Marketing Communications

The aim of this module is to enable international learners to apply a broad understanding of the theory and practice of marketing communications to a foreign workplace environment.

On successful completion of this module learners should be able to:

  1. Explain the principles of marketing and the role and applications of communications in the marketing mix
  2. Identify key components of the marketing communications planning process
  3. Explain the role and key features of different marketing communications methods
  4. Discuss national and international case studies
  5. Interpret research data and seek out communications solutions to achieve objectives
  6. Create a marketing communications plan using an appropriate framework and satisfying a set of communications objectives
  7. Describe the role of the promotional mix in the context of marketing communications
  8. Demonstrate skills in conceptual analysis and presentation through participation in a group project


Course Content:

Session 1

The Principles of Marketing: marketing concepts, theories and terminology; the marketing mix; target markets; market segmentation and positioning; the role of communications in the marketing mix

Project Launch: learners, formed into teams, are provided with a “live” marketing communications brief to be completed and presented by Week 7; parameters and expectations explained; sources of secondary research outlined

Session 1-3

Marketing Communications Planning: the theory and application of  situational analysis, objectives, strategy, tactics, action and control (SOSTAC)

Session 3-4

Marketing Communications Methods:  promotions; communications; advertising

Session 4

Marketing Communications Methods (continued):  the Internet and online marketing

Session 5

International Case Studies:  evaluation and discussion

Session 6

Packaging and Branding: target market; brand positioning; brand identity, attributes and strategy; visual interpretation of the brand for the consumer; unique selling points;  added value;  competitor activity; consumer behaviour; persuasion at point of sale

Session 7

Viral Marketing: buzz marketing – the “six buttons of buzz”; digital Marketing; social media, on-line activity, internet etc.

Session 8

Sales Promotion: nature, scope and objectives of sales promotion; types and activities; developments and trends

Public Relations: the role of PR in marketing communications and brand support; PR tools and techniques; media channels

Session 9

Product Placement: the role of Hollywood and the movie industry in promoting brands and how the movies are used to achieve communications objectives

Session 10

Personal Selling: advantages and disadvantages; stages in the sales process; identifying buyer needs; persuasive communication; up-selling and cross-selling; closing the sale

Direct Marketing: direct marketing techniques and trends; database management and optimisation; customer relationship management; online marketing; Data Protection Act

Exam Preparation: Syllabus overview, learning objectives reviewed, exam technique, study methods


Reading Lists and Other Resources

Medcalf, Patricia. Marketing Communications: an Irish Perspective. Gill & MacMillan, 2004.

Smith, P.R., Chris Berry and Alan Pulford. Strategic Marketing Communications: New Ways to Build and Integrate Communications. Kogan Page, 1999.

Fill, Chris. Marketing Communications: Interactivity, Communities and Content. 4th ed. Prentice Hall 2005.

Fill, Chris. Marketing Communications: Frameworks, Theories and Applications. Prentice Hall, 1995.