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Ugba 106 - Marketing Management Fall 2016

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UGBA 106: Marketing Management Fall 2016

Professors: Wasim Azhar, Bill Fanning, Janet Brady

GSI: Eddie Ning. Readers: Eleftherios Marakas, Nikolai Smith

Course Objectives

UGBA 106 is the core Marketing course in the UGBA program. The course objectives are:

  1. To introduce the role of marketing in organizations.
  2. To develop the basic concepts and tools used in marketing within the context of company goals. These tools will include:
  1. Elements of marketing analysis: Customers, Competition, Collaborators, Company, Context.
  2. Application of the elements of the marketing mix: the 4 P’s: Product, Promotion (marketing communication and sales management), Place (distribution) and Price.
  1. To assist in learning how to apply these concepts and to practice making decisions through case analysis.
  2. To develop oral, written  and presentation skills in articulating analyses and proposing, defending and debating recommendations.

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The overall theme of the course is to emphasize the process of thinking qualitatively, quantitatively, and strategically about marketing issues. We will use Monday lectures to convey concepts, frameworks and templates, and Wednesday discussion sections to provide concrete, real-life practical examples drawn from actual business cases.

Course Materials:

  • Text: Kotler and Keller: A Framework for Marketing Management 6th edition. Prentice Hall                  (5th edition would be fine as well with adjustment for reading page assignments).
  • A Reader containing the cases and HBS readings for the course along with discussion questions.

Grading:

  • Individual Class participation                                                                              20%
  • Group Development & Presentation of a Case                                            15%
  • Final Exam                                                                                                   30%
  • Best 3 out of 4 Individual Short Written Assignments                                30%
  • Research Lab                                                                                                  5%

         


Considerations When Preparing Cases:

All students should be prepared to discuss every case. To prepare, consider the following questions:

What is the problem?  Common marketing problems include: Should the firm enter or not enter a business area, choice of entering one area versus another area (product decisions; market decisions), which customer group(s) to target, how to retaliate against or attack competition, how to position a brand, brand nomenclature and architecture, what type of advertising to run, media decisions,  allocation of budget between various promotional media or sales, decisions regarding changing or sustaining sales and distribution channels, and developing and implementing price structures.

What are the decision alternatives?  These are usually implicitly or explicitly provided in the case, but you should feel free to consider innovative options beyond those that are given.

What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses? Examples of areas that could be strengths or weaknesses include: brand name, customer franchise, superior technology, lower costs of production, market experience, supplier relationships, distribution channels, financials, technology, and operations.

What are the environmental opportunities and threats?  These include flux in the overall environment, such as changes in the economy, socio-political climate, customer demographics, government regulations, consumer attitudes, competitive environment and technology.

What are the pros and cons of each of the decision alternatives against the backdrop of company strengths/environmental opportunities, and competitive actions?   These include quantitative analyses such as short-term and long-term breakeven analysis, profitability of different decisions, and sensitivity of profitability to various scenarios depending on assumptions about uncertain variables such as market size and potential, as well as qualitative analyses such as fit with the company strengths and  existing opportunities, likelihood of competitive retaliation, etc.

What is your recommended course of action with supporting strategic rationale?  What is your proposed strategy and implementation plan? What do you think you will achieve through the plan? What are the likely key bottlenecks, and how do you propose to overcome them or ameliorate their effects?

Remember that as in most business situations, there is no single correct answer for case situations.  In most case discussions, participants can formulate and support several viable alternatives.  A key managerial skill to develop is the ability to think critically about the rationale for each alternative and evaluate the pros/cons of pursuing competing alternatives before reaching a decision.

Overall,  analyze the situation, identify key issues/problems to tackle and various options available, evaluate the pros and cons of the options, and recommend a strategy backed up with cogent supporting rationale, and devise an implementation plan.

Discussion Section Participation

There will be team presentations in your discussion sections.  Each team will present one case and serve as the Board of Directors for another team presenting a different case. Each case presentation will leave around 20 minutes for Q&A. The Boards of Directors will have the first opportunity to ask questions. The management is expected to be critical and constructive. The quality of your engagement as a Director will count toward your participation grade so you should be very well prepared. Once the Board members have asked their questions, the discussion will be opened up to the rest of the class so you need to prepare for discussion for each case section even if you are neither presenting nor on the Board of Directors. Your Discussion Section faculty leaders will give details on group formation dynamics. Students will be graded on the effectiveness of their participation in adding to the class learning in each session.  Note that missing a discussion section will hurt class participation grade.  However, attending class and not participating will not significantly enhance the grade.  Participation enriches the quality of the learning experience, and constitutes a significant portion of the grade. It also facilitates learning from one’s peers. For effective participation, be prepared to discuss the assigned case for the day. The discussion questions and listing of key topics are provided as a launching pad for your preparation, but you should try to go beyond them as you discern important aspects in the situation while delving deeper into the case. Since the quality of case discussion is the collective responsibility of the entire class, you should be prepared to contribute to every case discussion. Teachers may also "cold call" on students.

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