Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

female business professionals looking at a computer screen female business professionals looking at a computer screen

Business Administration

Get down to business.

Grow your career in business and management

MKT 102 - Consumer Behaviour C21

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
39 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
MKT 819 / Introduction to Marketing
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Glenn Smith
Course Dates:
01/06/2020 - 04/05/2020

Required Course Materials:
Consumer Behaviour (Canadian Edition), Plus MyMarketingLab access card package. Solomon, White and Dahl. Pearson; 7th edition
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:
The Study of Consumer Behaviour is the study of the processes involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use or dispose of products, services, ideas, or experiences to satisfy needs and desires. Consumer Behaviour investigates why and how consumers make decisions related directly or indirectly to a consumption event. We are all consumers when we engage in the actual or potential use of market items such as Products, Services, Retail Environments, or Ideas.  Consumer Behaviour is an omnipresent factor in our lives even if we are not consciously aware of it. The study of consumer behaviour has great significance not only for marketing but for public policy as well.

For marketers, understanding the behaviour of consumers is perhaps the most important tool for success in the marketplace of products, services and ideas. It can be argued that the understanding Consumer Behavior is the centre of the marketing process.  Virtually all marketing decisions – including branding, brand image development, advertising, promotions and social media relationships - are developed and planned around understanding the consumer and the many factors that influence individual or group consumption decisions.

The process of understanding consumer behaviour requires the perspective of many fields of study including psychology, sociology, economics, and anthropology. Its complexity also derives from the heterogeneity of cultures in this age of expanding globalization because meanings and interpretations are not necessarily portable across cultural boundaries when they exist. This has given rise to the need for a sophisticated marketing professional with a strong grasp on consumer behaviour issues.
At the same time, more and more questions are being raised about ethical practices, requiring that marketers become aware of the ethical and social responsibility factors as they think through their marketing strategy.

This course will teach students the basic consumer behaviour frameworks, theories, tools and procedures. It will broadly cover five aspects – the inner workings in the mind of a consumer that deals with consumer psychology and learning; the different situational factors that influence the consumer decision; the process by which a consumer makes a decision; the aggregate aftermath of consumer decisions; and finally the key issues surrounding ethics and social responsibility.
Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • Articulate the factors that influence consumer decisions
  • Articulate the key theories that explain consumers’ behaviours
  • Describe ways to influence different stages of the consumer decision making process
  • Design a marketing strategy that takes into account consumer psychology
  • Develop a skill set for outlining consumer segmentation and integrating this into marketing plans
  • Describe how patterns of future sales depend on factors that impact consumer behaviour
  • Articulate key ethical and social responsibility concerns pertaining to a marketing stategy derived from the consideration of consumer behaviour 
Course Evaluation

The final grade is calculated based on the following components:

Online Discussions: 12% (3 discussions at 4% each)

Learning Activities: 20% (4 activities at 5% each)

Individual Assignment: 18%

Experiential Learning Project: 50%

Group Contract 5%

Interim Report 15%

Final Report 25%

Peer Evaluation 5%

Course Format:
This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in marketing and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice. Course activities will include instructor presentations, required readings and experiential learning activities (i.e. case studies, group discussions, projects, etc.).

This course emphasizes student participation in classroom discussions.  It is expected that students will read the assigned chapters from the text prior to each class.

Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:
Late assignments will be subject to a 2% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays) for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0) will be applied.  Extensions for course work must be approved by the instructor before the due date (see Academic Regulations below), and will be granted for illness or emergencies only. Students may be asked to submit supporting documentation for an extension request. 

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):
In accordance with McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified. Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hours of the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in the case of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48 hour window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).

Academic Integrity

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in-group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:
Students with disabilities who require academic accommodations must contact the Student Accessibility Centre (SAS) to meet with an appropriate Disability Services Coordinator. To contact SAS, phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652, or email For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.
On-line Elements:
In this course, we will be using on-line elements, which may include email, Avenue to Learn, WebEX, and external web sites.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
In this course, we will be using a web-based service ( to reveal plagiarism. Students who do not wish to submit their work to must still submit a copy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, etc.) To see the Policy, please go to McMaster Academic Integrity Policy.
Course Changes:
The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.
Course Withdrawal Policy:
Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (
Storm Closure Policy:
In the event of inclement weather, the Centre for Continuing Education will abide by the University’s Storm Closure Policy:, and will only close if the University is closed. All in-class courses, exams and room bookings by internal and external clients will be cancelled if the Centre for Continuing Education is closed. On-line courses will take place as scheduled.
Grading Scale:



Equivalent Grade Point

Equivalent Percentages








































Course Schedule:

Topic & Readings

Assignments/Graded Components

Week 1 – Introduction/Perception

Chapters 1 & 2

Learning Activity 1 (5%)

Buying Steps

Week 2 – Learning, Memory, Motivation & Affect – Chapters 3 & 4

Learning Activity 2 (5%)

Motivation & Needs

Week 3 – The Self, Personality, Lifestyles & Values – Chapters 5 & 6 + Class Webinar (WebEx)

Discussion 1 (4%)

The Self & Stereotypes in Advertising

Week 4 – Attitudes, Attitude Change & Interactive Communication - Chapters 7 & 8

Learning Activity 3 (5%)

Attitude Change

Week 5 – Individual Decision Making & Buying – Chapters 9 & 10

Discussion 2 (4%)

Market Segments

Individual Assignment (18%)

Week 6 – Group Influence, Social Media/Income, Social Class, and Family Structure – Chapters 11 & 12

Experiential Learning Project

Group Contract (5%)

Week 7 – Subcultures & Cultural Influence on Consumer Behaviour – Chapters 13 & 14

Learning Activity 4 (5%)

Targeting Markets

Week 8 – The Creation and Diffusion of Culture

Discussion 3 (4%)

Cultural Gatekeepers

Week 9 – Riipen Project + Class Webinar (WebEx)


Week 10 – Riipen Project

Experiential Learning Project

Interim Report (15%)

Week 11 – Riipen Project + Group Conferences (WebEx)


Week 12 – Riipen Project


Week 13 – Riipen Project

Experiential Learning Project

Final Report (25%)

Experiential Learning Project

Peer Evaluation (5%)