Digital Marketing & Communications

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Course Information
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 

Marketing 101 suggested but not required, undergraduate college level course

Additional student cost: 



This course will provide an overview of Digital Marketing tendencies from a communications perspective. Analyzing current Internet, mobile, and multi-media campaigns, we will evaluate evolving marketing techniques and promotional technologies and find ways to integrate them into an effective communications strategy. Emerging media channels and cases will be analyzed to predict future trends. Class projects will emphasize current trends and propose an outlook into the new marketing landscape.

Attendance policy: 

Since BIA courses are designed to take advantage of the unique contribution of the instructor and the lecture/discussion format is regarded as the primary mode of instruction, regular class attendance is mandatory. Tardiness of any sort on a repeated basis will be treated as absences over time. If a student shows a pattern if absences, in violation of this policy students may be subject to an Academic review including but not limited to a letter sent to their school and a probationary period or exclusion from the program. Should students have absences from class for any reason other than a documented medical problem, your final grade in the course will be reduced by one fraction of a grade (i.e. A becomes A-) after that.

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Effectively describe and utilize key Internet and Mobile marketing concepts
  • Evaluate the Digital Marketing context: e-business models, performance metrics, and role of strategic planning.
  • Analyze marketing environment and Tier 1 strategy development: situation analysis (external and internal), competitive positioning, Segmenting and Targeting, Consumer Behavior, and SWOT Analysis
  • Develop a coherent problematic and Tier 2 strategy based on the SMART criteria.
  • Understand the role of communication agencies including Advertising, PR, and Events
  • Take on the challenge of creating innovative solutions based on consumer and brand values that answer a specific problematic.
  • Articulate the interconnectedness among marketing promotional activities needed to create successful internet marketing activities.
  • Utilize the terms, concepts and methods used in Advertising, PR, Integrated Marketing in terms of Digital media channels and tools.
  • Gain hands-on experience of Internet marketing technologies and techniques
  • Develop an integrated Digital marketing communications strategy.
Method of presentation: 

Lectures, discussions, role-plays, student presentations, case study, outside research, and field study.  The course is divided into curriculum and practice.  The curriculum-based approach teaches the fundamental theories of Digital Marketing and Communications.  The practice approach teaches how to apply a method and a marketing strategy into a realistic project plan.

Field study: 
Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Assignments - 20%:
    • Case studies and Show and Tell
  • Class Participation - 10%
  • Mid-Term Exam - 30%
  • Final Project - 40%:
    • Project assignments and final project

Case studies
Written assignments of 500 word essay based on provided case studies.  Questions answered will require secondary market research and references.
Show and Tell:
Short PowerPoint presentations (5-10 minutes) based on recent Digital marketing campaign.
Text-book reading that provides the fundamental principles of E-marketing.
Format: Short answer and essay focused on developing a strategic E-marketing plan.
Project assignments: 
Project assignments are preparations that help provide a step-by-step methodological approach to creating the final project. The Team Page and Proposal challenge real engagement with an existing business.  Students are required to understand how to determine a client’s needs and develop a problematic. This is not a course on marketing strategy that develops a general market positioning; rather, it requires a dialogue to understand the client’s existing marketing strategies and to enhance and develop their positioning through e-marketing.
Final Project: 
Students will create an effective communications strategy for a French brand of their choice. The project will be discussed and developed step by step throughout the semester as students gain knowledge of evolving marketing techniques and promotional technologies. This project itself consists of a PowerPoint presentation (10 minutes) and website prototype.  These are the six challenges:

  • First challenge is to find a real SME client to determine their business needs related to E-Marketing.  This will require students to immediately begin a networking process that will reach out to local French business owners.
  • Second challenge is to outline a strategic assessment based on the business needs, environment, and internal analysis.
  • Third challenge is to identify a specific problematic and brainstorm possible solutions
  • Fourth challenge is to determine the feasibility of the solutions based on the SMART criteria
  • Fifth challenge is to realize a prototype (website or mobile application)
  • Sixth challenge is to create a Digital Marketing presentation with prototype

Quality assessment is based on relevancy of the problematic and solution, creative problem solving, research and argumentation, effort, prototype readiness, oral and written presentation style.  The goal is to provide a pragmatic and cost effective execution model of Digital Marketing Communications campaign.

Week Number and Title Content Readings and Assignments
Week 1:

Introduction to Digital Marketing and the changes in the communications landscape

  • Introduction
  • What is Digital Marketing?
  • Digital and E-Marketing Landscape and the challenges to Advertising and PR.
  • What is guerilla marketing?

Case Study 1:  Barack Obama Campaign


  • Chapter 1, Strauss and Frost (pp. 25-47)


  • Team page, Barack Obama Campaign

Week 2:

Show and Tell

  • Internet 101
  • Digital marketing Past :  Web 1.0
  • Evolution to today and expectations for the near future
  • Marketing Implications: Global Reach, Open Standards, Scalability, Task Automation
  • Power Shift from Seller to Buyers
  • What is Web 3.0

Final Presentation Project Description and Team Page Assignment presentations.

  • Chapter 1, Strauss and Frost Pp.25-47

Week 3:

Workshop for understanding Marketing Strategy

Show and Tell

  • Situational Analysis: Macro and Micro
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Marketing Segmentation
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Target Marketing and Niches
  • SWOT
  • Orienting the Problematic for project


  • Strauss and Frost  Pp. 48-83


  • Situational Analysis of Client  

Week 4:

Strategic Digital Marketing and Performance Metrics

Show and Tell

  • Strategic Objectives
  • ESP Model
  • Digital Strategy
  • Levels of Commitment to E-Business
  • E-Business Models
  • Performance Metrics
  • ROI

Case Study  2:


  • Chapter 2, Strauss and Frost  Pp. 48-83


  • Competitive Analysis Research

Week 5:

Digital Marketing Plan for Communications.  Understanding Corporate objectives and the roles of Advertising and PR

Show and Tell

  • Napkin Plan
  • Venture Capital Digital Marketing Plan
  • Seven-Step Digital Marketing Plan
  • The evolution in Advertising influenced by the digital revolution
  • The evolution of PR through Twitter, blogs and other digital mediums. 

Mid-Term Review


  • Chapter 3, Strauss and Frost  Pp. 69-83


  • Market Segmentation and Positioning

Week 6:


Midterm (First half of class)

Final Project Orientation

Week 7:

Workshop for learning the tools for final Project


Show and Tell

  • Clarifying the Marketing Communications Problematic
  • Finding the Creative Solution:  How to elicit consumer emotion in correspondence with the 3Rs:  Reach, Relevancy, and Richness.  How to garner consumer engagement.
  • Understanding the web tools structure including database, content management, email marketing, and e-commerce.
  • How to set up WordPress site
  • Topical Area specialization (3 articles minimum)

Week 8:

Websites and Web Analytics

Show and Tell

  • Building a website prototype
  • Google Adwords
  • Google Analytics
  • Search Engine Optimization


  • Build a site using WordPress, templates, and tools


  • Topical Area specialization (3 articles minimum)

Week 9:

Email Marketing and CRM

Show and Tell

  • Customer Relationship Marketing vs Email Marketing

Case study: Travelocity


  • Travelocity analysis


  • Topical Area specialization (3 articles minimum)

Week 10:

Mobile Marketing and Advertising

Presentation of Strategy for Final Project PowerPoint

  • Understanding the transition from Online to Mobile
  • Android, IOS, and Windows
  • SMS
  • Social Media
  • Mobile as an advertising mediums:   AdMob, Facebook, Flurry, InMobi, HasOffers, Tapjoy, Millenia Media, Sponsor Pay.


  • Mobile Marketing case TBD


  • Topical Area specialization (3 articles minimum)
Week 11:

Class Title:  Consumer Behavior Online

Show and Tell

  • Consumers in the Twenty-First Century
  • Technological Context
  • Social and Cultural Context
    Legal Context
  • Individual Characteristics and Resources
  • Internet Exchange
  • Exchange Outcomes


  • Chapter 7, Strauss and Frost  Pp. 175-193
Week 12

Final Project Presentation

Critique of Projects


Required readings: 
  • Strauss and Frost, E-Marketing, sixth edition, Pearson, 2012

There is only one textbook required because this is a practice-based course.  Because innovation is an important criteria, students are required to read current articles based on the recommended readings below.  They are encouraged to focused on a Topical Areas (listed above) where a collection of articles are presented.

Additional requirements: 
Other Resources: