MK9701 - The Digital Customer Journey: Data, Profiling and CRM

What will I learn on this module?

This module is designed to provide you with an introduction to how consumers behave in the digital domain and the opportunities this presents for organisations targeting them. At the heart of this is the concept of consumer behaviour, which has been revolutionised by emerging technologies, offering new opportunities for communication with companies and fellow consumers. This will be complemented by an in-depth review of how consumers can be profiled based on their lifestyle characteristics, and an acknowledgement of the role of database marketing in collating, updating and using data to deliver personalised communications messages.

Throughout the module you will cover the following themes:

• Consumer Decision Making: understanding how consumers choose between brand offerings, and specifically how their use of digital channels has changed their consumer behaviour. This will link closely with multi-channel marketing strategy you will address in MK9700 (which is delivered concurrently).

• Journey Mapping: an appreciation of how consumers make decisions as they progress through their everyday lives, what influences these decisions and the critical company-consumer touch points.

• Customer Profiling: investigation of a range of criteria that can be used to segment and profile consumers, ranging from demographics to psychographic and geo-demographic data.

• Database Marketing: introduction to principles of database marketing, understanding the processes of data acquisition and data cleansing (linking with marketing legislation in MK9700 where appropriate).

• Customer Relationship Marketing: understanding how personal data can be used to forge customer relationships via permission marketing and personalisation. This will also address important decisions such as key account management and demarketing.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be supported by a Teaching and Learning Plan (TLP) which outlines the formal sessions (lectures, seminars and workshops), and provides details of tutor-directed and independent study/learning.

Contact time will be split across formal lecture and seminar contact, and also workshop sessions where students will work towards development of their customer journey portfolio (please see assessment section for more details).

The lecture contact time will aim to introduce the core principles of consumer behaviour, profiling and database marketing, aided by the extensive use of case studies and examples to ensure students see how this knowledge can be applied in the digital domain. Seminars will offer students the chance to work on mini-cases and apply theory covered in lectures to business problems. Students will be encouraged to critically review their own and other student’s work which helps towards the achievement of the Northumbria Graduate Characteristics. Workshops will be primarily assessment based, and offer students the space and support to develop a range of materials that will comprise their summatively assessed portfolio. Students will work on these tasks individually but will be required to evidence peer assessment and feedback on their ideas which will be achieved within these sessions.

Directed learning will focus on pre-reading, activity based learning through specially designed seminar exercises, and the use of the e-Learning Portal (eLP). Independent learning will be based upon your own initiative in further exploring and researching areas of interest including consumer behaviour and permission marketing / associated legislation.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

This module will be designed and managed by the designated module tutor who will be responsible for guiding your engagement and learning on this module. Your seminar tutors and lecturers will provide academic guidance in class and via email where appropriate. All relevant instructions and notes for lectures and seminars will be accessible to you online and through mobile via the e-Learning Portal (eLP).

To complement the workshop sessions, you will be encouraged to book separate time with the teaching team to receive further feedback on your developing portfolio ideas. It is also hoped that where possible this may involve the use of industry professionals to offer feedback from a more applied perspective. Industry practitioners may also provide input through guest lectures (depending on availability) to complement the academic input from your lecturers.

The University provides an excellent library facility which is accessible 24/7 during term time and provides you with access to a wide variety of specialist journals and other relevant publications focusing on the themes covered in this module. There are top of the range IT facilities at the Faculty of Business and Law building where your formal study sessions will take place.

In addition, there will be a residential weekend where a range of activities designed by professionals will help you build your competencies from a personal and professional development point of view. This is based within a core module (NX0472) however the skills gained are directly transferable to digital marketing modules.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Gain a critical appreciation of how consumers make decisions in the online digital domain. [MLO1]
• Demonstrate a critical understanding of profiling and database marketing techniques. [MLO2]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Develop professional standard marketing materials using appropriate software. [MLO3]
• Critically reflect on the process of developing researched consumer insights. [MLO4]

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Demonstrate an awareness of how issues surrounding customer privacy and associated legislation impact on the marketing profession. [MLO5]

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be provided in seminars (focusing on set tasks) and workshops (with specific focus on the assessment activities).

Summative assessment will be undertaken on an individual basis and will be based on a portfolio of materials which are to be developed throughout the course of the module. Students will be required to identify a case study organisation and engagement in the development of a range of materials to aid them in understanding their digital consumers, including:

- Consumer Journey Mapping Exercise;
- Profiling documentation;
- Database template;
- Annotated personalised digital content;
- Reflective statement of learning.

The assessment will be structured as follows:

- Presentation of the consumer journey and mapping (25%, conducted mid-semester);
- Portfolio of all created materials (75%, submitted end of semester).





Module abstract

Marketing is not just about securing the sale: it is about managing the overall experience of the customer from first enquiry through to comprehensive after sales care and relationship maintenance. Understanding the customer, their needs and their behaviours is increasingly important in the online domain where in many cases we lack face-to-face contact with our most important asset.

In this module you will develop an appreciation of how customers make buying decisions online and appreciate the journey they embark upon when dealing with companies: every point of contact (be it a website visit, email enquiry, tweet etc.) is a critical customer touchpoint which needs to be managed professionally. Such interactions also provide the perfect opportunity for companies to collect insightful data on their customers to ensure they receive a truly personalised experience.

By completing this module you will develop a comprehensive understanding of customer relationship management and database marketing, two critical activities for any digital marketer. You will also develop a portfolio of materials which demonstrate your ability to understand customer segments, map their journey and manage the company-customer relationship.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time
1 other options available

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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