Marketing Communications are an integral and highly visible component of marketing. While a lay person often equates marketing communications with advertisements in TV, radio and print, other activities such as sales promotions and public relations also play important roles in a company’s marketing communication mix.
Organizational, technological and social trends of the past few years have considerably impacted marketing communications by necessitating new communication strategies and adding new delivery tools (e.g., online, social). In the midst of a continually fragmenting media landscape, changing consumer trends and increased demands of accountability, it is important to integrate all marketing communication activities into one master plan.
This was the first time that I felt like I had taken a course on where Marketing is heading, not where it has been.”
This course explores concepts and current trends in marketing communications and consumer behavior in order to allow aspiring marketing communication professionals to successfully develop and deliver integrated marketing campaigns. We discuss major IMC concepts in class, and we explore how these concepts are reflected in real world situations inside and outside class.
Real World Learning
The main focus of this course is to allow students to gather practical experience in developing integrated marketing communications campaigns. This is achieved through two case study exercises as well as a term project that requires students to develop a marketing communication plan for a real-world business client. Although contact with a business client is provided by the course instructor, all student teams have considerable flexibility in developing their campaign proposal.
Here is a short video documentary about this real world learning approach in my Integrated Marketing Communications course:
The real world focus of this course is also visible in that certain student assignments will be published online via content curation and blogs.
The real world learning approach is complemented with collaborative learning strategies and student empowerment. Students are encouraged to take ownership of the learning experience and to engage in creative and critical thinking through peer learning activities, peer grading, group work, and continuous, multi-directional feedback. You can read more about my teaching methodology that underlies this course in this blog post.
A Digitally Enriched Learning Environment
Major parts of the learning experience (e.g., discussions and project work) occur in peer-learning situations inside and outside the classroom. The following online learning and collaboration tools will facilitate this process:
- Scoop.it: A tool for content curation to let students contribute to the global community. I will open my Marketing in Motion board to my students to collect their scoops.
- Tackk.com: Students can publish their assignments on Tackk when they don’t want to have an own blog (e.g., wordpress.com, tumbler.com). Tackk allows students to create and publish online articles that can include videos and photos. Can also be used for presenting in-class group work or for distributing teaching supplements.
- Learnist.com: A place to collect students’ assignments to share them with all members of the course (and the global community). Students can “Like” linked assignments to give bonus points. Can also be used for presenting in-class group work or for distributing teaching supplements.
- Twitter.com: Great for quickly communicating with students, pushing out lecture slides, or letting students send links to examples / videos they suggest to discuss / watch in class. Can also be used for online discussions with hashtags.
- Storify.com: A tool to arrange social media and other web content into a narrative. Can also be used for presenting in-class group work or for distributing teaching supplements.
- TaskAnt.com: An online team collaboration platform to facilitate students’ group projects.
- UserEcho.com: A tool for enabling continuous, multi-directional feedback throughout the term.
- QR Codes: Allow students to access online material (e.g., videos, teaching supplements) via their smartphones and tablets. Great for students who prefer to print out the teaching handouts and for studying on the go.