Service Innovation and Marketing

Module description


This module provides an interdisciplinary/applied approach for understanding, analysing and innovating service delivery. Understanding market segments, value propositions, and innovative ways to deliver service is essential for competitiveness. Digital technologies (geospatial/eye-tracking; AR/VR) provide significant opportunities to innovate service design and delivery.

Building upon operations management and marketing theory, the idea of a service system is introduced. You will explore the influence of customer value/experience on business model design, delivery and evaluation. You will acquire technical skills and consultancy skills to equip you for the workplace. The module uses real service improvement examples (Vodafone, Microsoft, NHS) in the classroom.  

Additional Information:

External Engagement

Previous guest speakers have lectured on services systems, process modelling, service design, and on the current and future directions of service management.


Students develop their skills in analytical thinking, relationship building and teamwork, and communication. Consultancy skills and the use of innovative digital technologies, such as eye-tracking, will equip students for the workplace.

Full module specification

Module title:Service Innovation and Marketing
Module code:BEMM070
Module level:M
Academic year:2021/2
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Andi Smart - Convenor
  • Dr Laura Phillips - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

Service businesses are an important contributor to the economy. These businesses, operating in a global market place, are faced with the challenges of business model innovation to remain competitive. Innovative business models require an understanding of market segments and specific value propositions. New digital technologies such as geospatial tracking and eye-tracking provide new insights to inform market segmentation and value propositions. New ways of delivering value propositions, such as Virtual and Augmented Reality (AR/VR) provide significant opportunities to innovate service delivery. This module provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding, analysing and innovating service delivery. Building upon core concepts from operations management and marketing theory, the module aims to introduce you to the idea of a service system in which inter-dependent service delivery processes are designed to provide customer value. Particular attention is paid to the customer’s influence on the operating system. Specifically, you will explore the impact of customer value and customer experience on business model design, delivery and evaluation. In addition to acquiring technical skills in process modelling, service blueprinting, customer experience analysis and the use of advanced tools such as eye-tracking, you will also acquire consultancy skills to equip you for the workplace. This module is research led and is informed by research results from the VISTA AR project; a €7.8m (ERDF) project looking at digital innovation in cultural heritage sites. The module also draws on a number of research/consultancy engagements with, for example, Vodafone, Microsoft, RPA, NHS, National Trust, to provide real service innovation and improvement examples in the classroom. 

There is a strong applied focus throughout the module, introducing practical tools in process modelling, service blueprinting, customer experience analysis and the use of advanced tools such as eye-tracking. The module will draw real examples from a broad range of services and will be taught using lectures, workshops and case studies. As part of the assessment, you will be required to analyse a 'real world' service process and make recommendations for improvement.

Specifically the module aims are to:

  • • Enable students to critically evaluate Operations Management/Marketing theories in a service context
  • • Develop analytical skills for service system innovation and improvement
  • • Develop technical and consultancy skills

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. understand and critique the theories which underpin service systems and operations/marketing;
  • 2. identify, analyse and evaluate business processes and assess their impact on performance;
  • 3. apply relevant models, tools and frameworks to evaluate service delivery.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. apply understanding of service and systems concepts and their relevance to the modern economy;
  • 5. critically evaluate design options for service delivery;
  • 6. use relevant tools and technology to document, measure and analyse service encounters and processes.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. work independently and in small groups to develop research and problem-solving skills;
  • 8. present analytical findings in written and oral formats.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity12Lectures (5 x 2 hours and 2 x 1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity5Tutorials (5 x 1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity14Workshops (4 x 2hr technology workshops; 2 x 3hr data analysis workshops)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity2On-site data collection
Guided Independent Study11733 hours reading and lecture/tutorial preparation; 24 hours individual and group preparation of presentation; 60 hours essay planning and writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Case study analysis30 minutes1-4,7,8In session by tutor
Application of assessment techniques30 minutes1-8In session by tutor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation3020 mins (+10 mins Q&A)1,2,6,7,8Written feedback will be provided after marking. A model answer, indicating general strengths and weaknesses, will be posted on the University website after the presentations.
Individual Assignment703000 words max (+ appendices)1,3,4,5,6,7,8Written feedback will be provided after marking

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group presentationPresentation Slide deck1,2,6,7,8August/September Reassessment Period
Written reportWritten report1,3,4,5,6,7,8August/September Reassessment Period

Re-assessment notes

Referred candidates will be required to submit an individual report using at least one technique that is different from the original submission.

Syllabus plan

The following topics will be explored in this module:

  • Overview of service systems and operations
  • Traditional and contemporary understanding of service
  • Service systems
  • Service process modelling
  • Business models and business model innovation
  • Service design
  • Customer value and experience
  • Tools and techniques for service evaluation
  • Using eye tracking for customer insights
  • Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) for customer insights

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

This course builds upon core concepts within operations management and marketing theory using contemporary understanding in service, as such an up-to-date reading pack of articles will be provided on ELE (Exeter Learning Environment). An indicative list of these articles is shown below:

Ostrom, A. L., Parasuraman, A., Bowen, D. E., Patrício, L., & Voss, C. A. (2015). Service research priorities in a rapidly changing context. Journal of Service Research, 18(2), 127-159.

Bitner, M. J., Ostrom, A. L., & Morgan, F. N. (2008). Service blueprinting: a practical technique for service innovation. California management review, 50(3), 66-94.

Ng, I. C., & Smith, L. A. (2012). An integrative framework of value. Review of Marketing Research, 9(3), 207-243.

Lemke, F., Clark, M., & Wilson, H. (2011). Customer experience quality: an exploration in business and consumer contexts using repertory grid technique. Journal of the academy of marketing science, 39(6), 846-869.

Ponsignon, F., Smart, P. A., & Maull, R. S. (2011). Service delivery system design: characteristics and contingencies. International Journal of Operations & Production Management.

Smart, P. A., Maddern, H., & Maull, R. S. (2009). Understanding business process management: implications for theory and practice. British journal of management, 20(4), 491-507.

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


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