Dr Graeme McLean

Senior Lecturer


Personal statement

My research and teaching interests lie within services marketing, customer experience and digital technologies. In particular, I actively explore the role of new technology and its implications for marketing (digital marketing) and in particular how technology influences services.

I have presented my research at a number of international academic conferences in countries including: China, USA, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Portugal. 

I am the Director of our MSc in Digital Marketing Management (DMM). The DMM has been designed to combine the latest academic research with industry perspectives. At the postgraduate level, I deliver classes on Digital Marketing Strategy, e-Marketing in Practice and Customer Management II - e-marketing perspective. I am also the author of the online textbook 'Digital Marketing Fundamentals', courseware produced by Digi Marketing Edu.

At the undergraduate level I am the coordinator of the core 3rd year Marketing Communications in a Digital Age module. This class provides students with both a practical and theoretical perspective on digital marketing.

Before joining the department of marketing, I studied at both undergraduate and postgraduate level at The University of Strathclyde where I obtained my PhD. I have worked in numerous marketing and consultancy roles and was previously a Lecturer in Marketing at The University of the West of Scotland. 




Has expertise in:

    Digital Marketing, Customer Service, Customer Experience

Prizes and awards

King Faisal University Faculty Enrichment University Medal
2019 Best Conference Paper - Managerial Contributions
Teaching Excellence Award Nomination
Teaching Excellence Award Nomination
Confederation of British Industry Though Leaders Network (Scotland)
HubSpot Marketing Professor

More prizes and awards


Customer coproduction in healthcare service delivery : examining the influencing effects of the social context
Osei-Frimpong Kofi, McLean Graeme, Wilson Alan, Lemke Fred
Journal of Business Research Vol 120, pp. 82-93 (2020)
How live chat assistants drive travel consumers' attitudes, trust and purchase intentions : the role of human touch
McLean Graeme, Osei-Frimpong Kofi, Wilson Alan, Pitardi Valentina
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management Vol 32, pp. 1795-1812 (2020)
Service encounter microblog word of mouth and its impact on firm reputation
Barhorst Jennifer, Wilson Alan, McLean Graeme, Brooks Joshua
Journal of Services Marketing (2020)
"Just be there" : Social media presence, interactivity, and responsiveness, and their impact on B2B relationships
Karampela Maria, Lacka Ewelina, McLean Graeme
European Journal of Marketing Vol 54, pp. 1281-1303 (2020)
Examining consumer attitudes towards retailers' m-commerce mobile applications – An initial adoption vs. continuous use perspective
McLean Graeme, Osei-Frimpong Kofi, Al-Nabhani Khalid, Marriott Hannah
Journal of Business Research Vol 106, pp. 139-157 (2020)
Shopping in the digital world : examining customer engagement through augmented reality mobile applications
McLean Graeme, Wilson Alan
Computers in Human Behavior Vol 101, pp. 210-224 (2019)

More publications

Professional activities

Academy of Marketing Science
External Examiner - Salford University
Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Journal of Business Research (Journal)
Peer reviewer
King Faisal University Faculty Enrichment Programme
Journal of Marketing Communications (Journal)
Peer reviewer

More professional activities


Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Social Media... Is technology the gateway for destination tourism
McLean, Graeme (Principal Investigator) Alyahya, Mansour (Co-investigator)
Behind the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia is the second largest tourist destination in the middle east with over 16 million people visiting in 2017. However, most of these visits involve religious pilgrimages. Given Saudi Arabia's 2030 strategy, there is enormous growth for tourism in the country, particularly given the relaxed rules over tourist visas. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), tourism in Saudi Arabia added 9% to the kingdom's total economy and is worth $63 billion.

This project aims to understand the role of advanced technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in stimulating traveler interest in visiting Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the project aims to uncover the role that AR may play within social media to encourage travelers to share content and experiences.

Funding bid submitted to the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education for £14,000 in cooperation with colleagues at Kind Faisal University.
Arnold Clark 2030 PhD Scholarships - The Future of the Automotive Industry
McLean, Graeme (Principal Investigator)
The Arnold Clark 2030 project is an innovative project seeking to aid Arnold Clark with their future business strategy looking forward to 2030. The work involves the funding of five PhD Scholarships in pursuit of understanding the future of the automotive industry.

The research will draw on expertise across three University departments including: Marketing, Computer and Information Science and Electronic and Electrical Engineering. In the ambition to be the front-runner in the new transport industry by 2030, Arnold Clark recognise that the customer of tomorrow is likely to have different buying habits and needs to the customer of today. Accordingly, the Arnold Clark 2030 project will examine future customer behaviour and how this reflects on Arnold Clark’s business model. More specifically, the research will examine the use of advanced technology as part of the customer journey, understanding customer needs through artificial intelligence and understanding the complexity of electric vehicles and the demands on the wider infrastructure and business opportunities.

Funding Value: £398,276
01-Jan-2019 - 29-Jan-2024
Social Media and the New Frontier: Examining the role of AR in Social Media
McLean, Graeme (Principal Investigator) Barhorst, Jennifer (Co-investigator)
Social Media has become a cornerstone of marketing in recent years. The proliferation of social media use has exceeded that of any other media. Reflecting the hype of social media, augmented reality has emerged as a technology that may be an important component of a marketers toolkit. Conceptualisations on the benefits of augmented reality has been widespread with some commentators claiming the technology to be the most disruptive in the next decade. Similar tones are sounding regarding augmented reality as there were with social media in 2005. Such hype has seen brands jump into augmented reality in the hope that consumers will adopt and use the technology with beneficial marketing outcomes. Many similar parallels can be drawn between social media and augmented reality, none more so than the facilitating role of the mobile device.

However, limited research has considered the power of the combination of social media and augmented reality. This project aims to uncover the role of augmented reality in developing interesting and engaging content that consumers are likely to share. Recently some brands have taken to social media such as Snapchat to develop shareable AR filters with friends. Accordingly, this research project will assess the influence AR has on positive eWOM, direct sharing, purchase intentions and perceptions towards the brand.
Investigating the lasting impact of Augmented Reality - is it all just a fad?
McLean, Graeme (Principal Investigator) Barhorst, Jennifer (Principal Investigator)
Augmented Reality (AR) has been outlined as having the potential to stimulate interest in marketing communications messages. AR integrates the consumer as a part of the marketing message and allows them to interact and manipulate content, blending virtual objects with real-world physical objects. However, despite the vast claims on the benefits of AR in marketing communications little is known on the lasting impression the technology provides. Accordingly, this project aims to understand the influence of Augmented Reality on consumer memory recall of a brand's marketing message.

Funded by Charleston Business Fund, South Carolina value of $1000
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2021
Exploring the role of Augmented Reality on favourable Marketing Outcomes
McLean, Graeme (Principal Investigator) Barhorst, Jennifer (Principal Investigator) Mack, Rhonda (Academic) Shah, Esta (Academic) Mac, Rhonda (Academic)
This research takes a holistic approach to exploring the application of Augmented Reality (AR) within Marketing. Through the facilitating role of the mobile device, AR has emerged as a unique and vivid means of interacting with consumers. AR provides marketers the opportunity to link the 'real world' with the 'virtual world'. This project explores the use of Augmented Reality in achieving favourable marketing outcomes. The project extends our theoretical and practical understanding of how AR technology can be applied in the marketing domain.

Funded by the College of Charleston
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2020
Investigating the use of marketing automation on customer relationships within the Scottish financial industry
Alexander, Matthew (Principal Investigator) McLean, Graeme (Principal Investigator) Lehto, Sissi (Co-investigator)
This research will explore the role, and the potential of marketing automation software within the Scottish financial industry. More specifically, the aim of this research is to explore the use of marketing automation and assess if it increases transparency, allowing for a more accurate analysis of the effects of various digital marketing efforts on customer relationships.
Marketing automation can be defined as a computerized technology that aids marketers and managers reach their objectives. It consists of a software platform that enables the automation of various marketing tasks, including for example e-mail marketing or database management. Additionally, it allows marketers to track customer online behaviour, such as the number of site visits per customer, through the use of cookies, login information recognition and IP address recognition, enabling marketers to collect a more holistic picture of the potential customer over time. The main idea is to send the potential customer the right message at the right time, in other words, to respond to a prospects action, for example signing up for a newsletter, by specific communications. Such activity can be suggested to influence the customer experience, which in turn impacts the overall customer relationships. This study will aim to enhance understanding on marketing automation and its impact on service delivery in the context of the financial services sector within the Scottish economy. The financial services sector was chosen for scrutiny, as customer loyalty has been recognized as an important organizational goal due to the complex and dynamic nature of the retail banking, suggesting that the management of these relationships is important.

Funding: ESRC Doctorial Studentship Full Award £59,470
01-Jan-2018 - 01-Jan-2021

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