WuMarketing Courses 

MKT 300 -- Intro to Marketing

Marketing is all about finding out what people want, and giving it to them! In this introductory required class, we explore what marketing is, and why it is an essential part of every company and organization. Most people think of marketing as being synonymous with sales of advertising. In fact, sales and advertising are only small parts of the planning and strategy that are at the heart of the field of marketing.

Marketing is the interface between the organization and its customers. In other words, marketers serve as the voice of consumers to the company, and the voice of the company to consumers. Marketing therefore covers every business decision that impacts consumers. It answers questions such as, “what products should we sell?” “Who should we sell our products to?” “Where should people be able to buy our product?” and “How can we most effectively show consumers why our product is worth their money?”

Marketing 300 discusses the marketing process from the beginning to the end. At the beginning, marketing includes identifying market needs – asking who would be the best group of people with unmet needs to which you will be able to provide unique value, and identifying where your firm fits in the broader landscape of the market. After this, we explore consumer behavior. We look at how consumers are divided into natural groupings based on their behaviors, attitudes, lifestyles, and other factors, how these groupings impact the kind of products they want to buy, and how marketers can create products to meet the needs of one or more of these groups. Throughout the course, you will learn how marketing strategy is applied and used in the business world, develop critical thinking skills in applying marketing and marketing strategy to business, and develop an understanding of how companies develop brands, promote products, and grow their companies. For instance, we explore how brands communicate unique value to consumers, how to design products that uniquely meet consumers’ needs, different pricing strategies and structures that firms can follow, the process of getting products into the hands of consumers through channels and distribution, and different forms of promotion that are available to organizations.

You will learn these fundamentals through a number of approaches such as in-class discussions and activities, reading current events, and assignments that send you into real businesses to analyze them. Not only will this give you a deeper understanding of how businesses use marketing, but also a deeper understanding of how marketing impacts you as a consumer.

Taught by: Duane Nagel, Dorothy Harpool, Seth Cockrell, lynn Matthews, Sina Aghaie, Debra Payne

MKT 403 -- Marketing Research  

This essential part of the marketing curriculum teaches students how to ask research questions, think critically about the research process, and address a real-world research problem using data and statistics. Each semester, students work with real data to advise a local Wichita organization regarding a practical, applied marketing research problem that they are facing. This course is required for marketing majors and also serves as an elective for the data analytics minor. It also fulfills the applied learning component of the marketing major in the Barton School of Business.

This course focuses on acquiring and practicing real-world skills and tools that can be applied to a variety of business problems and situations. The core of the course is a marketing research report, completed in small groups over the course of the semester, that puts into practice what is taught in class material. Students learn the difference between qualitative and quantitative research, and how to select the appropriate method for a given research problem. They learn how to create high-quality marketing research surveys using state-of-the-art theory and practical methods. This includes instruction and practice with such topics as measurement, questionnaire design, and sampling. Using real data, students create and test hypotheses, and learn how to clean, code, and analyze these data using appropriate statistical techniques. Finally, students orally present the results of their semester-long research project, with recommendations for management based on their analysis.

Taught by: Seth Cockrell, lynn Matthews

MKT 404 -- Retail Management

Retailing is going through massive changes in the last several years.  Whether you have visited a shopping mall or visited a website, the face of retailing is evolving, keeping customers, strategists and owners constantly striving to keep up.

Retailers are in a time of flux.  All you have to do is to considering consumers’ changing needs and a decline in customers at most major malls and department stores.  Combine this with the consumers’ need for community and socializing, and the proliferation of online retailers, changes are occurring in the retail landscape that includes online and bricks and mortar retailers.

Retail management is an examination of the principles and practices of retail business management, including merchandise management, sales promotion, customer service, site selection, store and web design and department organization. This course also considers the broad issues of modern marketing and financial strategies as they affect retail distribution. 

Taught by: Roberta McKee

MKT 405 -- Consumer Behavior

Students typically don’t have years of real-world experience with a topic taught in a university course. However, consumer behavior is an exception to that! Whether we enjoy a pie at our favorite pizza joint, make plans for a weekend trip to the lake or recycle empty cans - consumption experiences are part of everyone’s life. Therefore, consumer behavior is the study of all activities associated with people’s choices, purchases, consumption as well as disposal of goods, services, and experiences.

The consumer behavior course at WSU aims to develop an understanding of consumer behavior and highlights why such an understanding is important for businesses, regulatory agencies, and individual consumers. For example, companies that develop successful marketing strategies and innovative new products monitor social trends to learn what consumers want. Unfortunately, most businesses fail to truly understand what their customers want. Consumer behavior is dynamic as consumers’ preferences change over time. Technological, political, and societal changes influence not only what goods and services consumers want but how, where, and when they want to consume them. Consumer behavior theory provides marketing managers with information about current as well as potential customers and highlights trends that shape what customers want. The long-term success of companies depends on how well a company understands its customers.

Besides the implications of consumer behavior theory for businesses, we also discuss how an understanding of consumer behavior influences the regulation of marketing practices. Consumer behavior theory informs regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration or the Federal Trade Commission to develop policies that protect and aid consumers. Some marketing practices can deceive consumers and are prohibited. Other practices are considered highly unethical such as marketing to children or elderly consumers. Violating ethical and legal standards can create problems for businesses that go far beyond legal reprimands.

We also face many important decisions as consumers. Some decisions we make as consumers are great but others are not and all consumers make poor decisions occasionally. Learning about consumer behavior can help improve consumer decision-making and well-being. For example, consumers often engage in harmful behaviors by overconsumption that can impact financial as well as physical health. Understanding how emotions can influence what we buy and learning to exhibit self-control in such situations can prevent unnecessary dept and foster healthy food choices. Furthermore, social marketing uses insights gained by consumer researchers to reduce the use of harmful products (e.g., high-fat foods, cigarettes, alcohol) or enhance the support of charities. Overall, a better understanding of one’s personal consumption choices will ultimately improve societal well-being.

Overall, an understanding of basic consumer behavior processes benefits students in multiple ways. To achieve this understanding, students will learn about consumer behavior and examine the consumption process from multiple angles. Consumer behavior theory combines concepts from psychological, sociological, economic, and decision research. Specifically, we consider psychological factors that influence consumption such as goals, motives, emotions, and attitudes as well as personal factors such as age, gender, and lifestyles. Besides these factors that are specific to individual consumers, numerous external factors can influence consumption and consumer behavior. These factors can be described as social or situational. Social factors such as the influence of friends, family members or society as a whole and situational factors such as seasonality, time pressure or the physical environment impact consumption experiences.

Taught by: Alexander Ziegler, Roberta McKee

MKT 601 -- International Marketing

The “brand” plays a leading role in marketing communications. Consumers are aware of brands, and ‘know’ brands because they hear about them and use them every day—Apple, Nike, Polaris, Starbucks, and literally hundreds of others. Consumers also know (and learn) by using them and by seeing them being used in society. Integrated Brand Communications (IBP) is the process of using all sorts of different promotional techniques and tools—from television ads, to print, to digital media —that send messages about brands to consumers throughout the entire customer journey. The rapid ascent of digital media—particularly social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, have radically changed the landscape for advertising and promoting brands. However, advertising and brand promotions are not just marketing messages. They are also part of a social communication process that has evolved over time with changes in culture, technology, and business strategies. This course stresses planning advertising strategy, developing messages, selecting media, and testing effectiveness. It also explores the theory, history, social and economic aspects, and problems of ethics and truth in advertising.

Taught by: Brian Rawson 

MKT 607 -- Promotion Management

The “brand” plays a leading role in marketing communications. Consumers are aware of brands, and ‘know’ brands because they hear about them and use them every day—Apple, Nike, Polaris, Starbucks, and literally hundreds of others. Consumers also know (and learn) by using them and by seeing them being used in society. Integrated Brand Communications (IBP) is the process of using all sorts of different promotional techniques and tools—from television ads, to print, to digital media —that send messages about brands to consumers throughout the entire customer journey. The rapid ascent of digital media—particularly social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, have radically changed the landscape for advertising and promoting brands. However, advertising and brand promotions are not just marketing messages. They are also part of a social communication process that has evolved over time with changes in culture, technology, and business strategies. This course stresses planning advertising strategy, developing messages, selecting media, and testing effectiveness. It also explores the theory, history, social and economic aspects, and problems of ethics and truth in advertising.

Taught by: Duane Nagel

MKT 608 -- Personal Selling and Sales management

At some point in our lives we all engage in the process of trying to persuade someone to agree with our ideas or beliefs. In the business environment buyers are focused on trying to solve problems, realize opportunities and create or realize value. The Personal Selling & Sales Management class is designed to acquaint students with the philosophy of customer oriented professional selling. The course focuses on helping students develop their mastery in applying professional, personal selling concepts and strategies; emphasis is on (a) the planning, (b) the communication and (c) the interpersonal skills required to carry out customer oriented professional selling.

Research in education has highlighted that mastery of a topic area is enhanced by “doing.” The course is structured around traditional lecture and class discussion along with small group activities and case analysis. Emphasis for this portion of the class is the introduction of key foundational concepts and topics that help the students to frame their understanding of the philosophy of customer oriented professional selling. Teaching tools include class discussions and assignments designed to encourage students to actively participate and share their thoughts and ideas. Active class participation encourages students to develop their interpersonal, communication, and critical thinking skills – all three are critical tools necessary to becoming a successful salesperson.  The second major focal point of the Personal Selling and Sales Management class is based on the “doing” of personal selling. Each student is responsible for the creation of a detailed outline for a sales call that includes developing their interpersonal, and communication strategies associated with the delivery of their sales call.  Students develop and plan for two sales calls; one call is videotaped – and is specifically designed as a visual learning tool. The second call is delivered in front of their peers and is designed to help the student understand some of the pressure and nerves associated with trying to convince a potential buyer to place an order. Each sales call requires the student to work on their planning, communication, and interpersonal skills.  The over-all purpose of the class is to enhance a student’s understanding of the importance of being able to effectively communicate or sell ideas, products, or themselves. One of the most important selling situations that all students will face – is a job interview. The student is the product that is being represented in the interview and it is the student’s responsibility to convey their value to the interviewing organization. The interpersonal and communication concepts and tools that are used in the course will greatly improve a student’s ability to interview for a job. Additionally, it is important for a student to understand that while they may not actually be in a sales position within an organization the importance of understanding  personal selling concepts will greatly enhance their ability to “sell’ an idea or strategy internally to individuals in  the organization. Again, the concepts and tools that are the foundation for the Personal Selling and Sale Management class will increase the probability that the student will be able to communicate their ideas effectively and persuasively.

Taught by: Stephen Porter

MKT 609 -- Strategic Marketing Management

Effective marketing programs don’t emerge on their own, nor are they randomly assembled.  Rather, they are orchestrated by astute marketing managers with diverse job titles such as “Chief Marketing Officer” (CMO), “Marketing Director” and “VP of Marketing,” among many others.  In today’s highly competitive, lean and fast-paced world of business, customers differ and their needs and expectations change over time, competitors lurk around every corner, and resources are always limited. Accordingly, marketing managers play critical roles in the success of their organizations’ efforts – acting quickly to seize marketing opportunities in an effective, cost-efficient and timely manner.

To ensure their organizations’ prosperity and growth, marketing managers first analyze markets and identify people’s needs and wants. Next, they orchestrate and implement marketing plans with marketing mixes that blend product, pricing, promotion, and distribution strategies. Moreover, to be effective, each marketing mix is customized to fit the unique market environment(s) and other situation specifics faced by the organization.  Finally, marketing managers use various marketing metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing efforts, identify necessary course corrections, and probe for additional new opportunities. 

That’s what this capstone course -- Marketing Programs -- is all about, i.e., helping students to think like marketing managers by strategically analyzing and addressing marketing challenges from a decision-maker’s perspective. The goal is to prepare students as business leaders who may supervise a modest-size marketing team or possibly oversee an organization’s entire range of marketing programs.

To train students for this role, faculty use the “Tell-Show-Do” sequence to give students hands-on experience in using the course materials to make marketing decisions.  In this course, students are encouraged – indeed expected -- to draw upon and integrate what they’ve learned in the other marketing and business courses they’ve taken. That’s why it’s recommended that this course be taken later, rather than sooner, in students’ degree programs. 

Taught by: Charles Martin, Sina Aghaie

MKT 690 -- Online Branding

How does one develop a strong brand? How does branding influence consumer behavior? Why do some brands have such loyal followers?  How can the value of a brand be measured? How should brands be managed over time and across different geographic areas? Finally, how can digital be used to build a brand? This course is designed to explore the concepts and tools that will help you answer these questions.

Brands are among the most valuable assets of a company. A strong brand can have a significant impact on consumer purchasing decision by communicating the value of and providing differentiation for products and services. Thus, effective brand management is critical to maintaining the long‐term profitability of products and services. While branding is both an art and a science, there are certain patterns and predictability of branding activities that greatly increase the odds of success. Becoming familiar with the relevant theories and models of branding can help managers make better branding decisions. With the arrival of many interactive  communications tools, there are also growing challenges as well as opportunities in the process of branding.

This course aims to develop students’ understanding of the importance of branding well as how to build, measure, and manage a brand. Because of the importance of digital marketing in the process of branding, concepts and practices in these areas are discussed throughout the course.

Taught by: Duane Nagel

MKT 801 -- Marketing Management

As the name of the course implies, Marketing Management is both a marketing and a management course – designed to help marketing professionals be more effective as they assume managerial roles in their organizations. 

Broadly speaking, the purpose of this course is to help prospective marketing managers identify market opportunities, analyze marketing challenges, and develop appropriate marketing responses.  The course emphasizes the integration of several marketing concepts and principles, and stresses decision-making and application.  Students enrolled in the course are encouraged to participate in lively discussions.

More specifically, a key Marketing Management learning outcome includes the appreciation for the role of a marketing orientation in organizations and how the marketing function has evolved over the time.  Other learning outcomes have to do with the recognition and explanation of essential marketing concepts, principles, processes and metrics.  Accordingly, much of the course’s content revolves around the fundamental marketing mandate of ensuring that organizations have customers – a modern-day mandate that involves processes and activities to pursue new customers while also implementing strategic and tactical practices to ensure the retention of existing customers.  Not surprisingly, numerous initiatives to attract and retain customers are reviewed throughout the semester.

Students without an interest in a marketing career path, per se, still benefit by taking the course.  That is, the course content provides them with a deeper understanding of what marketing teams do and the issues that routinely challenge them, thus enhancing students’ ability to work effectively with marketers they inevitably encounter throughout their careers.   And, as an added bonus, it’s not uncommon for students who take the course to point out that by learning about what marketers do, they have become better -- more astute -- consumers.

Taught by: Charles Martin

MKT 803 -- Marketing Analysis

Businesses and individuals consume research frequently. Understanding how research is conducted can help you make better business decisions and be a better consumer of research in your personal life.

In the marketing analysis course, we explore the dynamic, creative, and essential field of marketing research as a tool in the analysis of the marketplace and as an aid in decision making by combining technical discussion and practical experience in the classroom. In the course, you will become acquainted with basic research methods, statistical analysis techniques, and critical evaluation skills. You will learn how to use these skills to learn about the marketplace and apply your knowledge to decision making.

The course starts by learning the phases of the business research process, which is essentially the scientific method applied to business problems. Then, we dive into each phase of the process and learn the details. You will learn how to identify problems and opportunities in the marketplace, to identify variables to analyze, how to gather data, to explain how the variables are related, and find evidence of cause and effect relationships among the variables. Additionally, we will apply the research process to a “live” case by conducting research for a local organization. By the end of the class, you will have not only learned about the research process, but also have gained hands-on experience by applying the research process to solve an organization’s problem or find an opportunity. The goal of the course, as well as the “live” project, is to prepare you to think more critically and strategically about information gathering and interpretation.

Taught by: Seth Cockrell

MKT 805 -- Consumer Decision-Making Process

Consumer behavior is everywhere - all of us are engaging in some form of consumer behavior every moment of our lives. Although everyone is a consumer, we all make different purchasing decisions. In fact, our very own choice for the same type of purchase may differ, depending on the situation. As managers, we face the challenge to create thorough marketing plans for diverse consumer markets and despite a multitude of factors that influence consumer decision making. We need to understand how consumers behave – what draws their attention to an ad, what motivates them to buy, what makes them remember a brand, or how do they develop loyalty to a service provider.

The goal of this course is to provide you with a set of approaches and concepts to consider when faced with a decision involving consumer decision making. We discuss the processes involved in consumer decision-making as well as consumer behavior theory, and we apply these concepts to marketing management. You will learn about both psychological influences (personality, learning, perceptions, goals, and attitudes) as well as environmental influences (reference groups, family influence, and situational factors) that can impact consumers’ responses to marketing actions. The course will use a mix of lectures, discussions, cases, assignments, group work, and exams to develop this understanding of consumers and the consumer decision-making process.

Taught by: Alexander Ziegler