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Market yourself with a world-class degree

Marketing has come a long way from slick, ‘Mad Men’ style advertising gimmicks that play to people’s emotions. As the digital revolution has put more power into consumers’ hands, providing wider access to information and instant product reviews, people are able to make better informed decisions on how they spend their money.

Written by Lindsay Alexander |

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Looking at the psychology and trends behind buying habits can give insight into what consumers value most and help to optimise promotional activities.

Marketing is about creating value for a clearly identified target market. It’s about understanding customers’ needs and mobilising their wants. Today, successful marketing strategies use a rounded approach to understanding the needs of consumers. Using innovative tools and techniques to look at the psychology and trends behind buying habits can give marketers insight into what consumers value most, helping them optimise their promotional activities.

With an overcrowded marketplace, it is becoming harder for companies to make their products stand out amongst the rest. There is a growing need for professionals with up-to-date marketing expertise to establish brand identity and consumer loyalty.

Consumers have more access to information about products than ever before … they no longer rely solely on advertising and other mass communication tools when they make their choices.

The University of London and member institution, Birkbeck, have developed the new online MSc Marketing programme which fosters an all-round, in depth knowledge of the critical strategic and tactical building blocks of successful marketing practice, informed by marketing theory and leading-edge research.

Dr Manto Gotsi, Programme Director of the new MSc Marketing and Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Birkbeck, University of London, explains the relevance of studying marketing:

“Marketing is more important than ever today. Consumers are spoiled for choice - differentiation is becoming harder and harder. The digital revolution means that consumers have more access to information about products than ever before – and that they no longer rely solely on advertising and other mass communication tools when they make their choices. Consumers can place orders by touching just a few buttons – making availability and convenience critical. 

“The sharing economy is changing attitudes towards ownership, creating problems for established companies in hospitality, car manufacturing, transportation (to name but a few) and opportunities for new players and those that adjust. Environmental groups are raising concerns about the effect that consumption has on our planet. In this fast pace, challenging environment, marketing is a critical resource to create proactive solutions and drive business success.”

The world of marketing is evolving as technology continues to advance. From social media influencers to AI clustering used to interpret consumer data, traditional marketing tools are now being overshadowed by tech-based platforms.

Social media companies now know the products that we like, where we go on holidays, who our groups of friends are, even our political preferences. If you also add the capabilities offered by artificial intelligence, you realise that huge opportunities arise for data-driven marketing.

“Old-school interruptive marketing tools, such as advertising or direct mail no longer prevail. Consumers are taking a more active role in their decision-making process, using search engines, blogs and product reviews. Increasingly, other consumers (rather than firms) are guiding their choices.  Moreover, in an ‘inbound marketing’ context, developing segmentation and targeting strategies may only happen after customers have made contact with the firm,” says Dr Gotsi.

“Social media companies now know the products that we like, where we go on holidays, who our groups of friends are, even our political preferences. If you also add the capabilities offered by artificial intelligence, you realise that huge opportunities arise for data-driven marketing.”

The MSc Marketing includes modules that cover a range of topics including digital and social media marketing, marketing research and analytics, and brand management. It also covers areas such as corporate responsibility and sustainability which are essential to consider in today’s global economy.

“The online structure of the programme closely mirrors the on-campus version - but it has the added value of ‘magnified’ experiential learning and flexibility, which the online environment enables. In small classes, students will be able to interact with teaching staff, who will guide them in their independent learning activities,” says Dr Gotsi.

“Learning will be enhanced by tools such as co-constructed wikis, online discussion forums, commenting on each other’s presentations, and much more. Students will also be able to learn from each other – a truly global source of insights, from fellow students that will bring their own work and life experiences to the foreground.”

This is a programme informed by knowledge of the past, challenges of the present, and opportunities in the future.

The MSc Marketing is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing and is unique in several aspects by providing a comprehensive view of marketing practice, emphasising a ‘responsible marketing approach’ and fostering a dialogue around ‘conundrums’ found in contemporary marketing.

“This is a programme informed by knowledge of the past, challenges of the present, and opportunities in the future. Throughout the programme we will be evaluating the impact of marketing decisions on the triple bottom line and making appropriate recommendations to enhance broader sustainability,” says Dr Gotsi.

“I am excited about the vast opportunities that online education brings to truly enhance access to high quality education – and particularly delighted about the value that this MSc Marketing will bring to individuals and organisations around the world!”

Find out more about the MSc Marketing programme.

Keep your skills relevant in the rapidly evolving field of marketing.