UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSING020: Markets and Customers


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This is a past version of this module for MSING020 16/17.
Click here for the current version.
Taught by
Omar Merlo
MSc Management students only
Term 2
Delivery method
5 full day sessions (x 5 weeks)
50% individual essay, 30% group coursework, 20% class presentations

Course overview

Among business disciplines, marketing is the primary contact point between a business and its customers. Nearly everybody will, at some point in their career, wear a marketing hat. Understanding market and customer management will help you whether you are an accountant, a consultant, a programmer, a banker, or a museum curator. Appreciating customer needs and how to marshal the resources of an organisation to meet those needs are crucial skills in today’s business world. This course develops a general management viewpoint in planning and evaluating market and customer-related decisions, from both a strategic (e.g., market selection, segmentation, etc.) and tactical (e.g., promotion, etc.) perspectives. This course will also help students understand how market-related decisions are affected by organizational and environmental influences.

Learning outcomes

This course will help develop the following: 

  • An understanding of fundamental market and customer management terms, concepts, principles, and theories. 
  • An understanding of how effective market and customer management contributes to business strategy and profitability. 
  • Skills pertaining to managing markets and building customer value.  
  • An ability to develop marketing plans, strategies and tactics.
  • An understanding of the close relationship between marketing and other functions within an organisation, and between marketing and innovation.
  • Critical thinking and communication skills relating to marketing.  

Topics covered

1. Defining marketing; marketing as a business function; marketing as a philosophy; the role of marketing in the organisation, linking marketing to customer and financial value creation, etc.

2. Marketing tactics and strategy; market intelligence generation, dissemination and responsiveness; the marketing mix and the marketing environment, etc.

3. Market Segmentation, targeting and positioning: market coverage options and decisions; market segmentation process; bases for segmentation, etc.

4. Consumer buying behaviour: stages in consumer buying decision-making; types of consumer decisions; principal factors affecting decision outcomes; impact on marketing strategy and programme design, etc.

5. Products and brands: the product-life cycle; new product development; product diffusion; managing product portfolios; managing brands; etc.

6. Services and Internet marketing: the peculiarities of services, the expanded marketing mix; assessing service quality; marketing online, etc.

7. Marketing communication: the communications process; the marketing communications mix; non-traditional marketing communications and online marketing, etc.

8. Loyalty and relationship marketing: the economics of loyalty; loyalty, growth an operating margins; customer defection; loyalty programmes, etc.​

Assessment summary

50% individual essay (2,000 words on topics covered in the course) 30% group assignment and presentation 20% class presentations

Essential reading

There is no set text book for this module. Students will be required to read a number of set case studies and articles.

Past versions of this module

MSIN0076 18/19

MSING020 17/18

MSING020 16/17

Last updated Friday, 27 September 2019