Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

3 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit examines marketing communications as one of the critical marketing mix elements and its central role to make organisations, goods and services known to potential customers and other stakeholders. While this unit explores advertising (often a leading element in the 'communications mix'), it also investigates other communications mix elements, such as direct marketing communications, sales promotions, public relations and personal selling. The unit examines the challenges in creating successful communications to reach and influence stakeholders, and the challenges in evaluating the success of such communications. It provides students with an understanding of how organisations communicate effectively with customers and other stakeholders. It also explores issues pertaining to human dignity and the common good in the design and implementation of marketing communications.

The aim of the unit is to provide students with an understanding of how marketers engage stakeholders, including customers, through effective communication strategies and communications mix elements. The skills developed in this unit complement the theoretical and practical skills developed in related marketing units.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Identify and examine the issues pertaining to the common good in the design and implementation of marketing communications (GA2, GA5)

LO2 - Analyse marketing communication theory and practice and develop an integrated marketing communications campaign (GA5, GA8)

LO3 - Critically consider the role of marketing communications specifically integrated marketing communications in the design and implementation of marketing strategy (GA4, GA5)

LO4 - Explain the practical and ethical challenges in implementing marketing communications in business and non-business organisations (GA3, GA5)

LO5 - Analyse the elements of the marketing communications mix of organisations in both local and global contexts (GA5, GA6)

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


Topics will include:

  • marketing communications and the imc concept
  • context and organisation of marketing communications
  • the communications process and persuasion in marketing communications
  • marketing communications elements in campaigns
  • marketing communications objective setting & budgeting
  • ethical perspectives in decision making
  • creative and media strategy and implementation in a variety of settings
  • direct marketing communications and the internet
  • consumer, trade and salesforce sales promotions
  • public relations and publicity
  • personal selling & interpersonal communications
  • assessing marketing communications effectiveness
  • marketing communications and its social and societal impact

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit takes an active learning approach to guide students in the development, knowledge and processes utilised by organisations to communicate effectively with their customers and other stakeholders. The learner is able to explore the knowledge base underpinning integrated marketing communication elements and processes in a series of face-to-face workshops. These workshops are designed to support the learner to actively participate in the development of their knowledge, both individually and in groups. By participating in these workshops, the learner will develop an understanding of the strategic business processes used to develop, execute and evaluate marketing communication strategies and individual campaigns. This unit takes a collaborative learning approach within the workshop through a series of lectures, discussions and examples. This approach is designed for the learner to develop critical and reflective skills in an independent and group environment.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, three graded assessment tasks are required to be submitted and they must achieve an aggregate mark of at least 50%. Marking will be in accordance with rubrics specifically developed to measure the level of achievement of the learning outcomes for each assessment item. A final grade will be awarded reflecting the overall achievement in the Unit. The assessment strategy for this unit allows students to sequentially develop their knowledge and skills in integrated marketing communications to the point where they can produce a marketing communication campaign. In order to develop this capability, students will demonstrate knowledge of integrated marketing communication theories through a critical analysis of a print media advertisement and through development of an integrated marketing communication campaign. The final exam will be used to assess student understanding of the theories and concepts taught during the semester.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Individual Task/Print Media Analysis: This assessment task consists of a 1000-word analysis of a Print Media Advertisement using a structural analytical framework. This task requires students to identify the target market, key aspects of the creative and media strategy (and various sub-components of the advertisement, such as the USP), and assess the selected advertisement from a cross-cultural perspective. The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate student ability to analyse a print advertisement and to critically evaluate it.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Print Advertisement Critique

Artefact: Written paper


LO3, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA6

Group Task/Campaign Plan: This assessment task consists of a 2000-word marketing communication campaign for a specific brand. This task requires students to work in a group setting to demonstrate their ability to interpret a client brief, develop a campaign, including a creative concept, choose media platforms, and ‘below the line’ strategies – including possible ethical impacts of the proposed campaign on the target market and other stakeholders.

Submission Type: Group

Assessment Method: Marketing Campaign Plan/document

Artefact: Campaign plan 


LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

Individual Task/Case Study Analysis: this assessment task consists of a 1000-word analysis of a supplied marketing communications case study. This task requires students to identify the key and the secondary issues and provide solutions to the key issues in the case study. The purpose of this assessment is to is to evaluate student ability to analyse a marketing communications case and to critically evaluate it.

Students have to also write a 100 word reflect on the process for completing the assignment.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Case Study Critique

Artifact: Written paper


LO1, LO4, LO5

GA2, GA3, GA5, GA6

Representative texts and references

Belch, G. Belch, M. Kerr, G. Powell, I. Waller, D. 2020 Advertising: An integrated marketing communications perspective, 4th edn, McGraw Hill, Australia, Sydney.

Chitty, W, Luck, E, Barker, N, Sassenberg, AM, M & Shimp, T, Andrews, J 2018, Integrated marketing communications, 5th edn, Cengage Learning, Melbourne.

Clow, K & Baack, D 2016, Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications, 7th edn, Pearson Education, London.

Fill, C and Turnbull, S 2016, Marketing Communications, 7th edn, Pearson

O’Guinn, T, Allen, C, Semenik, R & Scheinbaum, A, 2015, Advertising and integrated  brand promotion, 7th edn, South Western Cengage, Mason, OH.

Rossiter, J. Percy, L. Bergkvist, L. 2018 Marketing communications: objectives, strategy, tactics, Sage Publications, United Kingdom, London.


McKinsey Quarterly

Harvard Business Review

European Journal of Marketing

Journal of Advertising Research

Journal of Marketing Communications

Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

Journal of Public Relations

Public Relations Review

Journal of Marketing


Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs