This assignment requires that you select your own topic of interest that somehow relates to
the key statement in the assignment brief:
“At the end of the day, marketing communication does not deliver adverts, or direct mail
pieces, or PR and corporate identity programs. We deliver results”
Discuss what you think is meant by this statement.
In your answer you should ensure that you provide evidence of your understanding of topics covered
during the module and the application, where relevant, of any theories and/or models that have been
covered during the module or that you have found during your reading of the subject. Where possible you
should provide examples, data or information to support your analysis. You can use your appendices to
present this data. All academic and practitioner content, theories and models that are included in your
report must be appropriately referenced in terms of their source.
When deciding on a topic, there are a few tips that you will find useful:
brainstorm for ideas
select a topic that will enable you to read and understand the literature
make sure that the topic is manageable and that material is available
make a list of keywords
define a clear topic statement (for example: this paper will discuss the success factors
of an effective viral marketing campaign)
carry out an extensive research about your topic
formulate a title
Be aware that selecting a good topic may not be easy. Your topic must clear and focused, yet
sufficiently broad to find adequate information for your research. Before choosing your topic,
make sure you know what your final assignment should look like.
The key point to this assignment is substantiation of your decisions, with clear reference to
the theory and other relevant sources. Why, for example, are you choosing to focus your
assignment on this aspect of marketing communications? And how is that particular aspect of
marketing communications correlate with business performance better than another? And so
Substantiation is how you can bring theory into your work. For example, whilst you might
think it’s a ‘good idea’ to use public relations to improve brand awareness, does the theory
actually support this and in which context? By reading around the subject of the marketing
communications you will be able to see what would work best in different contexts.
Therefore think through your decisions carefully and understand the theory. Don’t just use
theory and sources to provide definitions in your work; use them to substantiate what you are
trying to say.
It is essential that your assignment is based on a wide range of reading and it is important that
you critically review the material you use. General discussions, based on conjecture and a few
web-based newspaper articles will not be acceptable.
You are advised to start your reading early. As you become familiar with the concepts,
explanations and key names authoring relevant papers, move onto your own literature search
using Google scholar, the Business Source Complete and Emerald databases. It is important
when reading that you are aware of the time period and cultural context of the source you are
using, the credibility of the paper, and its relative importance to your assignment. For
example, you might find it useful to first sort your material into three piles; ‘core’ papers that
are central to your assignment, secondary papers that support or challenge the core papers but
that might be deficient in some way (eg: you like the literature review, but feel the primary
evidence is not credible, or adds little to the body of knowledge), and supplementary papers
that might be useful to illustrate a particular point.
There is a word count limit in this assignment. Don’t try to cram in too much or you will run
out of time and be unable to write a comprehensive assignment. During the preparation of
your assignment focus hard on what is really important to tell from what would be nice to
say. Being able to distinguish between information in this way is an essential skill in writing.
Make sure that your assignment tells a complete story rather than is just a collection of
statements. In your writing you should have a flow that follows a logical plan. Each
paragraph should have a reason to be in your assignment and the reader should have no need
to refer back to the title to check relevance. Write drafts using headings (introduction,
theoretical explanation, lessons and examples, conclusion) by all means if it helps you.
How to do well – best practices
Peer review: This helps you to gain skills in reviewing and critiquing work.
Clarity of expression: Have you explained the theories and developed your line of argument
using clear and unambiguous language? Sometimes it is easy to write like the latest paper
you’ve read or the one that appeals to you the most, so really check that your written words
convey exactly what YOU want to say. Try reading it out loud. Is the clarity of meaning still
Judicious use of tables and/or diagrams: Think carefully about how you might use one or
two of these to add value to your paper. Be wary of directly using a table or diagram from any
one paper. Think instead of designing your own from the evidence, compiling a table from
several different authors, adding examples that you have sourced yourself to an existing table or
diagram – you get the idea. [As always, you must give sources for diagrams and tables
underneath. If it is a straight copy, then give the author name and year. If you have compiled
from a number of papers state ‘Compiled by author from ….’ and here give the citations for the
papers you used; if you have adapted, state ‘Adapted from ….’ and here give the citation for the
paper; if it is your own work, then state underneath ‘Source: author’ meaning yourself so that
there is no misunderstanding].
Your examples: The best examples will be the ones that you find for yourself. Think about the
practical sources you can use (eg. newspapers, magazines, websites); try the non-academic
sources available through different professional bodies, for example. Can you find evidence for
the same example from more than one source? i.e. triangulate your sources. This is always
stronger than relying on just one source. Think also about the credibility of the sources that you
Presentation: The following points are keys to good presentation:
• Proof-reading – Don’t leave it to the last minute. If you can, leave 24 hours after you
have completed your final draft, before proof reading. Read each sentence carefully,
focusing on the accuracy of that sentence and read out loud, from a print out. Read it
several times, looking for different things (e.g. once for punctuation, once for spelling,
etc.). Use a ruler to enable you to focus on the detail and to prevent your eye moving
down the page too quickly. To check spelling and typos, read the paper backwards,
sentence by sentence. Know what mistakes you commonly make (words that you
commonly misspell and etc.) and look out for these in particular
• Correct use of punctuation – look up the correct use of the apostrophe and when to use
a comma, if you are unsure. This is a skill for life.
• Layout on the page – basic document skills – it is essential your margins are aligned,
your paragraphs correctly indented and so on. Get this right. You need to know how to
• Format your references and your reference page correctly – using the Business School
‘Harvard’ guides. References are only those works that you have cited within your
• Generally speaking your own words are better than other people’s words and quotations
don’t speak for themselves – their use needs to be explained and justified. So minimise
• If you write in your own words and cite the source of the ideas carefully, you can
extend, add meaning, re-interpret or comment on what the author is saying. This is what
we mean by ‘critical evaluation’ – and it shows you can think.
• Try not to use words or statements like:
• It can be clearly seen that….
• Simply put
• Keep sentences short if you can.
• Do not have page sized paragraphs. Long paragraphs make understanding difficult,
especially if they contain multiple ideas or concepts.
• Limit the use of lists. If you use them, keep them very short.
• Writing in third person is preferable in academic writing.
• Try not to over-rely on one reference source (e.g. Fill (2013)). Use Journals if you can
and do not assume everything on the Internet is a trusted source.
Topics/Theories/Models covered in Module lectures include the following: (Feel free to use any theory or model if relevant)
Theories of Communications
– The linear model of communication, The influencer model, Word of Mouth communication,Hierarchy of Effects Models (e.g. Roger’s adoption models, 1983), & factor influencing message interpretation, i.e. innovation diffusion, audiences, perception, decision making, percieved risk and involvement.
– Marketing communications mix, Strong advertisment models (i.e. hierarchy of effects models), Trial Purchases, Brand Promise, The elaboration likelihood model (ELM), Four frameworks: persuasion, involvement, salience & sales promotion framework, Using Adv. strategically (FCB Grid,1980 & Rossiter-Percy Grid 1997)
– E-customers, The traditional two-step model (Watts & Dodds, 2007), The network model of influence, The 4 C’s model: Consumer (product), Costs (price), Convenience (place), & Communication Promotion, The 5 I’s for interactive marketing (Pepper & Roggers): identification, individualization, interaction, integration, & integrity, The buying process, Forms of social media: CRM, viral marketing, online shopping, technology acceptance, social media & usage.
– communication: hierarchy of effects model
– how do sales promotions work? The Behaviourist View, The Cognitive View
– Field marketing, Experiential Marketing
Direct Marketing and Personal Selling
– Customer relationship management, Permission marketing, Direct marketing media, email marketing, direct mail, telemarketing, personal selling.
Public Relations, Sponsorship & Brand placement
Integrated Marketing Communications
International Marketing Communications
– globalisation of marketing, standardisation vs. adaptation, Strategic Matrix of International brand options.