Topic Name Description
Course Introduction Page Course Syllabus
Page Course Terms of Use
Unit 1: The Definition and Principles of Marketing Page Unit 1 Learning Outcomes
1.1: Marketing Basics URL Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 1: 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 Steven Van Hook's "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. Please 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 (a.k.a. "The 4 Ps") URL University of Georgia: John Burnett's "Core Concepts of Marketing: The Marketing Mix”

Read the section titled "The Marketing Mix." This resource also covers material for sub-subunits 1.2.1-1.2.5. Reading this material will reinforce your understanding of the marketing mix.

1.2.1: Product URL Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 7: Developing and Managing Offerings"

Read this chapter. Please pay special attention to the section titled "Managing New Products: The Product Life Cycle.” Also, please watch the embedded videos.

1.2.2: Price URL University of Georgia: John Burnett's "Core Concepts of Marketing, Chapter 9: 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 Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 15: 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 Boundless: "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 University of Georgia: John Burnett's "Core Concepts of Marketing: The Market is a Place”

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

1.2.4: Promotion Tools and Tactics URL Carnegie Mellon University: Mark Juliano's "Entrepreneurship & Business: Marketing"

Listen to this lecture, in which Mark Juliano provides more marketing information, including public relations, trade shows, events, seminar selling, etc. 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 Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 11: 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 Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection Business Center: "Advertising and Marketing on the Internet: Rules of the Road"

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 The Open University: "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 the Wikipedia page on Differentiation Strategies.

Unit 1 Discussion and Assessment URL Unit 1 Discussion

After reviewing the unit materials, please click on the link above and 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?

Unit 2: Segmenting, Targeting, and Positioning Page Unit 2 Learning Outcomes
2.1: STP Strategy URL Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 5: 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 University of Georgia: John Burnett's "Core Concepts of Marketing: The Segmented Market"

Read the section titled "The Segmented Market".

2.1.2: Targeting File University of Georgia: John Burnett's "Core Concepts of Marketing: Approaching the Market"

Read the sections titled "Approaching the Market," "The Undifferentiated Market (Market Aggregation)," and "Product Differentiation" on pages 31 through 34.

2.1.3: Positioning URL University of Georgia: John Burnett's "Core Concepts of Marketing: Positioning"

Read the material on positioning (pages 47, 165-166, and 183).

2.2: Publics Page Boundless: "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, please click on the link above and 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?

Unit 3: Customers and Marketing Research Page Unit 3 Learning Outcomes
3.1: Business-to-Business URL University of Georgia: John Burnett's "Core Concepts of Marketing: Organizational Buyer Behavior"

Read the section titled "Organizational Buyer Behavior". The decision-making process that organizations follow to determine their needs for products and services is known as organization buying. After reading this material, please consider the following review questions: What buying stages do buying centers typically go through? Why should business buyers collaborate with the companies they buy products from? Explain how a straight rebuy, new buy, and modified rebuy differ from one another.

URL Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 4: 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 Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 8: 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 University of Georgia: John Burnett's "Core Concepts of Marketing, Chapter 4: Understanding Buyer Behavior"

Read this chapter. Please note that pages 91-98 will be a review from subunit 3.1. 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, i.e., a potential customer. Firms often target consumers and existing customers differently.

3.3: Customer Psychology URL Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 3: Consumer Behavior: 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 Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 2: 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, please complete the discussion questions at the end of the chapter.

3.5: Marketing Research URL University of Georgia: John Burnett's "Core Concepts of Marketing, Chapter 3: 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 Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 10: 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 Steven Van Hook's "Business & 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, please click on the link above and 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

Unit 4: Life Cycles, Offers, Supply Chains, and Pricing Page Unit 4 Learning Outcomes
4.1: Product Life Cycle URL University of Georgia: John Burnett's "Core Concepts of Marketing, Chapter 7: Introducing and Managing the Product"

Please click on the link above and read the entire chapter, which begins by discussing the functional areas of marketing. This chapter 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 Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 6: Creating Offerings"

Please click on the link above and read the entire chapter. 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 Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 9: Using Supply Chains to Create Value"

Please click on the link above and read the entire chapter, which 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, please click on the link above and 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. If you haven't done so already, you will need to create a free account at the link above to participate in the discussions.

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.

Unit 5: Distribution and Promotion Page Unit 5 Learning Outcomes
5.1: Distribution Channel Strategies URL University of Georgia: John Burnett's "Core Concepts of Marketing, Chapter 10: Channel Concepts: Distributing the Product"

Please click on the link above and read the entire 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, i.e. "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 Entrepreneur Architect: Mark R. Lepage's "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 Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 11: Advertising, Integrated Marketing Communications, and the Changing Media Landscape"

Please click on the link above and 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, please answer the discussion questions at the end of the chapter.

5.2.2: Sales Promotion URL Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 13: 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 Boundless: "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 University of Georgia: John Burnett's "Core Concepts of Marketing: Sales Promotion and Public Relations"

Read the section titled "Sales Promotion and Public Relations” (pp. 204-220) to gain an understanding of the sales force.

5.2.4: Public Relations URL Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 12: 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 Steven Van Hook's "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.

URL Wikipedia: "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.

Unit 5 Discussion and Assessment URL Unit 5 Discussion

After reviewing the unit materials, please click on the link above and 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. If you haven't done so already, you will need to create a free account at the link above to participate in the discussions.

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.

Unit 6: Launching a Marketing Campaign Page Unit 6 Learning Outcomes
6.1: Satisfying the Customer URL Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 14: 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 Steven Van Hook's "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 Steven Van Hook's "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 Wikipedia: "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 Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 16: 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. Please answer the discussion questions at the end of the chapter.

URL Carnegie Mellon University: Mark Juliano's "Marketing Budgets"

Listen to this lecture, in which Mark Juliano 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 Steven Van Hook's "The Marketing Plan"

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

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

URL Steven Van Hook's "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, please click on the link above and 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. If you haven't done so already, you will need to create a free account at the link above to participate in the discussions.

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 Guides and Review Exercises Page Unit 1 Study Guide and Review: Marketing Definition and Principles
Page Unit 2 Study Guide and Review: Segmenting, Targeting, and Positioning
Page Unit 3 Study Guide and Review: Customers and Marketing Research
Page Unit 4 Study Guide and Review: Life Cycles, Offers, Supply Chains, and Pricing
Page Unit 5 Study Guide and Review: Distribution and Promotion
Page Unit 6 Study Guide and Review: Launching a Marketing Campaign
Optional Course Evaluation Survey URL Optional Course Evaluation Survey

Please take a few moments to provide some feedback about this course. Consider completing the survey whether you have completed the course, you are nearly at that point, or you have just come to study one unit or a few units of this course.

Your feedback will focus our efforts to continually improve our course design, content, technology, and general ease-of-use. Additionally, your input will be considered alongside our consulting professors' evaluation of the course during its next round of peer review. As always, please report urgent course experience concerns to contact@saylor.org and/or our discussion forums.