Topic Name Description
Course Introduction Page Course Syllabus
1.1: Marketing Basics URL What is Marketing?

Read this chapter, which defines and discusses the four components of marketing, identifies the various institutions and entities that engage in marketing activities, and emphasizes the importance of marketing in society. This chapter also outlines the marketing plan and introduces future chapters as they relate to the marketing plan structure.

Page Marketing Fundamentals

Watch this video, which summarizes the fundamentals of marketing terminology and practices. Many of these terms and concepts are deeply rooted in the foundations and traditions of marketing. Pay extra attention to the key concepts of "The Four Ps" of the marketing mix: product, price, place, and promotion. These topics are critical when defining public relations audiences and the methods to reach them. You may read along with the transcript here.

1.2: The Marketing Mix (The 4 Ps) URL The Marketing Mix

Read the Marketing Mix section, starting at the bottom of page 1, which will reinforce your understanding of the marketing mix.

1.2.1: Product URL Developing and Managing Offerings

Read this chapter. Pay special attention to the section on managing new products and the product life cycle. Also, watch the embedded videos.

1.2.2: Price URL Pricing the Product

Read this chapter. Pricing is a difficult issue because most products will sell at some volume at just about any price level. Certain customers are willing to pay almost any price for a specific product, but how many of those customers exist? Marketers could consider a value priced model, but this may make the product's price so low that there is no way to make a profit on it. One common pricing strategy is known as "the loss leader", which involves selling one product below the cost to manufacture it to get it in the hands of customers. They make up for this loss later with complementary goods. This is commonly seen in video game console sales. Console system manufacturers like Sony and Nintendo will price the system below the cost to manufacture it. As consumers adopt the systems due to the attractive price point, the manufacturer makes up for the initial loss on the system with sales of proprietary accessories and video games.

URL Price: the Only Revenue Generator

Read this chapter for a thorough treatment of the important concept of price, which the authors note is the only means a company has of generating revenue. This chapter discusses the process companies must go through to effectively price their offerings, including identifying pricing objectives, accounting for the factors that affect pricing decisions, and implementing a pricing strategy. Pay attention to concepts of pricing basics, value pricing, target pricing, price sensitivity and elasticity, dynamic pricing, rack pricing, and loss leaders.

Page Demand-Based Pricing

Read this article, which discusses price, impacts on the price point, the effects of demand and competition on price, how economic concepts of substitution and elasticity impact price, and the psychology of pricing.

1.2.3: Place URL The Market is a Place

Read the section titled "The Market is a Place".

1.2.4: Promotion Page Marketing and Promotion

Listen to this lecture on public relations, trade shows, events, and seminar selling. Promotion is an all-important aspect of marketing, and we will revisit this topic later in the course.

1.2.5: Marketing vs. Advertising URL Advertising, Integrated Marketing Communications, and the Changing Media Landscape

Read this chapter, which discusses the different methods of communication employed by businesses to reach their customers, the types of message strategies commonly used, and budgetary issues that must be considered. Among this chapter's key takeaways, you will learn that as the media landscape changes, marketers may change the type of promotions they use in order to reach their target markets. With changing technology and social media, less money is being budgeted for traditional media like magazines and more money is budgeted for "new media". Regardless of the type of media used, marketers use integrated marketing communications (IMC) to deliver one consistent message to buyers.

Page Advertising and Marketing on the Internet

Read about the difference between advertising and marketing. From your previous reading in this unit, you know that advertising is an element of marketing. This text provides additional guidelines that marketers must consider when developing communication strategies as part of an integrated marketing communication campaign.

URL Social Marketing

Read this article, which discusses achieving marketing success by emotionally connecting customers to products, piquing the interest of target media, and creating a media hook through innovation rather than imitation. You may also refer to this article on Differentiation Strategies.

Unit 1 Discussion and Assessment URL Unit 1 Discussion

After reviewing the unit materials, post and explore the discussion forum. Feel free to start your own post and respond to other students' posts as well.

Think of a company or social campaign that has caught your attention and assess it by using the 4 Ps of marketing (product, place, price, and promotion). Pick a product, service, or issue for which you might develop a marketing campaign. What are the first issues you need to address according to the fundamental rules of marketing? Beyond the topics covered in this unit, what would you suggest are other issues marketers should keep in mind in the twenty-first century marketplace as they launch a campaign?

2.1: STP Strategy URL Market Segmenting, Targeting, and Positioning

Read this chapter, which discusses the difference between mass marketing and targeted marketing and explains why many companies engage in targeted marketing today. Strategies for segmenting a market, targeting selected customer groups, and positioning offerings are also discussed.

2.1.1: Segmentation URL The Segmented Market

Read the section titled "The Segmented Market".

2.1.2: Targeting File Approaching the Market

Read the sections "Approaching the Market", "The Undifferentiated Market (Market Aggregation)", and "Product Differentiation".

2.1.3: Positioning URL Positioning

Read these sections on positioning.

2.2: Publics Page The Benefits of Understanding Your Audience

Read this article about audience. Among the most important aspects of a communication campaign is forming a clear picture of the target audience.

Unit 2 Discussion and Assessment URL Unit 2 Discussion

After reviewing the unit materials, post and explore the discussion forum. Feel free to start your own post and respond to other students' posts as well.

Marketing expert Philip Kotler says once the target and position are identified, all other aspects of a marketing campaign fall into place. What do you think he means by that? Pick a marketing campaign that has caught your attention. Who are the marketers targeting? What is their position? Think of a product, service, or issue where you might launch a marketing campaign. Who will you target? What will your position be?

3.1: Business-to-Business URL Organizational Buyer Behavior

Read the "Organizational Buyer Behavior" section. The decision-making process that organizations follow to determine their needs for products and services is known as organization buying. After reading this material, consider the following review questions:

  1. What buying stages do buying centers typically go through?
  2. Why should business buyers collaborate with the companies they buy products from?
  3. How do straight rebuy, new buy, and modified rebuy differ from one another?

URL Business Buying Behavior

Read this chapter, which provides an overview of business-to-business buying behavior. This chapter discusses the various ways in which B2B markets differ from B2C markets, types of B2B buyers, buying centers, and stages of the B2B buying process. The chapter wraps up with a discussion of international B2B markets, e-commerce, and ethics in the B2B market. From this reading, you will learn what a buying center is and will be able to name the members of buying centers and describe their roles. Pay special attention to the concepts of the decision making unit (DMU) and the purchase process.

3.2: Business-to-Consumer URL Using Marketing Channels to Create Value for Customers

Read this chapter, which explains that a direct marketing channel consists of just two parties: the producer and the consumer. By contrast, a channel that includes one or more intermediaries (wholesalers, distributors, brokers, or agents) is an indirect channel. Firms often utilize multiple channels to reach more customers and increase their effectiveness. Some companies find ways to increase their sales by forming strategic channel alliances with one another. Other companies look for ways to cut out the middlemen from the channel, a process known as disintermediation. Direct foreign investment, joint ventures, exporting, franchising, and licensing are some of the channels by which firms attempt to enter foreign markets.

URL Understanding Buyer Behavior

Read this chapter. The terms "customer" and "consumer" are often mistakenly used interchangeably. The distinction is blurry because different organizations, academics, and governments have varying definitions for both of them. One easy way of distinguishing between the two is to think of the consumer as a potential customer to a firm and the customer as someone that already consumes the goods a specific firm produces. For example, if you regularly purchase shoes from Footlocker, you are a Footlocker customer. But if your friend does not shop at Footlocker, then Footlocker considers him a consumer, that is, a potential customer. Firms often target consumers and existing customers differently.

3.3: Customer Psychology URL How People Make Buying Decisions

Read this chapter, which discusses consumers' decision-making process and examines the situational, personal, psychological, and societal factors that influence their buying decisions.

3.4: Value of Customers URL Strategic Planning

Read this chapter, which examines the strategic planning process companies go through in order to develop, price, promote, and sell their products and services. The first section explains the value proposition and will help you to understand why a company may develop different value propositions for different target markets. After reading the chapter, complete the discussion questions at the end of the chapter.

3.5: Marketing Research URL Marketing Research: An Aid to Decision-Making

Read this chapter. The American Marketing Association defines marketing research this way:

"Marketing research is the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information – information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the methods for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, and analyzes and communicates the findings and their implications."

URL Gathering and Using Information: Marketing Research and Market Intelligence

Read this chapter, which discusses marketing research and intelligence and the information systems that are used to manage the vast amount of data that results.

URL Business and Marketing Research Resources

Read this article, which describes marketing research questions.

Unit 3 Discussion and Assessment URL Unit 3 Discussion

After reviewing the unit materials, post and respond to the following topics on the course discussion forum. Feel free to start your own post and respond to other students' posts as well.

Pick a marketing campaign that has caught your attention. Who exactly are the marketers' customers? How might other businesses be part of their customer base? As you begin to launch a marketing campaign for your own company or service, who would be your customer base? What sorts of information would you need to obtain to provide precise detail to your customers? Beyond some of the resources suggested in this unit, what other research resources might you find useful? What sorts of information do these resources provide?

4.1: Product Life Cycle URL Introducing and Managing the Product

Read this chapter, which begins by discussing the functional areas of marketing. It discusses the product first, which is the impetus for the other marketing functions. Pay attention to the concepts of growth, maturity, and decline.

4.2: The Creation of an Offering URL Creating Offerings

This chapter discusses what constitutes an "offer", including key aspects of benefits and price, the types of consumer and business-to-business offerings, and the important considerations of branding, labeling, and packaging in the development of new offerings.

4.3: Creating Customer Value through Supply Chains URL Using Supply Chains to Create Value

This chapter discusses sourcing and procurement, outsourcing, demand planning and inventory control, warehousing and transportation, and tracking systems, all with an eye to maximizing customer value while minimizing operational costs.

Unit 4 Discussion and Assessment URL Unit 4 Discussion

After reviewing the unit materials, post and respond to the following topics on the course discussion forum. Feel free to start your own post and respond to other students' posts as well.

As we consider how a life cycle might apply to products and services, how might it also apply from a perspective of consumer interest and purchasing patterns? Pick a release of any company's new product, and describe it in terms of its target audience, its place within the existing company brand, and supply chain issues that might need to be considered. Think of a product or service you might launch your own marketing campaign for. Describe it in terms of its target audience, its place within any existing brand, and supply chain issues that might need to be considered.

5.1: Distribution Channel Strategies URL Channel Concepts: Distributing the Product

Read this chapter. Note that the push and pull strategies are based on how the customer perceives a product. For example, if the company really wants to sell a product, it may aggressively push it through the distribution channel and into stores with pricing incentives. This is often seen with products the customer does not have a perceived need or desire for yet. A pull strategy is based on satisfying a customer's want or need. It is almost as if the customer is pulling the product through the distribution channel. Channel membership is a distribution strategy based on the type of product in question. If quality and reliability is important, marketers will use exclusive distributions, also called "authorized resellers". An intensive distribution is the opposite; a marketer will allow just about anyone to carry a product. Convenience foods are a good example. Just about every check-out line in a store now carries snacks and sodas.

5.2: Promotion Tools and Tactics URL 10 Rules for a Powerful Brand in Architecture

Read this article on branding your company. This article describes in branding an architecture firm, but the rules are applicable to a variety of different types of companies.

Promotion gets to the heart of a marketing campaign. Once you have developed your product or service, identified a target audience, and crafted a selling proposition, now comes the time to let the world know about it. This may be accomplished through a number of means ranging from paid advertising to public relations outreach to direct sales. This subunit provides useful detail on this most critical 'P' of the marketing mix.

5.2.1: Advertising URL Advertising, Integrated Marketing Communications, and the Changing Media Landscape

Review Chapter 11, which you read earlier in the course. It discusses different methods of communication employed by businesses to reach their customers, the types of message strategies commonly used, and budgetary issues that must be considered. This time, answer the discussion questions at the end of the chapter.

5.2.2: Sales Promotion URL Professional Selling

Read Sections 13.1 through 13.6 and answer the review questions at the end of each section. This chapter discusses the role selling plays in marketing strategies.

Page Types of Marketing Channels

Read this article on tactics of sales people to win customers and get new product lines on store shelves for sale.

5.2.3: The Sales Force URL Sales Promotion and Public Relations

Read the "Sales Promotion and Public Relations" section to learn about the sales force.

5.2.4: Public Relations URL Public Relations and Sales Promotions

Read this chapter. Answer the review questions at the end of each section. The material explains the various public relations (PR) concepts and tools used by organizations. Public relations are the activities organizations engage in to create a positive image for a company, product or service, or a person. Press releases, sponsorships, and product placements are three commonly used PR tools. Press releases are designed to generate publicity, but there is no guarantee the media will use them in the stories they write. Sponsorships are designed to increase brand awareness, improve corporate image, and reach target markets. Product placements are designed to generate exposure, brand awareness, and interest.

URL Media and Public Relations: A Primer

Visit this interactive resource. You should briefly review each of the eight primer modules and make a note of any resources or templates you find especially useful. These resources and templates may be useful at a future date as you undertake a public relations campaign. We will refer back to this primer elsewhere in the course for specific examples supporting subunit topics ahead, but for now it provides a useful overview of the public relations craft and some tools at its disposal. This primer was prepared to help government and business leaders in the former Soviet Union make the transition from a centralized system to a market system, where they were expected to interact with a freer and more independent media. The concept of "public and media relations" was new to many of these leaders, so this primer provides a fundamental overview of the basic ideas and tools of PR.

Unit 5 Discussion and Assessment URL Unit 5 Discussion

After reviewing the unit materials, post and respond to the following topics on the course discussion forum. Feel free to start your own post and respond to other students' posts as well.

Observe an advertising campaign for a new product or service. Did you notice the same product or service advertised in different media? Who was the target audience? What was the marketing message? Why did the marketers select the particular medium (or media)? Think of a product or service you might promote with your own marketing plan. Who will be your target audience? What media will you select and why? What might your marketing message be? Find an example of a marketing campaign that may have relied more on public relations and free media placements than on a paid advertising campaign. Assess it for its strategies and effectiveness.

6.1: Satisfying the Customer URL Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty, and Empowerment

Read this chapter, which emphasizes customer communities, loyalty management, customer satisfaction, ethics, laws, and customer empowerment.

6.2: Marketing Ethics URL Business and Marketing Ethics

Read this article on business and marketing ethics in the global marketplace. Pay a visit to the Center for the Study of Ethics' webpage, which is linked in the reading, and participate in the discussion topics for this subunit.

6.3: Social Marketing Page Social Marketing

Watch this video on social marketing. Most of the tools for promoting commercial projects can also be applied to advancing social causes and programs. You may read along with the transcript here.

6.4: Cultural Modifications for Marketing URL Multicultural Marketing

Read this article about international communication tactics, using themes and images that transcend cultural differences. If you publish a website, then you are positioned to reach a global audience. English may connect those in global business with a common language, but we still need to be sensitive to cultural differences.

6.5: The Marketing Plan URL The Marketing Plan

Read this chapter, which discusses marketing planning roles, the parts and functions of the marketing plan, forecasting, and the structure of a marketing plan audit. It also discusses PEST Analysis and other external factors that affect marketing decisions. Some of the material in this chapter is a review of concepts addressed in the course up to this point. Key takeaways include the steps in the forecasting process. Thus, you will be able to identify types of forecasting methods and their advantages and disadvantages as well as discuss the methods used to improve the accuracy of forecasts. Lastly, you will apply marketing planning processes to ongoing business settings and identify the role of the marketing audit. Answer the discussion questions at the end of the chapter.

Page Marketing Budgets

Listen to this lecture, which discusses where to spend your marketing dollars and the costs associated with different types of marketing vehicles. This information is a very important component of the marketing plan. Without a budget, you cannot implement the marketing plan. Many external factors will affect the marketing budget.

6.6: Marketing Plan Project Page The Marketing Plan

Follow these instructions for completing a marketing plan project for this course.

Once your marketing plan is complete, follow the instructions for peer assessment of your plan, which you can post to the discussion forum if you want to.

URL Sample Marketing Plan Template

Review this template suggestion for preparing your marketing plan project. Feel free to revise, expand, or replace template headings as you see fit for your own particular project.

Unit 6 Discussion and Assessment URL Unit 6 Discussion

After reviewing the unit materials, post and respond to the following topics on the course discussion board. Feel free to start your own post and respond to other students' posts as well.

What key components do you believe are most essential to maintaining customer satisfaction? How might you address those in your own marketing efforts? Find an example of a social marketing campaign you admire. Who was the marketers' target audience? What media did they select to connect with their audience and why? What message did they convey? Marketing plans will naturally be modified according to the type of service or product marketed, company structure, particularities of the target audience, etc. Consider a marketing campaign you might launch. What would be the primary components of your own marketing plan? Posting and responding to the discussion questions in the forums should take you approximately five hours to complete.

Study Guide Book BUS203 Study Guide
Course Feedback Survey URL Course Feedback Survey