Competitive Strategic Marketing

Wake Forest University School of Business

Wake Forest University School of Business


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Who should attend

This course has been designed for managers who are asked to lead strategic efforts, to employ innovative marketing tactics, and to understand customer purchase behavior. Marketing directors, product managers, entrepreneurs, business owners, and other professionals across a range of industries can benefit from the new skills and approaches gained through this program. You will return to the office with new approaches and perspectives to apply to your biggest business challenges.

About the course

Markets today have unprecedented levels of competition. Consumers have endless access to information, often gathered in less than a minute, which impact their goals, behaviors, and beliefs. To build market relevance and grow, understanding customer preferences is vital in developing and executing an effective marketing strategy. Successful marketers must be flexible and responsive in adapting to shifts in markets and customer buying behaviors.

Via marketing case studies, large group discussions, and small team breakouts, you will identify how to segment, connect to, and convert customers while translating these learnings into an effective marketing strategy. You will return to the office with strategic marketing insights (and a plan for addressing a current marketing challenge that you will be asked to bring to the class) that will help you generate demand from your customers. In Competitive Strategic Marketing, you will learn how to win strategically by putting successful marketing tactics into effective practice.

We encourage you to come to the course (individually or with other colleagues with whom you may want to work as a team) with a business challenge that you want to solve. We will discuss the biggest business issues you are facing currently (or that you predict will become the biggest business issues in the future), and will generate ideas and solutions to overcome these challenges.

What You Will Learn

  • How strategic marketing decisions can generate demand from your customers
  • How an enhanced understanding of your customer’s psyche will lead to success
  • How to differentiate your product in your customer’s mind
  • How to leverage your brands to maintain their competitive advantage in the marketplace
  • How to capitalize on the millennial customer and on the mobile customer
  • How to tackle the specific business challenge you bring to this course

Course Outline

Day 1

Session 1: Introductions, Team Break-Outs, Discussion of Your Biggest Business Challenge(s), Course Overview, Marketing Strategy, and Marketing Research

  • Understand the goals of marketing
  • Understand the importance of marketing research
  • Describe the pros/cons of the various types of research methods
  • Explain the difference between primary research and secondary research
  • Discuss how a market challenger can change the consumer’s focus in order to battle a market leader

Session 2: Buyer Behavior

  • Understand the “head” versus the “heart” as it relates to consumer behavior
  • Describe what most influences consumer purchase
  • Explain what needs to be measured in order to predict consumer behavior effectively
  • Understand how influencers affect whether your products/services are purchased, and describe how you can utilize influencers
  • Describe how the consumer journey differs over the various age cohorts (Boomers, Millennials, Gen Y, and Gen Z)

Session 3: Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning (this session will continue until the end of Day 1)

  • Understand the various bases of segmentation
  • Understand the characteristics of niche markets
  • Describe the characteristics of good target markets
  • Understand the various positioning strategies, and explain how you can differentiate brands/products/services
  • Understand how to utilize your brand’s “architecture” to position your brand(s) effectively

Day 2

Session 4: Branding Strategy

  • Explain how understanding your augmented brand helps you define the service you are actually “selling” to patients
  • Identify and explain the various means for establishing brand equity and for maintaining brand equity
  • Understand the importance of brand architecture
  • Explain how the various brand strategies (e.g., line extensions, brand extensions, and co-brands) differ from one another
  • Explain upward stretching and downward stretching and the role that both play on brand building and on brand dilution

Session 5: Pricing Strategies/Approaches

  • Discuss the differences between cost-based, competition-based, and perceived-value pricing approaches
  • Explain what affects whether your customers are price-sensitive
  • Describe the effects of elasticity and relativity (as well as other psychological factors) on your customer’s perceptions of your price

Session 6: Digital Marketing and Promotion Strategy

  • Explain how the promotion mix is developed strategically
  • Explain the importance of the marketing funnel
  • Analyze various advertisements and discuss the strategic goals behind each of the advertisements
  • Explain how advertisement spokespersons should be chosen
  • Discuss the trends in digital marketing
  • Explain how digital marketing can be utilized in promotion strategy

Session 7: Team breakouts to develop an action plan and to prepare individual/team presentations –Kenny will also provide a course recap, and he will discuss next steps for addressing your biggest business challenge(s)


Kenny Herbst

Dr. Kenny Herbst is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Sisel Faculty Fellow in the School of Business at Wake Forest University. He has a Masters and Ph.D. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. from Wake Forest University. In 2016, he won the Kienzle Alumni Teaching...

Competitive Strategic Marketing at Wake Forest University School of Business

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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