The marketing function provides a vital interface between business and society and is central to the survival of any organization. In the marketing concentration, students will be exposed to the current state of marketing across the globe, make the connection between marketing theory and practice, formulate and implement the marketing mix to achieve strategic organizational goals and diagnose and remedy marketing problems that affect society and the organization. Emphasis will be placed on creating customer value, meeting marketing demands, satisfying customer needs and measuring marketing outcomes.

The goal of the concentration is to train effective marketing leaders to develop strong analytical skills to solve today's complex marketing problems.

Marketing activities span many functions and cross all forms of organizations, for-profit, nonprofit and governmental agencies. Jobs performed by the marketer are diverse and there is a high demand for well-trained marketers. Coursework in marketing will prepare you for a variety of career paths in marketing management, market research, brand management, promotions, advertising, public relations, sales, and consulting.

Academic Objectives
At the completion of the marketing concentration, MBA students will have the knowledge and skills necessary to define and analyze a market, devise a marketing strategy and plan, and manage and control the marketing plan.

Concentration in Marketing (3 courses: 1 required, 2 electives)

  • Research Design and Analysis (GSM 526 — required)
  • Marketing in the Age of Social Media (GSM 503 — elective)
  • Brand Management (GSM 528 — elective)
  • Marketing for npos and Social Change (GSM 529 — elective)
  • Integrated Marketing Communications (GSM 530 — elective)
  • Consumer Behavior (GSM 532 — elective)
  • Strategic Consulting for Social Ventures (GSM 533 — elective)
  • Sustainable Supply Chain (GSM 548 — elective)

Sample Courses:

Research Design and Analysis (GSM 526 — required)
Effective strategic planning and decision making relies on management's ability to acquire and interpret relevant market-related information and have the skills to carry out sound research. This course will provide MBA students with an in-depth understanding of the research methods used by management researchers to obtain information to guide decision making. The goal is to provide students with sufficient knowledge about research methods which will allow them to become sophisticated users and clients of marketing research services. Emphasis will be on how to: (1) specify information needs and design a research study to meet those needs; (2) collect, analyze, and use research data to make effective strategic and managerial decisions; (3) communicate the research findings and their implications to various stakeholders. Prerequisite: GSM 425 (co-req is okay)

Brand Management (GSM 528 — elective)
For many firms, the brand associated with their products and/or services are their most valuable assets. Therefore, much management attention is given to designing, communicating, stewarding, and protecting them. This course is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of brand management and how brands and the stories that define them are crafted and communicated to consumers via integrated marketing communications programs. Historically, brand stories were designed for and communicated to consumers through mass media vehicles like television advertising; however, changes in both the business environment and consumer culture have made this strategy less effective. The fragmentation of mass media, the proliferation of alternative ways to reach consumers, the increasing skepticism of consumers to marketers, messages, and the increasing desire of consumers to co-create the meaning of the brands that shape their lives have forced marketers to reconsider the ways in which they build and communicate their brands. This course takes a contemporary view of branding as a collaborative process of meaning making between firms, consumers, and other cultural producers, and this includes emerging theory and best practices on open source branding, branding in Web 2.0, brand communications in brand communities, and consumer generated advertising. Prerequisite: GSM 425

Marketing for npos and Social Change (GSM 529 — elective)
This course will examine the role and application of marketing in nonprofit and public settings. It focuses on a conceptual understanding of the marketing discipline and marketing processes. It also shows how basic concepts and principles of marketing are applicable to nonprofit and public social organizations. This course will identify and examine processes for assessing, establishing value-creating relationships among suppliers, providers and consumers of nonprofit organizations. This course will place particular emphasis on forging productive exchange relationships with clients, customers and donors. Prerequisite: None

Marketing in the Age of Social Media (GSM 503 — elective)
This course is about the ways companies, and specifically marketers, must view, analyze, operationalize and respond to cultural shifts in real time. We will look to the past to understand what really has and hasn't changed as a result of innovation. We will survey what digital tools have made possible for marketers and advertisers, and ways to measure efficacy of online and offline programs. We will consider the decisions modern marketers make everyday — based on industry landscape, business model, customer preferences and inclinations, core brand values, technology, budgets, and anticipated future change and innovation. We will move fluidly between the offline and online worlds, just as customers do, and together unearth patterns and common methods that help us manage change in real time. We will hear stories from current practitioners, and discuss cases (some created specifically for this course).