosted by the School of Management and IPR – takes place in The Edge. ‘Brexit or Bremain – what’s best for business in the South West?’, chaired by Professor Hope Hailey, will tackle some of the major economic and business issues in the context of the region. It will feature contributions from Graham Cole (former MD at AgustaWestland) and John Mills (entrepreneur and economist as well as Deputy Chairman of Vote Leave) as well as academic voices from Bath, including Professor Nick Pearce (Director IPR) and international collaborators.

The following Wednesday, 8 June, our Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies will host an afternoon event ‘Unravelling the complexities of the referendum debate’. Debating issues including the impact of the referendum on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, lessons from the Netherlands on 'rejecting Europe’ by referendum, as well as alternatives to EU membership looking at the Norwegian, Swiss and Canadian models, the event has been structured to tease out some of the real issues at stake on 23 June from different vantages.

I hope you can get to one or both of these events.

Finally if, after all this, you’ve not had enough of the referendum, via our Opinion blog we’ll continue to post contributions from academics across the University in the lead up to the big event.


Bring on the 3MT final contestants

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📥  Event

Seven of our PhD candidates have battled through the on campus heats, but only one can be crowned champion of this year's Three Minute Thesis. Who will it be?

It's now just one day to go until the 3MT live final, taking place this year at The Bath Brew House in the City Centre on Wednesday 23 March from 6PM.

Our finalists are competing for a place in the national 3MT competition, as well as a £150 Amazon voucher.

Please join us to support our active and engaged PhD community for what promises to be an evening of fascinating research and thought-provoking discussion. To reserve your free ticket click here.

Our finalists

Representing the Faculty of Science, we'll hear from:

  • Matthew Camilleri (watch Matthew's presentation from the 3MT heats talking about 'Photo-flow-organo-catalysis for sustainability redox chemistry')
  • James Corbett (here's Jame's presentation from the 3MT heats on 'Differentiation of Bipotent and Pluripotent Cells to a Mature Biliary Phenotype')


Representing the Faculty of Engineering and Design we'll hear from:

  • Jemma Rowlandson (watch Jemma's 3MT heats entry on 'Sustainable Activated Carbons from Renewable Feedstocks for Water Treatment Applications')
  • Jonathan Wagner (here's Jonathan's talk from the 3MT heats on 'Novel materials for catalytic conversion of bio-oils')


Flying the Humanities and Social Sciences flag we have:

  • Gustav Bösehans (this is Gus from the 3MT heats talking about 'Encouraging healthy and sustainable travel in a university setting and beyond')
  • Natalie Booth (here's Natalie's presentation on 'Prison and the family; an exploration of maternal imprisonment from a family-centred perspective')


And last but not least, representing the School of Management you'll hear from:

  • David Cross (here's David's talk from the 3MT heats on 'The Experience and Enactment of Employee Commitment in a Liminal Environment: The Case of Independent Contractors')


We hope you can join us in a month!

Rocketing into 2016

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📥  Event, Research news

This year, we rocketed into 2016 with our second Research Rocket event.

Taking place in the East Building lecture theatre (on campus), the audience were treated to an evening with our researchers from the Faculties of Science, Engineering & Design, Humanities & Social Sciences and the School of Management.

Through a course of quick fire presentations, they were challenged to sum up in five minutes or less their research and the impact it has in the real-world.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Jonathan Knight said “The Research Rocket made it absolutely clear why the research being done at Bath is important. The series of excellent talks, slickly presented in a rapid-fire format, made for an entertaining and informative trip across some of the research strengths of the University.”

From space weather to biological weapons, fibre optics explained with bubbles, to optimising the national blood supply chain, our researchers are truly conducting fascinating and world-changing research.

“It was a fantastic forum for sharing good practice and contained outstanding examples of the long-term nature of research impact. Above all, it was inspirational, and a great reminder of why we all love doing research.”

The event was aimed at anyone with an interest in discovery and innovation.


Great first heat for Bath 3MT students!

📥  Event

On Thursday we saw 18 Bath PhD students present their thesis in just three minutes during the first heat of the Bath Three Minute Thesis competition.

All three faculties and the School of Management entered the competition, and the level of the talks was fantastic.

Two candidates from each of the faculties and one from the School of Management will now be taken forward to the Bath final, to be held on 23 March 2016 at Bath Brewhouse, from 6pm.

The finalists will also be given the opportunity to do presentation training, and to write a piece for The Conversation about their research.

Congratulations to all those who spoke and good luck to our finalists!