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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 techniques and technologies (natural language processing; 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 and 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-world data and service improvement examples in the classroom.  

Additional Information:


External Engagement

This module invites outstanding academics and practitioners to bring their expertise and knowledge related to service design and innovation into the classroom. 


Students develop 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 of the future.

Full module specification

Module title:Service Innovation and Marketing
Module code:BEMM070
Module level:M
Academic year:2021/2
Module lecturers:
  • 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 and techniques such as natural language processing and eye-tracking provide new insights to inform market segmentation and value propositions. New ways of delivering value propositions, such as Augmented and Virtual 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 delivery system, designed for an intended customer experience. You will acquire technical skills in  evaluating the realised customer experience, including eye tracking and natural language processing, and will make recommendations for improvement and innovation. 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, Rolls Royce, 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 customer experience analysis and the use of advanced tools such as eye-tracking and natural language processing. The module will draw real examples from a broad range of services and will be taught using lectures and practical workshops. As part of the assessment, you will be required to analyse 'real world' service examples 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 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 service delivery systems and assess the 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 the customer experience.

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 Activity10Lectures (10 x 1hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity8Workshops (4 x 2hours)
Guided Independent Study132Reading; research and workshop preparation; group work; portfolio writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual and group exercises applying analysis tools from the course to case dataIn class (during workshops)1-8Verbal

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 project3010 mins recorded presentation1,2,6,7,8Written feedback
Portfolio of written work702500 words1,3,4,5,6,7,8Written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group projectIndividual pre-recorded presentation1,2,6,7,8August/September reassessment period
Portfolio of written workPortfolio of written work1,3,4,5,6,7,8August/September reassessment period

Syllabus plan

The following topics will be explored in this module:

  • Overview of service systems and operations
  • Traditional and contemporary understanding of service
  • Business models and business model innovation
  • Service design
  • Customer 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:


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.

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.

McColl-Kennedy, J. R., Zaki, M., Lemon, K. N., Urmetzer, F., & Neely, A. (2019). Gaining customer experience insights that matter. Journal of Service Research22(1), 8-26.

Ordenes, F. V., Theodoulidis, B., Burton, J., Gruber, T., & Zaki, M. (2014). Analyzing customer experience feedback using text mining: A linguistics-based approach. Journal of Service Research17(3), 278-295.

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.

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

Voss, C. A., Roth, A. V., Rosenzweig, E. D., Blackmon, K., & Chase, R. B. (2004). A tale of two countries’ conservatism, service quality, and feedback on customer satisfaction. Journal of Service Research6(3), 212-230.

Wedel, M., & Pieters, R. (2008). A review of eye-tracking research in marketing. Review of marketing research4(2008), 123-147.

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