Bard MBA

Customers and Marketing

Fall 2013
3 Credits

The key learning objectives for the course are:
  • Understanding how to manage your brand when it is controlled by your customers and other stakeholders
  • Estimating the potential benefits to the organization of pursuing a market opportunity
  • Evaluating the indirect and direct effects of recommended actions on stakeholders
  • Defining an addressable market and identifying underserved market needs
  • Defining new consumer segments and their information demands
  • Understanding strategies for using Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, mobile applications and other social media platforms for customer engagement

Student Outcomes:
The class is designed help students understand the “21st century consumer”—a consumer who demands more information, more personalization, more co-creation—and the technologies used to reach and engage him or her.

  • Keller, Kevin and Philip Kotler, Marketing Management, 14th edition, Prentice Hall, 2011.
  • Bernoff, Josh and Charlene Li Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, Harvard Business Press, 2008.
  • Sisodia,Raj, David Wolfe and Jag Sheth, Firms of Endearment: How World Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose, Wharton School Publishing, 2007.
  • Shirky, Clay, Here Comes Everybody, Penguin Books, 2008.
  • Bratton, Susan and Dave Evans, Social Media Marketing, Sybex, 2009.
  • Additional material TBD including selections from:
    • Schor, Juliet, Plentitude, Penguin, 2010; Born to Buy, Scribner, 2005; and The Overconsumed American, Harper Perennial, 1998.
    • Smith, Adam, Theory of Moral Sentiments (online).
The course will be a combination of lectures, case studies, group discussions, and student projects. Active participation in class discussions will be essential. Grading will be determined by participation in in-class exercises, case analysis, group presentations, completion of homework, and exams.

Course Outline:
The Bard MBA curriculum is modular, with each module topic corresponding to a residency. The outline below provides the Customers and Marketing set of topics for each of the semester’s modules, with each set of topics corresponding to three to four weeks of conventional instruction.



The Sustainability Advantage

Sustainable Marketing. One cornerstone of the business case for sustainability is customer engagement in business mission. Another is to meet human needs, not manipulate them. We will focus throughout this course on traditional marketing strategy, and how it does, or does not, relate to sustainable business. Here we review marketing foundations including the 4Ps, segmenting and positioning, and strategy.

Communication and System Design

Effective Communication. Given the vast menu of outreach opportunities, how do marketing managers make effective choices? This includes choice of vision, message, artistry, media. How is data used to drive successful decisions? More statistical applications.

Human Rights and Empowerment

The 21st century consumer. We focus on the consumers as omnivores of new types of information about brand and products. We’ll look at growing segments including the ethical consumer market, secondary markets, underserved markets, and more.

Social Media

Social media marketing. Here we will focus on how to effectively communicate through social media: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and emerging trends.