MK9705 - Strategic Marketing for Sustainable Competitive Advantage

What will I learn on this module?

The module takes a contemporary and strategic view of marketing, and aims to help you develop a critical understanding of concepts, theories and techniques in the context of strategic marketing management at an advanced level. The intention is to support the development of knowledge and skills required to undertake strategic analysis of markets and organisations and formulate a competitive and sustainable marketing strategy. A contemporary approach to marketing is adopted throughout the module, as you will have the opportunity to learn and discuss the concepts that have changed the way we perceive marketing today, such as Responsible Marketing, Digital Marketing, value co-creation and disruptive innovation.

You will be introduced to Marketing at a strategic level of a business, and understand how marketing decisions are made in the context of other essential business functions; i.e. financial planning, operations and supply chain management, and human resource management. This will be addressed through engagement with a Business Simulation game delivered through workshops.

Within this module, you will cover three main areas associated with strategic marketing:

1) Developing appropriate marketing strategies:

• Marketing Audit
• Assessing Micro- and Macro-environmental factors
• Customer profiling and the customer journey
• New product development
• Delivering and communicating customer value

2) Implementation of strategies:

• Branding and brand management
• Sales management
• Retail Management and Marketing Channels
• Internet Marketing
• Marketing metrics
• Pricing Strategy

3) Emerging areas in contemporary marketing strategy:

• Internal marketing
• International Marketing - Marketing across the border
• Responsible Marketing and Sustainable Consumer Behaviour
• Digital marketing

How will I learn on this module?

The learning and teaching strategy for the module aims to build upon existing knowledge of marketing, from either prior study or personal experiences, by framing the subject in a strategic context. Consideration of contemporary marketing issues from a strategic perspective will be developed via current theory with case studies and scenarios used to analyse and evaluate practice.

The lectures in this module will provide you with a theoretical underpinning of the content, supported by an one-hour weekly seminar which will give you the opportunity to apply the theory learned in practice. This will improve your understanding on the different approach to develop and implement marketing strategies in todays market.

Part of the assignment will be a simulation exercise that will require you to put into practice the theories and concepts you will have learnt from the lectures and seminars, especially drawing from a range of essential business functions (e.g. financial planning, human resource management). The performance report you will prepare at the end of the simulation exercise will require analytical skills, as well as a good ability to discern and synthesise key pieces of information.

The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent learning. An interactive approach to lecture sessions will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and your own experiences. Throughout, the emphasis will be on high levels of student participation, both individually and within small groups or teams. You can therefore expect the reflective-practitioner approach to learning to be embedded in all workshop/seminar sessions through undertaking activities which enable you to apply theory to 'real-life' situations, critically analysing and making recommendations for appropriate ways forward for the organization/individual.

Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform. Independent learning will centre upon identifying and pursuing areas of interest in relation to marketing strategy and by providing deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the subject through a range of learning activities that include extended reading, reflection and research.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will be provided by a member of academic staff leading the module and a team of academic staff that will be providing the lectures based on their area of expertise and facilitating small seminar sessions. The seminar group sessions are typically based on study programme cohorts, so you will be taught here alongside fellow members from your particular degree.

Access to an advanced business simulation software (Executive) is provided to you as part of this module.

The module is also supported by an e-learning portal, where lecture and seminar materials will be available, alongside assessment details and various support facilities such as recorded assessment information. Finally, students you be provided with a comprehensive electronic reading list that comprises of various academic reports, conference papers and journal articles.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Develop and critically evaluate your knowledge on the related concepts of marketing strategy. (MLO1)
• Understand the value associated with developing strategic marketing decisions and how to use this information to develop appropriate strategic plans based on core marketing theory. (MLO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Make relevant strategic decisions based on effective teamwork and be able to present this effectively. (MLO3)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Develop your awareness of cultural, ethical and sustainability factors influencing global marketing strategies. (MLO4)

• Demonstrate your ability to critically apply marketing theories to develop sustainable marketing strategies in a wide variety of contexts. (MLO5)

How will I be assessed?

Component One:
In teams, students will prepare a 2,000 word report summarising their core reflections on their performance in the Business Sumulation Game. (25%)
(ML02 and ML03)

Component Two:
An individually completed 2,500 word report focusing on the application of theory to develop a sustainable marketing strategy (75%). This includes a brief evaluation of theories and concepts of strategic marketing and business sustainability in relation to the business simulation exercise, culminating in a succinct sustainable marketing strategy proposal. (MLO1, MLO2, MLO4 and MLO5).

Formative assessment will take place through group work, interactive seminar discussion and reflection, case study activity, and theory/practice related to the discussed topics.
Criteria will be provided to enable you to understand what is expected of and how you will be assessed on your performance.





Module abstract

In an increasingly competitive global market, developing and maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage is of key importance to all contemporary organisations. As marketing plays an integral role in the development of sustainable corporate strategies, it is expected that all business students will possess the necessary knowledge and skills that will allow them to contribute to the development, shaping and implementation of effective marketing strategies that can assist the development of sustainable competitive advantage for their organisations.

This module will provide you with the required skills and knowledge by reviewing marketing theories, literature and case studies to provide a comprehensive understanding of marketing strategy. The module will also enable you to apply in practice theory that you have learned in your lectures, seminars and guided and independent reading. The various tasks you will be asked to complete in this module will lead to the development of a marketing strategy based on the findings of your research and will help you improve your research and strategic and critical thinking skills. As these skills are important to all businesses and organisations, your learning experience in this module will be directly transferable to your working life and will improve your employability.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 16 months Full Time
2 other options available

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start January 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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