The pandemic has driven electronic consumption, and marketing is rapidly transitioning to digital.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed human consumption patterns. From traditional in-person visits to physical markets, we can now shop online using electronic currency without leaving our homes. This has led to the rise of electronic shopping platforms. As consumer behaviour accelerates towards digitization and high mobility, marketing strategies and methods are inevitably shifting towards digitization. Traditional print advertisements are transforming into utilising social media, the internet, and other platforms to attract customers through videos, short messages, real-time live streaming, and other means in order to capture the attention and interest of netizens.
As most consumers have shifted to electronic or online consumption, their consumption habits, purchasing power, payment methods, and preferences for goods and services leave traces in the digital world. This allows businesses to have more convenient ways to adjust their sales techniques by analysing and integrating consumer behaviour and consumption patterns. They can use comprehensive data and results to cater to and attract specific target customers.
Marketing courses at universities: Rapid transformation in line with digitization
In response to the shift towards online consumption patterns, business-related subjects in UK universities, particularly Marketing, must rapidly transition their teaching content to digital marketing. In most three-year Marketing Bachelor's programmes, students can choose to study the following new marketing units in their second and third years. Some universities may even make them compulsory modules.
- Digital Marketing: Collect, understand, and store customer consumption patterns using modern technology. Develop relevant digital marketing strategies based on this data.
- Social Media Marketing: Understand the basic theories and marketing strategies of using social media as a marketing platform. Create effective, persuasive, and engaging content.
- International Marketing: Understand the pricing strategies, brand positioning, sales management, supply management, and other major theories in the global market.
- Marketing Research: Analyse consumer and market trends through traditional quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as computer-based data analysis.
Some timeless and essential units in marketing courses, such as Consumer Behavior, Business Ethics, Strategic Management, and Promotion Management, will continue to be taught. By combining these units with the aforementioned new marketing units, universities are reshaping their entire bachelor's programmes to better equip marketing students with the skills necessary to keep up with the digital era and enhance their employability after graduation.
In addition to offering single-degree Marketing Bachelor's programmes, most UK universities also provide dual-degree programmes, such as Business Management with Marketing (some universities may name it Marketing Management). These programmes not only focus on marketing units but also offer a wide range of business management-related units, including accounting management, human resources management, business law, corporate administration, e-commerce, and more.
Public relations skills and media techniques are closely related to marketing and promotion planning.
In the era of rapid information dissemination through the internet, public relations and media communication play a significant role, especially with the increasing popularity of social media platforms. As most consumers spend time browsing their social media accounts, visually appealing and persuasive content can easily satisfy their information absorption habits. To capture their attention quickly, these techniques and methods are closely related to media communication and even public relations skills.
Studying Public Relations, despite having very few units directly related to marketing, can be considered a social science subject. However, the public relations theories learned throughout the course, as well as various media studies units such as social media culture, video production, TV and film scriptwriting, and socio-cultural studies, may seem unrelated to marketing practitioners. Yet, in the digital era, these topics have become the most practical and powerful employment skills that can be fully applied to digital marketing.
Swansea University: Progressive Curriculum, Keeping Up with the Digital Needs
In response to this, Swansea University in the UK has launched a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree programme called Public Relations and Media. As one of the universities offering public relations courses, Swansea's curriculum combines the study of public relations theory and communication media. It also includes the compulsory unit "Strategy, Marketing, and Branding" as a final-year subject, allowing students to apply their knowledge of communication media, public relations theory, and marketing theory in the field of business marketing. The university ranks in the top ten for the subject of communication media and has a tradition of teaching communication media subjects, providing students with a solid foundation for transitioning from communication media to market planning.
Furthermore, Swansea University excels in teaching subjects related to business, including Marketing and Business Management (Marketing) courses. The compulsory units of these courses primarily focus on modern digital marketing topics, and over 20 elective units are offered, allowing students to choose relevant topics based on their interests and developmental needs.
In addition to the traditional application process through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), Swansea University provides a direct application option specifically for international students. This allows students to apply directly through the university's official website, without occupying UCAS places, increasing their chances of admission. Students who have already submitted UCAS applications can still utilise this method to apply immediately.