Companies in general and marketers in particular are under increasing pressure to produce two main things: effectiveness/productivity of marketing spending and “real” revenue growth. This course addresses the second issue, growth. More specifically, it looks at three main (and inter-related) paths to growth: new products, brand building, and customers. Participants play the role of growth consultants/Chief Growth Officers. The course is designed for people interested in management and consulting as well as in marketing. After laying out some basic “algebra” of growth, each of the three growth paths are examined.
a) discuss standard cases and live (current) situations,
b) explore specific methods designed to spur creative thinking,
c) present examples of successful and unsuccessful growth strategies drawn from current or past practice (i.e. best and worst practices)
d) draw practical implications from relevant academic literature, much of it Columbia related, and present a brief synopsis of one article in class
e) generate growth options for a specific firm as the basis for the final project.
The intended benefits/learnings are:
1. To better understand how a firm can generate growth.
2. To develop systematic skills to aid in identifying and evaluating growth options.
3. To see how new product development, branding, and customer management are related.
4. To have the opportunity to think in some detail about a particular company’s strategy.
5. To develop the ability to gain insight from atypical sources.