David Dubois, Associate Professor of Marketing

Period 5 | November-December 2018|
Fontainebleau: Seats: 48; Credit: 1

Course Objectives

This course offers an overview of digital communication strategy from design to execution. Although key concepts of traditional advertising will be touched on, the primary focus of this course is to understand the role and impact of digital and social media channels on communication and its implications for the agenda of brand leaders of the next decades. Particular attention will be dedicated to how digital and social media shifts the relationships between consumers, brands and other stakeholders, and generates new dynamics and expectations in B-to-C and B-to-B markets. In this context, we will discuss:

  1. how brands can (a) “listen” to their market and competitive environment online and leverage insights from big data (b) design content-driven strategies to increase visibility and impact and (c) build social strategies by creating or leveraging online communities.
  2. how individuals can use digital and social media to (a) build their own professional brand (b) increase their influence in their communities and reach their objectives more effectively.

To reach these objectives, the course will build on a mix of case studies reflecting diverse approaches to digital and social media integration, insights from outside guest speakers from top players in the industry as well as group exercises. See the “class schedule”

Course Sessions, Readings, Assignments, Deliverables – PRELIMINARY DRAFT

Course Sessions

Main themes Readings
1 & 2 
– digital, social media and value creation / capture?
– How to link strategic goals and digital or social media initiatives?
– How to build effective vs. viral digital content
Maersk Line, B2B Social Media – It’s Communication, Not Marketing, Berkeley-Haas Case by Zolt Katona and Miklos Savary (2014).
Exercise (laptop required)
Social Media In B2B Marketing: Publish Or Perish! (Forbes Magazine, June 2013)
Content Marketing is About Trust, Not Just Reach (INSEAD Knowledge and Forbes, September 2014)
3 & 4
– Where and how can brands “listen” to their environment online?
– How to strategically leverage insights to take better marketing-decisions?
– How should marketing organizations adapt to integrate continuous market feedback from digital platforms
Ombre, Tie-Dye, Splat Hair: Trends or Fads?: “Pull” and “Push” Social Media Strategies at L’Oréal Paris”
INSEAD Case by David Dubois and Katrina Bens (2014).
Exercise (laptop required)
During this session, participants will gain first-hand experience of one of the digital and social media analytics solution on the market.
The Future of Social Media ROI: From Likes to Relational Metrics (INSEAD Knowledge and Forbes, April 2014)
5 & 6
– How can incumbents formulate content strategies responding to e-disruptions?
– How can companies and individuals alike to successfully create digital content linked with their brand DNA?
AccorHotels and the Digital Transformation: Enriching Experiences through Content Strategies along the Customer Journey by David Dubois, Chae InYoung, Joerg Niessing and Jean Wee (2016).
Guest Speaker: TBD / Exercise (laptop required)
A Framework for Driving Digital Transformation (INSEAD Knowledge, November 2016)
7 & 8
Teams meet for project work You will have break-out rooms and can use this time for teamwork. I will be present to help you if needed
The Most Influential CEOs on Twitter (INSEAD Knowledge, May 2016)
9 & 10
– How to create and capture value through social strategies?
– How to approach and leverage consumer communities?
– How to think about ROI in a digital world?
Nokia’s N8 Push Snowboarding, from Engagement to Sales: Avant-Garde Social Media Strategy and Social Media ROI Measurement, by David Dubois and Mastak Paul (2015).
Guest Speaker: TBD / Exercise (laptop required)
Leveraging Communities to Create Social Media Momentum (INSEAD Knowledge, October 2015)
11 & 12
– How to design a personal digital strategy?
– How to use digital to grow your influence online?
HugoPosay, the rise of an Influencer by David Dubois, (pre-release version)
Guest Speaker: TBD / Exercise (laptop required)
13 & 14
– How to lead / implement the digital transformation of a marketing organization? Case:
Digital Business Transformation in Silicon Savannah: How M-Pesa Changed Safaricom (Kenya) by Tawfik Jelassi; Stephanie Ludwig (2016)
Group presentations


There is no textbook for this course. However, you are expected to read thoroughly all course packet materiel. In addition, the following online resources/blogs can be very useful:

TechCrunch: www.techcrunch.com Mashable: www.mashable.com Fastcompany: www.fastcompany.com

The following books are recommended:
– Here Comes Everybody: the Power of Organizing without Organizations, Shirky Clay, Penguin Press, 2008.
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, Heath, C. and Heath, D., Random House, 2007.
– Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Berger, J., Simon and Schuster 2013.
– Social Payoff – Measurable and cutting-edge strategies to boost sales, customer loyalty and brand dominance through social media, Marcus Ho, Write Editions, 2014.