Course description

Marketing Communication


Communication is a fundamental part of most marketplace transactions. In its purest form, price communicates the information necessary for a transaction. In most cases, however, marketers have to communicate more than just price in order to establish, sustain, and grow their business. So how does communication in the marketplace work? In order to address this important question, this course aims to provide a deep understanding of marketing communication, both in terms of real-life application and as a field of scientific research.

Over the duration of the course, students will work in groups to develop a communication strategy for a real industry client. The lectures will provide inspiration for the group projects in two ways:
1) We will discuss key theories and findings in advertising research and consumer psychology. These insights may be used in the communication strategy, but we will also pay close attention to theoretical and methodological challenges in these research areas.
2) We will meet guest speakers holding various key functions in marketing communication (e.g., on the agency side, the client side, the media side). These practitioners will provide insights into the daily business and the current challenges of marketing communication.

Course content

  • Marketing communications in theory and practice
  • Appealing to the senses
  • Understanding consumer attention
  • Make it stick: Memory and learning
  • (How) does subconscious advertising work?
  • Persuasion and attitude change
  • Social influence techniques
  • The language of marketing communications
  • Emotions in advertising
  • Viral marketing

Learning outcome knowledge

Upon successful completion of this course, the students will have a sound platform of knowledge on:

  • The science of marketing communication: On the one hand, theories of sensory perception, attention, memory, and emotion explain how consumers process marketing messages. On the other hand, theories of attitude formation and persuasion help us understand how consumers are influenced by marketing communication. We will critically discuss these theories and their potential to guide managerial decision-making. In addition, we will take deep dives into more specialized fields of research (e.g., advertising language, viral marketing).
  • The practice of marketing communication: Students will learn about key roles and responsibilities in marketing communication (e.g., communications manager, agency account manager, creative director, copywriter). Various guest speakers will present their work in these roles and discuss best practices.

Exam organisation

  • Presentation: 45%
  • Written exam: 40%
  • Class participation: 15%