AP3EM1-Marketing Strategy

Module Provider: Agr and Food Econ
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: AP1EM1 Introduction to Marketing and AP2EM1 Marketing Management
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Mr Nick Walker

Email: n.walker@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Explore the key fundamentals within the marketing strategy remit, in order to understand the essential practices used by organisations when creating strategic plans. The classes will consist of case study examples, industry applications and strategic business planning. A variety of learning methods will be used, including peer learning and group work.  The module encourages reflective and critical thinking throughout. This area of study is crucial to any business or organisation, irrespective of size. Therefore, the theoretical knowledge and practical application of marketing strategy skills you will gain in this module can be implemented in any industry environment.

This course builds on AP1EM1 (the firm’s external environment and strategy) and AP2EM1 (the firm’s internal environment and marketing management decisions). It relies on case studies to give more detailed, practical examples of some of the concepts introduced in these earlier modules and demonstrates how much more interrelated and complex marketing decisions become when they are taken ‘out of the text book’ and ‘into the real world’. The emphasis is on business models and marketing planning.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students will have a clear understanding, backed-up by a portfolio of actual examples, of how companies approach different aspects of marketing strategy analysis and formulation. They will become familiar with some of the models and processes used by businesses to analyse and formulate marketing strategy and how different business models can provide a source of competitive advantage and how companies go about planning their strategy.

Additional outcomes:
Appreciation of the commercial environment; numerical skills; an interest in contemporary business issues; a desire to read a decent newspaper, the Economist and, from time to time, the Harvard Business Review!.

Outline content:

The course will cover all of the following topics, although the focus of the course may differ from year to year with some topics being given more emphasis depending on their topicality:

1. Strategic Analysis:

  • What is marketing strategy, how prescriptive can a strategy usefully be? A historical perspective on the role of marketing strategy.

  • What does success look like? The role of marketing in corporate success.

  • The external environment: Identifying opportunities and threats. Obtaining and using environmental information. Porter’s Five Forces Model.

  • The internal environment: Strategic capability. Strengths and weaknesses. Processes and frameworks. The Value Chain.

2. Strategy Formulation and Implementation:

  • Business-level strategy: Bases of competitive advantage. Sustaining competitive advantage. Segmentation str ategy. Competitive strategy. Growth strategies.

  • Managing for competitive advantage. Strategic management at different stages of the product life cycle. Business models and patterns. Business Planning: the process and the application.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The assumption is that students are already familiar with some marketing strategy issues and models – although there will be opportunity for some revision. The lectures will be illustrated with case studies – with the possibility of introducing computer simulations if appropriate software can be sourced. Because strategic decisions are interrelated, and not taken in isolation, the case studies will not necessarily deal with just one of the topics listed in the Course Outline given above. A case may bring up issues concerning pricing and promotion as well as, for example, ethical issues, all of which could determine the outcome of the marketing strategy. Students are expected to prepare adequately by reading and preparing between lectures when required. From time to time, students may be asked to submit written answers to pre-prepared questions in place of the more usual class discussion. If a student is unable to participate because of inadequate preparation, they may be asked to leave the lectures.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study: 80
Total hours by term 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Class test administered by School 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

A one and a half hour examination paper.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Written exam – 60%

In-class – 40%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
By re-examination in August/September only.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

  1. Required text books:

  2. Specialist equipment or materials:

  3. Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:

  4. Printing and binding:

  5. Computers and devices with a particular specification:

  6. Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 17 July 2020


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