Posts By / Julie Robson

5 BU students present at International Insurance Marketing Conference

BU research students were well represented at the recent 4th International Conference for Marketing Insurance (ICMI) held at Bournemouth University which provided an excellent opportunity to showcase their work in insurance and marketing.

4th ICMI delegates

Doctoral student Emmanuella Ejime (FoM) presented her work on psychological distance and motor insurance; and Freyja Van Den Boom (FMC) delivered her paper on the legal aspects of personal data and consumer insurance.

Three papers were also presented by practitioners who have taken the part-time Masters in Professional Development (Loss Adjusting) at BU. The first paper from John Hall examined the changing role of the loss adjuster in household claims; the second paper from George Macharia investigated insurance claims fraud in Kenya and Uganda; and the final paper was presented by Alice Edwards which looked at success in complex claims.

The ICMI serves as the primary platform to promote research in the field of insurance marketing. Further details on the conference and the Association for Insurance Marketing can be found here, or alternatively contact the 2018 conference chair, Julie Robson (

The 5th International Conference for Marketing Insurance (ICMI) will be held in October 2019 at IPAG Paris, France.

International conference on insurance marketing is coming to BU

Following three successful conferences in Paris, France (2015, 2016) and St. Gallen, Switzerland (2017), we are pleased to announce that the 4th International Conference for Marketing in the Insurance industry (ICMI) will be held at the Executive Business Centre, Bournemouth University on the 13th and 14th September 2018.

ICMI is the annual conference of the Association for Insurance Marketing (AIM) which serves as the primary platform to promote research in the field of insurance marketing. Though many academics have investigated marketing related topics in the financial sector, the insurance industry has largely been ignored. In addition, academic accounts of the insurance industry have generally focused on risk, investment and actuarial issues rather than marketing and consequently research that considers the idiosyncrasies of marketing in the insurance industry is urgently needed.

ICMI papers will cover a diverse range of insurance marketing topics including the challenges of multi-channel distribution; claims management and fraud; supply chains and ecosystems; and trust and big data. The programme includes papers from FoM and FMC doctoral students and also past and current students on the MSc Professional Development (Loss Adjusting) course.

Further information about the conference can be found here or contact the chair, Associate Professor, Julie Robson.

FoM academic publishes article on student debt in The Conversation

Julie Robson from the Department of Marketing (FoM) has co-authored an article published today in The Conversation about unpaid student placements and debt.

The piece is loosely based on earlier research that examined students as vulnerable consumers where debt is concerned. This project was made possible following a successful application to the BU Undergraduate Research Assistant Programme (URAP) in 2015. Results from the research will be published in November 2017 in the Journal of Marketing for Higher Education. The article is entitled Working up a debt: Students as vulnerable consumers. The authors are Julie Robson (BU), Jillian Dawes Farquhar (Southampton Solent) and Christopher Hindle (BU URAP).

The article in The Conversation is entitled – Student interns are not entitled to the minimum wage and its costing them big time and can be accessed here.

New book published by FoM Academics

Julie Robson (Department of Marketing) and John Toth (Department of Leadership, Strategy and Organisation) have recently published a new text on customer service and ethics.

The book focuses on the insurance loss adjuster market and is believed to be the first to provide the reader with an understanding of the importance of good customer service and sound business ethics in a loss adjusting context. Customer service topics include when customer service takes place, its benefits and different forms; how to measure and manage service quality, including response to complaints; and the impact of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the FCA’s Treating Customers Fairly. Business ethics topics includes the ethical theories, ethical decision making and ethical dilemmas; in addition, the text explores how ethical organisations are built in a diverse and global environment, including aspects such as corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and whistleblowing.

Loss adjusters investigate large or complicated claims for insurance companies and seek to resolve claims in a fair manner. Both customer service and ethics are recognised as important to this sector and the hallmark of a modern profession

Produced in association with the Chartered Insurance Loss Adjusters (CILA) and published by Witherby Publishing Group the text is recommended to students undertaking CILA professional examinations.

Experience counts: increasing research response rates

I’ve recently been doing some work to identify what can be done to improve response rates in both qualitative and quantitative research. Although this work was conducted as part of a HEIF4 project and in the financial services sector, the findings are of relevance to anyone conducting research with individuals.  Of particular interest to me were those respondents who were not initially apathetic to research and had in the past taken part in surveys and interviews, but who had developed a reluctance to participate over time. What had caused this reluctance and how could response rates be improved? 

Digging into the literature, two pieces of work caused me to stop and think about the whole research context.  The first was the work of Pickery, Loosveldt and Carton (2001) who found that the interviewer in the first wave of research was more important than the interviewer in the second wave in terms of the impact on subsequent response rates. If the experience with the first researcher was positive then the respondent was more likely to engage again and vice versa. If we link this finding to the more recent work of Clark (2010) it seems that respondents engage in (qualitative) research for many and various reasons and not just to contribute to knowledge or for altruistic reasons. Some actually enjoy the experience; they enjoy the social comparison and the therapeutic aspect of talking about themselves and their experiences. Participation for these respondents is more about the experience and the value they as individuals gain from the interaction.

In the financial services sector there is always the grim warning that “past performance is no guarantee of future performance”. Of course, there are also no guarantees in research; however in this case there does seem to be evidence to suggest that past performance in terms of the research experience is a good indicator of future performance in response rates. The question now is how do we make the research experience more positive, stimulating and enjoyable from the respondent’s perspective? 


Pickery, J., Loosveldt, G., and Carton, A (2001) The effects of interviewer and respondent characteristics on response behavior in panel surveys: a Mulit-level approach. Sociological methods and research. 29:509-523

Clark, T. (2010) On ‘being researched’: why do people engage with qualitative research? Qualitative Research. 10: 399-419