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Unit information: Effective Marketing Communications in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Effective Marketing Communications
Unit code EFIMM0062
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Mrs. Parry-Lowther
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This core unit aims to introduce students to the theoretical principles of communication, explore the tools and techniques involved in the communication process, formulate communications objectives, implement strategies and critically appraise the implications for stakeholders and for society as a whole. Students are encouraged to explore the process of communication and analyse the factors that support and inhibit it. They will be able to recognise the range of communication tools and techniques employed within the marketing field and reflect upon their relative value and influence. They will resolve challenges associated with the strategic planning of marketing communication and be able to discuss the relative merits of methods of campaign evaluation.

Intended learning outcomes

LO 1: Consider the stages associated with the communication process and debate the factors that might support or impede the effective communication of marketing content.

LO 2: Distinguish between the range of communication tools and techniques available to marketers in seeking to communicate effectively with a given target audience, recognising their relative strengths, limitations and synergies.

LO 3: Prepare an effective communications strategy in response to a given set of objectives, choosing the most appropriate from a range of tools and techniques available, and, analyse the effectiveness of the proposed communications programme.

LO 4: Critically reflect upon the legal and ethical issues associated with marketing communications.

Teaching details

This unit is delivered using a problem-based, flipped learning approach. Students will explore the subject area through analysis of a range of contemporary marketing communications challenges. It requires them to research the subject area and work individually or in teams to formulate and present a response. The flipped learning style adopted by this unit requires students to engage with a range of sources prior to taught sessions. These include, but are not limited to, short videos outlining threshold concepts, contextual video content (Youtube, TED talks), academic papers, case study material, market reports and news reports. These resources will be delivered through Blackboard and will be supported by existing reading list software.

The unit structure offers 30 contact hours in total. The remaining 170 learning hours will be spent in independent study and in the preparation of assessment.

Assessment Details

The summative assessment on this unit will take the form of a 15-minute group ‘pitch’ (30%) and the production of a 3,000-word individual marketing communications proposal (70%).

‘The Pitch’ (30%)

In response to an initial marketing communications brief, students will be required to work in groups - of 3 to 5 persons per group - to research the ‘problem’ and present a proposed response. The ‘problem’ will relate to a ‘real life’ communications challenge and will require students to identify a target market(s), formulate a set of objectives and outline the process of communication by which a message might be conveyed to them. Appropriate footnotes with references should also be provided in support of the presentation. In light of the given brief, students will be required to explain what the objectives of such a piece of communication should be, who the target audience(s) might be, how the communication process might work, what outcomes might be measured and what legal and ethical issues might need to be considered (ILO 1, 2, 4).

One mark per group will be given, which will be also awarded at an individual basis across group members, unless contribution of any members of the group is not equal. Evidence of equality of contribution will be be provided by the students on submission date of the groupwork. While working in groups, students will be asked to have 3 meetings minimum and report progress of groupwork and participation rate from each individual. One consultation meeting with the tutor will be held in teaching week 4.

The Marketing Communications Proposal (70%)

In response to a follow up brief, students will be required to individually develop a full communications proposal. Building upon the objectives developed as part of ‘The Pitch’ and the feedback given, students will be required to formulate a communication strategy to achieve them. Students will be required to propose a communications strategy which includes a choice of the most appropriate combination of tools and techniques in order to achieve the objectives. They should explain how they will measure the effectiveness of the campaign. Throughout the proposal, students are required to support their choices with academic theory. They will also be required to identify compliance with legal requirements and how they have addressed potential ethical issues (ILO 2, 3, 4).

Reading and References

Core Text for this Unit

Eagle, L., Dahl, S., Czarnecka, B., Lloyd, J. (2014) Marketing Communications, Routledge

In addition, it is suggested that student read around the subject and may choose to draw from a range of texts including (but not limited to) the following:

Recommended Reading

Fill, C. & Turnbull, S. 2016, Marketing communications: discovery, creation and conversations, Seventh edn, Pearson, Harlow, England.

Copley, P. 2014, Marketing communications management: analysis, planning, implementation, Second edn, SAGE, London.

Academic and Practitioner Journals

Journal of Advertising

Journal of Marketing Communication

Journal of Consumer Research

European Journal of Marketing

Journal of Marketing Management

Marketing and Management

Harvard Business Review

The Economist



Other news media

The BBC website (

Any/all broadsheet newspapers