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Teaching organisation

150 hours over a twelve-week semester or equivalent study period

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.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Explain the issues pertaining to the common good in the design and implementation of marketing communicationsGC2, GC5
LO2Identify the role of integrated marketing communications in the design and implementation of marketing strategyGC4, GC5
LO3Apply marketing communication theory and practice and develop an integrated marketing communications campaignGC5, GC8
LO4Examine the practical and ethical challenges in implementing marketing communications in business and non-business organisationsGC3, GC5
LO5Analyse the elements of the marketing communications mix of organisations in both local and global contextsGC5, GC6


Topics will include:

  • marketing communications and the IMC concept
  • context of marketing communications
  • the communications process and persuasion in marketing communications
  • marketing communications campaign development
  • one way marketing communications
  • interactive marketing communications
  • assessing marketing communications effectiveness
  • marketing communications and its social and societal impact

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategy is based on student engagement in the learning process by participation in workshops or equivalent and practical activities designed to reinforce learning. Workshops and equivalent support students to actively participate in the construction and synthesis of knowledge both individually and in small groups. 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 workshops or equivalent and practical activities. These workshops or equivalent and practical activities 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 or equivalent and practical activities, 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 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.

Mode of delivery: This unit is offered in different modes. These are: "Attendance" mode, "Mixed" mode and "Online" mode. This unit is offered in three modes to cater to the learning needs and preferences of a range of participants and maximise effective participation for isolated and/or marginalised groups.

Attendance Mode

In an attendance mode, students will require face-to-face attendance in specific physical location/s. Students will have face-to-face interactions with lecturer(s) to further their achievement of the learning outcomes. This unit is structured with required upfront preparation before workshops, most students report that they spend an average of one hour preparing before the workshop and one or more hours after the workshop practicing and revising what was covered. The online learning platforms used in this unit provide multiple forms of preparatory and practice opportunities for you to prepare and revise.


In a mixed-mode, students will require intermittent face-to-face attendance determined by the School. Students will have face-to-face interactions with lecturer(s) to further their achievement of the learning outcomes. This unit is structured with required upfront preparation before workshops. The online learning platforms used in this unit provide multiple forms of preparatory and practice opportunities for you to prepare and revise.

Online Mode

In an online mode, students engage in asynchronous learning and participate in the construction and synthesis of knowledge, while developing their knowledge. Students are required to participate in a series of online interactive activities to enhance their learning including knowledge checks, discussion boards and self paced exercises. This approach allows flexibility for students and facilitates learning and participation for students with a preference for virtual learning.

ACU Online

This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, students are required to demonstrate mastery of all learning outcomes and achieve an aggregate mark of at least 50%. Marking of each assessment task will be in accordance with rubrics specifically developed to measure student 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 Capabilities

Assessment 1: Current Media Analysis 

This assessment task consists of a 1200 word analysis of a current 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 an advertisement and to critically evaluate it.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Advertisement Critique

Artefact: Written Paper


LO3, LO5GC5, GC6, GC8

Assessment 2: Campaign Plan 

This assessment task consists of a oral presentation of a 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, LO5GC5, GC6, GC8

Assessment 3: Live Case Study 

This assessment task consists of a 1000-1500 words report analysing a case study of a marketing communication campaign. Students will be given a real world example of a campaign that ran recently along with its objectives, strategies and outcomes. Based on the provided case study, students are expected to write a report critically analysing the marketing communication plan and showcasing strengths and weaknesses of the adopted strategies.

 The purpose of this assessment is to is to evaluate student’s ability to analyse a marketing communications case and to critically evaluate it.

 Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Case Study Critique

Artifact: Written paper


LO1, LO4, LO5GC2, GC3, GC5, GC6

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.

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

Li, F., Larimo, J. and Leonidou, L.C., 2021. Social media marketing strategy: definition, conceptualization, taxonomy, validation, and future agenda. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science49(1), pp.51-70.

Manoli, A.E. and Hodgkinson, I.R., 2020. The implementation of integrated marketing communication (IMC): evidence from professional football clubs in England. Journal of Strategic Marketing28(6), pp.542-563.

Suay, F., 2020. Integrated marketing communications. The Coca-Cola Spain IMC model. Revista de Estudios Empresariales. Segunda Época, (2), pp.18-31.

Tsai, W.H.S., Lun, D., Carcioppolo, N. and Chuan, C.H., 2021. Human versus chatbot: Understanding the role of emotion in health marketing communication for vaccines. Psychology & Marketing.

Vernuccio, M., Cesareo, L., Pastore, A. and Kitchen, P.J., 2021. Managerial and organizational perspectives on online–offline integration within integrated marketing communication: toward a holistic conceptual framework. International Journal of Advertising, pp.1-22.

Zwerin, A., Clarke, T.B. and Clarke III, I., 2020. Traditional and Emerging Integrated Marketing Communication Touchpoints Used in Effie Award-Winning Promotional Campaigns. Journal of Promotion Management26(2), pp.163-185


  • 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


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