Format: Report (headings, sub-headings, numbering system) + Visual Board
Word count: 3,000 words +/- 10% (excluding reference and appendices) + Visual Board
Referencing : Harvard (see Faculty referencing guide on Blackboard)
Weighting: 100% module assessment weighting
You are to play the role of a marketing communications consultant required to produce an outline
integrated marketing communications plan on behalf of a client. As a starting point, you will be
provided with a client briefing document in week 5. Workshop sessions from week 5 onwards
are largely dedicated to working on your assignment with your peers and with tutor support.
Your recommendations should be for advertising and marketing communications alone. Your report
will include the following sections:
• Brand analysis (10%) – approx 350 words
• Market analysis (10%) – approx 350 words
• Visual Board (5%) – approx 100 words
• Objectives (10%) – approx 350 words
• Target audience selection and persona (10%) – approx 350 words
• Creative proposals (15%) – approx 500 words
• Media proposals (15%) – approx 500 words
• Evaluation proposals (15%) – approx 500 words
The final 10% of the marks will be allocated to the presentation quality of your written report (report
format, written English, referencing, relevant use of tables, diagrams and appendices).
Please refer to the faculty postgraduate grade descriptors/criteria on Blackboard for what constitutes
a pass, merit and distinction.
• A professionally produced report is expected i.e. headings, sub-headings, numbering system,
page numbers, reference/sources, tables/diagrams, appendices etc.
• Make use of spelling and grammar checking software
• Identify linkages between sections where appropriate.
• Ensure that all facts/data are fully sourced. You should use the Harvard referencing method
(see Faculty Harvard referencing guide on Blackboard).
• Justify your decisions/recommendations.
Report Content – Guidance
Justifications should be given for all decisions and proposals and these should relate back to the
client brief and your analysis of the secondary data (see resources in assignment folder on
Blackboard). The outline plan should be fully integrated and demonstrate ‘joined up thinking’. The
plan should include details as indicated below:
You will have to investigate the nature of the situation before communications proposals can be
made. The primary aim of your analysis should be to gain insight i.e. gain a deeper understanding
of the situation/relevant issues.
This is equivalent to playing the role of Account Planner and is an important part of the total marketing communications process. The main purpose and use of this analysis, in practice, would be to gain strategic insight in order to brief the rest of the agency team, and in particular, the creatives and media planners.
Your analysis needs to highlight the key issues that are specific to the communications task set. In
particular, this section should focus on all major and relevant brand and market data (see resources
in assignment folder on Blackboard). You should highlight any implications that are pertinent to the
IMC Plan. You are expected to make full use of available secondary sources and on-line
databases/websites. You are required to conduct your own further analysis based on SECONDARY
DATA ONLY. Clear identification of sources of reference is an essential part of your analysis.
1.1 Brand analysis (10%) – approx 350 words
Issues to consider/include in this section are;
• Company background/history – brief summary
• Brand values
• Product offering – product features & benefits, pricing, place/platforms
• Advertising (past/recent campaigns) – creative/messages, media used
1.2 Market analysis (10%) – approx 350 words
Issues to consider/include in this section are;
• Consumer attitudes and behaviour – towards the brand/category
• Competition – product offering and advertising campaigns
• Other relevant advertising campaigns (e.g. overseas brands)
1.3 Visual Board (5%) – approx 100 words
Your digital visual board should be a visual representation of part(s) of your written brand & market
• The visuals on the board can focus on any of the following;
o the brand e.g. past advertising
o the target market/audiences
o the competitive landscape
o any combination of the above
• You need to provide some written justification (approx. 100 words) for the content of the
board within your report. Justification to consider/include in this section are;
o What information/issues/themes/insight are you trying to convey?
o How were the images selected?
o What were your sources?
o How/why will this inspire the creative team/media planners?
2.1 Objectives (10%) – approx 350 words
Objectives should be clearly and unambiguously identified. Brief justification should be provided for
the objectives proposed. (HINTS – objectives can be described as the effects the plan is intended to
have on the audiences targeted. These might include objectives that relate to audience awareness,
knowledge, perceptions, interests, attitudes, opinions, and their behaviour. Remember
‘communication’ and ‘action’ effects i.e. Think, Feel, Do). Issues to consider/include in this section
2.1.1 Campaign/advertising activity objectives
This section needs to focus on what you want your target audience to think, feel and do about your
advertising campaign/activity (not the brand)
2.1.2 Brand communications objectives
This section needs to focus on what you want your target audience to think, feel and do about the
brand. Your objectives should relate back to the understanding developed during the earlier market
analysis stage of this work i.e. what your audience currently think, feel, do towards the
2.1.3 Payback objectives
This section needs to focus on financial commercial/marketing objectives.
2.2 Target audience selection and persona (10%) – approx 350 words
Your target audience should be clearly and unambiguously identified using appropriate
segmentation/classification variables (characteristics & behavioural). Justification should be given
as to why the target audiences have been selected. (HINT – start with the target audience definition
from the client brief. This can then be developed from your understanding gained from market
analysis stage of this work – consumer attitudes and behaviour section). Pen profile/audience
persona of your primary audience should be developed with the secondary sources identified. The
purpose of this persona is to try and bring your target audience ‘to life’/make them ‘feel real’.
2.3 Creative proposals (15%) – approx 500 words
This section should encapsulate the approach that you will be taking in determining the creative
focus and treatment of your campaign message/s i.e. what you want to say and how to say it.
Recommendations should be clearly and unambiguously identified along with relevant justification.
Your creative recommendations should be justified and link back to the insight gained from your
brand and market analysis. Issues to consider/include in this section are;
2.3.1 Proposition & support
In a sentence, define the single-minded message that the brand wants to convey to its target
audience. This should provide the creative focus for the campaign.
Support for the proposition should be drawn from the insight gained from your band and market
analysis and should consider;
• Is it true to the brand?
• Is it relevant to the target audience?
• Does it help differentiate from the competition?
2.3.2 Messages & appeals
This section should identify the specific messages you propose to communicate across your
campaign. You should consider rational/informational appeals as well as emotional appeals i.e. how
the brand might make your audience feel and/or the role it might play in their lives.
2.3.3 Tone of voice
This section provides guidance on the brand/campaign character and how the creative proposals
should sound and feel. (HINT – see client brief and brand guidelines documentation).
This section provides guidance on how the brand assets should be used in the creative work e.g.
logo, font and colour palette. (HINT – see client brief and brand guidelines documentation).
2.3.5 Mandatory inclusions
This section provides guidance on any other elements that should be included in the creative work.
(HINT – see client brief and brand guidelines documentation).
2.4 Media proposals (15%) – approx 500 words
This section is concerned with the media/channels/touchpoints you plan to carry your campaign
messages. Your main focus should be on Paid advertising media channels. Your proposals should
focus on two paid advertising media channels of your choice e.g. OOH and online display. Your
media proposals should be clearly and unambiguously identified. Your media proposals need to be
integrated/connected with clear identification of how the various media elements are interlinked.
(HINTS – for each media activity you should consider: WHY – objectives & justification,
WHAT/WHERE – intra media choice and HOW – creative use). You are expected to make use of the
IPA Touchpoints Channel Planner Guide and other relevant media reach/coverage data (see Media
Data Sources on Blackboard).
2.5 Evaluation proposals (15%) – approx 500 words
In this section you are required to make recommendations/proposals on how you intend to evaluate
the campaign i.e. how you intend to measure the impact/effectiveness of your campaign. You should
clearly and unambiguously identify all the ways in which you intend to evaluate and monitor the
impact your proposals. (HINT – your proposals should link back to the previous sections of your IMC
plan e.g. objectives, audiences, messages, media activities). See IPA Effectiveness gold award case
studies for best practice techniques and examples. Issues to consider/include in this section are;
2.5.1 Campaign/advertising activity impact
This section needs to focus on measuring what your target audience think, feel and do about your
advertising campaign activity (not the brand)
2.5.2 Brand communications impact
This section needs to focus on measuring what your target audience think, feel and do about the
Define and explain the concept of payback/ROMI. Explain how it can be calculated.
2.5.4 Discounting/isolating other factors
Define and explain the concept of isolating/discounting other factors that may have impacted on
brand performance. Identify factors that would need to be discounted/isolated e.g. marketing mix
factors, competitive and environmental factors.
Student exemplars on Blackboard
Please note that the student exemplars on Blackboard are 6000 word group reports. Your
individual report is only 3000 words. Your individual report brief does not require creative
idea and execution proposals and your media proposals are restricted to two paid