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Audience Insight


IMC 612

Workload: Intensity Level 3 out of 5(8-10 hours per week)

Take an in-depth look at consumer behavior and its role in IMC. Examines consumer behavior in terms of internal influences, external influences, the consumer decision-making process and consumers and culture. Students also learn how ethnographic research can be used in the marketing strategy process.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of IMC 612, students will be able to:

  • Gain an understanding of the importance of audience insight and consumer behavior.
  • Explore how consumers think and behave.
  • Study how the Web is expanding audience insight research and influencing consumer behavior.
  • Review the theoretical basis for ethnography and ethical considerations.
  • Describe how values can be used to promote consumption.
  • Examine the components of an ethnographic report.
  • Explain how ethnography can be used in business and academia.
  • Explain the relationship between lifestyles and self-concept.
  • Demonstrate an ability to properly interpret and critique an ethnographic report.
  • Explain the theories related to influencing consumer attitudes toward a product or service.
  • Analyze the role emotional branding plays in designing marketing messages.
  • Illustrate how each aspect of the buying experience affects the consumer decision-making process.
  • Construct an ethnographic research study proposal.
  • Discuss the ways in which marketers can research the characteristics and nuances of different subcultures.
  • Examine and demonstrate how marketers use research on generational cohorts to design marketing strategies.
  • Discuss how social media can be used to create buzz through group influence.
  • Plan a private-sector ethnography.
  • Synthesize and display the knowledge you've gained throughout the course in the form of a final project.

Course Topics

  • Buying, Having and Being / Consumer and Social Well-Being / Practical Ethnography and Theory
  • Perception / Learning and Memory / Ethical Ethnography
  • Motivation and Affect / The Self / Managing Private-Sector Ethnography and Clients
  • Personality / Lifestyles and Values / Attitudes and Persuasive Communications / Ethnographic Tools and Reporting
  • Decision Making / Buying, Using and Disposing / Ethnographic Sampling and Fieldwork
  • Groups and Social Media / Income and Social Class / Ethnographic Analysis and Beyond
  • Subcultures / Cultures

Top 3 Course Takeaways

  1. How to create more effective communications strategies based on internal or psychological influences that impact consumer decision-making.
  2. How to create more effective communications strategies based on external or sociological influences that impact consumer decision-making.
  3. An appreciation for the importance of ethnography as a research method to better understand consumers and the ability to create an ethnography proposal.

IMC 612 Faculty

Christopher Caserta
Profile: Caserta
Will Oechsler
Profile: Oechsler
Geah Pressgrove
Profile: Pressgrove
Kellie Reinert
Profile: Reinert