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This content is taken from the The Open University & The Open University Business School's online course, The Digital Economy: Selling Through Customer Insight. Join the course to learn more.


Hello, and welcome to Selling Through Customer Insight.

This course is one of four available in the ‘The Digital Economy’ program. When you upgrade on all four course in this program, and qualify for a Certificate of Achievement on each, you can earn 15 UK credits towards The Open University Business School’s flexible MBA by passing a linked Open University assessment course (requiring separate OU registration and fee).

Don’t worry if ‘digital’ is still a difficult concept for you to define in terms of selling and the economy; it still is to the experts, as you will see shortly! However, that hasn’t stopped digital technologies revolutionising the way we experience so many aspects of our lives, including the way we do business.

Each week in this course poses a fundamental question about selling and customer insight in the digital economy. You will address these questions through a series of discussions, activities and supporting media. Specifically, you will look at how those technologies are changing, how businesses interact with customers as a result and how consumers perceive, and are affected by, those interactions.

  • Week 1 looks at some big technology ‘buzz words’, and explores how these technologies are driving the digital economy.
  • In Week 2 you will learn more about what is meant by the term ‘insight’ in the context of sales, and how customer insight is enabled and managed by technology.
  • Week 3 becomes personal; it asks how digital engagement works, why it’s increasingly about personalisation and what it means for businesses and consumers.
  • The final week looks at possible future trends in the digital economy, but also adds a note of caution about the danger of insight becoming interference.

Who will support your learning?

The lead educator on this course is Hilary Collins. Hilary is a strategic design academic with research interests in the economic and cultural role of the creative industries. She teaches Open University courses in strategy and design thinking.

To support this process we will have two mentors, Steven Pearson and Penny Walters. You can access the FutureLearn profiles of those supporting your learning and follow them.

A key feature of the learning experience on a FutureLearn course is the idea of social learning. Our learning is at its best when we share and debate ideas with fellow learners, and we therefore encourage you to ask questions and engage with others via comments and participation in the discussions that take place.

If this is the first FutureLearn course you have studied, you might find it useful to visit the Using FutureLearn page.

Introduce yourself

Before you move onto the next step, click the ‘comments’ icon and spend a few minutes introducing yourself, including a brief outline of your motivations for joining this course. Find out about your fellow learners by reading and replying to other comments.

When you’re ready to move on, mark this step as complete before selecting ‘next’.

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This article is from the free online course:

The Digital Economy: Selling Through Customer Insight

The Open University