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GRA 6409 Strategic Marketing Issues

GRA 6409 Strategic Marketing Issues

Course code: 
GRA 6409
Department: 
Marketing
Credits: 
6
Course coordinator: 
Matilda Dorotic
Course name in Norwegian: 
Strategic Marketing Issues
Product category: 
Master
Portfolio: 
MSc in Strategic Marketing Management
Semester: 
2018 Spring
Active status: 
Active
Level of study: 
Master
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

The purpose of marketing strategy is to transform company resources to satisfy customers' current and future needs more effectively and efficiently than competing alternatives. The requirements to become a successful marketing manager have surged in recent decades, demanding new critical understanding of consumer reality and new competences in management. To address these challenges and secure their “seat at the boardroom table”, marketers are required to develop deep insights of strategic marketing issues and demonstrate the value of marketing investments. This course is centered on the notion of building managerial skills that increase such relevance for business through a combination of action-based, hands-on learning through marketing simulation and in-class discussion of examples with empirical evidence from practice.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

Strategic marketing focuses on developing the critical insights and analytical skills required to identify the key strategic issues companies are facing in the market they compete in. As we progress through the course, students will gain deeper understanding of the impact and trade-offs between different marketing elements and marketing’s impact on bottom-line performance, as well as the need to quantify the return on marketing investments.

In particular, we aim to teach students to address the following questions:

  • What are the crucial marketing capabilities in modern environment?
  • How diverse marketing drivers affect firm performance?
  • How companies create value for customers and develop sustainable competitive market positions?
  • How to prove marketing’s return on investment and link marketing outcomes to the financial return of the company?
Learning outcomes - Skills

The topics in this course are grouped around the most important business goals and skills that we want students to master in this course. To reflect the fact that students need to acquire skills from multiple complementary sources, this course integrates diverse types of learning. The basic skills of developing and applying strategic marketing decisions through teamwork the students will practice in a marketing simulation that is run throughout the course. In the marketplace simulation (e.g.  Markstrat) student teams compete against each other in running their companies in a fictional marketing environment. Lectures are structured around different drivers and trends in strategic marketing that directly or indirectly affect firm performance.

After this course the students should be able to:

  • Identify key strategic marketing issues in the contemporary market environment
  • Analyze customers, markets, brands, competition and marketing effectiveness
  • Apply analytical skills to formulate objectives and strategic initiatives using market insights
  • Develop strategies to fight the competition through implementation of strategic initiatives
Learning Outcome - Reflection
  • Critical reflection and thinking, developing deep customer and strategic insights
  • Appreciation for the complexity of marketing decisions and business in general
  • Presentation of ideas and solutions in a clear and concise manner
Course content

The topics selected in this course aim to deepen students’ understanding of the complex strategic marketing issues that affect firm performance. In particular, the course addresses the role of marketing strategy and diverse marketing elements in driving business performance. As we progress through the course, students will gain deeper understanding of the impact and trade-offs between different marketing elements and marketing’s impact on bottom-line performance, as well as the need to quantify the return on marketing investments. Besides highlighting “burning” issues for marketing managers, this course aims to develop student’s appreciation of the need for a marketer to quantify the impact of selected marketing solutions.

Topics covered in the course include:

  • The role of marketing in driving business performance
  • Growth, market share and market conditions
  • Understanding Competition and how economic conditions impact firm performance
  • Order of entry and whether pioneer advantage exists
  • Short- and long-term marketing mix trade-offs
  • Return on online marketing investments and social media initiatives 
Learning process and requirements to students

The course workload is divided equally (50 %) between students’ marketplace simulation group-work and the final written exam. 

The group-work component consists of the team performance (4-6 students, depending on the total number of students in the class) in the simulation and two related assignments. 
The exam component of the grade relates to a student’s individual performance in a three-hours written exam, with questions linked to the lectures, readings and/or examples discussed in the class.

The lectures will be organized around discussing selected topics based on the assigned readings and marketplace simulation results. Students are expected to be prepared for the discussions in class.

In the two assignments related to the simulation performance  student groups should discuss marketing strategy concepts they applied in the simulation, with an intention to justify their strategic choices. 

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on itslearning or text book.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded by using points on a scale from 0-100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades when the course start.

At resit, all exam components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Qualifications

All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Activity
Form of assessment:
Presentation and discussion
Exam code:
GRA64091
Grading scale:
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
25No -Group (4 - 6)Markstrat performance
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA64091
Grading scale:
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
25No 1 Semester(s)Group (4 - 6)Markstrat assignment
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA64091
Grading scale:
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
50Yes3 Hour(s)
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Individual
Exams:
Exam category:Activity
Form of assessment:Presentation and discussion
Weight:25
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (4-6)
Support materials:
Duration: -
Comment:Markstrat performance
Exam code:GRA64091
Grading scale:Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:25
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (4-6)
Support materials:
Duration: 1 Semester(s)
Comment:Markstrat assignment
Exam code:GRA64091
Grading scale:Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:50
Invigilation:Yes
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Comment:
Exam code:GRA64091
Grading scale:Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam organisation: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
ECTS
Total weight: 
100
Sum workload: 
0

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.