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Why All Managers Should Understand Marketing

Most MBA programs include core courses in marketing, accounting, economics and financial analysis. Each course is essential to aspiring business managers in any industry, but a solid foundation in marketing is particularly important.

The Marketing Management course in the University of South Carolina Aiken's Master of Business Administration General online program is an introduction to marketing in a customer-driven firm with a focus on essential skills needed by successful managers. Topics include segmenting markets, positioning the firm's products, consumer decision-making, marketing research that gets results, product development, pricing strategies, customer communications, and relationships with the sales force and distribution partners. The course also studies how firms coordinate diverse marketing elements to create a coherent strategy.

Marketing Trains the Muscles of Your Mind

If this course sounds like a cerebral muscle builder, that is no accident! Reflecting the "wax on, wax off" mantra in The Karate Kid, the study of marketing develops "mental muscle memory" for business. The marketing discipline is highly constructive in developing a manager's strategic, conceptual and analytical thinking, as well as problem-solving. Working through the challenges offered in an MBA marketing course is an expeditious way to develop these skills.

Marketing Executes on Business Strategies

You could wind up in accounting, where your strategy may be to lower the costs of customer acquisition and servicing. You could land in research and development, where you will need to forecast and understand market demand. In virtually any business function, you will need to engage marketers in order to meet your business objectives. The same principle often applies in reverse — marketers need to engage accounting and R&D to achieve their objectives. This interdependence is one reason why a well-rounded MBA graduate is always in demand.

Marketing Builds Reputations and Brands

The world's leading companies, as well as companies operating in niche markets, have no greater asset than their brand. The brand name, associated icons and imagery all evoke key attributes of reputation. Coca-Cola brings people together, Apple is about a superior user experience, and Nike champions being your personal best. It takes marketing to build equity into brands so that simply mentioning the name conjures up these concepts. The links that marketing develops help customers to be proud of their association with your products and services.

Marketing Builds Relationships

Marketing brings together the many functions that enable an organization to build relationships with customers. For example, marketing research uses demographics, psychographics and the study of consumer behavior to reveal what market segments to target and what products will best appeal to them. It determines the communication channels, the content and the messaging that make your brand meaningful, keep it relevant and enable customers to trust your company and be loyal to it.

Marketing Generates Revenue

Strategies, brands and relationships are all aimed ultimately at generating revenue. Marketing works in conjunction with sales to move your products and services. It determines whether you will sell directly to customers through a website or infomercials, or indirectly through intermediaries like distributors and retailers. If you are an executive, you will need to understand the different levers to pull to work strategically with marketing.

The more you know about the interdependence of business functions, the more you can appreciate the value of exploring marketing fundamentals in an MBA program. It is a business function emphasized in most leading MBA programs, like the one at UofSC Aiken.

Learn more about the UofSC Aiken online MBA program.


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