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Introduction to Marketing: Understanding your Customers

Discover the importance of customer personas, and how to create and use them to develop effective marketing plans.

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 2 of 3
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Learn how marketing segmentation can boost your campaigns

This course will give you the practical tools to analyse, assess, and improve marketing campaigns using different methods like customer personas, marketing segmentation, and customer relationship management systems.

Develop techniques to analyse consumer data and create customer personas

Understanding your customers is one of the most important parts of marketing and allows you to effectively target communications to the right audience.

One way to do this is by creating customer personas that allow you to easily identify your audiences.

On this course, you’ll find out how to analyse consumer data effectively to segment your customers and improve marketing communications and campaigns.

CRM: what is customer relationship management and why is it essential for marketers?

CRM programmes are vital for marketing teams and often help to link up multiple areas of a business like sales, support, and customer service.

This course will show you how to plan and deliver an effective CRM programme to meet your customers’ needs. By defining your processes and actions, you’ll be able to nurture customer relationships and help achieve your company’s objectives.

With more businesses seeing the benefits of CRM every year, having the skills to deliver a CRM programme and develop a CRM plan is extremely desirable for a career in marketing.

Apply your new skills to build CRM and marketing plans

Using the fundamentals of marketing alongside the new skills from this course, you’ll explore how to develop CRM plans and marketing plans.

With everything that you’ve learned so far, you’ll be able to match the right communication channel to the right audience and create more effective marketing communications.


  • Week 1

    Customer data

    • Welcome to the course

      In the first activity for week 1, you will spend some time learning how to get the most out of the FutureLearn platform.

    • Consumer data

      Later on, you will be introduced to the different types of consumer data and how to effectively use it in marketing communication.

    • How to segment your customer database

      Customer segmentation is the recognition that your audience isn’t all the same, and shouldn’t be treated as such.

    • Putting personas into action

      Personas are a way to bring your customer data to life. They are a key tool for visualising your customers, helping you to put them at the front and centre of your organisation.

    • How to use personas

      In this activity you will learn how to select the right communications channels to suit your audience; and how to develop creative that will appeal to your audience.

    • Congratulations

      Celebrate having successfully completed your week’s activities.

  • Week 2

    CRM programme

    • Week outcomes

      This step introduces learners to the learning outcomes.

    • Using customer data

      There is a wealth of data on potential customers out there. In this activity you will learn how to use it to benefit your marketing practices.

    • Delivering a CRM programme

      In this activity, you will learn about the benefits of creating relationships with your customers. You will explore why not all customers have the same needs and wants at the same time and why they need to be treated differently.

    • Developing a CRM plan

      This activity continues from the previous and focuses on the creation of a CRM plan document.

    • Peer graded assignment

      Complete the CRM plan for a campaign of a brand or organisation with which you are familiar, for peer review.

    • Additional resources

      The following links will take you to additional content that will enhance your learning experience.

    • End of the course

      Take part in the end-of-course test, and celebrate having completed your week's activities.

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

Download a PDF

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Use marketing techniques to turn data into valuable actionable information
  • Analyse your marketing campaigns
  • Produce a step-by-step plan to improve the marketing activity you do, using insights
  • Use personas in creating effective marketing communications, matching the right communication channel to the right audience

Who is the course for?

This marketing course is designed for anyone looking to enter a career in marketing and covers the fundamentals to get started in the industry.

It’s also suitable for existing marketers wanting to refresh and improve their skills and knowledge.

Who will you learn with?

I have a history of expertise in digital marketing, customer-centric communication strategies, and transforming customer engagement in B2C, B2B and not-for-profit.

I am head of learning at The IDM

Who developed the course?

Institute of Data & Marketing

The Institute of Data & Marketing, part of the Data & Marketing Association, is a leading body for the professional development of data and marketing practitioners.

About this ExpertTrack

Learn everything you need to know to be a top marketer and deliver engaging marketing campaigns that reach your target audience.

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn