15.810 | Fall 2004 | Graduate

Marketing Management


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions / week, 1.5 hour / session

Nature and Purpose of the Course

Marketing is not just selling or advertising. It is a rigorous, disciplined science that applies a reasoned framework to the selection of target markets and the optimization of marketing decisions. In this course you will learn to look at marketing problems through the lens of an analytical framework that will help you better understand:

  • How to anticipate and take advantage of surprising inconsistencies in the customer decision process.
  • How to evaluate the attractiveness of different markets.
  • How to manage the tradeoff between risk and information in the product development process.
  • A structure for thinking about the design and management of distribution channels.
  • Why pricing decisions are complex and how they get made.
  • How to manage an advertising campaign.

The course has two parts: a tactical portion and a strategic portion. The strategic portion focuses on identifying organizational competencies and using these competencies to analyze industries and identify target markets. The tactical portion of the course reviews the methods that firms can use to optimize their profits in the markets that they choose to target. Topics covered in the tactical portion include pricing, promotion, distribution and product issues.

The course is designed as an introductory survey of marketing topics for students who have not previously taken a marketing course. There are no prerequisites.

Course Materials

The course draws upon a readings packet containing cases and required readings. There is no required textbook for this subject.

Evaluation of Work

Class Participation 25%
Group Case Reports 40%
Final Exercise 25%
Individual Case Reports 10%

Organization of Course

The course is organized so that each class is either a lecture or a case discussion. Lecture classes and case classes alternate, with the lectures covering material relevant to the next case. You should plan to review the lecture slides before coming to class.

I recommend the following reading priorities: cases, required reading and then lecture notes.

Forming Teams

Students are asked to form teams to prepare for the cases. The target size is four people. Three is viable but more than four or less than three is strongly discouraged.

Class Discussion

The benefit that you will derive from the course will depend upon the extent to which you expose your own viewpoints or conclusions to the critical judgement of the class. You should view class participation both as an opportunity to ask questions to enhance your understanding, as well as an opportunity to suggest examples that demonstrate your understanding of the material.

It is imperative that you read all of the cases to be discussed and come to class with a series of comments that you think will be interesting to the class. If you must miss a class, warn one of the TAs so that you do not lose credit for class participation. Try to remember to bring your name cards to class (at least for the first few weeks).


We subscribe to the Sloan professional standards. Please arrive on time for class with uninterrupted attendance for the duration of the class. I will endeavor to end class on time. Furthermore, please maintain a professional atmosphere. This includes, but is not limited to, using respectful comments and humor, employing appropriate manners and decorum, utilizing computers and technology suitably (e.g., silencing wireless devices, no web-browsing or emailing), and refraining from distracting or disrespectful activities (e.g., avoiding side conversations and games).

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2004
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes