Meet the Expert
Dr Rachel Ashman - A Cultural Explorer of the Digital Economy
Dr Rachel Ashman joined the University as a Lecturer in Marketing in 2012. She focuses on the interface between digital modes of communication and consumers. Following on from the programme of research established in her PhD, she is embarking upon numerous projects that interrogate this interface.
One of the main planks of her research focuses on social shopping, where consumers co-operatively collaborate in making purchase decisions online. Another stream of her research uses the methods of ethnography and netnography to explore contemporary trends in consumer culture. One such project is a Deleuzian take on how desire is amplified by the Internet. The context of this project is the sharing of food images and videos on social media sites.
Another of her ongoing projects in this stream of interpretive research is about video bloggers (vloggers)who conspicuously share their lives on YouTube, creating followings of fans and admirers.
One of the main highlights in Rachel’s career to date is acting as the academic supervisor on an ESRC-funded KTP project with Hattons Model Railways - a Liverpool based SME. The aim of this project is to develop a customer centric business model and culture for growth by adopting omni-channel retailing through introducing a data-driven marketing strategy. Commenting on the project, Rachel said 'Working with a local company on a common project is an enriching and beneficial experience for both parties. It enables me to apply my expertise to real-world challenges and helps the business to gain the knowledge and capacity it needs to innovate and grow. This three-way partnership is a win-win scheme, benefitting the business, the University and a recently qualified graduate.'
It enables me to apply my expertise to real-world challenges and helps the business to gain the knowledge and capacity it needs to innovate and grow.
Since September 2015 Rachel has taken an active role in the Faculty by sitting on the Faculty Research and Impact Committee as an early career representative. This continues to be an illuminating experience for Rachel as she learns about the structures and inner workings of the University.
Rachel has recently completed the Aurora Women in Leadership programme which aims to encourage women in academic and professional roles to think of themselves as leaders, to develop leadership skills and to help institutions maximise their potential. She has also been invited to speak on BBC North West Today, presented at Google Head Office, worked with ASOS (the largest pure-play fashion retailer in the UK) on research projects and given guest lectures at Schulich School of Business in Toronto and London College of Fashion.
If early career researchers across the Faculty wish to discuss any issues or ideas, feel free to contact Rachel as their Research and Impact Committee representative at Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org.