Understanding your customers
Understanding your customers

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Understanding your customers


This course has explored the importance and relevance of understanding customers, not only as business owners, marketers or potential students, but as customers themselves.

It has examined some key marketing concepts and terminology and discussed contemporary approaches to understanding customer behaviour and how behaviour may be interpreted or used to generate certain responses, improving the value of customer relationships.

It has also highlighted some differences between consumer and business-to-business marketing in terms of relationships and decision-making.

If you are thinking of taking your marketing studies further, you may wish to consider embarking on a BA (Honours) Business Management (Marketing) degree. The material for this course is an adapted extract from B206 Understanding customers [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , a mandatory module in Stage 2 of the degree, which you can learn more about in the video below.

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Transcript: Video 3


JEANETTE: Hello, my name is Jeanette Hartley. I'm a postgraduate researcher here at the Open University. Congratulations on completing the OpenLearn course. We hope you enjoyed it. Perhaps it's left you wanting more.

We based the course on the introduction to our module B206 Understanding customers. This is a module in the Open University’s BA (Honours) Business Management and Marketing degree. If you are thinking of taking your studies further, why not consider registering for the full module, either on its own or as part of a full time or part time degree with the Open University?

Have you ever wondered why you sometimes emerge from the supermarket with a full trolley, having just gone in for a loaf of bread? In the module Understanding Customers, you will tackle questions like this to help you understand why customers buy. You’ll learn how marketers influence customers, whether as individuals or professional buyers, and pick up some useful skills yourself. You’ll also study how social marketers sell things like healthier lifestyles using the same tools as their commercial counterparts.

This module is ideal if you’re working in marketing, aiming to work in marketing, wanting to gain insights for your own business, or if you simply want to understand more about your own consumer behavior.

The module will enable you to learn about the psychological theories on consumer decision making. You will learn how marketers have taken up models and approaches from social psychology and other disciplines to try and understand processes such as motivation, attitude formation, and how customers select and process persuasive messages. You’ll also learn to identify customer groups and the social and cultural influences on consumption, contemporary trends in consumer research, and how to tap into opinion leadership and followership in social networks. You would even participate in a peer review exercise, where you will use presentation software to draft a poster on which you'll exchange feedback with other students on the module.

Finally, you will learn about organizational business to business buying behavior, relationship mobilizing, and branding in an organizational context, exciting stuff for potential marketers. While there are no formal prerequisites for the module, it would help if you started it with a basic understanding of marketing. This might come either from your existing work experience or from the Open University's module, An Introduction to Business Management.

If you do embark on a course of study, you will be supported throughout by a tutor. You'll also have access to the module website, which includes modules materials, audio and video content, an assessment guide, and online tutorials and forums. B206 Understanding customers starts once a year in October, so if you are interested, act now. Go onto the website, and speak to an advisor.

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