MRKT 435 Marketing Management Course Guide

Course Description

Decision making in marketing is first and foremost a skill. Like most skills, it requires tools and terminology. Like all skills, it is best learned through practice. This course is dedicated to the development of decision-making skills in marketing. Concepts, processes, and tools useful for structuring and solving marketing problems will be introduced and discussed. The pedagogical strategy will center on analyses of marketing case studies. Case studies that describe actual marketing problems will provide an opportunity for concepts, processes, and tools to be utilized in decision-making. In every case study, the decision maker must develop a strategy (the process) that is consistent with the underlying factors existing in the situation presented (the antecedents) and must consider the implications of that strategy for the organization and its environment (the consequences). Students will have opportunities to develop and structure the implementation of marketing plans and integrated marketing strategies.

In this course, students are expected to develop the ability to formulate integrated marketing strategies. This has three dimensions. The first is the ability to understand the complexity of marketing situations. The second is the ability to formulate good strategies, recognizing that there is no one “right” strategy but rather that the key to strategy determination is the selection of the best strategy from a number of reasonable alternatives. The third dimension is to recognize and address the issues that must be managed in order to implement the recommended strategy.

This is an advanced marketing course, considered to be the capstone course in the marketing track within the major. In that regard, students will be expected to have a working knowledge of marketing concepts and tools acquired in lower level courses, including a variety of marketing electives offered by the School of Business, such as advertising, sales management, international marketing, business-to-business marketing, retailing, consumer behavior, and distribution management. Sufficient time will be devoted in this course to developing case analysis skills. This course is recommended for the senior year.

MKMG-435 is a communications intensive course. As such, there will be heavy emphasis on the development and utilization of oral, writing, nonverbal, and listening skills. Students will be expected to actively and constructively participate in class discussions. They will be required to complete multiple written case analyses, and to make formal presentations of analyses and recommendations.

MKMG-435 will include case studies where ethical considerations in decision-making will be integral components of the case analysis. Students will be expected to thoroughly consider and discuss the ethical implications of decision alternatives and recommendations. The course will purposefully highlight the ethical dilemma inherent to decisions that involve multiple constituents. The instructors will be proactive in selecting case studies that enhance and encourage discussion of ethical issues and corporate social responsibility.

Specific, Assessable Learning Outcomes

The student will be able to:

  1. Analyze and evaluate an organization’s current marketing strategy, including a detailed assessment of target market, product, price, communication, and distribution strategies.
  2. Identify and analyze customer needs, wants, and preferences and to understand how those factors vary among different groups of customers and impact decisions about marketing strategy.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to segment a market utilizing pertinent criteria, and to evaluate the relative attractiveness of these segments based on marketing characteristics, competitive factors, and company capabilities.
  4. Identify and utilize relevant factors and processes in assessing (individually) product, price, communication, and distribution strategies.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate alternative marketing strategies utilizing quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques.
  6. Synthesize data regarding the implications of proposed marketing strategies, including the utilization of spreadsheets to assess various financial outcomes (revenues, costs, and profit/loss over multiple time periods).
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of the need to work effectively with all functional departments and organizational levels in developing and implementing marketing strategies.
  8. Identify and evaluate the ethical implications of decisions, and to incorporate ethical reasoning into the decision-making process.
  9. Demonstrate the ability to communicate marketing analyses in written and oral form, utilizing the capabilities of computer software for professional reports and presentations.

In order to accomplish these objectives, it will be necessary for students to demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills learned in lower level marketing courses and the business core curriculum. Students must be able to demonstrate that they can integrate material from marketing and core courses (like QB and accounting courses) into the analytical and decision-making processes. Attainment of each of the above objectives will be dependent on the demonstrated ability to accomplish such an integrated approach.

Course Content

The following topics will be discussed in the course. A minimum of 10 cases will be assigned over the course of a semester that pertain directly to most of these topics. 

  • Opportunity analysis, target marketing and positioning
  • Product and service strategy and brand management
  • Integrated marketing communications strategy and management
  • Distribution strategy and management
  • Pricing strategy and management
  • Creating an integrated marketing plan
  • Ethical considerations in marketing strategy decisions
  • Financial aspects of marketing management

Finally, it is expected that the instructors will provide students a conceptual framework and an analytical paradigm for case analysis that resonates the course objectives.

Recommended Teaching Methodology

This is primarily a case course, supplemented by discussion of readings from texts and other sources. The primary objectives in this course will be to further develop knowledge and skill from previous marketing and core courses, and to apply that knowledge and skill to marketing decision-making processes. This course will be offered only during sections that meet for 80 minutes twice a week, or in 160-minute evening classes.

Assigned text material will be presented and discussed in class with an emphasis on student-professor interaction. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions of marketing concepts and tools, both asking and responding to questions.

Multiple cases will be assigned throughout the semester for analysis, discussion, and presentation. A minimum of 10 cases will be selected such that individual cases focus on each specific strategy area of marketing, but all cases will have a holistic perspective to the development and implementation of marketing strategy.

Students will typically be organized by the professor into case analysis teams. Students will be expected to meet as a team to prepare a response for each class as needed. In addition, the instructor might require individual analysis of cases.

The professor will be responsible for guiding case discussions and for recording the level of each student’s participation in class. The professor will be responsible for evaluating the written analyses submitted by individual students. The professor will respond to each student with feedback regarding the quality of the report, with respect to stated objectives of the course.

Individual or teams of students will also be assigned the task of developing and implementing an integrated marketing plan. This plan may be related to a complex case or may be developed for a real organization. If a marketing plan assignment is utilized, students will be expected to make a formal presentation of results.

Professors teaching this course will be expected to work together in the development of syllabi, assignments, and assessment measures. The intent is not that all professors will utilize a common teaching strategy. Collaboration is essential, however, to assure consistency in expectations, content, rigor, and assessment. Teaching faculty will be expected to meet and discuss teaching strategies and assessment results. Such meetings will afford professors teaching this course opportunities to exchange ideas, strategies, and innovations that will improve student learning.

Recommended Student Assessment Measures

To facilitate the consistent assessment of student performance, teaching faculty may elect to jointly develop tools for evaluating performance that directly relate to the learning objectives of the course. Such tools can be developed for assessing written case analyses, oral presentations, class participation, and peer evaluations. The following assessment measures are recommended:

Weekly case analyses. Students will be encouraged to utilize groups in the process of analyzing assigned cases and may, at the discretion of the instructor, be assigned to teams for accomplishing the case preparation. The recommendations must be based on the individual’s (or team’s) thorough, critical analysis of case data and an evaluation of reasonable strategic alternatives. The student must explain the rationale that supports the recommendation, and discuss strategic implementation issues.

Individual case analyses. Each student will be required to submit at least two individually written case analyses during the course of a semester. The recommendations must be based on the individual’s thorough, critical analysis of case data and an evaluation of reasonable strategic alternatives. The student must explain the rationale that supports the recommendation, and discuss strategic implementation issues.

Marketing plan. Students will be required to work either individually or as a member of a group to develop a complete marketing plan, including implementation criteria, for a product and/or service. A written and oral summation of the plan will be provided within the guidelines set forth by the instructor. Procedures and processes for analyzing the strategic impact of the implementation of marketing plans will be addressed during the semester in a manner to be determined by the instructor.

Individual class participation. The professor will make an ongoing assessment of each student’s contributions to class discussions. Consideration should be given to the quality of comments and questions, to non-verbal feedback, and to demonstrated listening skills. Class participation should account for a significant portion of the overall grade (perhaps 25%).

Peer evaluations. Peer evaluations should be a portion of the final grade. Peer evaluations may be conducted at multiple points during the semester.

Final exam. A final exam should be a component of the final grade.

Other methods of assessment may be utilized as deemed appropriate by individual faculty members teaching this course.

Statement of Expectations

All students taking this course must have completed a marketing principles course and a significant number of marketing electives. There is an expectation that the students would have completed the prerequisite courses listed in a subsequent section.

The material that will be covered in this course is important. The knowledge and skills associated with this course can significantly impact individual careers and the competitiveness of organizations. Developing the skills to make enlightened marketing decisions based on reasoned judgments and to participate in a group decision-making process is not easy. Most of the learning that takes place in this course will occur when students are working on the material outside of class … when the student is reading, thinking critically, analyzing and applying concepts and techniques learned in previous courses to real business situations (case studies). The amount of learning and skill development that takes place will be directly proportional to the amount of time and effort that is put forth in preparing for classes. The cases are opportunities to apply material from previous core courses and new material from this course, and to further develop communication and teamwork skills. Like any athletic or artistic endeavor, most of the knowledge acquisition and skill development will take place when students are practicing, not performing.

The workload in this course will be heavy. Time requirements are significant:

  • Each case must be analyzed by the individual and discussed among team members. Each student must be prepared to contribute to case discussions every class.
  • Each of the written case analyses will require at least 6-8 hours of preparation.
  • The final team case analysis, report, and presentation will take considerable time at the end of the semester.

Students should be advised that an average weekly workload for this course would consist of three hours in class plus a minimum of nine hours of studying and assignment preparation.

Academic Integrity

Student-teacher relationships are built on trust. Any student found violating this trust undermines the educational process and is subject to significant disciplinary action.

The concept of academic integrity lies at the very heart of any college. This is particularly true of Siena with its strong Franciscan tradition and its dedication to fostering sound moral growth. In such an environment, academic dishonesty cannot be tolerated. Students who commit such acts expose themselves to punishments as severe as dishonorable dismissal from the college. Academic dishonesty can take different forms, including, but not limited to, cheating (dishonesty in a test situation), plagiarism (dishonesty in the presentation of materials in a paper or report), and computer abuse. In any situation in which a student is unsure of what constitutes academic dishonesty, it is the student's responsibility to raise the question with his or her instructor. It is also the student's responsibility to be familiar with the student guidelines on academic honesty, "Academic Integrity and the Siena Student." Alleging ignorance of what constitutes academic dishonesty or of the College's policy on the subject will not be considered a valid explanation or excuse.

The Siena Committee on Academic Integrity hears cases of alleged academic dishonesty. This student/faculty committee reviews evidence for and against the accused. If the student is found guilty, the committee will determine the appropriate sanction(s), which may include failure of the course, suspension from the College, or permanent dismissal. A statement of the reasons for such sanctions will be placed in the student’s file. Alleging ignorance of what constitutes academic dishonesty or of the College’s policy on the subject will not be considered a valid explanation or excuse.

Although it is presumed that students adhere to all academic integrity guidelines, instructors are to institute specific measures to assure compliance. All submissions will be screened for plagiarism and other violations of academic integrity. Further, whenever calculations are required on exams, calculators will be permitted. However, if your calculator is programmable, the memory will be cleared prior to starting the exam. Sharing of calculators is not permitted.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills

It is expected that this advanced marketing course will be taken in the fourth year of the marketing and management degree program. Students must have attained the learning objectives of all required pre-core and core courses in the School of Business curriculum. They must be prepared to engage in qualitative and quantitative analysis, using concepts and techniques from multiple prerequisite courses. They must be capable of presenting the results of analysis in both oral and written format, demonstrating communication skills appropriate for senior-level students in the School of Business. Students should be able to function productively in a team, demonstrating leadership capabilities when appropriate. Students must be able to utilize computer software to prepare professional looking documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

Specific course prerequisites: ECON-101 and 102; QBUS-100, 101, and 200; ACCT-200 and 205; BLAW-200; FINC-301; MKMG-113, 211, and 212; at least two marketing-specific elective courses.