Dr Brent Coker

Marketing, Technology, & Electronic Commerce

Dr Brent Coker

Expert Witness

Testimony & Opinion

TEL: +61 3 83441933

Dr Coker has a PhD in electronic commerce and information systems (2007). His research focusses on consumer behaviour within the realm of psychology, and digital business models and marketing. He currently teaches Digital Marketing and Digital Business Models at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Coker’s aim is to provide expert and impartial unbiased opinions to the courts.

Dr Coker can prepare scientific reports pertaining to consumer behaviour, branding, and Digital Marketing and technology related topics, based on scientific findings published in academic peer reviewed journals, and other third party relevant research. Any opinions expressed by Dr Coker are supported by peer reviewed academic research, established academic theory, industry standards, and other relevant logical evidence. 

Dr Coker’s award winning research into digital marketing and consumer behaviour has been published in top peer reviewed academic journals, beginning in 2004 when his research into the integration of the internet into business models won Best Paper Award at the 15th Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS). In the late 1990s Dr Coker had a dot-com (fernland.com), and he is currently director of Deloosh Pty Ltd, inventor of the web analytics tool ‘Webreep”, and author of the book “Going Viral” (Pearson UK).

He is a member of the North American Association for Consumer Research, and the Australian Institute of Marketing. Available for expert witness work, consultation, and advisement in Australia and internationally.

Important Note: Bias in expert opinion.

‘Adversarial bias’ is the term used to describe an expert whose general opinion towards the matter is not impartial and is bias towards the party retaining the witness.

Judge Heydon* once famously stated:

“Many experts are willing for a generous (and sometimes for a modest) fee to bend their science in the direction from which their fee is coming. The constraints that the market in consultant services for lawyers places on this sort of behaviour are weak … The judicial constraints on tendentious expert testimony are inherently weak because judges (and even more so juries …) lack training or experience in the relevant fields of expert knowledge.”

To solve this issue, the Australian courts have implemented measures to counter partisanship, including requiring experts to read, acknowledge and sign a code of conduct prior to giving evidence.

My role as an expert witness, if retained, is to provide unbiased and truthful knowledge and facts to the court to facilitate decision making pertaining to ultimate judgement. Accordingly, I offer free initial consultations to discuss the matter before being retained. In this consultation I will explain my general opinion of the matter based on my expertise and relevant scientific research reports. If the scope of the matter is beyond my expertise, I will make this known. If the matter is in my area of expertise, please note that my opinions during this initial consultation may differ from the retaining legal team’s opinion. Amongst other things, I will do sufficient research to determine the extent to which the academic peer reviewed literature on the topic in general agrees  (or disagrees) with the legal team’s argument.

I do not typically accept the role of an expert for the benefits of monetary gain, though due to the demand for my time I do seek compensation (based on standard University outside consulting rates). My motives for participating as an expert in matters before the courts are based solely on my interests as an academic, and my duty as an academic in the realm of ‘public engagement and service’ – a dimension of academic performance usually demanded from Universities as a measure of job performance.

*Makita (Australia) Pty Ltd v Sprowles (2001) 52 NSWLR 705, 744 per Heydon JA.

Nature and Details of Expertise

Dr Coker is an academic at the University of Melbourne. His research and teaching specialises in Digital Marketing and Consumer Behaviour (consumer psychology). His PhD is in the field of Information Systems/Electronic Commerce (His PhD thesis was titled: “Predicating Internet Purchasing Intention”), using an experimental consumer psychology methodology.

Dr Coker has been employed full time as a researcher and teaching academic at the University of Melbourne soince 2008. His role at University involves researching and publishing new knowledge in the field of Marketing, mostly in the area of consumer behavior. He teaches mostly Digital Business and Marketing subjects to undergraduate and postgraduate students, though has also taught subjects including business-to-business marketing, brand management, and channel marketing.

His research focusses specifically on consumer behavior (His PhD thesis was titled: “Predicating Internet Purchasing Intention”). Dr Coker’s knowledge and area of expertise is somewhat unique since his training transcends the fields of marketing and technology. During his PhD training, one of his supervisors was from the field of marketing, while his other supervisor was from the field of information systems.

Dr Coker founded the dot-com “Fernland” in 1998, and is currently founding director of Deloosh Pty Ltd – a technology and market research company. He is also inventor of the web analytics tool “Webreep” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webreep_Model) which was the first web app to detect and measure website dissatisfaction.

Dr Coker was awarded the prestigious “Best Entrepreneurial Educator of The Year” by the Business and Higher Education Round Table in 2012 (presented by Sen. Hon Chris Evans—National Award), and from 2012-2013 wrote a monthly column for Business Solutions magazine. His more scholarly research has been published in high impact international peer reviewed academic journals including: The Journal of Retailing, European Journal of Marketing, and the Journal of Economic Psychology.

He has consulted to several companies on the topic of consumer behavior and technology including Qantas, IBM, and Oticon to name a few. He has been researching and consulting on consumer behavior and how consumers make purchasing decisions and digital business full-time since 2003.

Expert Testimony, Deposition Work, Affidavit and Report Writing, Conclave and Other

Any opinions expressed by Dr Coker are supported by peer reviewed academic research, established academic theory, industry standards, and other relevant logical evidence. Specific areas of expertise include:

  • Branding and advertising
  • Influencer Marketing
  • E-commerce, internet, and digital business models
  • Online consumer behaviour and perception psychology
  • Online branding, including brand crisis and equity damage
  • Consumer psychology and marketing perception
  • Internet history
  • Mobile apps and mobile business model development and deployment
  • Digital marketing practice, including black hat, spam, hacking, and advertising
  • Software and SAAS design (information systems and architecture)
  • UI Design, colour theory, Search Engine results interpretation
  • SEO, SEM, and Digital Advertising Practice