In this tremendously practical, semester-long course, developed based on best practices at top marketing companies, students are guided through the entire marketing plan process. Teams then apply the learning to create comprehensive plans for existing or new brands in the company & industry of their choice, or for their own entrepreneurial venture. Students also have the opportunity to work with multinationals in the New York area that have expressed interest in having Columbia students develop marketing plans for their brands.
The course covers marketing plan pre-work that includes student generated marketing research, industry analyses, and competitive strategy & tactics observation. The ins and outs of brand positioning, marketing plan budget setting, pricing strategy, and program success measurement/ROI metrics are covered. Student teams develop media plans and advertising creative, as well as consumer promotion, trade promotion, direct marketing, digital marketing & viral/buzz marketing ideas & plans. The relationship of the annual Marketing Plan to the longer-term Strategic Planning Process is reviewed. Several guest speakers from brand management and marketing support agencies will present.
The course culminates with team marketing plan presentations to the class and (in many cases) to the corporate project sponsors. A written plan will be submitted that utilizes a format similar to what's typically used at large companies. Strategic, analytical, and creative skills are utilized to develop the plans.
The courses is a good choice for anyone interested in Brand Management, Advertising Account Management, Consulting for products, services, or non-profit organizations, and students starting their own entrepreneurial ventures. The course has been consistently praised for it's direct and immediate applicability to participants' work.
Michelle Greenwald was a Columbia Business School faculty member from 2002 to 2016.