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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: 
2023 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 managing rapid changes in the environment. 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 the capstone course centered on the notion of building marketing skills that increase such relevance for business through a combination of action-based, hands-on learning and in-class discussion of examples with empirical evidence from practice. As the final course in the master program, this course aims to bring together diverse elements of marketing together and encourage students to implement the knowledge directly, analyzing quantitative data from case studies that seek to address various strategic marketing issues.

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.

Upon completing this course, the students should acquire:

  • Understanding of challenges marketing managers face in the contemporary market environment
  • Understanding of the role of marketing strategies and diverse marketing elements in driving business performance
  • Appreciation for managing the complexity of strategy formulation that takes into account diverse aspects of data management and their link to the strategic decision-making  
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. Lectures are structured around different drivers and trends in strategic marketing that directly or indirectly affect firm performance. The application of basic skills of developing and applying strategic marketing decisions through teamwork the students will practice on case studies that feature quantitative data. Student work together in a team to provide their preferred strategic solution to case study problems. These teams resemble consulting teams which compete against each other and present their solutions.

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 competitive strategies through implementation of strategic initiatives
General Competence
  • 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 data analytsis 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.

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.

To achieve the outlined learning objective, this course takes an innovative, continuous learning approach in which the theory and applications of theory are intertwined and the students take steps through a Learning- Applying - Presenting approach for each subsequent main strategic issue.

Teaching and learning activities

The teaching and learning activities in this course follow a Learning- Applying - Presenting approach.

In each generation, the course coordinator will identify five main strategic marketing issues that are significantly affecting marketing management. For each of the five main strategic issues, we will 1) Learn through lectures of the main drivers and challenges based on the available empirical evidence in the literature. In teams, students will follow up the learning with 2) Applying it onto a case study (that typically has an available dataset to quantify the issues). Finally, the teams would upload their solutions to the exam platform and 3) Present their solutions in class discussion. 

To facilitate the access to the cases and data analytical tools, the students in the course will be provided with 6 months licence to Enginius software (a cloud solution of the Marketing Engineering for Excel software).

The format of the course is such that one week we will discuss one or more strategic issues (using assigned readings), which will be followed by a quantitative case study in which students solve related problems within one week and submit their solution. In practice, this means that over the course schedule, we will follow the lectures of learning, with the week of practicing and presenting (i.e. one week lectures with assigned readings, the next one case solution discussion, etc.). Overall, there will be five case studies for the five selected strategic issues.

Students will work in self-selected teams of preferably five (5) to six (6) students (preferred number due to the workload). In special cases, the course coordinator can assign student(s) to groups missing a member.The same team will remain for all the case-study submissions. NOTE: since it is not possible to predict number of students in each generation, as a rule, we will try to assign as many teams of the same size at possible relative to the final number of students. This means that in some generation there may be teams with five students as a predominat group, while in another generation the teams of six stduenst may be predominant. One or two teams per generation may have +/- 1 goup member. 

 Submissions of solutions should be done in the exam platform (Wiseflow, or alternatively DigiEx) and once submitted, the submissions cannot be changed (after the deadline). The submissions are in the Power Point format or a PDF, including 2-3 slides for a solution and one slide for teams' reflection on task division.

Each student team must present their solution in the class discussion (once) based on the schedule that would be randomly assigned at the begining of the course.

Assessment

In this context of continuous learning, there is no standard exam, but the evaluation consists of the team's 5 solution submissions and one presentation.

Structure of the assessment:  

75% written submissions (5 submissions of 15% each).

25% group presentation in class.

Submissions:

Each submissions will consist of:

  1. An assignment (typically a case study solution or a problem solution based on an acompanying dataset). The team's solution should be presented in the Power Point format with 2- max 3 slides (template provided in class).
  2. A short refelection note of group's self-evaluation. The group describes how (in which way) each group member contributed to the submission in max 1 Power Point slide.

Presentation:
The student groups will be randomly selected for presentation and will know their presentation schedule in the first week of lecturing. The presentation will be held in class, in Power point format, should last for 15 minutes and all team members should contribute.

Software tools
Software defined under the section "Teaching and learning activities".
Marketing Engineering for Excel
Additional information

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.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components). 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).

Absence at the presentation: If a student is absent on the presentation day, he/she will receive 0 points on that component (which does not imply failing the course). The standard BI point scheme will be applied for the final grading. The 75% exam component will be graded by both internal and external grader, while the 25% presentation grade will be graded in class by the course responsible(s).

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

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.

Disclaimer

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

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Activity
Form of assessment:
Presentation and discussion
Exam code:
GRA 64091
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
25No2-3 Minute(s)Individual Each student presents for 2-3 minutes their individual contribution to building the case study solution with their group. Individual members in one team present one after another (so that jointly the presentation of all members of the team lasts around 15 min). Individual grade is formed based on the individual’s presentation (which should last for 2-3 minutes) and the contribution this individual has made in the class discussion. The grading criteria concerns the soundness of the solution, analysis and implementation suggestions. In addition, the ability to inspire class discussion and the way in which a person answers questions is adding to the grade. Good preparedness of the team and professional feel of the flow of the presentation between the individual presentations is highly recommended. Any individual that does not present in the team’s assigned slot obtains zero points on this particular component.
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 64091
Grading scale:
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
Grading rules:
Two examiners
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
15No1 Week(s)Group (5 - 6)Submission of team's solution (to a case study or problem solution) in Power Point (max 2-3 PPT slides) + reflection note indicating each member's contribution to the solution (1 PPT slide). The evaluation will look at the soundness of the solution, completeness of the analysis and soundness of implementation. In exceptional cases, the course responsible can allow +1/-1 member of the team or/and assign additional member(s) to the team that is missing members.
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 64091
Grading scale:
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
Grading rules:
Two examiners
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
15No1 Week(s)Group (5 - 6)Submission of team's solution (to a case study or problem solution) in Power Point (max 2-3 PPT slides) + reflection note indicating each member's contribution to the solution (1 PPT slide). The evaluation will look at the soundness of the solution, completeness of the analysis and soundness of implementation. In exceptional cases, the course responsible can allow +1/-1 member of the team or/and assign additional member(s) to the team that is missing members.
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 64091
Grading scale:
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
Grading rules:
Two examiners
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
15No1 Week(s)Group (5 - 6)Submission of team's solution (to a case study or problem solution) in Power Point (max 2-3 PPT slides) + reflection note indicating each member's contribution to the solution (1 PPT slide). The evaluation will look at the soundness of the solution, completeness of the analysis and soundness of implementation. In exceptional cases, the course responsible can allow +1/-1 member of the team or/and assign additional member(s) to the team that is missing members.
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 64091
Grading scale:
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
Grading rules:
Two examiners
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
15No1 Week(s)Group (5 - 6)Submission of team's solution (to a case study or problem solution) in Power Point (max 2-3 PPT slides) + reflection note indicating each member's contribution to the solution (1 PPT slide). The evaluation will look at the soundness of the solution, completeness of the analysis and soundness of implementation. In exceptional cases, the course responsible can allow +1/-1 member of the team or/and assign additional member(s) to the team that is missing members.
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 64091
Grading scale:
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
Grading rules:
Two examiners
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
15No1 Week(s)Group (5 - 6)Submission of team's solution (to a case study or problem solution) in Power Point (max 2-3 PPT slides) + reflection note indicating each member's contribution to the solution (1 PPT slide). The evaluation will look at the soundness of the solution, completeness of the analysis and soundness of implementation. In exceptional cases, the course responsible can allow +1/-1 member of the team or/and assign additional member(s) to the team that is missing members.
Exams:
Exam category:Activity
Form of assessment:Presentation and discussion
Weight:25
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration:2-3 Minute(s)
Comment:Each student presents for 2-3 minutes their individual contribution to building the case study solution with their group. Individual members in one team present one after another (so that jointly the presentation of all members of the team lasts around 15 min). Individual grade is formed based on the individual’s presentation (which should last for 2-3 minutes) and the contribution this individual has made in the class discussion. The grading criteria concerns the soundness of the solution, analysis and implementation suggestions. In addition, the ability to inspire class discussion and the way in which a person answers questions is adding to the grade. Good preparedness of the team and professional feel of the flow of the presentation between the individual presentations is highly recommended. Any individual that does not present in the team’s assigned slot obtains zero points on this particular component.
Exam code:GRA 64091
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:15
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (5-6)
Duration:1 Week(s)
Comment:Submission of team's solution (to a case study or problem solution) in Power Point (max 2-3 PPT slides) + reflection note indicating each member's contribution to the solution (1 PPT slide). The evaluation will look at the soundness of the solution, completeness of the analysis and soundness of implementation. In exceptional cases, the course responsible can allow +1/-1 member of the team or/and assign additional member(s) to the team that is missing members.
Exam code:GRA 64091
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:15
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (5-6)
Duration:1 Week(s)
Comment:Submission of team's solution (to a case study or problem solution) in Power Point (max 2-3 PPT slides) + reflection note indicating each member's contribution to the solution (1 PPT slide). The evaluation will look at the soundness of the solution, completeness of the analysis and soundness of implementation. In exceptional cases, the course responsible can allow +1/-1 member of the team or/and assign additional member(s) to the team that is missing members.
Exam code:GRA 64091
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:15
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (5-6)
Duration:1 Week(s)
Comment:Submission of team's solution (to a case study or problem solution) in Power Point (max 2-3 PPT slides) + reflection note indicating each member's contribution to the solution (1 PPT slide). The evaluation will look at the soundness of the solution, completeness of the analysis and soundness of implementation. In exceptional cases, the course responsible can allow +1/-1 member of the team or/and assign additional member(s) to the team that is missing members.
Exam code:GRA 64091
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:15
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (5-6)
Duration:1 Week(s)
Comment:Submission of team's solution (to a case study or problem solution) in Power Point (max 2-3 PPT slides) + reflection note indicating each member's contribution to the solution (1 PPT slide). The evaluation will look at the soundness of the solution, completeness of the analysis and soundness of implementation. In exceptional cases, the course responsible can allow +1/-1 member of the team or/and assign additional member(s) to the team that is missing members.
Exam code:GRA 64091
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:15
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (5-6)
Duration:1 Week(s)
Comment:Submission of team's solution (to a case study or problem solution) in Power Point (max 2-3 PPT slides) + reflection note indicating each member's contribution to the solution (1 PPT slide). The evaluation will look at the soundness of the solution, completeness of the analysis and soundness of implementation. In exceptional cases, the course responsible can allow +1/-1 member of the team or/and assign additional member(s) to the team that is missing members.
Exam code:GRA 64091
Grading scale:Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
ECTS
Total weight: 
100
Student workload
ActivityDurationComment
Teaching
21 Hour(s)
Case teaching
15 Hour(s)
Case teaching with discussions
Student's own work with learning resources
25 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
60 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
35 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
4 Hour(s)
Teamwork on the presentation
Sum workload: 
160

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.