Market segmentation is a marketing term referring to the division of prospective buyers into groups that have common needs and respond similarly to a marketing action. Market segmentation is an extension of market research that seeks to identify targeted groups of consumers for the purpose of tailoring products and branding in a way that is attractive to the group.

Marketing is all about putting the customer at the centre of the business. But what exactly does that mean for today’s organisations, and what challenges do marketers face in satisfying ever more demanding customers in the age of digital disruption?

About the course

In this free online course, you look at the challenges marketers are facing today and how they can gain a competitive advantage by using the vast amount of customer data available to segment, target, and personalise products for their customers.

This course provides an in-depth grounding in market segmentation as a process, revealing how you can adapt it to improve business performance, whether in a start-up or an established firm.

What you will learn

You will learn how data-driven segmentation can lead to long term success in competitive markets. You will grasp the relevance of the three stages of segmentation, targeting, and positioning, and develop critical insights into how to apply it to gain a competitive advantage.

The Digital Economy: Success Through Market Segmentation is one of four courses from The Open University about the digital economy, designed to help experienced managers get to grips with today’s technology-enabled business environment.

The course has been developed by The Open University Business School, which is triple accredited by AMBA, EQUIS, and AACSB.

Holders of FutureLearn Certificates of Achievement for all four Digital Economy courses can earn 15 UK credits towards The Open University Business School’s flexible MBA by passing a linked Open University assessment module (requiring separate OU registration and fee).


This course is intended for learners wanting to know about how the digital era is affecting market segmentation strategies of organisations, their customers and stakeholders. You do not require any previous knowledge or experience of marketing to study this course but you could benefit from having some knowledge of business in general.

Find further information about OU registration, the assessment module and MBA in the entry requirements. The Open University does not operate in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. This means that Learners based in those countries will not be able to convert their participation in this programme to Open University course credits.

About the instructor

Hilary Collins is a strategic design academic with research interests in the economic and cultural role of the creative industries. She teaches OU courses in strategy and design thinking.

Starting date: 20 February, 2017

Duration: 4 weeks, 3 hours per week

Language: English

Instructors: Hilary Collins

InstitutionThe Open University


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