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Broaden your marketing acumen

Electives are your opportunity to truly shape the programme to your ambitions as a marketing leader. As an MSc Strategic Marketing (online, part-time) student, you will have the opportunity to tailor the programme to your career, accessing a wide range of electives as part of your programme.

Studying electives will allow you to develop domain expertise in the areas of your interest and broaden your understanding of how to solve business problems. You will choose six electives from a range of topics offered from the summer of the first year through to the spring term of the second year.

Whatever your objective – whether it’s diving deeper into marketing analytics, learning how to innovate with your organisation, becoming a green marketer or more – electives allow you to be in the driver’s seat of your marketing journey.

In this new era of marketing, your brand is defined by those who experience it. Firms are increasingly becoming aware that one of their most valuable assets is the brand associated with their products and services, and that they need to manage the entire brand experience to obtain a competitive advantage.

This module is concerned with building, measuring and managing brand experiences over time. You will learn how to leverage advertising and the other elements of the marketing communications mix to build and strengthen the brand experience. Through learning key theories and concepts pertaining to the brand experience design and management, you will develop the tools to apply a strategic approach to the design, management, and measurement of brand experiences.

Customers are the most valuable assets of a firm. Many firms have a staggering amount of data on their customers' browsing and buying behaviour, but only few of them have the expertise to use such information and guide their customer engagement strategies. Blending theory with practical examples and case studies, this module aims to (i) provide an overview of key areas in customer engagement and (ii) deliver a set of analytical tools for effective customer management. Students will learn how to use a series of marketing frameworks and data analytics to make informed decisions and influence customers hearts, minds and sales.

This elective will be available for the September 2022 intake of students on MSc Strategic Marketing (online, part-time).

When we hear “crisis management,” we think of global scandals, business disruptions and tragedies. Leaders need to be prepared for those acute incidents, but also for serial challenges, chronic issues, and for smaller, but still significant, threats to brand reputation, employee morale, and shareholder value. This is not just a concern for an organisation’s PR function, no matter where you work in your future career, you will have to effectively manage a crisis at work.

This module will develop the skills to explain, evaluate, describe and appraise crisis management through the temporal phases of crisis: before, during, and after. Learning from the common mistakes in real case studies, you will develop the best crisis management practices, as well learn the financial considerations and realities when in crisis.

The business world is evolving rapidly through the use of digital marketing, mobile and social media to reach target audiences. Emerging technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and the “Internet of Things” offer businesses the unique opportunity to differentiate in a highly competitive brand market by creating immersive experiences for their customers.

In this module, you will get an understanding of the trends and technologies that are likely to disrupt the marketing world and business at large. Delve into tools and techniques that can be used to utilise new technologies within the core development of strategic marketing of businesses.

Digital technology and the rapidly growing number of media types are not only transforming how brands can interact and communicate with their stakeholders. They are also reducing the effectiveness of many traditional one-way communication methods and media which expose consumers and clients to a plethora of marketing messages. While brands used to be influential cultural engineers, social media has enabled consumers to be the dominant cultural innovators. This requires brands to rethink their marketing communications strategies, including the mix of push and pull communications.

This module will give you a solid understanding of the role of and mix of integrated marketing communications and corresponding challenges. You will apply knowledge learned in your core modules to navigate the complex and challenging task of creating integrated marketing communications.

Business is a global workplace – if you want to operate successfully in this environment, you have to be international. This module deals with the major issues faced by companies in international business and marketing. A central theme is a continuing need to balance the competing dimensions of local adaptation and global integration, which means that international managers can neither fully adapt to the demands of local markets nor fully apply globally standardised models.

The challenge in international business is how to reconcile local and global demands from both inside and outside the company. You will develop the skills needed to navigate the dilemma of recognising international differences in culture and behaviour while avoiding stereotyping. Special attention will be paid to strategies for and from emerging markets.

The study of leadership is about how to better manage the challenges we face motivating and inspiring people. At its most basic, it’s about making things happen in an organisation in a constructive way. It’s not about wasting our energy trying to change who we are. Instead, it’s about finding new and better ways of ‘being ourselves’ through enhanced insight and new skills.

In order to make you more effective as a leader, this module will help you become aware of your personality and other traits in order to make you more effective through diagnosis (questionnaire assessment exercises), insight (introspection and reflection of one’s traits, habits, and behaviours) and self-development (plans to adapt and change to tackle future challenges), as well as introduce you to new skills useful in dealing with common leadership challenges and dilemmas.

As data has become one of the most important forces shaping all the business fields now, firms are increasingly seeking marketing experts with sufficient technical background to make effective data-driven marketing decisions. This module takes a very hands-on approach with real data sets and cases, exposing you to a range of digital marketing problems dealt with various analytical tools, including machine learning. The goal is to equip you with analytical thinking and a set of applied quantitative marketing skills so that you are best prepared to succeed in the workplace. The module is practically focussed, and the extensive use of case studies will help you understand the big-picture of marketing analytics.

This module exposes students to the evidence of how brands grow (and decline) and reveals the metrics that matter when aiming to build bigger and more profitable brands. Over fifty years of research based on buying behaviour data has been sourced from over 170 categories of goods and services from across the world which includes over 3,000 brands. This has revealed ‘law like’ patterns in customers’ buying behaviour that apply to both B2C and B2B businesses and from products to services. These law like patterns also apply to start-ups and new entrants into established categories.

Students will learn to look for these patterns in data (which may not be obvious); learn what these ‘law like’ patterns are and why they are important; which marketing metrics they give rise to, and what the strategic implications are for brands and for businesses as a whole. 

Great marketing requires great innovation and innovation is a skill that can be taught. This module explores fundamental and cutting-edge innovation concepts, principles, ideas and theories. You will be exposed to and explore the latest thinking in service design and innovation tools, as well as effective innovation management strategies.

Learn how solutions can be designed and brought to market for products and digital services, as well as develop the skills to appraise a business’ future market orientation, willingness to cannibalise, asymmetric incentives and management of risk. Learn this by examining case studies of marketing innovation efforts that have failed vs succeeded.

Sustainability is not just a buzzword. It is a rapidly evolving concept beyond the financial performance of firms. It emphasises marketing’s role in the welfare of the world’s other stakeholders and institutions. More specifically, sustainable marketing is a major area of social marketing – marketing for the public good.

This module develops a general management viewpoint in planning and evaluating sustainable marketing decisions, from both strategic and tactical perspectives. By appraising the global challenges for sustainable products and corporate actions, you will develop the skills to create and launch a sustainability marketing plan.

"As we progress through the programme, I have been able to apply the material and learnings into my day-to-day tasks as a working professional. From team-building skills, and thinking more strategically and outside the box, to understanding customers and the psychology behind their behaviours, as well as making use of data to better analyse results and make well-informed decisions. Each module has provided me with knowledge to grow further in my role. Moreover, the elective modules I am now enrolled in will certainly feed directly into my role, especially when it comes to topics including leadership, international business and relations, and emerging technologies which are constantly changing the way we work and live."
MSc Strategic Marketing (online, part-time) 2021
Yasmine Abbas, MSc Strategic Marketing (online, part-time) 2020-21 student at Imperial College Business School

Electives available and module outlines are subject to change. Imperial College Business School reserves the right to alter modules whenever they need to be amended or improved.