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Professor Sarah Xiao

Professor in Marketing & Programme Director, Fudan DBA Department of Management & Marketing

Professor in Marketing & Programme Director, Fudan DBA Department of Management & Marketing in the Business School+44 (0) 191 33 46353


Sarah Hong Xiao is Professor of Marketing at Durham University Business School and Programme Director for the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) at Fudan University in China.

A consumer psychologist, Sarah’s research focuses on interactions between consumer behaviour, marketing, and technology in marketing innovation across the retail, service, and tourism sectors. Over the past five years, she has particularly been engaged in work aimed at understanding how artificial intelligence can be better leveraged to assist consumer decision-making, predict brand reputations and company performance. Her work has attracted significant research funding and contributed to the marketing strategies of organisations large and small, from major international corporations to local small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). By using interdisciplinary research methods, Sarah is an acknowledged expert in consumer behaviour analysis, behaviour pattern analysis, impulse purchasing, customer journey mapping, and social media data analysis and interpretation.

Published works frequently appear in leading international journals such as Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Travel Research, Annals of Tourism Research, Psychology and Marketing, etc. She regularly collaborates with colleagues around the world. Her organisational partners include a range of private and public sector bodies.

Sarah belongs to a number of professional bodies, such as the British Academy of Management, the Academy of Marketing Science, and the Society for Consumer Psychology. Prior to arriving in Durham, however, she enjoyed a successful career in marketing and business development, as well as being a successful entrepreneur and Managing Director within the IT sector.

Research interests

  • Behavioural Change
  • Consumer Analytics (Big data, AI, Machine Learning)
  • Consumer Behaviour Analysis
  • Illicit Consumption and Consumer Misbehaviour
  • Neuroscience, Marketing and Consumer Choice
  • Mobile commerce
  • Social Marketing, especially within the context of health, Digital Marketing and consumer data analytics


Journal Article


Working Paper

Supervision students

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