Geoff Simmons


  • Phone+442870123546
  • Shore Road, Jordanstown Campus

    BT37 0QB Newtownabbey

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile



I am Professor of Marketing and Consumer Insight at Ulster University Business School, Ulster University. And a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Previously to this I was Professor of Marketing and Director of Research for three years at Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast. My research is recognised as being of a world leading and internationally excellent standard.


Research is interested at a broad level in digitalisation in business and marketing. A key area of research and funding for my work has been and is the impact of big data consumer insight from sources such as Tesco Clubcard on SME marketing. I have also interests in brand management, market orientation and industrial marketing. With a developing interest in the integration of social marketing with big data to promote inclusive socio-economic development in Smart Cities. 

My research is published in world class outlets, such as the Harvard Business Review and the Financial Times top 50 Journal, Research Policy. I won best paper awards at the British Academy of Management and Irish Academy of Management conferences. A measure of my international standing, is a recent invitation by the world-leading MIT Press to review a book by a senior Faculty member on big data and creating value.

Research involves close engagement with businesses and policy makers. For example, for over ten years I have worked closely with dunnhumby UK, providing Tesco Clubcard consumer insights free of charge to SMEs from the food industry. This high impact research studies how the big data insights impacted their marketing capabilities and NPD over time. I also worked over a two-year period with Danske Bank UK senior management to optimally integrate big data analytics within precise targeting of consumer groups. In September 2020, I gave a keynote talk to the Senior Management Team at Allstate NI (largest IT company in N. Ireland) on Strategy, Technology and People.

Research Funding:

My research has attracted over £1 million pounds of external funding. I was Principle Investigator on a three-year research project - £296,336 funding from UK Government agencies - that provided Tesco Clubcard big data consumer insight to SMEs from the food industry, researching how it influenced their marketing capabilities and NPD. This high impact project involved extensive engagement at a Director level with Tesco, Invest NI and Dunnhumby UK. Recently I received £275,035 from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for the Economy to develop a Market Intelligence Lab for high impact SME research.

I have supervised eight PhD students to completion and am currently supervising two PhD students. I am also a proactive participant on PhD vivas as an External and Internal examiner as well as Chair.


I was a Visiting Professor with the University of Paraná in Brazil. I am a Peer Review College member of the Economic and Social Research Council (UK's leading research agency). I Co-Chaired the 2017 Irish Academy of Management Conference and have leadership roles organizing the leading tech institution IEEE global conferences on key topics such as AI and Big Data for business and society. I was appointed a member of IEEE Technology Engineering Management Society (TEMS) Professional and Educational Activities Committee (PEAC). I was a Council member of the Irish Academy of Management and Board member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I was External Examiner for Birmingham Business School MBA, University of Birmingham. I have also held external roles in PhD examining and interview panel membership for the Business School at Aston University, Business School at University College Cork and the Business School at National University of Ireland, Galway.

Current and Recent Grants


1) Project: Joint Principal Investigator with Professor Mary McCarthy UCC. Key Spoke Project of wider £1.4M Co-Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems on the Island of Ireland. The project aim is to explore the role of market intelligence provision to small food producers in developing an integrated marketing-NPD of nutritionally rich food products. 2024-2026.

Funders: SFI (Ireland) and UKRI (UK)

Amount: £372,848

2) Project: Principal Investigator. Market Intelligence Lab. Long-term research project involving development of a fully equiped lab with powerful sources of market intelligence from Tesco Clubcard and Mintel. To study invited SMEs' longitudinally on their use of the market intelligence and the impact on their marketing strategy and new product development. Ongoing.

Funders: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department of the Economy (DfE)

Amount: £275,035

3) Project: Principal Investigator. One year research project Ulster University (Ulster University Business School). Collaboration with University of East Anglia and dunnhumby UK to provide Tesco Clubcard data for small food firms in NI. 2021-2022.

Funders: Invest NI and the Department of the Economy

Amount: £67,811

4) Project: Principal Investigator. Three year research project Queen's University Belfast (Queen's Management School) collaboration with University of East Anglia (Norwich Business School) and dunnhumby UK. 2016-2019

Funders: Invest Northern Ireland and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

 Amount: £296,336

5) Project: Lead Academic. Two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Queen's Management School and Danske Bank. 2017-2019

Funders: Innovate UK (Momenta).

Amount: £144,509 

6)  Project: Co-investigator. Three year research project Ulster University (Ulster University Business School) collaboration with University of Kent (Kent Business School) and dunnhumby UK. 2008-2011

Funders: Department of Agriculture and Rural Development NI

Amount: £116,663

7)  Project: Lead Academic. Two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Ulster University Business School and CM Machinery. 2006-2008

Funders: Technology Strategy Board and Invest NI.

Amount: £99,744 (Awarded to Ulster University Business School).

8)  Project: Lead Academic. Two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Ulster University Business School and Woodlock Joinery. 2008-2010

Funders: Technology Strategy Board and Invest NI.

Amount: £99,744 (Awarded to Ulster University Business School).

9) Project: Principal Investigator. Dissemination of project of research findings coming from the dunnhumby project. 2011-2012

Funders: Ulster University Research Impact Awards

Amount: £6000.

10) Project: Principal Investigator. US Research Network Development with Ulster University Business School. 2009-2010

Funders: Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF); Invest Northern Ireland

Amount: Total = £8739. 


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Exploration of SME internet marketing optimisation

Award Date: 13 Nov 2008

External positions

NUI, NUI Galway

21 Dec 2020 → …

Member, ESRC - Peer Review College

19 Jul 2017 → …


  • HD28 Management. Industrial Management
  • Marketing
  • SMEs
  • Brand management


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