Design Thinking for Business Innovation Online

Aalto University School of Business

Aalto University School of Business


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Who should attend

This course is suitable for managers and experts taking a marketing or sales role within the firm and want to boost their skills and learn the essentials of creating a sustainable marketing strategy and adopt a proactive value-based selling approach to bring value to their customers.

This course is suitable for those who need to revisit the basic concepts and frameworks of marketing and sales. It also provides excellent preparatory assignments for students before enrolling in many of the training programs offered by Aalto EE.

About the course

Essentials of Marketing and Sales

Essentials of Marketing and Sales is a cost-effective and flexible online study module offering a unique insight into the marketing and sales strategic mindset. Success in the marketplace is imperative for each business. It helps to have great products or services, but that alone does not guarantee success if the products do not fulfill customer needs and bring value to the customer. More than ever before, firms are competing more and more on being innovative than being cheap. Creating a sustainable marketing strategy and adopting a proactive value-based selling approach is the perfect integrated framework for innovative and complex solutions and services that brings value to the customer.

In the course, you will focus on key perspectives: marketing strategies, segmentation, targeting and positioning, integrated marketing communications, proactive value-based selling, structured influencing, contemporary sales approaches, and personal selling skills.

By participating in this program, you will quickly find answers to the following questions and learn the essentials that all managers and leaders need to know about marketing and sales strategies.

  • Why is segmentation essential, and what is the main criteria for successful segmentation?
  • What is the influence of the environment on a firm’s marketing strategy?
  • What are the elements of the marketing mix, and what is their role in forming a uniquely attractive value proposition for your target customer group?
  • What is the Integrated Marketing Communication concept and process?
  • How to tailor your products and services to bring customer delight?
  • Why and how the buying process is executed?
  • How is selling connected and aligned with different stages of buying?
  • What are the essentials tasks and skills needed to apply value-based selling successfully?


Marketing and sales are both key growth drivers in a company. They should always be considered from the customer’s perspective; it is the customer who decides how and through which channels they want to be served and ultimately determines the value of the service being offered. By participating in the course participants will get the latest marketing and sales trends, work with the most efficient tools on the market and will get equipped with all the necessary skills in this fast-changing business environment.

You will learn to identify and apply the fundamentals tools and strategies to begin developing a marketing plan.

You will start to reflect on the best solutions to deliver superior value to your target customers by managing the marketing mix.

You will be able to evaluate and think strategically about marketing communications to brand building methods.


The online course covers the fundamental concepts of Marketing and Sales, developing a marketing strategy, understanding the marketing enronment, integrated marketing environment, and proactive value-based selling.

The program is structured into 10 online modules that take approximately 8 hours to complete depending on your speed and preferred study style. The modules consist of interactive video lectures, reflection tasks and reading assignments which cover the Marketing and Sales strategies and tools from different perspectives. The videos are accompanied by interactive questions to check your knowledge along the way, further reading material and reflection prompts.

Each core module contains:

  • Introduction
  • A pre-assignment or a pre-reading material
  • Video lecture (from 5 to 10 minutes)
  • A small reflection task
  • Reading assignment based on a specific article
  • Knowledge check questions
  • Review of the key takeaways from the module

Essentials of Marketing

This study path will offer you the fundamental tools to start developing a marketing plan for almost any business, and you will be able to think about marketing in a strategic way, rather than as merely a function of sales and advertising.

  • Developing a Marketing Strategy
  • Understanding the Marketing Environment
  • Creating Attractive Value Offerings

Integrated Marketing Communications

This study path will give you an understanding of the importance of consumer insights in developing creative ideas, crucial for communication campaigns. You will learn how to identify and chose adequate channels and promotional tools, as well as understand the marketing communication planning and executing process.

  • What is IMC?
  • Executing Integrated Marketing Communications campaigns
  • Metrics and Evaluation of IMC campaigns

Essentials of Sales

This study path will provide you with the fundamental tools to understand why and how individuals and companies buy, how sellers can influence buying by value-based selling, and what sales skills do they need to succeed. Value-based selling is rapidly becoming the dominant sales model for innovative and complex solutions and services.

  • Proactive Value Based Selling
  • Structured Influencing
  • Three Focus Areas of Modern Selling
  • Individual Sales Skills


Luis Vives

Dr. Luis Vives is the Associate Dean of The ESADE MBA, Director of the Multinational MBA and Associate Professor of Strategy and General Management at ESADE Business School. Dr. Vives joined ESADE in 2006 and has held various positions of responsibility within ESADE. Previous to joining ESADE,...

Mikko Koria

Mikko Koria is Professor of Design Innovation and Director of the Institute for Design Innovation in Loughborough University London, and Visiting Professor at Aalto University. Dr. Koria has a career that spans over twenty-five years of professional management, practice and research in the priva...

Tua Björklund

My work focuses on turning ideas into improvements and innovations. In developing the Design Factory, I have worked with a wide range of stakeholders for building support for interdisciplinary academic efforts, teaching development skills, and designing user-centered solutions to complex problems...

Nuria Solsona Caba

Nuria is an independent service design consultant and associate professor at Aalto University. She also collaborates on a regular bases with CIID design university and ESADE business school executive programmes as a coach and academic collaborator. Prior to that Nuria was a service design consul...

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Design Thinking for Business Innovation Online at Aalto 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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