Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Management, Operations and Marketing


The Internet has offered innovative opportunities for international communication and participation in activities that were previously impossible due to geographical constraints. It also provides a platform for commercial activities. Marketers have been active in this virtual space, particularly with key stakeholders. In stark contrast with traditional media, social media channels, such as, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest allow consumers to interact and actively seek and choose material they desire. Marketers have exploited recent shifts in communication practices to develop more interactive, engaging and co-created marketing strategies and tactics. However, a growing need has arisen to comprehensively understand how marketing messages and their associated meanings are constructed and conveyed by all key stakeholder material that impacts campaign development. This thesis utilises theories and develops frameworks to understand better the complex and dynamic interactive environment of new media marketing campaign communication.

In order to incorporate the dynamic and participatory nature of new media marketing communication, this dissertation introduces and implements a social semiotic multimodal (SSMM) framework labelled fabric. The SSMM model uses systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and social semiotic theories and methods to underpin the approach. The framework facilitates understanding of the micro and macro elements of a new media marketing campaign, and possesses the ability to identify and to analyse co-produced messages and cocreated meanings in the new media marketing landscape. This study further examines the message constraints experienced by a constructor of a marketing message for each new media site detailed in the Fairtrade Fortnight, 2012 case study. It also reviews the media affinity choices made by the message constructor that directly impact campaign meaning. In addition, the framework allows the meaning of various ‘mini’ campaigns (Themed Clusters) to be identified, analysing their individual contributions to campaign meaning and how they impact the campaign composition.

The thesis highlights the need to explore and improve semantic approaches to understand marketing communication and campaign construction, especially in the area of stakeholder cocreated meaning.