Welcome to the Introduction to Marketing Management Course
This is a free Marketing Management course encompassing five topics. In this online course, you’ll be introduced to a general overview and the history of Marketing and Marketing Management. We’ll explore what’s next on the horizon for Marketing Management, as well as current problems and opportunities in the field. This course ends with a next steps section for marketing managers.
- What Is Marketing Management?
- History of Marketing Management
- Future of Marketing Management
- Challenges & Opportunities in Marketing Management
- Next Steps for Marketing Management
This free online Marketing Management course directs you toward free podcasts, videos, podcasts, articles, and resources coupled with questions to aid in processing this field. Each section is created to encompass two to three hours of learning material.
Whenever you see this icon, it is time to stop and watch, listen, read, or reflect.
At the end of each section in this free course is an opportunity to invest further. These suggestions offer books, courses, or certifications, within a wide range of financial and time investments, to further studies and enrichment in the field of Marketing Management.
1│What Is Marketing Management?
Marketing is about relationships; it’s all about identifying, predicting, and fulfilling what customers or clients need or want. Marketing is not unique to just businesses; other types of organizations, from libraries to charities and government to religious institutions, use marketing strategies. Marketing is an important key for organizations to have a way to share about the services, products, or work they do with the public, so the public has an opportunity to avail themselves of what is being offered.
Marketing covers everything from branding to product design, advertising to distribution, and beyond. Every sector needs marketing, whether it be finances, healthcare, education, retail, transportation, food, government – you name it.
To get a base understanding of what marketing entails, take a few minutes to listen to this What is Marketing? podcast. The Marketing Professor discuses the idea of marketing creating wants vs needs. Consider the power that a marketing professional has in furthering a free market economy.
“Marketing” is also a catchall term for a wide swath of strategies. Quickly jot down any types of marketing you can think of; digital, B2B, and PR are just a few. For some perspective, here’s a list of 163 different types of marketing and their definitions to explore.
One strategy that is incredibly relevant today is message marketing. Dive into this marketing strategy with this Marketing over Coffee episode with Mike Yan, who is the CEO of ManyChat.
The Marketing Manager
At their core, marketing managers connect the value of their organization to the public. Marketing managers create and execute a strategy to cover the life of an organization’s service, product, or idea, from the birth of an idea through the distribution of the final result. A marketing strategy usually involves many people from the marketing team and beyond. As a result, there are many considerations a marketing manager must take into account when planning out a new marketing strategy.
This “marketing mix” provides five points of consideration when it comes to building a marketing plan. Consider an idea, product, or service you are working on marketing for, or come up with a new idea. Use the marketing mix to help fit the pieces of your plan together.
Everything we do is influenced by marketing in some way, from the products we buy to the ideas we espouse to how we interact with each other. A successful marketing manager must have data that shows that their company’s product or organization’s service, product, or idea will strike a chord with customers. It puts their product into a context that influences the customer to essentially feel they need it. This is marketing influence, which should not be confused with the rise of marketing influencers; it’s not about the product so much as it is about the narrative. This marks an important distinction between marketing influence and marketing influencers who are all over our Instagram feeds.
In this Forbes article on Influence Marketing and Influencer Marketing, influencers are broken into three categories – micro, macro, and mega-influencers. How do marketing influencers impact marketing influence?
Marketing influence provides so many avenues for creativity because marketing managers aren’t limited to selling a product. Instead, they are selling an idea, a value, a hope, a challenge. This article discusses trends in marketing and gives some excellent examples of the influence strong marketing can have on customers. Consider some memorable marketing campaigns you’ve seen. How did they influence you in ways beyond advertising a product?
The world of digital marketing is, for obvious reasons, rapidly expanding and evolving, and it’s not likely to stop any time soon. As a result, there are zillions of digital marketers doing some fascinating things. Here’s a list of 108 digital marketers who are worth checking out. Pick some that speak to you and spend time exploring their work and see if they spark ideas of your own.
Consider joining a professional marketing association like the American Marketing Association. Membership to the AMA gives you access to all of the association’s content. This includes digital journals, webinars, and toolkits, as well as industry discounts and access to local chapters.
2│History of Marketing Management
Marketing as a term comes from the buying and selling at, surprise, a market. There is evidence of branding as far back as Pompeii and ancient Mesopotamia.
This paper, The Birth of Brand: 4000 Years of Branding History, from professors at McGill University, posits that brands have been around for thousands of years. As you read, consider the similarities and differences of what they term “proto-brands” with our current branding culture.
Industrial Revolution – 1930s
However, marketing as we know it today has a much more recent history. While people have engaged in commerce since ancient times, many name the Industrial Revolution as the starting point for marketing. It was during the Industrial Revolution that the way we created and therefore sold and purchased goods dramatically changed.
Philip Kolter, is considered by many to be the father of marketing. He argues that the field of marketing began in the 1900s by economists who were disillusioned at the lack of mention of advertising in their industry. Take a listen to this lecture he gave on the history of marketing. As you listen, pay attention to what he names as marketing origins. How marketing is tied to the economy, and why he considers marketing part of the humanities.
Many, like Kolter, argue that marketing has directly created the lifestyles we currently live. In the 1930s, Proctor & Gamble came out with Ivory Soap, which was one of the first forays into content marketing. This strategy opened new avenues to reach customers with their “soap operas,” now a cultural icon deeply ingrained in American society.
Over the past 30 years, marketing has evolved alongside our technology. The Digital Marketing Institute explores the history of digital marketing through three pieces of now-ubiquitous technology – the internet, big data, and the smartphone. How have these three technologies impacted marketing? Do you agree with the future the article lays out for what this impact means for our future?
Truth or Lies
Marketers do not always carry the best reputations. Like Ali Hakim in Oklahoma!, those who make a living by trying to pull the wool over a buyer’s eyes to make a quick buck have been looked down upon. While this is an unfair portrayal of a field that has played a deeply influential and vital role in the shaping of our culture, economy, and future, everything isn’t always on the up and up. Here’s a brief history of some deceptive advertising over the years. As you read through these examples, does it raise any moral issues for you when it comes to how products are marketed?
Read through David Wengrow’s article, Prehistories of Commodity Branding. This article gives a more in-depth look at the history of early branding as far back as 4th century Mesopotamia, which arose out of the need for quality control over products.
One vitally important, and arguably the most visible, part of the marketing engine is advertising. Duke University offers an Advertising and Society course through Coursera. This course covers the relationship between advertising and history, culture, and the economy. This is an 11-hour course, and graduates receive a certificate of completion at the end.
3│Future of Marketing Management
We touched on this earlier, but as content has become a commodity, more and more organizations are moving to context-based marketing.
Matthew Sweezey, an author and Salesforce’s Principle of Marketing Insights, lays out his data-driven predictions of how marketing will evolve, data use will change, customer-trust will be built over the next five years and beyond. He discusses the importance of context-based marketing as it relates to the use of AI. He explains that consumers have grown increasingly accustomed to marketing that is targeted specifically at them in their context. In his research, Sweezey has found that only a small percentage of brands are high-performing marketers. As you listen, identify what categorizes them as such and key in on how brands can use context-based marketing to build trust and stay relevant with their customers.
For another example of context-based marketing, read this piece by the American Marketing Association on behavioral segmentation to help understand consumers.
An important distinction in this new world of marketing, though, is a re-evaluation of how marketing managers and organizations view their customers, clients, consumers. Senior Vice President, Creative at ESI Design, Layne Braunstein, believes organizations need to view them first as simply humans. This perspective helps marketing managers create strategies that are experiential – unique, interactive, actively engaging – and one that will ultimately change lives.
Listen to this TED Talk Braunstein gave about experiential marketing. What are the key points he lays out to create effective experiential marketing strategies?
Both experiential and context-based marketing blurs the lines between advertising and real life. In over-saturated markets, these types of strategies will help marketing managers create campaigns that will connect to their customers on an emotional, human-level, and drown out the cacophony of the competition.
COVID-19 & Marketing
With the astounding spread of COVID-19 across the globe, digital marketing is more important than ever. These online platforms become the only way for many organizations to reach the public. In fact, it’s become a question of survival.
Forbes is exploring how companies using digital marketing to transform and make it through this global pandemic. After reading these two articles, consider what tactics marketing managers can employ now to help their organizations carry on in the wake of what is becoming a completely new way of societal functioning?
With the economic downturn of 2020, one key element for marketing managers to consider is the effectiveness of their search engine optimization. SEO increases the visibility of web content on a search engine. Optimizing your web content helps bump your site up in the search results.
Here’s a quick overview of SEO to gain some context and a better understanding of how it all works at a base level.
Or, if you already have a good handle on SEO best practices, listen to this podcast episode on more advanced SEO topics to implement.
The thing is, SEO is a low-cost channel for marketing managers to invest in. So with marketing budgets being impacted, albeit for many not yet significantly, the high impact and low cost of improving SEO will have an overall positive effect. With so much economic uncertainty, both for organizations and consumers, finding inexpensive ways to continue to get products, content, and ideas in front of people will be an important part of the marketing manager’s role in this new reality.
If SEO is a new concept for you or even one you haven’t delved too deeply into, now it a great time to learn. Here are nine free SEO courses you can take.
For current marketing managers trying to navigate their role in a COVID-19 world, marketing strategist Amy Porterfield has a podcast with some great episodes on marketing in this new reality.
Digital marketing in all its iterations is the present and future of marketing. The Digital Marketing Institute offers a variety of digital marketing certification courses. These courses will help marketing managers better understand the landscape of digital marketing and make smart business decisions in an uncertain future.
4│Challenges & Opportunities in Marketing Management
Of all executive-level positions, the chief marketing officer often has the shortest tenure at an organization. On this Think with Google Podcast episode about the Modern CMO, CMOs from Hilton, Foot Locker, and Levi share how their role in their companies provides some of the greatest spaces of opportunity, especially when it comes to impacting their brands’ growth and bottom lines. As you listen, what are both challenges and opportunities you hear for marketing managers?
One of the challenges marketing managers face is the expanding use of new technologies. As we’re talked about numerous times, marketing is moving more deeply into the digital realm every day. This provides a vast number of opportunities for new ways to innovate, connect, and tell your brand’s story as a marketing manager. But new tech can also lead to overwhelming challenges, especially when it comes to the adoption of these new platforms.
Nadjia Yousif is a technology advisor at The Boston Consulting Group. She proposes that we should be interacting with new tech like it’s a colleague – a very expensive, highly skilled colleague. For an industry that requires an ever-expanding reliance on technology, this perspective can help marketing managers improve their efficiency as well as open doors for innovative marketing strategies. After listening to Yousif’s talk, consider your relationship with technology at work; what has your attitude been when it comes to adopting new platforms?
Boredom and Innovation
At its heart, marketing is a creative endeavor. And it’s a field that values the new, the innovative, the uncharted, the inspired. But sometimes as a marketing manager, it can be a challenge to continually come up with the next best idea. It’s easy to fall into a creative rut, fall back on the tried and true, and stick with what’s worked in the past. Considering much of marketing means working at a breakneck pace, there can often be little time to pause, reflect, and, yes, even be bored.
But as author and journalist Manoushi Zomorodi names, sometimes boredom can bring out your best ideas. This isn’t just an idea. Listen as Zomorodi explores the science to back it up. If you’re feeling a lack of inspiration, take some time this week to just be bored and see what comes of it. It might feel counterintuitive, but the practice of boredom can be a catalyst for your career in marketing management.
Finding the Right Career Path
So you want to go into marketing; that’s great. The thing is, there are so many different directions you can go as a marketing manager. The opportunities are wide and varied, and it can be a challenge to find the path that actually fits your skills, your interests, and your brand of creativity.
At the end of the day, your job as a marketing manager is to create, improve, and promote brands and connect to customers, but there are so many different opportunities to do this. Here’s a great list of some career paths you can take as a marketing manager. Which pathways resonate with you the most?
What are some of the biggest challenges in your marketing career? Are they based around technology or perhaps finding that spark of inspiration? If you find you need some ideas to help jumpstart your creative juices, here are some suggestions that might help you get out of a content marketing rut. They’re based around content marketing specifically, but the lessons can be applied more broadly. Or spark some inspiration by checking out some other marketing professional’s portfolios.
Digital marketing – it’s here, it’s the future. If you want to expand your experience on the digital end of marketing, from SEO to social media, conversions to analytics, this course can offer you a solid foundation as a marketing manager. It has certification alignments with Hubspot, Google, and Facebook, and you can earn an OMCP certification upon completion.
5│Next Steps for Marketing Management
Develop New Skills
Because marketing can take on so many different forms, marketing managers can and should continue to add new skills to their repertoire and not only those that are obviously bent toward marketing. Coding is one great example.
In a hyper-digital world, coding gives marketers the flexibility to create, run, and fix things that would otherwise have to be left up to others. This marketing article points out, that this skill makes the marketer the doer. As you read through this piece, take note of the other benefits of coding for marketers.
Understanding user experience is another great skill for marketers to have in their pocket. UX is just like it sounds, and it is what makes or breaks a marketing campaign. The better the experience for the consumer, the more likely they’ll engage with your campaign, whether it be buying your product, signing up for a program, or whatever other goals you have.
Take a listen to this UX in Marketing Podcast episode on how marketers can leverage UX by understanding human behavior, which is key to both disciplines.
Like much of the rest of the world, marketing can feel very uncertain in the face of the current COVID-19 crisis. Yet marketing managers are the ones who are helping their organizations successfully navigate through this pandemic, so they need to find ways to take back some control.
Take a minute to list out the organizational uncertainties facing marketers right now, either broadly or in your particular instance. Now read through these 10 tips from Blue Oceans PR on how to take back control right now. Can you apply any of these to help relieve the uncertainties you initially listed? While these tips are useful in our current context, they’re also good pieces of advice for marketing managers all the time.
Explore New Channels
Earlier, we discussed how boredom can help spark inspiration. Along similar lines, taking the time to step back from your work and look around at what others are doing is also an important practice to develop your innovative side.
One great area to research is marketing channels – what are upcoming platforms, and how can you leverage them? The Marketing School has a quick episode on some new and emerging channels that aren’t completely overused yet. Not only are they worth exploring, use them to help reimagine old channels of marketing.
UX is closely tied with behavior science, a field that is rapidly gaining traction in the business world, and one that can have a hugely positive impact on marketing success. Spend some time diving into the ins and out of behavior science. Read up on what firms like Next Step can do to help leverage behavioral design to improve your marketing. After all, as we discussed earlier, marketing as a discipline was started by economists – this Marketing Science article offers some perspective on how these two fields are deeply similar.
Never stop learning – this is true for everyone, but in a field as dynamic as marketing, this is especially true. Once you have concluded this free marketing management course, maybe purse an online marketing MBA or explore Springboard, which has a great list of 11 marketing classes on everything from automation to content to analytics and more.
And there are so many amazing podcasts out there on marketing; it’s hard to narrow it down. But check out this list of 27 different marketing podcasts you can learn from to help expand your horizons as a marketing manager.
This is the end of our free online Marketing Management course. We hope it gives you a good background on the topic!