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 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) and a Cooperative Research Centre funded project focused on food waste reduction in the hospital and aged care sectors (https://endfoodwaste.com.au/sector-action-plans/). 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 trialling innovative behaviour change approaches. She also contributes her interdisciplinary expertise to 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, 13 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 and the University of Bristol).

Dr. Willmott has attracted over A$1.45 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, End Food Waste Australia, Institute of Hospitality in Healthcare, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, Department of Environment and Science (Queensland), The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (South Australia), Australian Research Council, contentgroup, and The Gov Comms Institute. Past project partners include Goldilocks Suit Pty Ltd, ECH Inc, and Department of Innovation Skills and Training (South Australia). 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 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.

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 16 guest lectures to Advanced Theory in Marketing, 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 innovative behaviour change approaches. 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. ​​​​​​From 2018-2023, she led Social Marketing @ Griffith’s Design Thinking training, with workshops and masterclasses consistently achieving high satisfaction and recommendation scores among participants (4.7-4.8/5). All training was 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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