Advertising and Marketing Communication Strategy

Creating an integrated advertising plan that drives business results

In the world of digital advertising, platform selections, utilization of influencers and creative decisions often dominate the conversation. However, without a solid strategy tied to the business goals behind tactics such as these, even your best marketing efforts won’t succeed.

Whether you are responsible for advertising within your organization, a senior leader looking to improve your team’s performance, or on the agency side wanting to demonstrate the tangible business impact of true strategic marketing communications to your clients, this 8-week online program will help you develop a rigorous, systematic approach to defining goals, effective targeting and method for creating insight-driven messaging.

Online Programs
High-Performance Marketing Communications

Create a successful advertising campaign based on a solid, effective strategy

Who Should Attend

  • Junior- to mid-level marketers – such as brand managers or marketing managers, or executives taking on a new marketing role – who are responsible for managing advertising efforts
  • Senior executives with responsibilities in marketing/advertising who are looking to increase their team’s success in advertising communications by honing their strategic approach.
  • Advertising, communications, and PR consultants/agencies seeking to offer better solutions for their clients and increase client buy-in on their strategic recommendations

Key Benefits

  • Learn to create strategic, persuasive communication across multiple platforms
  • Develop the most meaningful strategic advertising objective to drive your business
  • Select and prioritize target audiences to maximize effectiveness and efficiency
  • Identify, evaluate and select appropriate consumer insights that allow you to build the right message for your target
  • Assess the effectiveness of media plans and identify key steps and best practices in ad production
  • Discover how to evaluate ads for their strategic merit and develop proper tests

Program Content

Module 1: Introduction: The Creative Brief as Strategic Roadmap

  • Summarize the creative brief
  • Evaluate/critique “brief” work
  • Recognize common pitfalls
  • Design a clear, creative brief

Module 2: Setting Objectives

  • Discover how to select the most meaningful objectives for your communications
  • Align advertising objectives with business goals
  • Construct a clear, meaningful, measurable objective

Module 3: Targeting for Growth

  • Understand the importance of targeting in advertising
  • Select the appropriate targets to drive growth
  • Learn to manage and prioritize multiple targets for growth

Module 4: Consumer Behavior and Paths to Persuasion

  • Identify the characteristics of human behavior that enable you to persuade your target audiences
  • Assess potential consumer insights
  • Select the strongest insight to accomplish your marketing communication goals
  • Evaluate core consumer behavior – and what drives it
  • Recognize persuasive techniques

Module 5: Positioning Decisions

  • Develop the ability to write and evaluate positioning statements
  • Understand Frame of Reference and how to use it appropriately
  • Recognize Points of Difference and their importance to messaging

Module 6: Executing the Media Plan

  • Learn key terms and processes within media planning and develop a keen eye for evaluating media plans
  • Grasp the basic mechanics of data-driven digital media
  • Understand the overall process of ad production and how to avoid the most common errors

Module 7: Evaluation and Measurement

  • Learn what makes an ad effective – and how to evaluate its effectiveness
  • Develop a mindset of experimentation
  • Define the process involved in proper testing and the right questions to ask
  • Recognize common testing failures and how to avoid them


Derek D. Rucker - Academic Director; Sandy & Morton Goldman Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies in Marketing; Professor of Marketing; Co-chair of Faculty Research

Kevin McTigue - Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing


What is the program about?

Advertising and Marketing Communication Strategy program is designed to designed to help you guide your advertising development by ensuring it’s backed by a solid, effective strategy linked to your organization’s business goals. Whether you’re the point person responsible for advertising within your organization, a senior leader aiming to improve your team’s performance, or on the agency side looking to demonstrate the tangible business impact of true strategic marketing communications to your clients, this program will help you improve your strategy and enhance the success of your advertising efforts.

What is the learning experience?

Your learning experience will consist of frameworks delivered via video lectures, live webinars, real world examples and case studies, application of frameworks through weekly activities, customized assignments and quizzes, discussion boards, and faculty engagement.

What is the program format?

The program consists of 7 modules delivered over 8 weeks online. Learners can expect to dedicate 4-6 hours per week to watch videos, complete assignments and participate in discussions. Modules are opened at the beginning of each week and have quizzes/assessments at the module’s conclusion. Learners may choose to engage with the program module all in one sitting or in smaller segments of time throughout the week. While the modules do not close, access to assignments is closed each week.

Could a learner choose to opt out of some topics?

No. This is an online program in which a topic module is introduced each week and the learner is expected to watch the video lectures, participate in the live webinars, complete the exercises/activities and take the mastery quiz at the end of each week to progress to the subsequent week’s topic.

Are any of the sessions delivered in real time (live)?

There will be live webinars, led by faculty and/or subject matter experts, delivered during the course of the program via a video conferencing platform. These sessions provide learners an opportunity to listen and ask questions, and while they are valuable in enhancing the overall experience, attendance is not mandatory. All live sessions are recorded for later viewing.

What methods will be used for grading and evaluations?

Kellogg program leaders will review assignments, discussions and exercises to determine participants’ understanding of the material.

How much time is allocated to complete assignments?

The due date for submitting assignments is typically within 7 days of the module opening, but can be as long as 14 days, depending on the scope of the assignment. However, learners may request deadline extensions to accommodate for business and personal conflicts that may arise during the program timeframe. Reach out to the program leader to discuss any challenges you may have in completing assignments.

Can participation in this program be counted as credit toward a degree, either at Kellogg, Northwestern University or another academic institution?

No. Executive Education offers only non-degree programs and each participant receives a certificate of completion at the end of the program. This certificate does not count as credit toward a degree. In addition, at this time, our online programs do not count as credit toward a Kellogg Executive Scholar Certificate.

Does the program offer community engagement for learners?

Yes, participants can create a profile, connect and collaborate with peers, and interact with academic/industry experts such as program leaders and teaching assistants. Office hours will be held during the program and all participants are welcome to join in with questions or to discuss assignments.

What are the requirements for accessing the program?

Participants will need the following to access the Advertising and Marketing Communication Strategy program:

  • Valid email address
  • Computing device connected to the internet (Mac/PC/laptop, tablet or smartphone)
  • The latest version of your preferred browser to access our learning platform (Chrome and Firefox are preferred for accessing Canvas)
  • Microsoft Office and PDF viewer to access content such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files, and transcripts
  • Additional software and resources may be required for certain programs – this will be communicated upon registration and/or at the beginning of the program
  • PLEASE NOTE: Google, Vimeo and YouTube may be utilized in the program delivery

Do the programs offer a certificate?

Yes. Participants will receive a digital certificate of completion from Kellogg following a successful conclusion to the program. Since this program is graded as a pass or fail, participants must receive an 80% to pass and obtain the certificate. This digital certificate can be shared with colleagues and posted on LinkedIn. (PLEASE NOTE: We do not provide reports of assessments, or “transcripts,” since this is a non-degree program.)

Who is Emeritus and what is their relationship with Kellogg Executive Education?

Kellogg Executive Education is partnering with Emeritus Institute of Management, an online education provider, to develop and deliver this program. By working with Emeritus, we are able to provide broader access to Executive Education, beyond our on-campus offerings, in a collaborative and engaging format that is consistent with Kellogg’s standard of quality.

Additional questions?

Please contact us by calling 847-467-6018 or email us at

Upcoming Sessions

September 5 - October 31, 2024

Start: September 12 at 12:00 AM

End: October 31 at 12:00 AM

Accepting registrations through September 11


November 14, 2024 - January 9, 2025

Start: November 21 at 12:00 AM

End: January 9 at 12:00 AM

Accepting registrations through November 20


Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208