Photo of Valerie Will
  • University Avenue, Ayr Campus

    KA8 0SR Ayr

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Personal profile


A Lecturer in Marketing with special interest and expertise in Service Quality in the Equestrian Industry, Social (not-for-profit) Marketing, the Marketing of 'Experiences' and Research Methods.

Outside of work, I am active in equestrianism and occasionally equestrian journalism.  I am also involved in charitable work with the Guide Dogs organisation (among others).                    

Area of academic expertise - outline

Topics: equestrian marketing; the marketing of services as 'experiences'; emotional and aesthetic labour; services as embodied practice; service quality.

Methods: qualitative including ethnography, focus groups, interviewing, content analysis, thematic analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA).

Current research activities

My main research area is rural enterprise and within that, my PhD work was an ethnographic exploration of service experience in the Scottish (and wider) equestrian industry.  I'm also interested in emotional and aesthetic labour, particularly in sporting contexts.

Desired research direction

As an experienced qualitative researcher, I'm interested in projects involving qualitative methods in general, but particularly any in relation to the equestrian industry (or other rural enterprise areas).

With a background in social (not-for-profit) marketing research, I’m also interested in researching and working with third sector organisations, including social enterprises; health and social marketing agencies and charities.

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

  • Qualitative research methods training
  • Marketing research
  • Equestrian journalism

Target collaborative companies

I would be interested to work with equestrian (and other) organisations in order to review and develop the quality of their service provision and their customer service experience.

Target collaborative organisations

Any involved in the provision of equestrian services

External positions

External Examiner, University of Salford

Oct 2018Sep 2022

External Examiner, University of Hertfordshire

Sep 2014Sep 2018

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Research Output 2013 2016

From the horse's mouth...

Will, V., 4 Jul 2016, p. 142-142. 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

“It takes one bad apple”: livery yards in Scotland - a case study

Will, V., Oct 2016.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

narrative interview
research approach
qualitative research

Horses as key informants? A consideration of including animals as ethnographic partners

Will, V., Aug 2015.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Press / Media

Forskare: Hästhållningen skapar många konflikter

Valerie Will


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research


Jacqui Greener

Person: Academic, Doctor of Philosophy

Consumer choice
Destination branding