Introductory Certificate in Marketing

The introductory certificate in marketing provides an introduction to marketing, its purpose as a business function and the importance of considering marketing’s impact on both internal and external customers.

 

Who is the Introductory Certificate in Marketing for?

Designed for those who have no prior experience of marketing but are considering entering into it as a career or those who would like to extend their current role to incorporate marketing.
 

Entry requirements

There are no formal requirements for this course although some work experience or business knowledge is beneficial.

If English is not your first language, evidence of at least IELTS level 6.5 or Trinity ISE III/IV will also be required.


What will you learn?

  • Understand the function of marketing and its role in an organisation
  • Know about the four Ps (product, price, place and promotion) and how to apply the marketing mix
  • Understand more about customers and managing customer relationships
  • Be able to communicate to both internal and external customers using a variety of different means.
     

How long will it take?

There are four hand-in/exam dates a year and you can begin your studies at any time. The two modules, studied with our two-day workshops and guided home study will typically take between 3 - 6 months to complete although you can choose to study at a faster or slower pace to suit your requirements.  We commit ourselves to support all our students for up to a maximum of two years. Please also visit our important dates page for more information.

 

What modules will you study?

Click on a module title for more information

This units forms part of the Introductory Certificate in Marketing and the aim of the What is Marketing unit is to provide the student with the backdrop to the importance of marketing in terms of what marketing is and how it is defined. Students studying this unit will look to broaden their knowledge on the role of marketing, its cross functional importance and its contribution to business success. Students will also look at the role of marketing as a service provider within the organisation.

Students will also gain a basic understanding of the internal and external marketing environment and the marketing mix, with consideration of how these factors differ from one sector to another.

After completing this module, students should be able to demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of marketing and how marketing contributes to organisational success. 

By the end of this module students should be able to:

  1. Define marketing in the context of an exchange process
  2. Determine the importance of marketing as a cross-functional activity contributing toward business success
  3. Explain the importance of understanding the organisations marketing environment and the impact it has upon an organisations ability to satisfy customer needs and wants
  4. Identify each element of the marketing mix (7 P's) in the context of customer needs and achieving customer satisfaction
  5. Apply the marketing mix to a range of different organisational sectors and contexts

Sections of the What is Marketing Module:

  1. This module has four distinct sections and the first section will ensure that students understand the role and function of marketing as    an exchange process. Further to this, students will learn how marketing plays an important role in achieving customer satisfaction right through from the analysis and planning process in organisations to the final delivery of products or services. This section will also look at the importance of making customer satisfaction a business objective. Students studying the what is marketing module will then look at how marketing works with other departments in organisations and how this cross-functional role links the marketing department with other departments such research and development, human resources, and various other departments. Students will also learn the difference between internal and external marketing as well as how marketing can be seen as an internal service provider within the organisation.
  2. The second section looks at what the marketing environment is and will explain the importance of understanding the organisations marketing environment in order to effectively manage the marketing process and then how to satisfy customer needs. Students will also look at the concept of the PESTEL model and show how each of these factors impact the organisation. Within this section students will also look at the key characteristics of the micro-environment. Students will look at customer, stakeholders, competitors, suppliers, distributors and employees and how these fit into the micro-environment. And finally students will look at the processes that can be used to monitor the marketing environment including market scanning and collection of secondary data through journals, websites and various other sources.
  3. Students will then move onto the third section that will look at the seven elements that is the marketing mix. These are product, price, place, promotion, people, process and physical evidence. Students will be able to explain the importance of the marketing mix as a series of tools and how a well developed co-ordinated mix can help the organisation deliver customer satisfaction, needs and wants.
  4. The final section of the what is marketing module will look at the way in which marketing is applied and approached in different organisational contexts. Students will look at how buying decisions differ between business to business and business to consumer and how the marketing mix has to be adjusted to meet the different needs of these two groups.

 

The second and final module for the Introductory Certificate in Marketing is called Understanding Customer Relationships.

The understanding customer relationships unit forms part of the Introductory Certificate in Marketing and focuses on developing an understanding of internal and external customers. The unit considers how a knowledge and understanding of customers can assist in designing appropriate marketing activities to engage and support customers to achieve long-term customer loyalty.

Students studying the understanding customer relationships module will also gain insight into the practicalities of developing internal and external relationships, including consideration of networking, collaboration and co-operation in order to reduce the potential of conflict.

The importance of developing effective tactical communications and effective customer service support with regards to harmonious relationships in both B2B and B2C organisations is highlighted and the understanding customer relationships module therefore considers the contributions that these activities can make towards developing relationships for marketing and business success.

The understanding customer relationships unit also explains why organisations need to know and understand their customers and how successful relationships can be developed through effective communications and strong customer service and support.

Students that have completed the Understanding Customer Relationships module should be able to:

  1. Explain the importance of understanding customers, and how marketing information aids the better development of marketing activities to achieve customer satisfaction
  2. Students should also be able to explain the value and importance of internal and external relationships of the organisations and the importance of networking, collaboration and co-operation in order to develop and maintain relationships
  3. Recognise the importance of internal relationships as an aid to the marketing function establishing its cross-functional presence
  4. Explain the different way in which to communicate with both internal and external customers in order to develop, maintain and strengthen customer relationships
  5. Explain the requirements for developing effective and efficient customer service and customer care in order to maintain successful relationships

The Understanding Customer Relationships unit has four sections that make up the unit:

1. The first section is called Understanding Customer Relationships and students will discuss the need for organisations to understand the difference between the customer and user. Students will also discuss how the needs and wants of the organisation's customer base differs and how organisations can benefit from adopting a marketing orientated approach.

 

2. Student will also recognise the importance of collecting information to gain a better understanding of customer's needs. Sources of information will be looked at and include internal and external, secondary data and primary data sources. Student will also gain a better understanding of some of the limitations of data collected. Students will then look at how information collected from a range of sources can be stored in order to create and maintain a customer database and how this can aid understanding of the organisations customers with regards to:

  • identifying differing customer needs and wants
  • understanding why customers purchase the organisations products or services
  • developing appropriate and effective marketing mix activities to meet customer needs
  • identify the factors that will influence decision making for customers

Student will then look at building and maintaining effective internal and external customerrelationships in the second section of the understanding customer relationships module. Students will have to be able to explain the different types and characteristics of people with which an organisation develops relationships - these will include customers, users, connected stakeholders and other stakeholders. Students will also learn how to differentiate between internal and external customers.

Students will then examine the links between the marketing concept, a customer focus and the relationship marketing approach. Included in this, students will look at the difference between customer acquisition and customer retention and gain a better understanding of the benefits of retaining customers. Student will also learn about theoretical aspects such as Pareto and the Ladder of Loyalty. Students studying the understanding customer relationships module will be required to explain how marketing activities help with supporting relationships with external customers and how it aids customer retention and loyalty.

This unit will also teach students the importance of developing and sustaining customer, supplier and distributor relationships through the development of networking skills, collaboration and co-operation between intermediaries and the successful negotiation between the various parties in the supply chain. Students will also gain insights into the approaches used to build and develop relationships both within the marketing function and across the organisation in order to gain internal co-operation, commitment to organisational objectives and internal support for marketing initiatives.

Students will also identify key colleagues within the organisation with whom it is important to develop relationships as well as identifying potential areas of conflict that can occur between the functions of an organisation. Students will also look at the methods that can be used to overcome conflict between these organisational functions. Finally students will discuss the need to take into account the views of others within the organisation when undertaking marketing activities.

 

3. The third section looks at how marketer communicate with internal and external customers and explains the importance of communication as a tool to aid the development and maintenance of relationships, the nature and scope of the communications cycle, the various business formats required for communicating both internally and externally with customers and the importance of good verbal and non-verbal communications. Students will also be able to identify and describe the strengths and weakness of various promotional activities in a range of different marketing scenarios designed to aid relationship management.

Students will also be able to describe the processes involved in undertaking a range of tactical direct marketing campaigns and discuss how customer databases can be used to support tactical marketing communications activities that target internal, external and connected stakeholders. The understanding customer relationships module will also explain to students how to effectively manage a communications budget and also identify the different methods available for monitoring and measuring the success of internal and external tactical communications campaigns.

 

4. In the final section of the understanding customer relationships unit, students will learn the concept of customer care and customer service and its importance in different sectors. Students will then look at and explain the relationship between customer care, customer focus and relationship marketing. Following on from this students will look at the different stages of a customer care programme and discuss why these programmes are important to delivering a consistent level of support and service.

This section also shows students the importance of obtaining formal and informal customer feedback and will identify a range of methods for collecting information. Students studying the understanding customer relationships unit will then look at the measures that can be used to monitor the success of customer service support activities, how an understanding of information technology and databases is essential to managing customer care and customer service activities.