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Marketing Strategy

Summer 2014 EMBA Course

B5601-200: Marketing Strategy

EMBA-Americas Core - Americas Core

Instructor: Eva Ascarza; Scott Shriver


B5601 is the core marketing course in the EMBA program at Columbia Business School. This course emphasizes the role of marketing in creating value for customers, which in turn leads to value for other stakeholders in a firm (e.g., owners, shareholders, employees). The main objectives of the course are to improve your ability to:

1. Assess market opportunities by analyzing customers, competitors and the strengths and weaknesses of a company.
2. Design effective marketing strategies to maximize a company’s chance of winning in these markets.
3. Communicate and defend your own marketing recommendations and critically examine and build upon the recommendations of others.
4. Learn the tools necessary to implement marketing strategy and improve performance.
5. Understand the interdependence of marketing decisions and their effects on the firm’s customers and its competition.

The first half of the course focuses on marketing strategy. In order to make effective strategic decisions, managers must identify and measure consumers’ needs and wants, assess the competitive environment, select the most appropriate customer targets and then develop marketing programs that satisfy consumers’ needs better than the competition. Further, marketing focuses on the long-run relationship of a company to its customers as well as short-run sales and profits.

The second part of the course focuses on the decisions that managers make and the tools that they use to support an effective marketing strategy. The attraction and retention of profitable customers must involve consideration of the product or service being offered, the way in which the product is sold and distributed, how pricing is set and structured, and how the value of the offering is communicated.

Through class projects, hands-on group exercises, case studies, and class discussions we will explore marketing strategy and its implementation through what is traditionally called the "marketing mix." As we progress, it will become apparent that each of these decisions affects the others and that they must all be framed as part of an integrated marketing strategy.


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