Why All Managers Should Understand Marketing

Most Master of Business Administration (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 online MBA General program introduces students to marketing in a customer-driven business 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 explores how companies 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 abilities. Working through the challenges offered in an MBA-level marketing course is an effective way to develop these skills.

Marketing Executes on Business Strategies

As an aspiring manager, 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 must engage marketers to meet your business objectives. The same principle often applies in reverse — marketers engage accounting and R&D to achieve their objectives. Today’s most impactful marketing departments leverage strategic partnerships across business functional areas. This interdependence is one reason 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 brand identity and reputation so that simply mentioning the name conjures up these concepts. The links that marketing develops can foster customer pride in their association with a brand’s products and services.

Marketing Builds Relationships

Marketing brings together the many functions that enable an organization to build customer relationships. 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. Insight derived from marketing analytics and research informs the choice of communication channels, content and messaging that make a brand meaningful. Marketers also select from a host of modern marketing strategies, such as contracting with relationship-based social media influencers, to help engage a target audience. All this maintains a brand’s relevance and engenders customer trust and loyalty.

Marketing Generates Revenue

Strategies, brands and relationships all ultimately aim to generate revenue. Marketing works in conjunction with sales to move products and services. These collaborative efforts guide whether a company will sell directly to customers through a website or in-app purchase options, or indirectly through intermediaries like distributors and retailers. Executives at all levels should understand the different levers to pull to work strategically with marketing.

The more one knows about the interdependence of business functions, the more they 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 offered fully online by the University of South Carolina Aiken.

Learn more about the University of South Carolina Aiken online MBA General program.

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