Course Introduction – MKTG 420 ? Advertising and Promotion

Recently opened in May, Advertising and Promotion (MKTG 420) ?emphasizes integrated marketing communication,? said course professor Chris Thorne, adding that the course focuses on the communication type ?seen in direct marketing, promotions, and advertising.?

For instance, Thorne explained, a product for sale at the store is a result of integrated marketing. For this product to be there, an extensive amount of public relations, sales, and promotions had to take place. This integrated marketing model, Thorne further explained, is a ?key pillar to the concept of marketing,? and fuelled the decision at AU’s School of Business to create MKTG 420.

?Without such a course,? he commented, ?an important part of the discipline of marketing was missing from the [AU] curriculum.?

MKTG 420 consists of six main units, with a total of 15 lessons. Each of the units, Thorne explained, covers each piece of advertising and promotion ?in sequence, and then covers it as a whole as well.? This provides students with the ?big picture,? as well as real-life illustrations.

The first two units introduce students to the basics of the concept of integrated marketing communications and its importance in the world of marketing. These units also focus on how consumers ?connect to integrated marketing,? and the models and strategies currently employed in the marketing field to maximize consumer interest.

The next four units in MKTG 420 follow a ?standard approach to marketing,? commented Chris Thorne. In Unit 3, students explore the decision-making stage associated with marketing, and delve into marketing strategies commonly used to promote products and services. Unit 4 focuses on how to ?deliver the message,? or, in other words, how to attract consumer attention. Students explore the pros and cons of television and media advertising, as well as the effectiveness of print, Internet, and other advertising tactics.

Through Unit 5, students learn about how, once products or services are advertised to the public, the integrated marketing model continues. Sales promotions are discussed, as well as further marketing and awareness strategies including public relations and media.

Unit 6, the last unit in MKTG 420, shows students the final ?control and monitor? step used in integrated marketing. Students learn how to determine the effectiveness of a marketing model, complete with evaluation skills. Implications of decisions, from both ethical and economic views, are discussed.

MKTG 420 resources include an online component, as well as a CD-ROM and text that Thorne feels is an excellent resource for students not only during the course, but also as a handy reference in future marketing work.

The assignments in MKTG 420, indicated Thorne, are designed to give students ?real-life? experience with the world of marketing, complete with integration. Students will have the opportunity to look at existing companies and their associated marketing programs, evaluate these, and suggest improvements using the standard business approach. Chris Thorne indicated that this will be achieved through case-study work, individual research, and/or ?living lab? experience, in which students actively look at ?real? companies? use of advertising and promotion to further their businesses. MKTG 420 assignments are approximately seven to ten pages long each.

Course professor Chris Thorne has been teaching university-based marketing courses for the past ten years. Starting in 1998, he taught strategic marketing at York University in Toronto for six years. After this, he joined the faculty at the University of Bahrain in the Middle East and focused on teaching a wide variety of marketing aspects, including sales and promotion, for two-and-a-half years. He has also taught marketing research and communications courses at Conestoga College and Wilfred Laurier University. Currently, Chris is the vice-president of Maritz Canada’s technological telecom research group, and is also a course professor at Athabasca University and York University.

For more information, visit the course syllabus at: http://www.athabascau.ca/html/syllabi/mktg/mktg420.htm

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