Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module BUSI4D515: Buyer Behaviour and Marketing Communications (DL)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI4D515: Buyer Behaviour and Marketing Communications (DL)

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap
Tied to N1D707


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide a comprehensive to the specialised area of buyer behaviour and the management of customer - centric Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) strategies.
  • To consolidate and extend the advanced conceptual and empirical skills acquired during the Core period of the MA programme.
  • To equip the student with the advanced conceptual and practical skills needed to successfully develop a professional multimedia marketing communications plan.


  • I. Understanding Customers:
  • Marketing management in the customer-driven organisation;
  • Consumer buying and organisational buying;
  • Customer choice and decision-making processes;
  • Internal influences on customer decision-making;
  • External influences on customer decision-making.
  • II. Communicationg with Customers:
  • Marketing communications as a buyer-seller dialogue;
  • Developing an integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategy;
  • One, two, three and four-dimentional communications strategies;
  • The marketing communications mix - advertising, promotion, merchandising, PR,etc;
  • Developing and implementing a strategic media plan.
  • III. Managing Customer Relationships:
  • Understanding customer-marketer dynamics;
  • In-bound communications and customer intelligence;
  • Realtionship marketing and the 'marketing concept';
  • Customer relationship, management (CRM) systems;
  • Identifying, communicationg and delivering the value proposition.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An advanced understanding and critical appreciation of customer responses to the products and services of everyday life, and to the marketing of those products and services.
  • A critical appreciation of the complex nature of the customer decision-making process and the methods of studying these processes, together with the challenges marketers face in seeking to influence that process.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Aquired the specialised skills needed to develop a comprehensive marketing communications strategy that is founded upon a grounded knowledge of how and why customers behave as they do.
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • Through a combination of learning materal, self assessed exercises and a formative assignment on key topical issues, together with guided reading.
    • On the DL MA Programme each module is delivered in discrete Units which are equivalent to a lecture session. A DL Unit normally consists of specially written material, directed reading, reflection through self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading.
    • Each student is allocated a Tutor for each Module. the Tutor is tasked with providing feedback on formative work and is available for individual consultation as necessary. Tutoring is normally provided at a distance and may be conducted by email, telephone, post or fax.
    • The DL Programme offers annual residential seminars. In addition to offering core curriculum, the seminars provide the opportunity for DL Students to interface with members of Faculty, meet Tutors and to interact with other members of the student cohort.
    • Tutorials are conducted by email, post or fax. Students are unlikely to require more than 5 hours of telephone support form a tutor combined with a further 5 hours of tutor time in answering questions recevied by post, fax or email.
    • The assessment of the module, by written assignment, is designed to:
    • Test the aquisition and articulation of knowledge.
    • Test conceptual understanding and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Units 9
    Tutorials 5
    Residential seminar
    Preparation & Reading
    Total 150

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    written assignment 3000 words (max) 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    Case study preparation.

    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University