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  Unit 41: Contemporary Issues in Marketing
  Unit code: K/601/1037
  QCF level: 5  
  Credit value: 15 credits
  • Aim

This unit will introduce learners to some current issues within the marketing industry including relationship marketing, customer relationship management, marketing in non-traditional contexts, marketing services and the increasing concern with ethical and social considerations.

  • Unit abstract

The role of marketing as a business function is increasingly viewed as an integral constituent of overall corporate strategy as organisations have become more aware of the need to develop long-term relationships with their customers.

The marketing industry has widened its scope to include non-traditional organisations such as those in the public and voluntary sectors. In this unit learners will examine how marketing theory is applied in not-for-profit organisations.

Services management, and therefore marketing, has been recognised separately since the 1970s. This unit also looks at the special approaches that service industry businesses need to adopt in a rapidly changing environment.

Ethical and social considerations have become increasingly important to all businesses and learners will investigate the impact this is having on marketing.

  • Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit a learner will:

1     Understand the importance of relationship marketing in a contemporary business context

  • Understand the role of marketing in non-traditional contexts
  • Understand the importance of applying the extended marketing mix in the service sector
  • Understand the reasons for the increasing emphasis on ethics and social responsibility in marketing.


Unit content

  • Understand the importance of relationship marketing in a contemporary business context

Marketing evolution: from production, transactions, consumer relationship marketing (CRM) ethos, internal and external relationships, supply chain relationships, increasing importance of customer retention rather than acquisition, value chain analysis

Benefits of relationship marketing: maximising customer equity, lifetime value of customer, competitive environment, how the marketing mix supports relationships – brand recognition

– reference groups – consumer behaviours in relation to corporate identity; issues of credibility, trust and commitment in relationships with stakeholders

IT requirements in relationship marketing: range of ICT tools, loyalty cards, research capabilities, production online, access to customers; monitoring and controlling projects and marketing plans, IT used in planning, scheduling and resourcing activities within the plan


CRM: grown out of relationship marketing approach, what CRM systems can do, limitations and possibilities, integration with traditional methods, maximising value for customer and organisation, how internet and digital technologies can be used to enhance communications and relationships within channels and between B2B partners, increasing social CRM, use of social media eg YouTube, Twitter


Knowledge management: the growing importance of knowledge management as a key tool in gaining and sustaining competitive advantage, analytical CRM


  • Understand the role of marketing in non-traditional contexts


Public sector: importance of growth of marketing concepts in the public sector, mix of private, voluntary and public sector activity, public sector objectives, marketing as satisfaction of customer needs at maximum levels of efficiency, criticisms of marketing in public sector eg expense of branding initiatives, use of resources


Voluntary sector: types of voluntary sector organisations, role of marketing – customers, donors and beneficiaries of voluntary sector organisations; budgeting and performance in voluntary sector organisations, use of different marketing techniques eg direct methods, intervention marketing, virtual marketing


Customer identification: the nature of relationships with customers in not-for-profit organisations, nature of message and methods of communication, customer benefit and recognition, stakeholders in not-for-profit organisations, prioritising stakeholder needs eg power/interest grid


Virtual organisations: the importance of the e-commerce revolution, online purchasing and production, particular aspects of relationships with customers in virtual organisations, e-marketing mix, trends in virtual/real mix of activities












200 BH023329 – Edexcel BTEC Levels 4 and 5 Higher Nationals specification in Business  
– Issue 1 – April 2010 © Edexcel Limited 2010  






  • Understand the importance of applying the extended marketing mix in the service sector


Extended marketing mix: people, processes, physical evidence; the development of services management and marketing as a separate discipline


Service/product mix: nature of services as intangibles, services as added value to product mix, services within relationship marketing, service sector growth, increasing importance of services in developed economies, globalisation of services provision


Managing the process of service marketing: perishability and heterogeneity of services, particular marketing approaches in service industries


Managing the quality of services provision: customer perceptions of quality, measurement of customer satisfaction levels, importance of customer retention


Role of ICT: how ICT can be used to manage the process of marketing in the services industry eg customer databases, capacity analysis, dynamic pricing, internal marketing research


  • Understand the reasons for the increasing emphasis on ethics and social responsibility in marketing


Corporate social responsibility (CSR): corporate reputation, economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic social responsibilities; impact on brand reputation


Societal marketing: development in the evolution of marketing


Ethical considerations: business ethics, globalisation, international marketing ethics, pressure group activity, environmental/ecological issues, international protocols, sustainable marketing; ethics and responsibility in marketing research



Learning outcomes and assessment criteria


  Learning outcomes Assessment criteria for pass  
  On successful completion of The learner can:  
  this unit a learner will:      
  LO1 Understand the importance   1.1 explain the concept of knowledge management and its  
  of relationship marketing in a     role in relationship marketing  
  contemporary business   1.2 explain the ways that ICT can support the customer  
      relationship management process in a particular  
      1.3 describe the benefits of customer relationship  
        management in a selected organisation  
      1.4 make justified recommendations for the improvement in  
        customer relationship management for a selected  
  LO2 Understand the role of   2.1 carry out a stakeholder analysis for a voluntary sector  
  marketing in non-traditional     and a public sector organisation  
  contexts   2.2 describe the nature of the relationships with customer  
        within two selected not-for-profit organisations  
      2.3 compare methods used in marketing within the public,  
        private and voluntary sectors  
      2.4 explain the key issues involved in marketing in a  
        selected virtual organisation  
  LO3 Understand the importance   3.1 describe the use of the extended marketing mix in a  
  of applying the extended     selected service sector businesses  
  marketing mix in the service   3.2 explain how the product/service mix can be used to  
      enhance value for the customer and organisation  
      3.3 explain how difficulties peculiar to the marketing of  
        services can be overcome with reference to a particular  
      3.4 explain the role of IT in services marketing management  
        in a selected organisation  

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