David Dubois, Associate Professor of Marketing

Period 5 | November-December 2018|
Singapore: Seats: 48; Credit: 0.5

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.

Learning Goals

We will discuss 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. 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 hands-on exercises. See the “class schedule” section of this course outline for further details.

Recommended Textbook(s)

Although there is no textbook for this course, you are expected to read all course packet material.

The following resources are recommended:

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

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.

The course website is at:


Course Sessions

Main themes Readings
1 & 2 
– Course introduction
– How to link strategic goals and social media initiatives?
– How to build effective and viral content?
– How to prevent and manage online social media crises?
Maersk Line, B2B Social Media – It’s Communication, Not Marketing, Berkeley-Haas Case by Zolt Katona and Miklos Savary (2014).
Dubois, David (2013), “Social Media In B2B Marketing: Publish Or Perish!,” Forbes Magazine (June).
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).
In class 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
Exercise (please come with your laptop)
A Framework for Driving Digital Transformation (INSEAD Knowledge, November 2016)
Sessions 7 – How to create and capture value through social strategies?
– How to approach and leverage consumer communities?
Social Strategy at Nike, Harvard Business School Case by Mikolaj Jan Piskorski and Ryan Johnson.
Social Strategies That Work. By Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, Harvard Business Review89 n.11 (2011) pp 116–122.
Exercise (please come with your laptop)
Leveraging Communities to Create Social Media Momentum (INSEAD Knowledge, October 2015)