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Fisher Marketing Management

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WINTER 2012 (REVISED JAN 23, 2012)
Professor Robert Fisher
Phone: 780-492-5922
Web Page:

Welcome to Marketing Management! This package describes the course and provides
information you will need.
The concepts and skills learned in this course will enable you to develop winning marketing
strategies. For those of you not planning to go into marketing positions it will provide you with
the tools and concepts to 1) contribute to the development of marketing strategies for your
organization, and 2) to constructively evaluate the marketing strategies developed by others.
The emphasis throughout is on applying marketing ideas and techniques to create cash flow
and profits.
In designing this course, I recognize that most individuals in the class have no strategic
marketing experience as yet. Despite that, the course contains some very challenging cases.
Why? Your life in business after graduation is going to contain some very tough challenges, and
it is important that you are able to compete successfully.
By virtue of your admission to the Schools MBA Program, I know that you have solid
intellectual skills. I hope that you will: (a) develop a curiosity and interest in marketing,
(b) acquire sufficient basic skills to launch a career, (c) maintain a permanent market
orientation, whatever your career path, and (d) enjoy the marketing classes.
The objectives of the course are:
1. To develop your marketing decision-making skills. This is the primary objective of the
course. You should leave the course with a well-developed ability to:

analyze the marketing and business environment in which an organization is

determine the major opportunities and threats facing the organization,
develop a creative set of alternative marketing strategies,

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select the most appropriate one for the organization, and

convert the chosen strategic alternative into an actionable and profitable action


To understand and apply some major marketing concepts, such as market

segmentation, positioning, branding, and perceptual maps.


To improve your familiarity with a range of context-specific marketing knowledge,

practice, and terminology. By the end of the course, you will be able to converse
intelligently with marketing managers and understand the marketing situation in a
variety of organizational environments.


To integrate global, social, and ethical dimensions into marketing decisions made in a
rapidly changing competitive context.


1. Case Materials
Cases play a central role in this course. Some of these cases are long and quite complex, but
they closely mirror the actual decision situations you will face in the "real world". Through
these cases you will develop the skills to come to grips with complex, amorphous, marketing
situations. You may find it uncomfortable to make decisions -- even after you have done a
thorough analysis. Often, some of what you consider to be key pieces of information will be
missing; you will have to make reasonable assumptions in order to arrive at a decision. This
mirrors reality. Although in the real world you sometimes have more time and additional
information, these elements will not necessarily contribute to better decisions.
In order to get the maximum benefit from our discussion of cases, it is essential that you
thoroughly prepare the case for each class. This requires much more than simply reading the
case, or having answers to the questions posed in the assignment. For each case, you should
have done a comprehensive analysis and arrived at a personal decision as to what strategy the
particular organization should adopt. I strongly urge you to discuss cases with others in the
class before our class discussion. Always take a personal position before coming to class, and
be willing to participate actively in promoting your position. You will find the course much
more interesting and involving when you actively participate.
2. Lecture/Discussions
In our case discussions you should be trying to develop your own personal frameworks and
approaches for marketing decision-making. The lecture/discussions will provide you with some
suggestions in this area, but ultimately it is your responsibility to develop frameworks with
which you feel comfortable.

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After a module of the course, we will typically have a lecture/discussion on some of the key
conceptual areas or issues raised in that section. These lecture/discussions will summarize our
progress to date, emphasize key points in the course, and organize and complement materials
covered in the cases and readings.
3. Cases, Readings, and Text
The course package contains most of the cases and readings we will be using during the year.
The course package can be purchased at the book store. In some cases we may replace a case,
as your particular learning needs become clear to me.
I do not require a textbook for this course. If you feel that you need more background
information, I encourage you to borrow or purchase any one of the major marketing
management texts on the market. Some of the best titles include:

Marketing Management by Kotler and Keller.

Marketing Management: Text and Cases by Dalrymple and. Parsons.
Marketing Management: A Strategic Decision-Making Approach, by Mullins,
Walker, and Boyd.

4. SABRE Marketing Simulation

You will participate in the SABRE marketing simulation, which is one of the most realistic
marketing strategy simulations available. The simulation places heavy emphasis on the key
elements of marketingmarket segmentation and market positioningin a dynamic,
competitive environment. SABRE will run on a weekly basis for eight weeks of the term. The
submission schedule can be found in the Course Content section. A SABRE manual and more
information on the simulation will be made available a couple of weeks into the term.
5. Course Grading
The components of the overall course grade and their individual weights are as follows:
Class Contribution (individual)
Mid-term Case Report (individual)
SABRE Report (group)
Marketing Report (group) or Final (individual)


Class Contribution
The richness of the classroom experience is heavily dependent on thorough preparation and
high-quality class contributions. Therefore, 20% of your grade will be based on your
contributions (notice I do not say participation) in class. Highly valued contributions include,
but are not limited to:

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starting the discussion in a useful way,

pursuing the logic advanced by others,
offering constructive criticism,
redirecting the discussion to valuable areas,
emphasizing learning points,
sharing economic and financial analysis,
presenting rigorous, but not stubborn, defense of a well-articulated position.

Ad hoc comments may be noted, but do not carry great weight. My objective is to reward
people who contribute to the learning of others in the classroom (rather than punishing people
who dont contribute).
After each class I assign a grade to each persons contribution to the class using the categories
in the table below.



Components of in-class contribution




The comment adds substantial value to the discussion

Demonstrates willingness to take risks in attempting to
answer difficult or unpopular questions
Breaks new ground and raises the flow of discussion to a
higher level, often by synthesizing material and applying
multiple lenses or techniques
The comment adds value to the discussion, beyond case facts
There is evidence of analysis rather than just the expression
of opinion (although some espousal of opinion is acceptable,
even desirable in certain circumstances)
Comments are linked to those of others, facilitating the flow
of the discussion
Demonstrates knowledge of readings and other relevant
course material
Incorporate relevant insights from other courses or current
The comment advances the flow of the discussion (including
responses to questions from the instructor)
Demonstrates clear grasp of case material
Information presented is relevant to the discussion

I will assign you one grade per class based on your best contribution because my focus is on
quality rather than quantity. I actively seek contributions from those who have not already
contributed in a class. In my experience you must be prepared to raise your hand 3-4 times
each class to ensure that you are called upon once.

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I encourage you to keep record your contributions to the class as a way of tracking your own
performance. Think of each class as a business meetingplease be on time and prepared to be
Mid-term Case Report
You are required to submit a written analysis of an assigned case problem before spring break. I
will give you the assignment approximately 10 days before it is due. Your report should not
exceed six-pages, double spaced, with 12 point font.
Please dont package your submissions in plastic folders, or worry about expensive, colorful
graphics. I am happy with a plain report (for environmental reasons, but also for ease of
reading). Also, these are not research reports so you are not expected to do library research.
The case analysis should be viewed as an opportunity for you to market your ideas to me. I care
much more about the rationale behind your answers than the answers themselves, so focus on
persuading me that you have a reasonable and well-reasoned response. Here are some
recommendations on how to approach the case analyses:
1. The objective is to persuade the reader that you have a good answer.
2. Use logic and facts to support your position.
3. I dont recommend the use of bullets because their use tends to result in too many
points and not enough justification for each one.
I am not looking for a particular answer, just a convincing one.
At the end of the term, each team is required to prepare and submit a presentation slide deck
about their SABRE experience. The slide deck should be a marketing managers response to the
situation in the SABRE competition. The winning team in each industry will be asked to make a
presentation to the class. Time permitting I will invite other teams who might have important
insights based on their performance trend. Please see Appendix A for more details on the
SABRE final reports and presentations.
It is vitally important that SABRE decisions are SUBMITTED NO LATER THAN 9 A.M. ON THE DUE
DAY. The results will usually be returned to you within a few hours, though it might take up to
24 hours depending on the situation. Please note that the industry results cannot be posted
until the decisions from all teams are received.

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Group Project OR Final Exam

You have the choice of either a marketing strategy report or taking a final exam. The
components have the following characteristics:
Marketing Strategy Project

Final Exam

Individual versus Group A small team of your own

choosing. No more than three
class members in a team.


Length and timing

Work on project during the

term and submit it on the last
day of class.

Three hours on the date

scheduled for the class


Write and solve a real-world

case study OR undertake an
industry positioning report
(See Appendix B for details).

Solve a marketing case

study similar to ones
assigned in class during the

Based on MBA program guidelines, I expect to have a B+ average (or the highest allowable average
within the program this term). The perspective that Id like you to take is that grades are nothing
more than my impersonal evaluation of your work on that assignment -- not an assessment of your
character, intelligence, effectiveness as a manager, or anything else.
5. Expectations
You are expected to be fully engaged in the entire learning process. This means devoting time
and energy to preparation before class, listening to others during class discussions and
engaging in class discussions. Collective reasoning and discovery are critical to the successful
application of the case method. Prior to any case discussion, engaging in discussions with (or
examining notes from) others who may have already experienced a case is a clear violation of
our norms.
Detailed note-taking during class can often be distracting for others and counterproductive to
your own learning. I therefore advise you to be selective in taking notes during class. At the end
of each class or at the end of the day it is a good idea to consolidate what you have learned.
Using your computer during class for personal activities such as reading/writing email, writing
letters, surfing the Web, playing games, etc. is also distracting and counterproductive and
violates our norms.
Attendance at all sessions in this course is mandatory. Circumstances may arise which make it

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impossible for you to attend. For example, if you are unable to attend a class due to healthrelated reasons or because of business travel, you are expected to advise me in advance.
You are reminded that plagiarism (representing another persons ideas, writings, etc., as your
own) is a serious academic offence; the penalty can be as severe as expulsion. You are expected
to write reports, exams, etc., in your own words. Whenever you take an idea or a passage from
another author, you must acknowledge your debt by appropriately citing your source(s). The
University of Alberta uses software to check for plagiarism. You might be required to submit
your written work in electronic form for plagiarism checking.
6. Appointments
I am happy to work with any students who are having difficulty with any aspect of the course.
Please feel free to make an appointment to come and see me. It might be easiest to send an email message (, or catch me after class to arrange a time.
My office is 3-40F, my assistant is Laura Jackson (, and my
telephone number is 492-5922.
7. Course Schedule
The schedule for the course is attached.

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Course Schedule
Jan 11

Jan 18

Type of




Course Introduction

An overview of the course and my teaching philosophy.


Marketing Strategy and

Competitive Advantage


Metabical: Positioning
and Segmentation for a
New Weight-Loss Drug
(HBS 4240).

1. What is marketing? Strategy? Marketing strategy?
2. What is a competitive advantage and how does a firm establish
1. What is the decision making process for Metabicil?
2. Who is the optimal target consumer?
3. How should Metabicil be positioned?
4. What should the communications strategy be for Metabicil?
1. What is your forecast for the first five years? What
assumptions are required?
2. What are the key considerations for package size? What do
you recommend?
3. What price do you recommend? Why?
4. What is the impact of your pricing decision on profitability?
Class cancelled today. I will be scheduling a guest speaker during the
term in lieu of this class.
1. Assess eHarmonys matching process.
2. What is eHarmonys value proposition and target market?

Metabical: Pricing,
Packaging, and
Demand Forecasting
for a New Weight-Loss
Drug (HBS 4183).

Jan 25
Feb 1


eHarmony (HBS, 9-709424).


Market Segmentation,
Target Marketing and

An overview of a marketing research technique that firms use to assess

their competitive advantage.


Marketing Strategy An
Overview, (HBS, 500005)

A basic spreadsheet is
available on uLearn for this
part of the case. You will
need to apply some of your
accounting knowledge in
this session!

Perceptual Mapping: A
Managers Guide (HBS, 9590-121)

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Dove: Evolution of a
Brand (HBS, 9-508-047)


Introduction to SABRE

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1. What was Doves market positioning in the 1950s? What is its
positioning in 2007?
2. Spend a little time searching blogs, using Google Blog Search,
Technorati, BlogRunner, or any other blog search engines, to
get a sense of what people are saying about Dove today.
What does this discussion contribute to the meaning of the
3. Evaluate the Real Beauty campaign. Do you see risks for the
Dove brand today?
SABRE manual

SABRE Decision 1 Due at 9 a.m. on February 9. Note that R&D projects are not allowed this period.
Feb 15



The Brand in the Hand:

Mobile Marketing at
Adidas, (Ivey, 905A24)

Strategic Branding

SABRE Decision 2 Due at 9 a.m.

1. What is adidas position in the athletic shoe market? How is
the brand doing?
2. What evidence does adidas have that suggests the
importance of digital interactive and mobile marketing?
3. What is the Brand in the Hand concept? What does this mean
to adidas and its branding efforts?
4. What are the objectives of the Missy Elliot (ME) campaign? Do
you think the campaign will be successful?
5. How important a role should mobile media play in adidas
overall brand communication strategy?
1. What is a brand?
2. What is brand equity (i.e., the value of a brand)?
3. How do firms build brand equity?

The Perfect Message at the

Perfect Moment (MHBS

Customer-Centered Brand
Management (HBS,

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Mid-term case report due by Wednesday, February 15 at 6 p.m. Please drop off a hard copy to the general office or email me an e-copy at
Reading Week: February 21-25
Feb 29



Starbucks: Delivering
Customer Service (HBS,

SABRE Decision 3 Due at 9 a.m.

Bayernwerk A.G.:
Responding to
Deregulation (IMD,

1. What factors accounted for the extraordinary success of Starbucks
in the early 1990s? What was so compelling about the Starbucks
value proposition?
2. Why have Starbucks customer satisfaction scores declined?
3. Describe the ideal Starbucks customer from a profitability
standpoint. What would it take to make sure this customer is
highly satisfied?
1. How important is it for Bayernwerk to not respond on price?
2. Using the marketing research provided in the case, how should
Bayernwerk respond to the price-based competitors?
Steve Katzman, Chief Marketing Officer of the Edmonton Oilers
Hockey Club will be speaking to our class from 12:00- 1:30 pm in the
MBA Lounge.
SABRE Decision 4 Due at 9 a.m.
1. Why is the program important to PQS?
2. Evaluate the program and recommend how PQS should proceed.

Mar 6


Mar 7


Pennzoil-Quaker State
Canada: The One-toOne Decision (A) (Ivey


Capital One: Launching

a Mass Media
Campaign (Ivey,

1. What is the business problem facing Capital One?
2. What should their marketing objective be (e.g., growth, profit,
3. Who is the target market?
4. What is the role of advertising in their strategy?
5. What advertisement(s) do you recommend? Why?
NOTE: this case includes a series of Capital One ads that must be
viewed as part of your case analysis. I will post them on uLearn.

Welcome to the Experience

Economy (HBS, 98407).

Analyzing Consumer
Preferences (HBS, 9-599112)

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Mar 21


Hubspot: Inbound
Marketing and the Web
2.0 (HBS, 5-510-043).


Advertising and


Mediquip S.A. (R) (IMD,



Nettwerk: Digital
Marketing in the Music
Industry (HBS, 9-510055)

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SABRE Decision 5 Due at 9 a.m.
1. Do you agree with HubSpot that the rules of marketing have
changed? Is inbound marketing the answer?
2. Is HubSpot finding and serving the right customers? Should it
widen its focus, or focus exclusively on a particular segment? If
so, which segment(s)?
3. What is the appropriate role for outbound marketing in
HubSpots marketing strategy?
An overview of how advertising works with an emphasis on persuasive

SABRE Decision 6 Due at 9 a.m.

1. What is Mediquips CT scanner strategy?
2. Which person at Lohmann hospital had the most power in the
decision making unit?
3. Why did Thaldorf lose the sale?
1. Which marketing processes from musics pre-digital era are now
obsolete and which continue to be relevant?
2. What is the role of marketers when fans/consumers have the
ability to create, communicate, and publish?
3. What are the prospects for Polyphonic?

Integrated Marketing
Communications (HBS,
The Buzz on Buzz (HBS,

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April 4


CEMEX: Rewarding the

Egyptian Retailers
(HBS, 9-106-065).

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SABRE Decision 7 Due at 9 a.m.
Submission of SABRE final reports.

Building Loyalty in Business

Markets (HBR, R0509H)

Channel Management
(HBR, 590045-PDF-ENG)


Sales and Distribution


1. Describe the CEMEX strategy in Egypt.
2. How does the Reward Program fit the CEMEX strategy?
3. Did the Reward Program motivate retailers to sell more CEMEX
4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Reward
An overview of distribution issues, with an emphasis on

In-class Exercise

Pricing Strategy

Course evaluations will take place in this class.

We will analyze a series of mini cases to illustrate basic principles of
pricing. The mini cases will be posted on uLearn.

April 11

and LectureDiscussion

SABRE Presentations
and Course Overview

Winning teams in each industry will present their final reports (10-15
minute presentations).

Case this is an
integrative case
designed to
many of the key
concepts over
the course. I will
also offer some
summary slides.

Aqualisa Quartz:
Simply a Better Shower
(HBS, 9-502-030)

1. What is the Quartz value proposition to plumbers? To consumers?
2. What should Rawlinson do to generate sales momentum for the
Quartz product? Should he change his marketing strategy to target
consumers directly, target the DIY market, or target developers?
Should he lower the price of the Quartz? Or should he do
something different altogether?

Principles of Pricing (HBS,


Please not that recording is permitted only with the prior written consent of the professor or if recording is part of an approved accommodation plan.

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Sabre Group Reports and Presentations

When you make your final decision you are not to milk the company, but rather leave it well
positioned for the future. The results for this period will be made available to you after the
presentation class. Because of time constraints, only the teams which are leading as of the last
decision will be asked to present. All teams will submit a hard copy of their presentation slides. The
winning teams in each industry will have a maximum of 15 minutes to present, followed by
questions. It is important for everyone to be present for the presentations and debriefing that
follows. It is not necessary for each member of each team to be involved in the presentation -- in
fact, given the limited amount of time for it makes sense to have only two or three team members
involved. Id strongly recommend an absolute maximum of twelve slides in your presentation.
You can assume that the audience is very familiar with your industry, so you don't need to provide
much background data about the market and how it developed. You may also assume that the
management teams of the other firms in your industry will not be changing; that is, you may make
some comments to your successors on how to deal with the other competitive management
Your presentation should address the following issues:
1. Brief review of your strategy and the results it achieved.
2. Recommendations to a new management team, with regard to the strategy they should
employ for the next three periods, along with the outcomes they should expect.
3. Brief discussion of changes you would make within your management team to make it more
effective in a SABRE world.
4. Key marketing learning points for your team from the SABRE experience. This is the most
critical part of the presentation. What are the principles of marketing that were learned or
reinforced that can be applied to the real world?
1. Your presentation should stand on its own, such that I understand the rationale for your
thinking. This means that your slides are going to be more complex and wordy than you would
normally create because they must communicate in writing what would normally be presented
verbally in your presentation.
2. Provide insights into the why of failure or success dont just describe what happened.
3. The evaluation of your presentation will be based on how well you can account for your team's
performance, your recommendations for the new management team, and the key learning
points for the simulation. All teams will be evaluated on the basis of the presentation slides
they submit.
4. Presentations will be graded and the same grade will be assigned to all team members. Please
provide me with a "hard copy" of your audio-visual materials at the beginning of the class.

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Group Project Details on Options

OPTION A Industry Positioning Report:

The goal is to create a positioning report on an industry of your choosing. The report should
describe the competitive positioning of at least three competitors in the industry, one of
which you will focus on in greater detail and make recommendations on their future strategy
(value proposition/intended position), target market, and/or tactics (e.g., product, price,
distribution and promotion). The report should include an analysis of the elements of marketing
strategy for all three companies you identified in the industry specifically, target segment,
value proposition, and the consistency or inconsistency of the companys strategy and tactics
for each of the three competitors.
Your report should also provide recommendations for the positioning strategy and tactics of
one of the companies, specifying improvement(s) and/or future strategic direction. Your
analysis of the industry and recommendations should be presented as a proposal to the
company for how they can improve and defend their market position appropriately.
For the industry or market chosen (e.g., the soap market or the soft drink industry), identify
three competitive companies/product lines that you will analyze (e.g., Proctor & Gamble is too
broad, but Dove soap is appropriate; Coca-Cola Inc. is too broad, but the Dasani product line
would be appropriate).
Choose any set of companies for which you can access the necessary information they can be
local or national, consumer or industrial, goods or services, not-for-profit, etc.
DUE: A hard copy of your report is due on the last day of class. This report should be no longer
than 15 single-spaced typed pages excluding exhibits. You may use Word, PowerPoint, Excel if
using anything else, please PDF.
Length Limitation
The biggest challenge with group reports is to limit the workload. Therefore, I am imposing a
strict restriction. The absolute limit on number of pages of text is 15 (you can add a title page
and as many references, tables, or figures as needed). The pages are 8 by 11; I cant read a
font size below 11-point; and I prefer reading pages with some white space in the layout, etc.

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OPTION B Case Study:

In this project, the objective is to develop a report that describes a marketing challenge or
opportunity as a case history, then analyses the case to provide recommendations.
Part 1 Identify a significant marketing issue that is currently facing a company, and write a case
study around this issue. All reports are confidential, and will not be discussed with anyone else.
Examples of issues might be: performance of a product, a new product launch, a pricing issue, a
proposed advertising campaign, dropping a product line, a sales force change, or channel
conflict. For examples of what you might consider, you could look at some of the marketing
cases in our class. To limit the scope, please focus on one of the four Ps: price, product,
promotion or place/distribution. I want you to focus your analysis on one tactical problem,
although it is always critical to link your recommended tactics back to the strategic side of
marketing (i.e., positioning and target marketing).
Part 2 Your recommendations to the decision maker as to how to proceed.
Suggestion: use about half the paper, or about 7-8 pages, for describing the case and the
remainder for the solution.
I will be evaluating the report on much the same criteria you would use if you were the reader,
i.e. the organization and presentation of the issue, the quality of the analysis and
recommendations, the clarity of communication, and the value-added to the company.
DUE: A hard copy of your report is due on the last day of class. This report should be no longer
than 15 single-spaced typed pages, excluding exhibits. You may use Word, PowerPoint, Excel
if using anything else, please PDF.
Length Limitation
The biggest challenge with group reports is to limit the workload. Therefore, I am imposing a
strict restriction. The absolute limit on number of pages of text is 15 (you can add a title page
and as many references, tables, or figures as needed). The pages are 8 by 11; I cant read a
font size below 11-point; and I prefer reading pages with some white space in the layout, etc.