Skip to content
Home » Course Catalogue » MBA Electives » RSM2505H – Strategic Marketing Communications

RSM2505H – Strategic Marketing Communications

General Information


Promotional Video

Applicable Major(s):
(c) = Core, (r) = Recommended

  • Brand Management (c)

Instructor Bio

Inez Blackburn is a futurist who helps companies navigate the impact of emerging retail, technology, and consumer trends to deliver profitable growth. Inez has held numerous executive positions in Marketing and Market Research with a proven track record. She was the Canadian Lead for SmartLabel Canada and developed VR/AR Category Management Training Tool for Category Management. Inez is a deliberate and decisive leader with the passion and vision to create and deliver strategic marketing plans that reflect market dynamics. Her consulting company MTI Market Techniques and Innovations, is focused on helping her clients develop effective marketing plans and digital strategies in an arena of change.

Inez is a best-selling author of “Pride Passion Profit -7 Steps to Category Development” and a featured speaker at industry conferences. She has worked with leading Retailers, CPG Companies, Private Label Manufacturers, Telecommunications, and Medical and Technology Companies helping them navigate emerging trends and opportunities to develop compelling positioning and marketing strategies. Inez is a detail-oriented, creative problem solver who interprets multifaceted issues and delivers meaningful solutions by applying best practice standards, broad industry knowledge, and persuasive communication.

Inez is also an award-winning instructor at the Rotman School for her ability to deliver courses that will prepare students for the world they will graduate into. Her high teaching scores for undergraduate and graduate courses are attributed to the depth and breadth of her industry knowledge and practical application of course materials to business-specific issues.


12-13 weekly in-class sessions with guest speakers and interactive class discussions.

Each week, a topic will be addressed in a seminar discussion format. The course will also use outside experts to facilitate discussions, inspire, and address leading-edge perspectives on strategic marketing communications. As a seminar, student engagement in the readings, writing assignments, and class discussions makes this course meaningful and rewarding.

Target Audience

This is a must-take for everyone remotely interested in marketing as it covers grounded events, discussions, and frameworks that are crucial in building a toolkit that’s useful for marketing professionals as we will cover current and emerging technologies ( A/R, V/R, A/I, Machine Learning & Digital technologies)

If students seek a career in marketing, they should take this course. If students plan to work with Marcomm (Marketing Communications) as a general manager, consultant or communication expert, they should take this course. If students are interested in transforming marketing through digital disruption, they should take this course. 

Course Mission and Scope

This course prepares managers for the Marcomm world of 2022.  Marketing has been the business discipline most affected by digital transformation, generational change, and the pandemic. These challenges independently and collectively create technology wars over data, consumer loathing of advertising, adblocking, and new regulatory constraints.  Consider:

  • The #1 marketing spending priority in 2022 is not advertising, media, agency fees or marketing salaries as it has been for decades— it is marketing technology — a line item that did not exist ten years ago,
  • 50,000 jobs left creative advertising agencies in NA during the 2020 pandemic as spending went elsewhere and the rush to in-housing accelerated,
  • CMO tenure in 2022 is the lowest it has been in ten years.

Top-line growth objectives are up. Budgets are flat. Customer loyalty and CMO tenure are down.

It may not look like a rosy picture, but it is for great talented marketers 

This course is designed to prepare students for this new environment.  Key themes in the course will be:

  • Fragmented spending in advertising and non-advertising vehicles (e.g., owned media, earned media, influencers, UGC, social issue advocacy, and content marketing)
  • Faster, better, and cheaper means finding a different marketing toolkit
  • The creativity and technology embraced
  • No swim lanes with tidy, defined areas of responsibility,
  • Lead with responsible decision-making, and
  • Above all else, creativity rules.

This course will build on these themes and discuss inspiring ways marketers flourish in this environment with creativity, new talent, risk-taking and a completely new toolkit.  

The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) Growth Agenda provides a content compass for the course.  Each of the four segments of the outer ring will be addressed, beginning with the two lower segments on technology, marketing organization, agency, and talent. 

The middle part of the course addresses the upper right quadrant dealing with creativity, content marketing, storytelling, and media. 

The final quadrant in the upper left deals with brand purpose, social responsibility, and sustainability and provides the course’s capstone.

Evaluation and Grade Distribution

ComponentDue DatesWeight
Class ParticipationOngoing20%
Group Project – Digital Marketing Audit & Social Media StrategyWeek 1230%
Term PaperWeek 720%
Take Home ExamExam Period 30%

Required Resources

The course has an extensive reading list, mostly, but not all, from public domain sources. Because of the dynamic nature of the Marcomm industry, the readings and cases change each year.  Most have been written after 2019. 

Last Updated: 2022-09-26 @ 1:33 pm