Taylor Willmott

Dr Taylor Willmott

Lecturer in Marketing (Research)

Adelaide Business School

Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Dr. Willmott is an award-winning researcher with expertise in behavioural science, economics, social marketing, and human-centered design. With a focus on social impact, Dr. Willmott engages in partnered research to tackle complex wicked problems such as climate change, violence, and chronic disease. Dr. Willmott is currently a Lecturer in Marketing (Research) within the Adelaide Business School. She also sits on the School’s Engagement Committee as the marketing discipline’s representative and is part of the ‘Transforming Markets and Behaviour’ research group within the Yunus Centre for Business, Sustainability & Social Impact.

Dr. Willmott’s primary research focus is on developing and advancing theory-driven, human-centered, and evidence-based methods, frameworks, and models that can be readily implemented by practitioners and policy makers tackling some of society’s most pressing problems. The transdisciplinary application of marketing science, technology, and human-centered design to achieve and support positive behavioural and social change lies at the heart of her research agenda. The principles and practice of social marketing are fundamental to this work. Social marketing seeks to develop and integrate marketing concepts with other evidence-based approaches to influence behaviours that benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good (iSMA, ESMA, & AASM, 2013). Dr. Willmott has been involved in the planning, co-creation, design, implementation, and evaluation of over 25 research projects in the past nine years. Projects have addressed a variety of behavioural and social problems including societal aging, obesity and chronic disease prevention, youth sexual violence and abuse prevention, binge drinking, alcohol-fuelled violence and illicit drug use, smoking cessation, energy use, food waste, and environmental degradation.

Dr. Willmott is currently working on an Australian Research Council (ARC) funded Discovery Project (DP) focused on collective engagement towards social purpose (https://business.adelaide.edu.au/collective-engagement-for-social-purpose). This project brings together an international team of experts in marketing, engagement, and design. She leads basic research programs focused on improving theory application in social marketing and advancing the transformative social marketing concept, as well as applied research programs focused on optimising the health and wellbeing of young adults through behavioural modification. Additionally, she contributes her interdisciplinary expertise to research projects addressing issues such as societal ageing, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability.

Dr. Willmott has expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research methods including systematic reviews, surveys, focus groups, semi-structured and depth interviews, co-design, and stakeholder consultation. Her scholarly research has been published in more than 50 journal articles, conference papers, book chapters, and reports. The quality and significance of her research is evidenced by a Real Impact Award from Emerald Publishing in 2023, two consecutive best paper awards at the International Social Marketing Conference in 2016 and 2018, 12 competitive research scholarships, and the QUT Dean’s Award for Excellence in 2015. She has served as Guest Editor for the Journal of Social Marketing (“Nothing About Us Without Us: Participatory Design in Social Marketing”) and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (“Social Marketing’s Contribution to Public Health”) as well as Track Chair ("Social Marketing and Marketing for NGOs") for the 2024 Academy of Marketing Science's World Marketing Congress. She is also frequently invited to be a guest speaker and lecturer at leading institutions in Australia (e.g., Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Griffith University, and the University of Queensland) and abroad (e.g., University of Nottingham's Behavioural Insights Society and Circular Economy Research Network Asia Pacific) and has ongoing collaborations with world leading research centres (e.g., Social Marketing @ Griffith).

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2023 Conduit, J., Karpen, I., & Willmott, T. (2023). User Circularity Practices: Adopting a User Stewardship Perspective for a Circular Economy. Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Review.
    2022 Willmott, T. J., & Rundle-Thiele, S. (2022). Improving theory use in social marketing: the TITE four-step theory application process. Journal of Social Marketing, 12(2), 222-255.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS6
    2022 Willmott, T. J., Mathew, A., Saleme, P., & Rundle-Thiele, S. (2022). Participatory Design Application in Youth Sexual Violence and Abuse Prevention: A Mixed-Methods Systematic Review.. Trauma Violence Abuse, 24(3), 15248380221078891.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS5 Europe PMC2
    2022 Willmott, T. J., Hurley, E., & Rundle-Thiele, S. (2022). Designing energy solutions: a comparison of two participatory design approaches for service innovation. Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 32(3), 1-25.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS3
    2022 Willmott, T., Mathew, A., Luck, E., Rundle-Thiele, S., Carins, J., Vincze, L., . . . Ball, L. (2022). Participatory design application in obesity prevention targeting young adults and adolescents: a mixed-methods systematic scoping review protocol. Systematic Reviews, 11(1), 1-8.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS1 Europe PMC1
    2021 Willmott, T. J., Pang, B., & Rundle-Thiele, S. (2021). Capability, opportunity, and motivation: an across contexts empirical examination of the COM-B model. BMC Public Health, 21(1), 17 pages.
    DOI Scopus33 WoS30 Europe PMC16
    2021 Carins, J., Pang, B., Willmott, T., Knox, K., Storr, R., Robertson, D., . . . Pettigrew, S. (2021). Creating supportive eating places: A systematic review of food service initiatives. Health Promotion International, 36(5), 1368-1392.
    DOI Scopus7 WoS5 Europe PMC3
    2021 Willmott, T., & Rundle-Thiele, S. (2021). Are we speaking the same language? Call for action to improve theory application and reporting in behaviour change research. BMC Public Health, 21(1), 8 pages.
    DOI Scopus17 WoS15 Europe PMC8
    2019 Willmott, T. J., Pang, B., Rundle-Thiele, S., & Badejo, A. (2019). Weight management in young adults: Systematic review of electronic health intervention components and outcomes. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(2), 17 pages.
    DOI Scopus41 WoS37 Europe PMC22
    2019 Willmott, T., Russell-Bennett, R., Drennan, J., & Rundle-Thiele, S. (2019). The impact of serious educational gameplay on adolescent binge drinking intentions: a theoretically grounded empirical examination. Health Education and Behavior, 46(1), 114-125.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS5 Europe PMC2
    2019 Rundle-Thiele, S., David, P., Willmott, T., Pang, B., Eagle, L., & Hay, R. (2019). Social marketing theory development goals: an agenda to drive change. Journal of Marketing Management, 35(1-2), 160-181.
    DOI Scopus79 WoS72
    2019 Willmott, T., Pang, B., Rundle-Thiele, S., & Badejo, A. (2019). Reported theory use in electronic health weight management interventions targeting young adults: a systematic review. Health Psychology Review, 13(3), 295-317.
    DOI Scopus29 WoS25 Europe PMC11
    2017 Willmott, T., & Parkinson, J. (2017). Motivation, opportunity, and ability: Understanding new habits and changes adopted for weight management. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 41(3), 291-298.
    DOI Scopus11 WoS10 Europe PMC2
    - Willmott, T. J., Pang, B., Rundle-Thiele, S., & Badejo, A. (n.d.). Weight Management in Young Adults: Systematic Review of Electronic Health Intervention Components and Outcomes (Preprint).
    DOI

Dr. Willmott has attracted over A$1.28 million in research funding support. Her applied work spans across the government, non-government, not-for-profit, and for-profit sectors tackling a variety of complex problems. Current project partners include the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre, Australian Research Council, contentgroup, The Gov Comms Institute, Goldilocks Suit Pty Ltd, ECH Inc, and Department of Innovation Skills and Training (South Australia). Past project partners include Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Queensland), Civic Assist, Awakening Cultural Ways, Energy Queensland, National Health and Medical Research Council, Department of Health (Commonwealth), The Sax Institute, Diabetes Queensland, Brisbane North Primary Health Network, Australian University Sport, Department of Environment and Science (Queensland), Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (Queensland), Queensland Police Service, and the Michelle Bridges 12WBT program. Dr. Willmott is driven to ensure research is accessible, translatable, and scalable. She has directed a six-part podcast series translating insights from an ARC Discovery Project (Collective Engagement Towards Social Purpose), delivered sector engagement and professional development workshops reaching over 6000 people, facilitated more than 50 co-design workshops, trained peer leaders to support capacity building, and led youth advisory groups in local communities.

Dr. Willmott has held sessional teaching appointments across leading higher education institutions in Australia including Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, and the University of Queensland delivering marketing, planning, and management courses, working integrated learning (WIL) and community internship programs, social marketing courses, and business research methods courses. Dr. Willmott uses her latest research working with government, non-government, not-for-profit, and for-profit organisations to ensure teaching content is contemporary and aligned with market needs. Her effectiveness as a teacher is evidenced by teaching award nominations and high student evaluation of teaching scores. She has given over 15 guest lectures to Contemporary Issues in Marketing and Marketing Management students at Adelaide Business School, Marketing Business Design students from the School of Economics, Finance & Marketing at RMIT University, Marketing for Social Change students at UQ Business School, Marketing Foundations, Market Research, and Marketing for Social Change students at GU Business School. Lecture topics have included design thinking, human-centered participatory design, theory application in social marketing, and serious games for behaviour change. She has also delivered more than 30 seminars, workshops, and masterclasses on design thinking, co-design, and theory application engaging more 6000 participants from diverse domestic and international audiences. ​​​​​​Since 2018, she has led Social Marketing @ Griffith’s Design Thinking services and training, with workshops and masterclasses consistently achieving high satisfaction and recommendation scores among participants (4.7-4.8/5). All services and training are underpinned by the latest schools of thought in design thinking, with application of contemporary design tools and techniques demonstrated within applied settings to promote best practice.

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 Co-Supervisor Optimising sustainability in health care: An audit and evaluation of food waste reduction strategies. Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Huize Ni
    2022 Co-Supervisor Collective Engagement Towards Social Purpose Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss My Le
  • Position: Lecturer in Marketing (Research)
  • Phone: 83137422
  • Email: taylor.willmott@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Org Unit: Adelaide Business School

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