Digital Marketing Expert Witness

Testimony & Opinion

Dr Coker has provided expert testimony on the topic of Digital Marketing, Ecommerce, Internet Business Models, Online Consumer behaviour, and Email for a variety of high profile and small matters, including:

  • REA Group Ltd & Anor v Real Estate 1 Ltd & Ors – Proceeding No. VID 900
  • Copyright Tribunal Proceeding CT 3 Phonographic Performance Company of Australia vs Commercial Radio Australia
  • Emily Skye Fit Pty Ltd v Evans Proceeding No. BS6843
  • Pizza Fellas Pty Ltd v Eat Now and Menulog Pty Ltd VCAT C4345
  • Globus Investments Pty Ltd v Wiliam Pty Ltd & Anor District Court Proceeding No. 196787
  • The Pokémon company international, inc -v- Redbubble limited Proceeding No. VID313

Areas of Expertise

  • E-commerce and internet business models
  • Online branding, including equity damage
  • Online consumer behaviour
  • Digital marketing practice, including black hat, spam, and hacking

Nature and Details of Expertise

My training and degrees were completed through the department of Information Management at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand (VUWNZ), and my work over the past 8 years at the University of Melbourne has been with the Marketing group in the department of Management and Marketing. My specialisation transcends Information Systems (my degrees) and Marketing (my employment) mainly because one of my PhD supervisors was from Information Systems (Dr Beverley Hope), and my other supervisor was from the school of Marketing (Professor Nick Ashill). In this respect, my PhD was on the topic of consumer behaviour (marketing) in the context of the internet (information systems).

My learning about e-commerce began in the late 1990’s, when I started a dot-com business known as Fernland.com. This business acted as an online agency matching Japanese students with English teaching schools and homestays in New Zealand. After this venture I searched for Universities that offered courses in e-commerce. The school of Information Management at VUWNZ offered a suite of e-commerce courses (headed by Professor Corbitt). I enrolled to take these courses, and majored in electronic commerce. I completed an additional honours degree in Information Systems (1st class), and a PhD in Information Systems (Electronic Commerce).

I was awarded a PhD in Information Systems (electronic commerce) by VUWNZ in 2007. In my PhD research and studies, I concentrated on consumer behaviour (psychology) online, and the way in which companies can influence the purchasing activities of consumers online. My thesis is entitled: “Predicting Internet Product Purchase Intention: Theoretical Reasoning and Empirical Results” (Coker, 2007).

Since graduating from university, in addition to my employment as an academic at the University of Melbourne, I have designed or founded four commercial ventures or technologies:

  • Webreep – a website quality measurement tool (web app);
  • eBreep – a seminar and lecture student feedback tool (website and app);
  • AussieThink – an online survey panel recruitment service; and
  • Deloosh – a business that offers primarily online market research services.

These websites and technologies are all produced and owned under my business Deloosh Pty. Ltd., which I founded in 2008.

Webreep.com is based on a framework and theory I developed to measure website dissatisfaction. The model measures website navigation, website content, website performance, and consumer trust (Webreep Model).

I have advised numerous business owners and marketers on the design of e-commerce structures and processes, website interfaces, and technical infrastructure, in a formal capacity while teaching Executive Education classes in Digital Marketing and Social Media at the University of Melbourne from 2009–2014.

Since 2008, I have continuously been a Lecturer of Marketing in the Department of Management and Marketing of the University of Melbourne. As part of that role:

I have continuously taught the course “Internet Marketing and Social Media” to undergraduate and postgraduate students since 2009, which covers how to design and implement successful internet marketing strategies for an organisation, focusing on how to develop effective search engine optimisation strategies, developing an effective online communication plan, understanding web statistics, maximising use of Google Adwords and building a social media campaign, website design, and User Interface Design (“UI”), and website user experience (“UX”). I also taught Digital Marketing and Social media in Executive Education classes from 2009–2014, covering these topics, which included advising these executives on their own websites on these subjects.

I taught the course “Marketing Channels” to undergraduate and postgraduate students from 2010 to 2013, which covered how to analyse the environment of business marketing and business markets, focusing on strategies in relation to business-to-business marketing (“B2B”) and e-commerce.

I taught the course “Brand Management” to undergraduate and postgraduate students from 2008 to 2011, which covered how to develop and manage brands, focusing on how brand decisions may contribute to creating competitive advantages and how to analyse industries, change brand strategies over time and respond to competitive moves.

I taught the course “B2B Marketing” to undergraduate and postgraduate students from 2008 to 2010, which covered online marketing in the context of businesses transacting with other businesses.

My research interests include e-commerce strategy, consumer judgment and decision-making, psychometrics (which is the field of psychological measurement) in the context of marketing, digital marketing and social media. I have authored or co-authored over 18 publications, including:

  • the book Going Viral: The 9 Secrets of Irresistible Marketing, which was published in 2016;
  • a chapter of the book New Zealand Case Studies in Information Systems entitled “Ezibuy: A Multi-channel Success Story”, which was published in 2007;
  • a chapter of the book Advanced Topics in Electronic Commerce, Volume 1 entitled “Beauty is More Than Skin Deep: Organisational Strategies for Online Consumer Risk Mitigation in Apparel Retailing”, which was published in 2005;
  • the academic journal article “The Ineffectiveness of Counterclaim Advertising for Increasing Consumer Sentiment”, which was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Consumer Behaviour in 2016;
  • the academic journal article “Antecedents to Website Satisfaction, Loyalty and Word of Mouth”, which was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Information Systems and Technology Management in 2013;
  • the academic journal article “Measuring Internet Product Purchase Risk”, which was published in the peer-reviewed European Journal of Marketing in 2011;
  • the academic journal article “The Buywell Way: Seven Essential Practices of a Highly Successful Multi-channel e-tailer”, which was published in the peer-reviewed Australasian Journal of Information Systems in 2005;
  • the academic journal article “Moving to Multi-channel e-commerce: Lessors Learned from a Case Study of an Apparel and Home-ware catalogue company”, which was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Internet Commerce in 2005;
  • the conference paper “The Effect of Customization Strategy and Recommendations on Consumer Decision-making”, which I also presented at the Annual Association for Consumer Research Conference in the United States in 2010; and
  • the journal article: Building-Up versus Paring-Down: Consumer Responses to Recommendations When Customizing. which was published in the peer-reviewed  Journal of Retailing in 2012.
  • the journal article Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing. which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Human Performance in 2013.
  • the journal article: Seeking the Opinions of Others Online: Evidence of Evaluation Overshoot which was published in Journal of Economic Psychology in 2012.
  • the journal article: Measuring Internet Product Purchase Risk. which was published in the European Journal of Marketing in 2011.

I have received several awards through my career, including the following.

  • The award for the best conference paper at the 10th International Conference on Information Systems and Technology in Brazil in 2013, where I presented on “Antecedents to Website Satisfaction, Loyalty and Word of Mouth”. This is an annual conference run by the Brazilian chapter of the Association for Information Systems. It seeks to promote collaboration between academics and professionals involved in the fields of Information Technology, Information Systems and Information Science.
  • The Best Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year Award, which was awarded at the Business/Higher Education Round Table in 2012. The award was for implementing the annual start-up competition for students in Melbourne University “Unimelb Startup” (2009 to present). The competition encourages students to conceptualize and pitch viable online businesses to venture capitalists. By 2012, it had grown to become one of the largest student competitions held at the University of Melbourne, and is now the official competition for the University of Melbourne. I recently negotiated a collaborative deal with the Australian Government (Austrade) to send winning teams to San Francisco and reside in the government’s landing pad incubator.
  • The award for the best paper addressing the theme of the conference at the 15th Australasian Conference on Information Systems in 2004, where I presented on “Theory and Practice in Multi-channel e-commerce Strategies: A Case Study of an Apparel and Home-ware Retailer”. This is the premier Information Systems conference in Australia and New Zealand for Information Systems academics, seeking to encourage collaboration between academics in regards to technical, organisational, business and social issues in the application of Information Technology.

I have earned over $180,000 in 10 competitive research grants to study and research, including:

  • A research Grant with Associate Professor Nicole Mead to study service quality (2016)
  • A research Grant with Anish Nagpal to study consumer online herding behaviour (2015).
  • A research grant with Professor Ann L McGill to study injudicious information sharing online (2015).
  • A Deans initiative grant to fund the Unimelb Startup competition (2013).
  • A research grant with Michael Arnold, Craig Bellamy, Martin Gibbs, and Bjorn Nansen from the Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society to study consumer perceptions of the NBN.
  • Two Teaching and Initiative Grants to study technology in the classroom (2010).
  • A research grant to study online advertising (2010).
  • Two Melbourne Early Career Researcher Grants to study viral marketing and customising products online (2008 and 2009).

I have presented at many conferences and seminars, including the following.

  • I presented on “Trends in Online Consumer Behaviour” at the IBM Peer-to-peer Luncheon Series in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in 2011.
  • I presented on “Reference Point Shift and Recommendation Apathy: the Interaction of Customisation and Recommendations on Consumer Choice Decisions” at the Australia New Zealand Marketing Association Conference in 2008. This is an annual conference that aims to provide a platform for collaboration between educators and practitioners interested in Marketing theory and research.
  • I presented on “Insights into Selling Apparel Remotely: A Case Study of a Successful Multi-channel Retailer” at the Pacific Asia Conference in Information Systems in China in 2004. This is an annual conference that seeks to provide a high-quality forum for researchers, practitioners and policy makers to exchange research findings and ideas in the fields of Information Systems and Information Technology. It is the premier information systems event in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • And many others

I am a member of the North American Association for Consumer Research, which seeks to facilitate the growth and advancement of the field of consumer research by facilitating the exchange of scholarly information among members.

Overall, I have extensive experience in the analysis, theory development, and study of e-commerce business strategy, internet business models, and online consumer behaviour.