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April 8, 2022


6 months

This course includes:

6 months

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

6 months


This course, Marketing in the 21st century, offers a managerial perspective on how to deliver more effective marketing in an organization, regardless of whether it is based in the private, public or non-profit sector.


Welcome to Marketing in the 21st century. This course briefly introduces you to the concept of marketing, how to assess if your organization is marketing orientated and the role of ethics in marketing. You will then be introduced to the principles of branding before considering internal marketing in turbulent times. First, let’s start by considering a quote from British entrepreneur Emma Harrison published in the British newspaper the Daily Mail (2004):
There are three things that you should spend your time doing: marketing, marketing, marketing. If you are not prepared to do that, then everything else is irrelevant.
As we shall see throughout this course, marketing encompasses a wide range of interrelated activities and at its heart, drives the organization forward. As a manager, you will have had, to varying extent, some experience of marketing. This could be involved in making strategic decisions that have marketing implications. On the other hand, as a consumer you will have been exposed to marketing from an early age, possibly making you skeptical about what it can offer. Marketing is concerned with satisfying customer needs but is it a positive activity for our societies? Marketing encompasses a number of activities that are partially created by the organization but also largely influenced by factors in the external environment such as competitors’ activities and legislation. As a management activity, marketing is constantly changing and evolving to meet the needs of the market. For many, this constant change makes it an exciting profession, as summarised here by Ian Hunter, Head of Marketing at Fujitsu Services.

What excites me most about marketing?

Working in marketing means that you are in a privileged position, working across all parts of a business at all levels, for the good of the whole company. The excitement comes from many areas:
  • Working/influencing (challenging) executives on strategic direction
  • Implementing change – identifying new strategies and working with the company to implement the thinking
  • Intellectual challenge – thinking through complex organizational problems and developing strategies to support these
  • Working with smart people – because while the work is important to the company, you get to work with the smartest people (internally and externally)
  • Creativity – you are continually having to come up with new and innovative ways of doing things. Working in an innovative environment is fun and exciting.
What are the biggest challenges for marketing? For the IT sector, it is how we respond to/make money from Cloud. For marketing it is:
  1. Being able to demonstrate the value marketing delivers
  2. Exploiting/using social media to its full potential (to develop relationships).
What does marketing contribute? Marketing is a process that everyone in the company is involved with (satisfying customer needs, at a profit). So everyone is in marketing!! The marketing function must be configured to use appropriate skills and techniques to support this ambition and be able to demonstrate value. In a B2B environment this includes:
  • Increasing the customer’s predisposition to purchase – brand awareness, relationship events, thought leadership
  • Lead generation – thought leadership, direct marketing, etc.
  • Relationship creation – forums, social media, events
  • Evidence – case studies and references
  • Salesforce training and development
  • Account development – account-based marketing
  • Market and customer insight.
(Source: Dibb et al., 2012, p. 632)
This is achieved through a variety of learning techniques, including case studies, videos, activities and group discussions. Supporting this learning, students are encouraged to become critical thinkers about how they undertake their own decisions, as well as how marketing influences our society.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:
  • Articulate whether marketing is a process or philosophy
  • Think analytically, creatively and in an integrated manner about marketing ethics
  • Define what a brand is and value of brands to organizations and consumers
  • Understand how marketing practice is changing now and will change more in the future.

Course Curriculum

    • What is marketing? 00:20:00
    • Added value 00:40:00
    • Marketing orientation: trains, cars and bankruptcy 00:10:00
    • The Austin Seven 01:00:00
    • Marketing and ethics 00:10:00
    • Ethics in practice 00:10:00
    • Ethical theories 00:35:00
    • Brand basics 00:10:00
    • The origin of brands 00:10:00
    • Defining what a brand is 00:20:00
    • The relevance of brands to organisations 00:20:00
    • Embracing brand benefits 00:35:00
    • The relevance of brands to consumers 00:20:00
    • Brand equity 00:30:00
    • International marketing in turbulent times 00:45:00
    • Conclusion 00:10:00

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Open University UK