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MSc Digital Marketing

Course schedule:

  • Thursdays from 9.00 → 11.00 (room A210)

Week 1: 2019_09_19 — module introduction

Module Aim:

The aim of this module is to provide learners with an understanding of digital marketing communications theory and practice and to critically evaluate, create and execute a digital communications plan.

Partial subject outlines:

Form of communication in digital marketing:
— SEO, SEM, content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, data-driven marketing, e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, Display advertising, non-Internet channels such as mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callback, and on-hold mobile ring tones.

Technical outline of browser technologies. Understanding some technical aspects of user visits and engagement data:
— Browser user agents

User visits logging on independent platforms:
— Google analytics
— Matomo (ex Piwik)

Getting your content indexed by search engines :
— SEO optimisation & various search engines
— SEO (search engine optimisation) & SEM (search engine marketing) — how does it work ?

Mail campaign tools:
— Pommo mailing
— Mailchimp

Reactive engagement:
— reaction chains for custom actions (example: IFTTT)

Ethical issues of digital marketing:
— data retention

Critical stances in a shifting media landscape:
— dark patterns
— Modes of address
— the Fediverse — alternative independent social networks
— The Great Hack

Group studies:

Carrying out digital marketing case studies and presenting findings to the group. Example case studies: Seed golf,,

Class Project:

You will be required to develop a digital marketing communications plan for a small business/charity/club. This will involve working with a client and will be a group project.

Week 2: 2019_09_26

marketing communication tools

Gaining a common understanding of Marketing Communication tools available to us today. Open this embedded link (in a new tab) and build up the book of definitions with the class.

group assignment

In groups of three, identify a company, a person, a charity or an organisation of which you will study the digital marketing. You will be asked to make a presentation on your findings to the class group.

Document your findings with screenshots, pdfs, prints, photographs or whatever form you see fit for your presentations.

Your presentation will include:

  • an overview of who / what your subject is, the scale of the organisation, their field of operation and geographic location(s)

  • an overviewing list of all the digital communications tools & channels your subject employs

  • a detailed view of each of the tools & channels you listed in the previous point. Consider giving examples and information about frequency of use. Try to find out if the channels are used individually or simultaneously.

  • try to answer the question: how does your subject speak to its target audiences using the communication tools they chose ?

Assignment timeframe: 2 weeks from assignment annoucement. You will be given the two hours of our following course to work with your team, but make sure to make a plan before then as it might take quite some time to gather enough material from each communication channel.

For any questions, mail me at


Ethics of online communications,


  • Matomo (open alternative to Google Analytics)
  • OpenGraph (OpenGraph protocol, preformatting social media messages)


Slides for 2019_11_21:

Aral Balkan

a cyborg rights activist, designer, and founder of Small Technology Foundation.

Research and opinion piece (essay) assignment outline:

You are asked to begin researching an opinion piece you will write on the topic of :

The ethical implications of digital marketing via social media tools.

Your research and writing will consider ethics, therefor, this is an individual project. To fully considering the topic, you must continue to research area by informing yourself on all of the criticised aspects of centralised social media platforms today.

Examples of these issues might be:

  • privacy issues
  • data retention issues
  • platforms selling or trading data points
  • ...

Proposed method:

  1. Review the course material introduced over the last three weeks.

  2. It is strongly advised to watch 'The great hack' documentary

  3. other film pieces include :

    • Terms And Conditions May Apply (2013)
    • citizenfour (2014)
  4. Study grassroots initiatives such as:

  5. Next, consider these questions:

    • What are the implications of using centralised social media platforms as a digital marketing tools ?
    • What are your personal thoughts about traditional centralised social media platforms as a user ? (In regards to privacy ? In regards to platform-trust ? In regards to on-platform advertising ?)
    • What are your personal thoughts about acting for intermediaries (being a marketing message designer) via these mediums ?

Your opinion piece will be minimum 1200 words, maximum 2000 words. You will use the Harvard referencing method. There is no set template for this writing assignment, but you are expected to clearly explain your concerns and / or opinions, and back up any claims with quoted research.

Project rationale

This project aims to develop the learners critical awareness of the online marketing environment. Social media and search engines are highly criticised platforms that also happen to be key tools for the current digital marketing worker. Through this project the learner is expected to question the tools and methods that they might employ to carry out a digital marketing campaign.

Referring back to the Masters in Digital Marketing programme handbook, this assignment will develop 5 out of 6 of the learners gradable attributes:

  • Knowledgeable
  • Analytical and Creative
  • Ethical & Responsible Future Leaders
  • Research Driven
  • Critical Thinkers

the scoring matrix

as a guideline, the following items intend to assist you in constructing your opinion piece:

  • Relevance to title
  • Sound ordering and structuring of material
  • Quality and clarity of written word
  • Effective use of evidence
  • Demonstration of sound understanding of the topic
  • Critical evaluation and judgement
  • Range of sources used
  • Insight and originality
  • Referencing

These items will be individually graded: Poor, Weak, Adequate, Good, Very good or Excellent.

The resulting grid will produce your grade.

Project grading weight: 20% of the marks for this subject.

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