DA5049 - Digital Consumerism

What will I learn on this module?

Many customers are increasingly multichannel in their interactions with organisations, and this module is designed to give you an oversight of how customers make decisions online as individuals and collective groups. Core themes of this module include:

- Customer Personas and Segmentation: You will consider how customers can be segmented based upon their levels of digital literacy and engagement, and also consider the technological requirements of different generational groups (such as millennials versus generation Z). From here you will develop skills in creating customer personas as a tool to aid marketing decision making.
- Consumer Decision Making: understanding how consumers choose between brand offerings, and specifically how their use of digital channels has changed their consumer behaviour.
- Journey Mapping: You will gain 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.
- Virtual Brand Communities: Many online organisations attempt to create online communities where users contribute towards co-creation of new products, advocate the brand or engage in various engagement strategies (such as gamification). You will also consider how digital channels have given consumers increased voice and influence in the marketplace and the growth of brand activism.
- Social Consequences of Digitisation: You will also consider some of the negative consequences of consumer engagement with online channels, including social media and screen addiction, fake reviews, abusive / harmful behaviour and security / privacy issues.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is delivered through a combination of tutor-directed learning, group learning and independent learning. In the taught sessions, an interactive approach will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experiences. Contact time will be split across formal lecture and seminar contact:

• The lecture contact time will aim to introduce the core principles of digital consumer behaviour, customer personas and journey mapping
• Seminars will offer practical opportunities to discuss how these concepts apply to case companies, and specifically to critically review the implications of digital consumerism on businesses and wider society.

Participants can therefore expect a reflective-practitioner approach to learning to be embedded in all sessions through undertaking activities, which facilitate them to apply theory to ‘real-life’ situations, critically analysing and making recommendations for appropriate ways forward for the organisation/individual. The module aims to provide impact to your day-to-day professional role. You will be encouraged to build an in-depth understanding of customers served by your organisation, how they combine online and offline channels and how their digital preferences can be leveraged to enhance business success.

Much of the knowledge on digital consumerism is understandably new and open to debate and discussion. You will be encouraging to be critical of new insights on digital consumers using real-life experience to challenges the core theories explored in class.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

How will I be supported academically on this module? (SRS 0003) Please provide a brief overview of the academic support available to students, in
You will be supported throughout this module by both a module tutor and the wider teaching team. These staff will be responsible for guiding your engagement and learning on this module. Seminar tutors and lecturers will provide you with 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).
You will be supported by a Teaching and Learning Plan (TLP) which outlines the formal sessions and provides details of tutor-directed and independent study/learning to support your in-class work.
You will also be supported by a professional development coach who provides your consistent support throughout your Degree Apprenticeship. This coach will support with:
• Helping you to understand the requirements of this module and how it relates to your workplace context.
• Helping you to understand how you can apply and evidence the knowledge, skills and behaviours covered in the module to your own practice in the workplace to develop your portfolio of professional practice.
• Visiting you at work and engaging with your manager and/or mentor to ensure alignment between your learning and opportunities for applying and demonstrating a positive impact in your work organisation.

The module will also have an e-reading list which directs learners to specific reading for each session.

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: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

At the end of this module, you should be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Analyse how consumers make decisions in the online digital domain. (ML01)
• Summarise the positive and negative implications of digital consumerism. (ML02)

Intellectual / Professional Skills & Abilities:
• Produce complex customer personas and journey mappings which identify critical touchpoints. (ML03)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Demonstrate an awareness of the social and ethical challenges of digital consumerism. (ML04)

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be provided in class (focusing on set tasks and assessment activities).

Summative assessment
The module is to be assessed through production of a portfolio of materials, which bring together the core themes of the module and apply them to the student work organisation. This will include:

- Production of two customer personas representing the organisation’s most important market segments;
- Production of Customer Journey Mapping exercise using relevant software;
- 1000 word proposal on how the work organisation can use virtual brand communities and influencers in their marketing strategy.





Module abstract

The growth of digital marketing has been fuelled by the increased integration of digital technologies into everyday life. To take full advantage of the opportunities this brings, marketers need to develop a full understanding of how customers behave on the digital domain, their purchasing processes and the key influences. This module will provide you with an in-depth understanding of digital customer behaviour and understand the implications of this, not only for organisations but also for wider society.

During this module you will consider contemporary questions such as: How can marketers use virtual brand communities (e.g. on social media) to generate positive word of mouth? What are the key touchpoints for customer online when making purchase decisions? To what extent do millennials and Gen Z differ in their use of digital channels? What are the potentially negative societal implications of customers becoming increasingly dependent on digital technology?

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 Years Part-Time

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.


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