Marketing and society
Are you interested in exploring the application of marketing concepts beyond commercial marketing and considering the issues of ethics and responsible practice in marketing? In this module you’ll explore the role and responsibility of marketing in relation to society. Your study will be based around three key themes: social marketing – how marketing can have a positive influence on health and social behaviour; ethics and marketing – how decision making and marketing activities can be affected by taking an ethical perspective; and responsible business marketing – how organisations might adopt responsible marketing behaviour in the context of corporate social responsibility.
What you will study
The module consists of three blocks of study.
In Social Marketing you’ll examine the nature of social marketing and how the adoption of marketing concepts, frameworks and techniques developed for commercial marketers can be applied to the solution of social problems. You’ll discover how social marketing aims to achieve its primary objective of effecting behavioural change in the pursuit of social goals, as opposed to any financial or other objective.
Ethics and Marketing considers why ethical conflict occurs in marketing and you’ll explore a range of ethical issues that can occur when applying the theory and practice of marketing. You’ll learn about a variety of ethical decision-making frameworks for analysing ethical dilemmas, issues and ideas for marketing practice. Finally you’ll look at confronting these ethical dilemmas by examining moral behaviour, influencing factors and ways of responding.
In Responsible Business Marketing you’ll be introduced to the idea that commercial marketing practices can take into account business responsibilities towards society and the environment. The concept of responsible marketing is outlined in relation to the wider concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The key aspects of responsible marketing are highlighted, with green marketing and fair trade marketing being considered in more detail.
You will learn
Knowledge and understanding
- Concepts, theories and debates about the roles and responsibilities of marketing in society
- Application of marketing thinking to health and social behaviour
- An understanding of ethics and marketing
- An understanding of green and environmental marketing, sustainability, fair trade and ethical consumption.
- Application and evaluation of the relevance of module concepts to a variety of other contexts
- Ability to synthesise, and critically evaluate arguments and assumptions from a variety of sources and competing perspectives
- Ability to recognise the limitations of knowledge in the area.
- Identification and critical analysis of relevant issues involved in responsible social and business marketing
- Effective communication of ideas and arguments to relevant audiences
- Appropriate integration and use of information and/or data in complex contexts
- Management of learning and ability to reflect on development as an independent learner.
Practical and/or professional skills
- Application of responsible marketing to own professional context
- Sensitivity to the problems and challenges in both business and social marketing.
This is an OU level 3 module. OU level 3 modules build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from studies at OU levels 1 and 2. They are intended only for students who have recent experience of higher education in a related subject, preferably at the OU.
Although there are no formal entry requirements and the module is open entry, we strongly recommend that you are suitably prepared for study at this level and have some familiarity with basic business and marketing concepts. Shaping business opportunities (B207) would be ideal preparation.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.
Module guides, resource texts, case studies, journal article prints and website.
A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.
Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.
A desktop or laptop computer with either an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.
The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.
To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).
Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.