Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Integrated Marketing Communications

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Media and Communications

DESCRIPTION Many organisations are increasingly finding themselves facing a marketplace characterised by "fragmented" consumer markets and media audiences. The communication environment has become characterised by an explosion in alternative media and other technology-based channels and techniques for targeting consumers.

Firms have experienced increasing scepticism regarding the effectiveness of traditional mass media advertising and growing power and sophistication among retailers. Top management is increasingly demanding accountability concerning the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing communication expenditures. While not all countries may have experienced all these developments to the same degree, the media liberalisation that took place in many countries has also resulted in significant ‘fragmentation’.

Faced with this scenario many firms have been shifting communication expenditure from advertising to promotions. Yet, the long-term effect of this change may be detrimental to building equity in the marketplace. Arguably the most viable and visible response to these changes in the new millennium, by both marketers and communication consultant organizations, is a focus on Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC).

Simplistically defined as "speaking with one voice" in all marketing communications and media, the IMC concept recognizes the environmental changes of market demassification and media fragmentation described above. IMC focuses on the use of the traditional marketing communication tools of advertising, publicity, personal selling, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing and the new media in a way that promotes both synergy and a continuing dialogue with the consumer (or firm) as an individual. In this context, database and relationship marketing coupled with marketing communication tools make the dialogue possible. The IMC concept, however, does not ignore other forms of organisational communication. The approach also recognises that, when implemented at a system-wide level, employee communications, stockholder communications, media relations, and public information (down to the people who answer the phones) are important parts of the flow of information about an organisation that reaches markets and publics.

Study-Unit Aims:

The aims of this study-unit are to provide students with an understanding of the tools involved in integrating marketing communications and the steps required to plan and manage each of the constituent tools separately and how to integrate these together. The study-unit therefore integrates marketing communications theory, concepts and research with an in-depth analysis of the communication mix elements.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Distinguish among the social, technological, managerial, and organisational factors influencing the need for Integrated Marketing Communications as an approach to developing and implementing marketing communications programs;
- Have an analytical conceptualisation of Integrated Marketing Communications processes;
- Analyse the purposes, strengths, and weaknesses of each of the marketing communication functional disciplines.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Think strategically across the functional areas of marketing communication;
- Apply IMC principles and practices in the development of a comprehensive IMC campaign plan.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text:

- Belch, George E. and Michael A. Belch, Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communication Perspective. Latest edition, Homewood, Illinois: Richard D. Irwin, Inc.

Supplementary readings:

- Caruana, A., Pitt, L. F., Berthon, P. & Page, M. (2009). Differentiation and silver medal winner effects, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 43, No. 11, 1365-1377.
- Gelb B., Andrews D. & Lam S. K. (2007). A strategic perspective on sales promotions, Sloan Management Review, Vol.48, No. 4, pp. 1-7.
- Keller K. L., (1999), Managing brands for the long run: Brand reinforcement and revitalization strategies, California Management Review, Vol. 41 No. 3, Spring; pp. 102-124.
- Keller K. L. & Lehmann D. R. (2006) Brands and branding: Research findings and future priorities, Marketing Science, Vol. 25, No. 6 pp. 740-759.
- Vakratsas D. & Ambler T. (1999). How advertising works: What do we really know? Journal of Marketing, Vol. 63, No. 1, pp. 26-43.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Group Learning

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Mario L Cassar

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.