Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the The Open University & The Open University Business School's online course, The Digital Economy: Success through Market Segmentation. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsSPEAKER 1: Here's a thought for you. It's not complicated or clever, but stop and think this through seriously. What do you do when you want to purchase something?

Skip to 0 minutes and 17 secondsNowadays, your answer is almost certain to include going online, even if it's just to research your options. When you decide to pick one product or service, your choice will be based on features someone has targeted you to receive. You're in a market segment.

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 secondsBy the end of your four weeks of learning with us, you'll be able to understand the core concepts of marketing and the significance of the digital economy, link segmentation strategy to an organisation's overall strategic direction as they embrace the impact of the digital economy, improve your or your organisation's performance by using market segmentation, identify and deal sensitively with ethical issues in the online world arising from market segmentation.

Skip to 1 minute and 21 secondsBut in the first week, we've posed this question.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 secondsLet's get started.


Hello and welcome to Success Through Marketing Segmentation.

This course is one of four available in The Digital Economy program. Successful completion of all four courses (as evidenced by upgrading and then receiving a Certificate of Achievement for each course when you become eligible) can lead to 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). Find out more about Managing in the Digital Economy, the linked Open University assessment course.

The first week of this course will explore marketing in the digital economy.

Let’s begin by asking the question: what do you do when you want to purchase something, such as car insurance or a sofa? Your answer is almost certainly going to include going online to see what options exist. When you decide to pick one product or service over all of those available, you will be choosing based on features targeted to market segments. This online market place can be thought of as part of the digital economy, an idea which has revolutionised how we as consumers make choices, and how marketers interact with us.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • understand the core concepts of marketing, and the significance of changes enabled by the digital economy
  • link segmentation strategy to an organisation’s overall strategic direction, recognising the impact of the digital economy
  • improve your organisation’s performance by using market segmentation
  • identify and deal sensitively with ethical issues arising from market segmentation in the digital economy.

This week we will pose the question: what does the digital economy mean for the discipline of marketing?

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, Sue Curd and Peter Sharp. 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 and the FAQ page.

Get extra benefits, upgrade your course

You can now get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:

Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests: Ensure you’ve mastered the material with access to tests on the course.

A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement or when you become eligible.

Find out more

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

The Digital Economy: Success through Market Segmentation

The Open University