MSIT 451: Marketing Strategy and Analysis

Quarter Offered

Winter : Saturday, 2:00-5:00pm ; Frank Mulhern, Ph.D


This course is intended to introduce students to the essentials of marketing: how firms and customers behave and what strategy marketers use to successfully operate in today's dynamic environment. Specifically, the course goals are to:

  1. Introduce students to marketing strategy and to the elements of marketing analysis,
  2. Familiarize students with the elements of the marketing mix and enhance students' problem solving and decision making abilities in these areas
  3. Advance students' understanding of the marketing process as a framework of looking at the high-tech world.

REQUIRED TEXT: Strategic Marketing Management, Alexander Chernev, 7 th edition, 2012

REFERENCE TEXT: Readings and HBS cases provided by the program.


Week 1: What is Marketing? Consumer Insight
We’re All Marketers Now (McKinsey Quarterly 2011) 
Insightful? Or Just Interesting? How to Identify a Brand Building Home Run, Brand Amplitude, Carol Phillips
"Anthropology, Inc.” The Atlantic, Graeme Wood, 2013

Week 2: B2B and B2C Marketing, Competitive Analysis, Financial Aspects of Marketing and Case Studies in Marketing
Readings: Chernev Chapters 1, 2, 7 and 22

Week 3: Market Segmentation, Target Marketing Products and Services
Readings: Chernev Chapter 3, 8, 17 and 18

Week 4: Pricing
Readings: Chernev Chapter 10 "Segmented Pricing: Tactics for Separate Markets,” from The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing, Thomas Nagle and Reed Holdren Elasticity video (link on canvas)

Week 5: Brands and Positioning
Readings: Chernev Chapter 4, 9 and 20 "Brands and Branding" HBSP Douglas Holt

Week 6: Distribution and Retailing
Readings: Chernev Chapter 10

Week 7: Advertising and Promotion
Readings: Chernev Chapters 11 and 12 Adcult USA, James Twitchell, 1996, pages 9-14 Harnessing the Science of Persuasion, Harvard Business Review, Robert Cialdini, October , 2001

Week 8: Media and Communications Technology
"Big Data and the Digital Transformation in Advertising," Frank Mulhern, in The New Advertising: Branding, Content, and Consumer Relationships in the Data-Driven Social Media Era, Ruth Brown, ed., 2016
"Integrated Marketing Communications: From Media Channels to Digital Connectivity," Frank Mulhern, Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications, 2009
"The End of Internet Advertising as We’ve Known It," MIT Technology Review, Doc Searles, December 2015

Week 9: Marketing through People: Sales Management and Customer Service
Readings: Chernev chapter Personal Selling and Sales Management, HBSP reading

Week 10: Final Exam

ASSIGNMENTS: This course relies on reading and class discussion. Students are expected to read all assigned materials and be prepared to discuss them in class. READ THE MATERIALS BEFORE THE CLASS LISTED IN THE OUTLINE. Material from the lectures and cases will be tested in the final exam. There will be four graded case studies. Assignments will be graded for both content and quality of writing.


  • Cases (4 @ 20%): 80%
  • Final: 20% 

Faculty Profile

Frank Mulhern, Ph.D