Professor Rebekah Russell-Bennett

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Program Lead - People, practices, policies to lead the economy

Doctor of Philosophy, Management (University of Queensland)

Background Rebekah is a professor in marketing and co-director of the Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society and Technology (BEST). She has an international reputation for research and industry relevance in the field of Social Marketing (using commercial marketing to address social problems such as alcohol consumption,  chronic disease, water usage, electricity use, public transport and diet).  Rebekah uses theories and frameworks from services marketing and social marketing to co-create useful services and products that support people in their life, protect the planet and enable organisational success.

Rebekah is immediate past National President of the Australian Association of Social Marketing (the peak industry body for social marketing in Australia). For details of Rebekah’s Real World Projects in Social Marketing visit her Linked In Profile

Rebekah is also a leading educator in the field of marketing and is responsible for the development of the award-winning QUTopia role-play simulation at QUT. Rebekah holds a PhD in brand loyalty for the services sector,  is the co-editor for the Journal of Services Marketing (A ranked Q1 journal) and has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles with more than 86 articles in international journals, including:

  • Journal of Business Research
  • Psychology and Marketing
  • Journal of Service Management
  • Journal of Service Theory and Practice
  • European Journal of Marketing
  • Journal of Marketing Management
  • Industrial Marketing Management
  • Journal of Brand Management
  • Journal of Product and Brand Management
  • Journal of Services Marketing
  • Health Marketing Quarterly

Rebekah has worked with organisations across a variety of service industries in Australia including

  • Australian Red Cross Blood Donation Service
  • Australian Breastfeeding Association
  • Brisbane Lions
  • Citysmart (Brisbane City Council)
  • Energex
  • Energy Consumers Australia
  • Lions International
  • Queensland Catholic Education Commission
  • IP Australia
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (Commonwealth)
  • Department of Education (Commonwealth)
  • Department of Energy and the Environment (Commonwealth)
  • Department of Natural Resource, Minerals and Energy (QLD)
  • Department of Transport and Main Roads (QLD)
  • Sensis
  • Queensland Health
  • Queensland Rail
  • Telstra
  • Westpac
  • WorkCover
  • Yellow Pages Australia

Research interests

  • Behaviour change
  • Innovation
  • Health Services
  • Energy efficiency
  • Service Technology
  • Service design
  • Customers experiencing vulnerability


  • 2019: Top Australian in the field of marketing (The Australian September 2019)
  • 2019: Highly commended award – Journal of Service Theory and Practice
  • 2019: Best research paper award – World Social Marketing Conference, Edinburgh
  • 2018: QUT Vice Chancellors Excellence Awards – Teaching (QUTopia)
  • 2018: Highly commended best paper – American Marketing Association Services Special Interest Group Conference
  • 2016 Best academic paper, best student paper, International Social Marketing Conference
  • 2016 Winner – National Australian Institute of Marketing Awards – Best mobile.
  • 2015 QUT Business school teaching and learning Innovation Challenge – Winner
  • 2015: QUT Vice Chancellor’s Performance Fund Award (Research)
  • 2014: Office of Teaching and Learning (OLT) Citation (national) for outstanding contribution to student learning
  • 2010: QUT Vice Chancellor’s Performance Fund Award (Teaching)
  • 2010: Best Paper Award, Social, Nonprofit and Political Marketing Track, Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (ANZMAC)
  • 2008: Highly Commended Award, Emotions Network Conference, Fontaineblau, France
  • 2008: Vice-Chancellors Award for Performance (Research)
  • 2008: Vice-Chancellors Award for Performance (Teaching)
  • 2006: Best Paper Award, Emotions Network Conference, Atlanta, USA
  • 2006: Best Paper Award, e-marketing Track, Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (ANZMAC)
  • 2001: Best Paper Award, Market Research Society of Australia National Conference
  • 2000: Best Lecturer Award, Master of Technology Management Degree, Griffith University
  • 1998: Lifetime membership conferred, Golden Key Honours Society for outstanding academic achievement.

Additional information

Professor Russell-Bennett’s work is situated within the social marketing domain and in particular social services provided by government and non-profits where she facilitates the design of innovative services to improve wellbeing, the environment and society. Her contribution to the field of social marketing has been recognised by being elected as the National President of the Australian Association of Social Marketing (2009-2014) and service on editorial boards of key journals.  Rebekah is a leader in shaping the debate and impact of social marketing in this country and extending innovating examples for other countries. She was recognised in 2019 by The Australian as the top Australian researcher in the field of marketing (most citations in the top 20 journals in the field).

Translational impact

Prof Russell-Bennett has made substantial research and translational impact in the field of social marketing (behaviour change). She improved electricity consumption in low-income households by 12.3% through a field experiment using gamification as part of a large-scale commonwealth government project (e.g., Journal of Business Research 106:377-387, Journal of Social Marketing 8:2-23, Psychology and Marketing, Vol 34: 394-409).  She was an expert witness in two parliamentary enquiries on the use of technology in health programs and the development of a state health promotion agency in 2015 and 2016 where many of her recommendations were adopted (Qld parliamentary inquiry into the Health Promotion Interventions Using Telephone and Web-based Technologies, Qld parliamentary inquiry into the establishment of a Queensland Health Promotion Commission). She trialled a world-first two-way automated text service to support new mothers in breastfeeding with the Australian Breastfeeding Association resulting in an 8% improvement in exclusive breastfeeding compared to women in the control group. (BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 14:374-385).  She worked with Breastscreen Queensland (Queensland Health) to increase the level of market (customer) orientation amongst radiographers to improve the screening rates of eligible women (ch. in Social Marketing: Why Should the Devil have all the Tunes? A few more tunes 2nd ed).  She conducted multiple studies on blood donor/non-donor behaviour over several years and provided recommendations for improving marketing communication and service delivery to increase repeat donations (Service Industries Journal 37:657-660, Journal of Business Research 99: 157-166). She designed a gamified education program on moderate drinking for teenagers and in a randomised control trial funded by the ARC which improved alcohol knowledge and attitudes towards reduced drinking (Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, Vol 27; 105-128  Journal of Business research 68: 2155-2163). She has also contributed internationally to the development of the social marketing field in her role as immediate past president of the Australian Association of Social Marketing

Russell-Bennett is a thought leader by being amongst the first to apply services thinking  in the domain of social marketing and to introduce social marketing frameworks to the services marketing literature.

Example projects

As one of two QUT researchers involved in a ground-breaking initiative led by CitySmart and funded by the Federal Government for $6.5 million Rebekah worked industry to change energy usage behaviour of low-income earners through the use of technology.  The project had outstanding success with a reduction in electricity use and bill size. See project page

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service funded donor research of more than $250,000 to identify barriers for blood donation, service perceptions amongst donors and to test the use of technology in improving blood donation rates. See project page

Queensland Health funded multiple projects to identify barriers for women and men’s participation in cancer screening programs. See project page 

The Commonwealth Department of Education funded a project to widen participation in the tertiary education sector by disadvantaged groups. See project page


For details of Professor Russell-Bennett’s Real World Projects, visit her linked in profile

Advisor/Consultant for Industry
Reference year
Invited to provide advice as a board member of the Non-profit organisation SPELD (Qld)