The marketing course focuses on two main themes in marketing: understanding and choosing customers in a competitive market, and creating and extracting value for customers through the marketing mix.

The course will, therefore, cover the four C's of analysis: understanding the customer, understanding the competition, understanding the channels and understanding the company, and the 4 P's of action: designing the product or service, choosing the promotion or communication, determining the place or channel and setting the price. We will use an overall framework for understanding the marketing approach, and study the marketing planning framework for organizing marketing thinking.

Our focus will be on action as well as analysis. Our choice of framework and concepts will be governed by practical applicability as well as theoretical soundness. The approach will be bottom-up rather than the top-down approach usually taken in strategy. We will start from the individual buyer and generalize to segments and markets, rather than the reverse. Both approaches are valid and complementary.

Marketing is not a conceptually difficult subject. The complexity arises in its application. There is no point in attending class unless you are prepared for it since our discussion may seem "obvious". It is only when you have an opinion that you try to defend that you will understand the real issues in marketing. Please bring your experience and opinion and share them in class, and listen carefully to the opinion and experience of others. Our lecture/discussions should be a dialogue, with your contributions constrained only by the shortage of available time.

There are no right answers in Marketing, but some answers will have less justification than others. Participants' aim should be to understand the frameworks and concepts and to practice applying them in different practical situations with penetrating analysis and relentless logic.