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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Marketing Communications and Branding (MBA) (CMSE11468)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryMarketing Communications and Branding explores how organisations develop relationships with their target and stakeholder markets through integrated and interactive communications. This course will equip students with the abilities to engage with multifarious audiences through a variety of communications methods and techniques. Importantly, it will build on a theoretical approach to marketing, relationships and communications with a practical application element which develops the theory into workable practice. The course will see marketing communications as integral part of the overall offer to customers and one which represents what both the product and the brand is all about.

Course description The first part of the course explores the links between classical marketing theory and marketing communications. It explores a variety of theoretical concepts including 1-3 step model of communications, marketing communications objectives, links between effective segmentation and communications, changing demographics and changing media environment.

The second part of the course then explores the issues surrounding the development of national and international brands. Starting with the concept of positioning, the course then moves on to explore the differences between products and brands and how correct branding development and communication strategies enable organisations to retain a clear point of difference over and above the competition.

The next part of the course looks at the key elements of message and media. For message, the course will cover a number of aspects of creative thinking. These will include convergent and divergent thinking, the importance of creativity in breaking through the noise, basic creative techniques and the development and application of marketing personas, digital mood boards and creative briefs. Ethics surrounding communications based on neuro techniques will be explored.

Media will be covered through the understanding of how media provides the mediums through which messages can be delivered. Traditional and digital media will be discussed along with the core principles of understanding how, where and when to use different forms of media.

The course then will run through the key elements of marketing communications tactics using the communications mix as its foundation. The tactics will include advertising, direct marketing, website development, social media, public relations, sales promotion and direct and personal selling, Content here will build on the discussions already regarding message and media.

The course then moves on to explore corporate marketing. Here we look more holistically at the relationships between an organisation in general terms and its public. This takes a very much stakeholder viewpoint and perspective. Included in this section will be discussions regarding corporate reputation and crisis management communications.

The final part of the course will look at how marketing communications is used as a customer retention mechanism and tool.

The course will have an ongoing practice element to it with students working in groups (assessed) to explore a number of the concepts discussed as well as creating their own integrated marketing communications plan. The course will have a combination of teaching and learning methods.

Each part of the course will be introduced by an interactive lecture lasting for approximately 90 minutes. The lecture will explore the key concepts for each part of the course and students will be expected to contribute through their own experiences, their own knowledge of marketing communications, discussion through a small number of journals required to be read in advance.

Each part of the course will then be built upon through assessed practical exercises. The exercises will be intense yet enjoyable and will include:
Identification of specific brand communications with a critique of those communications.
Development of brand maps.
Creative thinking.
Integrated communications plan to include current and future positioning; marketing communications objectives; development of marketing personas and creative brief; clear campaign objectives, media choice and selected creative ideas based on objectives, personas and digital mood board creation.
Crisis management.

Analysis and critique of specific academic journals will also be a part of the assessed practical work.

Student Learning Experience

The course delivery methodology will be based on that used by Julian Rawel at other business schools where he has taught marketing communications/marketing communications and branding. The methodology has been consistently positively recognised by students

This course offers a mixture of lectures, case studies, vignettes, video presentations, and in class discussion. Key marketing communications and branding concepts are presented in interactive lectures, examples illustrate how these have been applied in practice, and these ideas are further critiqued (as far as time allows) through class discussion drawing in directed reading, analysis and own managerial experience. Recommended readings support independent learning and allow for further critique and exploration of relevant theories and concepts.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only available to students on the MBA and EMBA programmes, or through our Executive Education programme.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 24, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 74 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Individual Assignment 70%«br /» (all LOs)
Group work 30% (all LOs)
Feedback Feedback will be given on an ongoing basis in class through discussions of concepts, articles, exercises and cases. In-class participation is to be considered as formative assessment and will be graded and group feedback will be provided. More formal individual feedback will be given on the report, plus a general feedback on how the class performed. Feedback is to be given on the test through a detailed online correction.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate key marketing communications/branding theory, concepts, research and current practice.
  2. Describe frameworks related to the selection of alternative media options based on a clear understanding of target markets
  3. Appreciate the role of creativity within effective marketing communications
  4. Use a range of specialised skills, techniques, practices and/or materials
  5. Develop original and creative responses to problems and issues.
Reading List
Note ¿ given the contemporary nature of the topics, following readings are indicative, and will be regularly updated to reflect new developments.

Marketing Communications: Integrating Online and Offline, Customer Engagement, and Digital Technologies PR Smith and Ze Zook seventh edition 2019. Kogan Page

Other book of interest:

Marketing Communications. Chris Fill/Sarah Turnbull. Seventh edition 2016, Pearson

Neuromarketing ¿ what you need to know: by Eben Harrell. Harvard Business Review. 2019 Special Issue, p64-70.
When neuromarketing cross the line by: Ania Wieckowski. Harvard Business Review. 2019 Special Issue, p76-81.
The Brand Report Card: By: Keller, Kevin Lane. Harvard Business Review. Jan/Feb 2000, Vol. 78 Issue 1, p147-157.
What does your corporate brand stand for? By: Stephen Greyser and Matts Urde Harvard Business Review. Jan/Feb 2019, Vol. 97 Issue 1, p80-88.
Building strong brands in a modern marketing communications environment: By: Kevin Lane Keller. Journal of Marketing Communications. Vol. 15, Nos. 2¿3, April¿July 2009, 139¿155.
Integrating Marketing Communications: New Findings, New Lessons, and New Ideas: By: Rajeev Batra & Kevin Lane Keller. Journal of Marketing: AMA/MSI Special Issue. Vol. 80 (November 2016), 122¿145.
Creativity in Advertising when It Works and When It Doesn't: By: Werner Reinartz and Peter Saffert. Harvard Business Review. Jun2013, Vol. 91 Issue 6, p106-112.
The End of Solution Sales: By: Adamson B, Toman N. Harvard Business Review, July/August 2012, Vol 90, Issue 7/8, p60-68.
The New Sales Imperative: By: Adamson B, Toman N, Gomez C. Harvard Business Review, March/April 2017, Vol 95, Issue 2, p118 - 125.
What we know about mobile marketing. 2017. WARC.
Managing the Multiple Identities of the Corporation: By: John M.T. Balmer, Stephen A. Greyser: California Management Review, Vol. 44, no. 3 spring 2002.
Protecting organizational reputations. T. Coombs. Corporate Reputation. Vol 10:3. 2007
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will provide the following attributes and skills:
In Communication:
- Verbal communication and presentation
- Written communication
In personal and Intellectual Autonomy:
- Creativity
- Decision-making
In Personal Effectiveness
- Planning and organizing
- Assertiveness
In Research and Enquiry
- Problem-solving
- Analytical thinking
- Knowledge integration and application
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Julian Rawel
Tel: (0131 6)50 8067
Course secretaryMrs Angela Muir
Tel: (0131 6)51 3854
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