GRA 8277 Marketing (2023/2024)

GRA 8277 Marketing (2023/2024)

Course code: 
GRA 8277
Course coordinator: 
Matilda Dorotic
Morten Høie Abrahamsen
Course name in Norwegian: 
Marketing (2023/2024)
Product category: 
EMBA Business Administration - Core Courses
2023 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
Associate course
Course codes for multi- or associated courses
Course codeSemester
GRA 8278
2023 Spring
GRA 8279
2023 Autumn

Rapid changes in the marketplace, increased demands from customers and partners and heightened competition have increased pressure on managers to improve their strategic decision-making. Marketing approach to creating sustainable competitive advantage for firms requires managers to understand and satisfy customer and partners better than competition. This course teaches students how develop, implement and analyze marketing strategy, how to evaluate the current potential and future contribution of different customers and how to allocate limited resources to reap the advantages from customer relationships and product portfolio. In this course, we aim to combine in-depth understanding of strategic challenges in developing and implementing marketing strategies and to provide action-oriented approach on how to use the data insights to improve these strategies. This course covers both business-to-consumer strategic challenges, as well as business-to-business strategic decisions.

In its teaching approach, this course combines discussions of frameworks and models that allow managers to analyze strategic marketing problems with case studies that allow for more in-depth understanding of trade-offs in potential solutions and evaluation of actionable performance metrics and outcomes.

This course is suitable for managers in diverse functional areas who wish to better understand how to develop effective strategies towards customers, business partners and competition. Practicing managers with experience in marketing decision-making will benefit from the state-of-the-art insights into the marketing challenges and data available to effectively improve the strategic marketing choices.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

This course aims to provide the following knowledge and learning outcomes that would allow students to:

  • obtain an in-depth understanding of the benefits and costs trade-offs of alternative strategic marketing decisions,
  • critically evaluate the impact of different drivers (customer, brand and relationship investments) on firm performance and customer choices,
  • understand the trade-offs in optimizing resource allocation across different marketing investments, customer segments, products and channels,
  • understand the idiosyncrasies of marketing strategic decision-making in business to business context relative to business-to-consumer aspects.
Learning outcomes - Skills

By successfully completing the learning activities of the course, we expect students to obtain the following skills:

  • ability to explore unique needs of customers in a desired market, understand how customer differ and how to create strategies to respond to those differences,
  • gain skills to conduct business and consumer market segmentation, targeting and positioning,
  • ability to explore how supplier selection and industrial purchasing behaviour is conducted in business markets,
  • ability to evaluate business value and profitability potential of different customer groups based on their past and future value.
General Competence

In adidtion to the learning outcomes related to the marketing startegy curriculum, this course facilitates in-group discussions as well as action-based applications of learning in concrete business cases.

Therefore, the course is set to provide also the following general competences:

- improving the skills and comeptences of collaborative thinking and teamworking through the tasks and discussions in the course that encourage team-working,

  • provide deeper understanding of the existing data environment and a need for a sustainable, ethical evaluation of the data capture and exploration opportunities
Course content

This course is run in the format of four days of in-class teaching and discussion seminars (as indicated in the student's calendar). The structure of the course comprises topics related to the basic aspects of marketing strategy formulation in the first three days (taught by Matilda Dorotic) and the more detailed discussion on specificities of creating value in business-to-business relationships in the fourth meeting (with Morten Abrahamsen).

The specific themes follow the leraning goals and outcomes specified above. The general themes can be grouped in the follwoing ways (subject to more specific definition in the final syllabus for each generation):

  • Day 1: Understanding customer needs and value: Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning
  • Day 2: Marketing mix trade offs and branding strategies
  • Day 3: Resource allocation and value metrics across different channels, segments or markets
  • Day 4: Creating value in business-to-business relationships.

The detailed syllabus and reading focus may be adjusted to the specific needs of the group in each generation depending on the background, types of positions held and startegic insight preferences of each generation. 

Teaching and learning activities

The teaching format of the course combines in-class lectures and discussions with case study analyses and teamwork exercises. Both, the main teaching approach as well as the main exam approach aims to provide actionable insights that are enrished by stae-of-the-art frameworks and models from marketing research and practice.

This approach requires that students prepare for the class in advance by reading the assigned literature, which will be outlined in the syllabus for each session. In the sessions, we will aim to apply the readings in partice and get a deeper understanding of the potential and drawbacks in implementing such solutions. 

The course is a part of a full Executive MBA programme and examination in all courses must be passed in order to obtain a certificate.

In all BI Executive courses and programmes, there is a mutual requirement  
for the student and the course responsible regarding the involvement of the student's experience in the planning and implementation of courses, modules and programmes. This means that the student has the right and duty to get involved with their own knowledge and practice relevance, through the active sharing of their relevant experience and knowledge.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

Granted admission to the EMBA programme. Please consult our student regulations.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Required prerequisite knowledge

This course would be suited for managers who have basic skills and knowledge in business administration. No advanced understanding of marketing methods is required. The basic understanding of strategic and business adminstration concepts may facilitate the learning.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group (2 - 5)
1 Semester(s)
Group-term paper done in groups of 2 to 5 students and it accounts for the 40% of the exam.
Each group should pick one strategic problem that was discussed in the course, apply it to the firm of their choice (we recommend applying it to the firm that students work at), analyze the cases and drivers of this strategic challenge and apply models and/or frameworks learned in the course to infer potential solutions and define how the team would approach the solution building for the identified challenge. Students are encouraged to use the data they may have and other insights from the firm to make the analysis and solutions more efficient and relevant.
The submission of the written report of this analysis should be completed by the deadline indicated in the exam platform (Wiseflow) and according to the formatting guidelines. The submission should be written in English, using Times New Roman font 12, normal margins, and it should not be larger than 20 pages.
Exam code: 
GRA 82771
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
1 Semester(s)
Individual component of the exam counts for 60% of the final exam.
In this component, each student should pick one relationship with B2B customer or a supplier of their choice, and use the tools (indicated in the class) to analyze how the value in this relationship is created and how the future improvements could be addressed.
The assessment of the relationship for this exercise should use the concepts, theories and tools indicated in the business-to-business sessions, but it is not limited to those concepts only.
The firms (a supplier or business customer of the firm) may, but it is not required to, be the same as the firm used for the group assessment.
Exam code: 
GRA 82772
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Student workload
Prepare for teaching
30 Hour(s)
32 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
23 Hour(s)
25 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 4 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 110 hours.