This course is specially designed for both MBA and EMBA students. The course builds upon your work in the core marketing courses, B6601/02 and B7601. The goal of the course is to prepare you for making critical strategic marketing decisions in today’s modern corporation. As you know from your studies thus far, the environment that firms face is becoming ever more complex and fast changing. Hence the job of attracting, retaining, and growing customers, and increasing shareholder value, is ever more important, but ever more difficult. Clear thinking and decisive decision-making is the critical currency for entrepreneurs and practicing managers.
In this fast changing environment, the number of alternative actions or strategies available to managers is substantial. One consequence of this variety is that managers must learn how to allocate and concentrate available resources. This is a particularly challenging task for marketing executives, positioned at the crucial interface between senior management, with its diverse mix of motives and responsibilities, other functional areas within the enterprise, and a constantly changing set of external forces, including customers, competitors, complementers, and regulators.
To achieve competitive advantage in this environment, marketing plans and strategies must be data driven, analytically based, comprehensive, actionable, and flexible, as well as understood and supported by senior management. With such diverse requirements, it should not come as a surprise that many well-conceived strategies, and their related implementation plans and programs, fall far short of achieving their objectives.
This course is designed to help you develop the knowledge and skills necessary to develop marketing strategy at the business (in contrast to product) level. Emphasis is on planning for a three-to-five year horizon. The course will provide you with hands-on-experience in using well-developed processes to create strategy. Material will be particularly relevant to students who expect to be responsible for developing and/or assessing marketing strategy as owners, employees, and consultants.
Specific course objectives include:
- Providing insight into the role of marketing in strategy development at the highest levels of an organization;
- Enhancing knowledge and skills necessary to understand and apply the frameworks, concepts, and methods used in the development of effective marketing strategy;
- Gaining practical experience in the application of processes used to develop market strategy;
- Discussing the internal and external barriers to strategy implementation, as well as approaches for overcoming these barriers, and
- Enhancing students’ skills in verbal and written persuasion, in the final analysis, the only way to influence management decisions.
The main course component is the MARKSTRAT simulation. http://www.stratxsimulations.com. Students are assigned to a firm that competes against four other firms in its industry. The starting positions of firms within the industry are different. Decisions are made over eight periods. In the simulation, you secure marketing research information, assess likely competitor reactions to your potential moves, and make strategic marketing decisions accordingly. You will be required to provide information on your plans and on your decision-making processes. Since the simulation is played over eight periods, you have the opportunity to measure the outcomes (i.e., sales, market share, profit contribution) of your decisions and to modify your strategies over time.