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Marketing Communications: Strategies and Applications

Module description

This module introduces you to the fundamental aspects and tools of Marketing Communications. The module covers the theoretical concepts and nature of marketing communications and its application in practice developing integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategies and plans. The syllabus provides an understanding of both above and below-the-line promotion, investigating how they are used to communicate with customers and other stakeholders.  It also explains how the concept of product and brand management can enable organisations to deliver customer value. In respect of the range of marketing communications tools, you will be encouraged to take a critical perspective on Integrated Marketing Communications, transforming your learning to address advertising, (including creative appeals), public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing and digital marketing with emphasis on how tools may be synthesized. New digital media development and deployment are considered. The module also delves into the current issues, controversies and ethical issues involved in the practice of marketing communications. The practical aspects of the module will enable you to gain useful skills that may be applied directly in future careers.


Additional Information:



With the increase in international trade and subsequent consumer access to international brands, you will address the complexity of designing and implementing international campaigns. You will appreciate different culture barriers, which render the adaptation of communication messages, to ensure that message is clear and appropriate for a given culture. You will assess numerous practical examples where insufficient market research resulted in messages being offensive for a specific culture.



You are given practical problems to address in your essays, which equip you with critical and analytical thinking skills. Also, by working in an individual report, you will develop your skills in marketing analysis, problem solving, and writing reports.


Ethics and Corporate Responsibility

This module engages with ethics by addressing topics such as deceptive advertising, the process of advertising self-regulation and targeting of marketing communications toward vulnerable groups. You will be acquainted with the regulation of unfair business practices and the major areas where the unfairness doctrine is applied. Through practical examples, you will appreciate the ethical issues associated with communications, and the interrelations with media, culture and society.


Research in Teaching

The distinctive feature of the module is that it draws on expertise from multiple disciplines. The module is informed by current research and insights from marketing, communications, consumer behaviour, and brand management when establishing its scope. In doing so, the module affords the Marketing Group in Management Department at Exeter Business School considerable opportunities to integrate their own research with teaching and you receive the benefit of this, subject to the learning objectives being met.

Full module specification

Module title:Marketing Communications: Strategies and Applications
Module code:BEM2025
Module level:2
Academic year:2023/4
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Jingqi Qiu - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



BEM1019 Fundamentals of Marketing



Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

This module aims to offer you an insight into how marketing communications models and concepts may be applied in practical business scenarios. The module places an emphasis on examples and cases, many with an international perspective, and seeks to offer you practical skills commensurate with the objectives of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. You will study how buyer behaviour and theories of communication influence the choice of communications tools for business, and how setting communication objectives, budgeting, and the selection of media all play a pivotal role in practice.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate in-depth understanding of marketing communications theory and concepts and related literature examining different elements of promotion mix
  • 2. demonstrate a critical appreciation of marketing communications tools and understand how to integrate the various tools to inform B2C campaign planning
  • 3. design a creative advertisement brief and integrate the advertisement in a comprehensive campaign
  • 4. evaluate communication campaigns according to given creative objectives
  • 5. articulate how theory and practice relate to enhancing brand equity across different kinds of product/ service brand and in different industrial sectors

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate concepts, theories and practice
  • 7. demonstrate strong skills of intellectual inquiry and research for resolving communication problems.
  • 8. create, evaluate and access a range of options, together with the capacity to apply ideas and knowledge to a range of business and other situations.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. demonstrate effective independent study.
  • 10. present and communicate creative ideas in an authoritative and professional manner.
  • 11. demonstrate knowledge about work life and career prospects in marketing communications, branding and advertising agencies

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Learning and Teaching Activities22Lectures (11 x 2 hours)
Learning and Teaching Activities5Tutorials and Webinars (4 x 1 hour)
Guided Independent Study123Reading, preparation for classes and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group Discussion10 minutes, in Tutorials and Webinars2, 3, 7, 8, 9Verbal
Practitioner Insights/Case studies40 minutes, in tutorials and Webinars1-8, 10-11Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual Report 1401,500 words2-10Written Feedback
Individual Report 2602000 words1-9,11Written Feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual Report 1 (40%)Resubmission of previous assignment (40%) 1500 words2-10Referral/deferral period
Individual Report 2 (60%)Resubmission of previous assignment (60%) 2000 words1-9,11Referral/deferral period

Syllabus plan

Fundamentals of Marketing Communications

  • Overview of Marketing Communications
  • Branding and the role of Marketing Communications
  • Marketing Communications – Strategies and Planning, Objectives and Positioning
  • The Communications Process and Consumer Behaviour

Marketing Communications Tools

  • Advertising Management
  • Use of Creative Appeal in Communication
  • Social Media
  • Endorsement, Public Relations and Sponsorship

Professional Applications of Marketing Communications

  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • International Marketing Communications
  • Ethics of Marketing Communications

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Fill, C. (2019). Marketing communications: brands, experiences and participation (6th ed.). Harlow: Pearson

Shimp, T. and Andrews, J. C. (2018) Advertising promotion and other aspects of integrated marketing communications. Cengage Learning.

Fill, C. (2016). Marketing communications: discoveries, creation and conversations (7th ed.). Harlow: Pearson. Available as an E-Resource

Fill, C. (2009) Marketing Communications: Interactivity, Communities and Content, 5th ed. London: Prentice Hall.

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Indicative learning resources - Other resources


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