The goal of instructors in many marketing classes is to create ways to inform participants about marketing theories and how to apply them to contemporary business scenarios. Practitioners create a method of translating marketing practices, strategy and theory into a format that their students will comprehend. Through marketing textbooks, presentations and case studies, students should be able to grasp all aspects of marketing strategy and become capable of using them to create a marketing plan.
Assessing the Environment
Marketing strategy can be easier to master once students understand its importance. People who are new to marketing need to understand how to analyze the business environment and the competitive landscape and how to segment the market. Understanding environmental analysis tools, like SWOT (an analysis of a company’s Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunity and Threats), PEST (analyzing external Political, Environmental, Social and Technology factors) and Porter’s Five Forces of competition, will help students understand how to successfully assess the competitive climate in different business arenas. This knowledge can benefit them in every type of business from the mom-and-pop shop to multinational corporations.
Understanding Consumer Behavior
Understanding the customer’s buying motivation is a key component of marketing strategy. Students can benefit from learning to create a target customer profile by researching a target customer’s demographics, lifestyle choices and values. Additionally, students should learn how to assess a customer’s need to buy a product, the external factors that could prohibit them from buying and the motivation that leads to a sale. By the end of the course, they should be able to apply these skills to every business practices from retail to business-to-business activities.
Product and Promotion
From product conception to the launch, there are many marketing strategies that can be taught. Students should learn how marketers use the product life cycle to develop a product from the development (incubation) stage to the product’s launch. They should be able to understand the role that promotion strategy — advertisements, sales promotion, direct selling, public relations and direct marketing — has on the product’s success. Additionally, they should understand the stages a product goes through after maximum awareness of it has been reached, the market has become saturated with competitors, and the product is experiencing a decline.
Price and Distribution
When instructing on price versus distribution strategy, instructors should aim to teach students awareness of the many ways that a product can be distributed and how each level of distribution affects its price. Students should be informed on the various channels of distribution, from manufacturing to retailing, and how the mark-ups attached to every channel affects the pricing of a product. Additionally, they will learn how pricing strategy helps to define a product’s position in the market — from luxury to discount pricing.
Developing the Marketing Plan
By the end of the course, students should be able to construct a marketing plan. This will integrate the environmental analysis, costumer segmentation and the four P’s (product development, pricing strategy, promotion mix and placement). The marketing plan details all stages from product conception to launch and takes into account the competitive environment and budgetary constraints. It is a tool commonly used by marketers, and it is constantly revised due to consumer feedback and market changes. Creating even a sample of this document will help students to understand how all aspects of marketing can be integrated and implemented.