Unit 23 Integrated Marketing Communications

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This unit is designed to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of marketing communications and the techniques used. While they will learn the underpinning theories and frameworks, they will also be able to relate these to real-world examples, including promotions that they are likely to encounter in their daily lives. An organisation may create and develop a revolutionary new product or service. However, they need to use the most appropriate methods of promoting it to their target audience – this is the role of marketing communications. We encounter hundreds of promotions every waking day of our lives and the challenge for marketers is to be able to cut through the multitude of communications to deliver and reinforce the association with the brand. The knowledge, understanding and skill sets that students will gain on successfully completing this unit will enhance their career opportunities, whether setting up their own business or employed by an organisation.

Learning outcomes

LO1 Evaluate different marketing channels and how they serve communication objectives

Different channels of marketing communications:

  • Definitions of marketing communications.
  • The importance of marketing communications both within and across organisations as well as to the various stakeholders with a prime focus on customers.
  • Defining objectives and how they relate to the business.

How they serve communication objectives:

  • The importance of integration – value to the business and maximising resources.
  • The role of marketing communications in promoting and developing brands: awareness, associations, perceptions and building customer loyalty.
  • Ethical issues in marketing communications: advertising to children, pressure selling techniques, ‘greenwashing’ and privacy.

LO2 Devise communication objectives and justify appropriate channel selection and integration

Communication objectives:

  • Setting the communication objectives in relation to marketing and business objectives.
  • Linking communication and business objectives to the product life-cycle.
  • The role of budgeting in IMC.
  • Defining and exploring the communications planning process.

Channel selection and integration:

  • Creating a schedule and communications plan.
  • Identifying the most appropriate channel selection and rationale.

Marketing communications mix:

  • advertising, sales promotion, public relations, sponsorship, direct marketing, exhibitions and trade fairs, personal selling, social media, product placement, merchandising, ambient media.
  • Digital platforms, including webpages, podcasts, Twitter feeds, multimedia news releases, blogs.

LO3 Design and produce content appropriate to the channel and communication objectives

Appropriate design and content:

  • Colours and symbols as brand building tools.
  • The importance of visual art design, typography and page layout.
  • Website design and development with e-commerce capabilities.

Creativity in marketing communications activities and different strategic approaches:

  •  product/consumer orientated, think/feel/do approaches.
  • Regulations and marketing communications.

LO4 Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate a case study involving communication strategy, channel choice and creative content

Monitoring and evaluation:

  • Monitoring and evaluating marketing communications plans and operations.
  • Ways of measuring and evaluating a marketing communications plan.
  • Linking measuring and evaluation to the overall marketing and business objectives and strategy.


  • BAKER, M, J. (2014) Marketing Strategy and Management. 5th Ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

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