Lizette Vorster


Research interests

My research combines marketing, consumer behaviour and social psychology, with a particular focus on the role of creative marketing communications in facilitating consumer engagement and marketplace wellbeing. Furthermore, my research examines the social role of marketers in aiding intercultural relations and informing policy development in diverse communities through intercultural marketing strategy. I am a qualitative mixed methods researcher and use a range of innovative methodological tools like in-depth interviews with visual-elicitation, diaries, socio-semiotic multimodal analysis; critical visual analysis and systematic reviews of grey sources.

My key research projects include:

1. The Sustainable Role of Marketing in Connecting Marketplace Actors (2016, ongoing)
My research draws lessons from marketers’ versus consumers’ visions of community building agendas, to identify lags in marketing’s institutional vision for representing and cultivating ‘lived multiculture’. Currently based within the South African context, investigating National Heritage Day as a case study of Rainbow Nation ideology. Using a socio-semiotic multimodal analysis approach, I examine Rainbow Nation representations and meaning-making from both perspectives and build on socio-cognitive legitimacy strategies within Neo-Institutional Theory. My work argues that existing marketing strategy, such as multicultural marketing, is not sufficient in addressing expectations of consumer spheres where non-optimal lived realities necessitate developments in intercultural interactions and community development. Through combining traditional marketing with social science theories - Intergroup Contact Theory and Creolization - I propose Intercultural Marketing Theory as a developmental direction to engage consumers and cultivate synergistic marketplace interactions.

2. Consumer Wellbeing in a Multicultural Marketplace (2018, ongoing)
This project is part of my ongoing engagement in the Transformative Consumer Research (TCR) movement and, broadly, focuses on understanding and defining the role of (multi)cultural marketing activity on wellbeing of individuals and communities in culturally diverse markets with a particular focus on the effects of advertising (mis)representation on identity threat and inclusion/exclusion perceptions in the marketplace. Future research related to this project spans beyond 2021 and includes multiple avenues of dissemination, such as: papers in international journals, development of curricula and educational tools (for example a mobile application and digital repository for researchers, students and marketing professionals). TCR is a movement within the Association for Consumer Research (ACR - that seeks to encourage, support, and publicize research that benefits consumer welfare and quality of life for all beings affected by consumption across the world.



Organisational affiliations

Education/Academic qualification

  • BA (Hons), Multi-disciplinary Design, University of Pretoria

    Information Design

    10 Jan 2005 - 28 Nov 2008
  • PhD, Marketing and Market Research, Coventry University

    Critically Evaluating the Role of Intercultural Marketing Communications in Cultivating Relations in the Superdiverse Rainbow Nation

    23 May 2016 - 26 Jun 2020

Professional Qualifications

  • Certificate, Strategy & Business Models

    2016 -
  • Certificate, Business Writing

    2016 -
  • Certificate, Marketing Analytics

    2015 -
  • Certificate, Game Design

    2015 -
  • Certificate, Web design

    2014 -