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Communications and Marketing


This interactive and practical course will explore key communication and marketing concepts such as brand, reputation and stakeholder engagement as applied in the modern and fast-changing world of digital marketing and communications. It will teach you how to communicate and market more effectively in a networked, digital world of multiple, global and diverse stakeholders.

You will learn about persuasive and ethical interpersonal and organisational communication, the design of effective stakeholder communication strategies and the importance of reputation management. You will be introduced to key marketing concepts to help you understand audience behaviour and the significance of brands and the development of marketing strategy. You will learn about the new digital marketing and communications ecosystem and how it has changed how we think about and deliver modern communications and marketing.

The course will be delivered by expert scholars and practitioners from the relevant fields and with industry experience using a mixture of workshops, master classes and seminars. You will acquire skills and understanding which will help you perform with greater confidence as a marketer and communicator.

The course is suitable for students studying at undergraduate and postgraduate level who wish to learn about these disciplines. You do not need any prior knowledge to study this course.

Syllabus and Course Overview

This course will explain the principles of communication in a digital marketing context, including the latest developments practised by leading firms in many industries, and how they use the services available from the leading suppliers such as Google, Amazon, Adobe, Microsoft and others. The course will use as its foundation the concept of the emergence of a new digital communications and marketing ecosystem and new business models. It will identify the main elements of this new ecosystem, and how the different elements of the ecosystem are connected in different sectors and for organisations of different sizes. It will explore not only the commercial aspects of this new system, but also the ethical and public policy aspects. It will then explore how digital communicators emerge, exploiting the features and applications of this new digital world, and how they use their skills to optimise branding, public relations, reputation and sales results.

The course will feature talks by leading practitioners, from clients, digital/advertising agencies, and digital media and software firms and leading academics and conceptual thinkers in communication and digital marketing.

The topics to be covered include:

  • Understanding our own communication style and brand.
  • Models and theories of communication and how they are applied in practice.
  • How communications and marketing have changed and are still changing under the impact of digitalisation and globalisation.
  • The role of communications in this new ecosystem and how to determine where more and better communication is needed.
  • Understanding the role of brand, reputation and ethical persuasion.v
  • Audiences and stakeholders – who they are, how they think, feel and act, their relationships with media and organisations, how they need to be influenced and how to influence them.
  • Managing digital and real relationships with different stakeholders – customers, shareholders, management, workers, NGOs and government relationship management.
  • Stakeholder experience, and journeys and satisfaction; gaining cooperation from stakeholders – incentives and permissions.
  • Understanding the perspectives of different individuals and market segments and using understanding in all areas, from face to face, through websites, to blogs and response management.
  • How behavioural economics and psychology are influencing how we think about the behaviour of stakeholders – rationality and beyond.
  • How the media world and media production is changing, including the new worlds of co-creation and customer-creation, including new messaging – picture, words, videos, blogs, vlogs and apps.
  • The new digital marketing model and how it differs from the classical textbook marketing model.
  • The new digital marketing ecosystem – who are the key players and how do they work.
  • Making you and your company easy to find, buy from, talk to, complain to, send things back to, pay, stay with.
  • Decision analysis and implementation – making and implementing intelligent business decisions in a digital world, reviewing and learning from them – the new world of insight, knowledge management, analytics, testing and visualisation.
  • Targeted marketing and communications – how to do it and how to capture its benefits – more from less.
  • Marketing and communications planning and strategy e.g. branding, marketing mix design/delivery (product, pricing, channels, marketing communications, service), marketing, sales and service delivery e.g. contact management in every channel (including helping customers to manage themselves)
  • Relevance, contacts and metrics, campaigns, efficiency and effectiveness
  • Data, information, platforms and new business models – information platforms and the cloud; issues of data quality and protection, ethics.
  • Real and digital communications and marketing processes, quality, gap analysis – how to assess an organisation’s ability and willingness to communicate and market well and where needed to move to a more digital approach; developing business cases for change.

Course Aims

The course aims to equip you to understand and apply the principles of modern communications and marketing in managing how you and your company relate to the world, drawing on a wider range of ideas than is usual in conventional communication and marketing courses. After taking the course, you will understand the impact of new communications, marketing and digital developments on what can be achieved professionally and in business, from a wide range of perspectives.

Students will examine how these new developments affect communications and marketing in a wide range of sectors including the public sector, retailing, packaged consumer goods, industrial engineering, financial services, media and telecommunication

Learning outcomes

The main learning outcome of this course is that students will become familiar with and develop the ability to confidently manage and apply concepts and techniques in the context of the new world of communications and marketing.

Students will:

  • Understand contemporary principles and practices of contemporary communication and marketing.
  • Understand how modern marketing and communication techniques are applied in a wide range of business and professional situations.
  • Understand how business and professional objectives can be achieved using modern communications and marketing techniques in an ethical way.
  • Be able to apply their learning in the development of their professional careers and in advancing and improving organisational performance.

Course structure

For this course, there will be an average of about 4 hours of teaching per day, comprised mainly of lectures, exercises and presentations based on case studies and applications to contemporary communications and marketing problems.

The structure will be:

  • 20-25 hours of lectures
  • 10-15 hours of presentations on case studies by communications and marketing practitioners
  • 6-8 hours of seminars in small groups.
  • Two off-site visits relevant to the course

Students will also be given time each day for independent study.

Course Assessment

Students will be required to post two blogs per week detailing their learning and how they expect to apply it. In the third week, they will be required to produce a ten-minute presentation detailing the application of their learning to a chosen individual, organisation or problem.

The module will be assessed via the blogs and ten-minute video presentation (worth 40% of the total mark) and a 2-hour examination (worth 60% of the total mark). It is not compulsory, but anyone wishing to obtain a transcript of results for the Warwick Summer School must sit this examination.

Reading and Weblinks

Before attending, student should consult the following web links:

A recommended book for communications and marketing is The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott.

On the subject of reputation, you can consult The Reputation Game: The Art of Changing How People See Youby David Waller and Rupert Younger of the University of Oxford’s Corporate Reputation Institute.

A great classic on behavioural science is Thinking. Fast and Slow by Nobel prize winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman.