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Concepts in Marketing


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Concepts in Marketing is an introductory level course designed for adult business students. Over the course of 18 lessons students explore a variety of dynamic and successful businesses that demonstrate how marketing professionals:

  • Develop strategy, research consumer needs, and identify target markets.
  • Develop new products, set prices, select distribution channels, and create effective advertising campaigns.
  • Satisfy marketing opportunities with the “4 Ps”—product, pricing, promotion, and placement.
  • Meet and utilize the challenges of e-commerce.
  • Plan and execute global marketing strategies.

The centerpiece of each lesson is a video clip of the award-winning series, Concepts in Marketing. Each video takes students inside an intriguing organization to see how real-world marketing professionals put into practice the key concepts taught in the lesson. As the course unfolds, students will get an inside look at the marketing operations of such organizations as Starbucks, Quicksilver, TaylorMade Adidas Golf, The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and Habitat for Humanity. Each lesson integrates a company or organization case study with core learning objectives. With each case study, students will learn general concepts, definitions of terms, product or service history, and the latest in marketing trends.

Each lesson includes a number of interactive games and practice activities that engage students, reinforce learning, and the lesson ends with a quiz.

The recommended textbook for this course is Marketing: The Core by Roger A. Kerin, Steven W. Hartley, and William Rudelius. For textbook purchase information contact McGraw Hill Higher Education.

For access to Coast Learning Systems’ online course preview site, please complete a Preview Request Form.

Lesson Titles and Descriptions

1. An Introduction to Marketing – Case Study: Las Vegas

This lesson sets the tone for the entire telecourse. Set in the high-visibility marketing environment provided by the city of Las Vegas, the lesson offers students the opportunity to view the relationship between the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the various organizations that benefit from the marketing efforts of the LVCVA, and the ultimate consumers whose needs are being satisfied. Beginning with a description of the marketing concept and ending with a focus on ethics and social responsibility, this lesson provides an excellent starting point to launch our study of marketing.

2. Marketing Strategy – Case Study: Habitate for Humanity International

Marketing activities do not occur independently of an organization’s overall goals and objectives. From the vision and mission statement, goals and objectives are developed and passed down through all the departments/divisions of an organization. Whether a for-profit entity or a nonprofit organization, successful firms align marketing efforts with the corporate strategy.Using the example of Habitat for Humanity, a worldwide nonprofit organization, the case study shows students the steps involved in developing a marketing strategy that connects Habitat’s mission with all its stakeholders. Starting with a vision to provide adequate housing for people by giving them “a hand up, not a hand out,” Habitat has grown into one of the most respected organizations in the world by setting strategic direction using SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis and a market-product focus. Its marketing program is especially critical, since Habitat recruits volunteer talent and materials donations from businesses in the communities where it builds homes.

And, while Habitat for Humanity does not seek to make a profit, the organization must still be competitive.
Two of its competitors include the Boys and Girls Clubs and the Salvation Army—both of which rely on
donations of time, money, and materials. It is interesting to look at marketing and other strategic activities
from the nonprofit organization point of view.

3. Environmental Scanning – Case Study: Freedom Innovations, Inc.

The Small Business Administration estimates that 80 percent of new businesses fail within the first five years. Assuming this statistic is accurate, what are the successful 20 percent doing differently? Freedom Innovations, Inc., has been in business for 18 years designing and creating prosthetic limbs for active people who want to “stay in the game.” The practice of environmental scanning allows Freedom Innovations to monitor the forces—social, economic, technological, competitive, and regulatory—that affect all businesses. Failing to monitor the various forces no doubt contributes to business failures. This lesson explores an unusual business and how it has successfully brought new life to its target market.

4. Ethics & Social Responsibility – Case Study: Starbucks Coffee Company

When Howard Schultz purchased Starbucks Coffee Company in the early 1980s, he had a vision for a different kind of company: one that treats its employees and suppliers as partners, is socially responsible, makes money for shareholders, contributes to the community, and provides a good cup of coffee.In this case study, the subjects of ethics and social responsibility are explored using one of the best-known brands on the planet and a recognized leader in the business-environment partnership. Starting from the top down, students see the impact of one person’s vision on corporate culture and how that is passed down to all employees in the organization, giving them the structure for making ethical choices through a written statement of guiding principles (Code of Ethics). Working with coffee growers, Starbucks devises a sustainable development plan to leave as small a footprint as possible on the environment. This desire to be a socially responsible leader carries over to all aspects of its business, with the “Green Team” responsible for continuous improvement in meeting its green business objectives. An annual corporate social responsibility report lets the company assess whether it is meeting its many social responsibility objectives.

Interviews with people from Jumpstart, a nonprofit organization, show how Starbucks works with other businesses in cause-related marketing programs that benefit the larger community. Ethics and social responsibility are factored into everything this company does. Starbucks provides a great example of businesses doing well by doing good.

5. Consumer Behavior – Case Study: Dewey Weber Surfboards

This lesson explores the forces that influence individual consumer behavior. It follows Andrew Cowell, successful father, lawyer, and surfer, through the process of buying a surfboard from Dewey Weber Surfboards. The lesson illustrates why and how people buy, including the major psychological and sociocultural influences on individual behavior. Leading students through the five steps of the purchasedecision process, the case study follows Andrew from the beach to the store as he seeks information, establishes purchase criteria, and makes this high-involvement purchase, all the while reminding us of the “cool” factor associated with owning a genuine Dewey Weber board. How businesses can understand and influence consumer behavior is also illustrated by the staff of Dewey Weber Surfboards, who are charged with sustaining and protecting the legend of Dewey Weber as well as making a profit from the business. Also included are interviews with and footage of the Dewey Weber championship surfing team, which serve as a promotional tool for the company.

6. The Organizational Buying Process – Case Study: Nature’s Best

Nature’s Best is a privately owned wholesaler-distributor of health foods and natural products, buying some 20,000 products from 1,000 different vendors and reselling these products to 2,000 retailers in the western United States. (Nature’s Best also figures prominently in the case study for Lesson 14, “Retailing & Wholesaling.”)This case study looks at the various organizational markets and how Nature’s Best approaches its reseller markets. Viewers see the Nature’s Best buying committee discussing objectives and criteria for buying certain products and for vendor selection. Nothing is left to chance in this reseller’s buying decision process. The roles of derived demand and supply partnerships are explored using well-known companies, such as Newman’s Own Organics.

Nature’s Best is an excellent study in how organizational buyers help products wend their way from manufacturer to ultimate consumer.

7. Global Marketing – Case Study: TaylorMade-adidas Golf

TaylorMade-adidas Golf began as a garage business in Illinois and grew quickly—too quickly. Orders came in so fast for the world’s first metal driver that the founders sold TaylorMade to the Salomon ski company in order to use its engineers and manufacturing facility to expand the business. Later, through foreign direct investment, Salomon was purchased by adidas, the international German company that specializes in sporting equipment and apparel.The case study of TaylorMade-adidas Golf illustrates the value of performing cross-cultural analysis before entering a foreign market and shows how the results of that analysis are applied to its product. In addition to sociocultural issues, managers discuss the importance of a country’s infrastructure, the currency exchange rate, the effect of tariffs and quotas, protectionism, dumping, and gray market practices.

This lesson also covers how elements of the marketing mix are applied or adapted for various markets and cultures.

8. Marketing Research – Case Study: Information Resources, Inc.

Information is the lifeblood of the marketer. By transforming quality data into useful information, the marketer can more effectively plan and implement successful strategies. In effect, the marketer is setting the odds for success more squarely in his or her favor. The case study for this lesson focuses on Information Resources, Inc., a leading marketing research organization that specializes in the consumer packaged-goods industry. With sales of nearly $500 million, Information Resources is an industry leader whose motto is to determine “the why behind the buy.” During this program, students will become familiar with the distinct steps that Information Resources takes in the marketing research process, the numerous methods used to collect primary and secondary data, and the technology that has elevated this field to superstardom in the marketing environment.

9. Segmenting & Targeting Markets – Case Study: Chocolates à la Carte, Inc.

Starting in her own kitchen with a $1,000 investment, Rena Pocrass turned her culinary skills into a multimillion-dollar business by creating unusual dessert molds made from the world’s finest chocolate. Encouraged by friends and family members, she surveyed the market and found that competing with established retail chocolatiers would be difficult, but that the organizational markets, specifically the luxury hotel market, had needs that could be easily identified and easily reached. By segmenting the market based on geography (location), usage rate (80/20 rule), and benefits sought (quality, convenience), Chocolates à la Carte is able to create synergy for its customers and is gradually expanding its target markets. Using a marketproduct grid, a perceptual map, and a marketing trategy of product differentiation, Chocolates à la Carte has
been successful in positioning its product as creative and of better quality than the competition.

10. New Product & Service Development – Case Study: Stadium competitions, Inc.

When Jerry Stansbury, the owner of Stadium Competitions, Inc., decided to turn his passion for automobiles and racing into a new business venture, he probably wasn’t thinking that his company was providing services that were at the beginning of the new-product development process. Nevertheless, both services and tangible products should offer the same benefit to the marketplace—to satisfy the needs of the ultimate users. In this case study, students will see how Stadium Competitions has evolved from being a racing promoter to an important industry consultant by constantly developing its own new products/services. Students will also appreciate the process by which Jerry Stansbury has contributed to the new-product development process for his many clients. After watching this video, students should more fully understand the process that companies go through as they find needs in the marketplace and attempt to satisfy those needs with new products and services.

11. Managing Products & Services – Case Study: Quicksilver, Inc.

In its earliest years, Quiksilver, Inc., sold only one product—the surfing boardshort. Today, it offers multiple product lines under many different brand names. Quiksilver provides a great example of the challenges that a small, entrepreneurial business can face trying to expand and manage its product lines while at the same time growing to become a billion-dollar global giant. As students watch this video, they will see how branding, packaging, and product-line management integrate with the product life cycle. More important, however, they will see how an organization’s passion for its product can translate into economic success.

12. Pricing Products & Services – Case Study: Stuart Cellars, LLC

Pricing goods and services is often the most difficult part of the marketing mix. If the price is too high, some customers will not buy the product. But, if the price is too low, other customers may see the product or service as inferior. Stuart Cellars, a boutique winery, makes premium wines for an upscale market and knows there is lots of competition in all categories of wine production, much of it increasingly coming from overseas. In order to stay in business, Stuart Cellars must identify its pricing objectives and restraints, estimate future demand for premium wines, control costs and seek to make a profit, and establish a final price. This case study takes students step by step through the complex process of pricing a product—wine.

13. Marketing Channels & Supply Chains – Case Study: Pacific Coast Feather Cushion Company

Pacific Coast Feather Company (PCF) imports duck down and feathers from China. After processing the down and feathers, PCF supplies its partner company, Pacific Coast Feather Cushion Company (PCFCC),with processed down and feathers that are turned into custom-made cushions for high-end furniture manufacturers. PCF also uses the down and feathers to make pillows and comforters sold by retailers, such as Linens ’N Things and QVC.In this unusual and complex case study, students are taken through the entire supply chain and marketing channel process, from supplier to producer to consumer. The case study emphasizes the importance of supply chain management and logistics management in keeping the various customers in the channel satisfied at a reasonable cost.

In addition to supply chain and logistics management, this case study illustrates the difference between a supply chain and a marketing channel. These two closely related companies at times share a supply chain but take two different routes in the marketing channel.

14. Retailing & Wholesaling – Case Study: Mother’s Market & Kitchen

Where would we be without the retailers who provide us with the products and services we need, when we want them and where we want them? Can you imagine having to run to the butcher, the baker, and the produce grower, just to get food? And, what if you wanted only organically grown food products? Mother’s Market & Kitchen is an independently owned grocery store that specializes in serving this growing market niche—people who want to buy foods free of chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, and artificial anything.Like most retailers, Mother’s does not produce the goods it sells. The company buys goods from wholesalers, such as Nature’s Best, previously introduced in the case study for Lesson 6. Students see how wholesalers and retailers work together and are responsible for creating form, time, place, and possession utility, as well as giving Mother’s unusual depth of product in its merchandise line. This case study looks at the retailing mix, how gross margins are calculated, classification of retailers, coping with shrinkage, the wheel of retailing, and the retail life cycle.

15. Integrated Marketing Communications – Case Study: Specialized Marketing Services, Inc.

This case study on Specialized Marketing Services, Inc. (SMS), presents the marketing problem faced by all companies: how to put together a promotional plan that communicates effectively with the customer. SMS takes us through the problem-solving process from researching the target audience’s wants and needs to determining the best way to reach that audience. Using eMachines, Canon, and some of SMS’s other clients as examples, the video explores each element of the promotional mix, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each element. In addition, the case study of SMS illustrates the steps involved during the planning, implementing, and controlling stages of an integrated marketing communications (IMC) campaign based on the objectives stated by its customer. Also, SMS shows how to use IMC and various elements of the promotional mix, including direct marketing, to achieve these results.

16. Advertising, Sales Promotion, & Public Relations – Case Study: Long Beach Ice Dogs

Imagine for a moment that your business is the underdog in a highly competitive market. Your advertising, sales promotion, and public relations goals include raising awareness of your existence, getting people to choose you over the brand name competitors, and selling more product. And . . . you have practically no budget to accomplish these goals.The Long Beach Ice Dogs, a professional minor-league hockey team of talented young players who hope to one day compete in the NHL, faces this problem every season. The team’s solution is to find creative ways of achieving its goals instead of relying primarily on radio, television, and newspaper ads. In addition to the Ice Girls, a volunteer cheerleading squad, and the team mascot, Spike, who entertains off and on the ice, the Ice Dogs have developed theme nights, premium-with-purchase nights, cooperative advertising of events, and “Hockey at the Beach” to create a unique public image for itself in a market saturated with entertainment and sports options.

This case study explores how an organization challenged by a small marketing budget can score points with the fans by creatively using all the promotional elements at its disposal to communicate with potential customers and sell tickets.

17. Personal Selling & Sales Management – Case Study: The Telein Group, Inc.

What better way to explain the personal selling and sales-management process than to witness it in action? The Telein Group is a consulting firm that helps other businesses become more effective in reaching their organizational goals. In this case study, students are allowed into a sales meeting of The Telein Group as the firm’s members discuss the best way to approach a potential client, Best Brands Corporation, a leading manufacturer and distributor of baked goods and baking supplies.Various approach, pre-approach, and presentation formats are discussed and a need-satisfaction format is decided upon. Using this approach, a Telein team will contact the executives at Best Brands and use adaptive and consultative selling in an effort to convince them that Telein is the right firm for the job.

Students are taken through the personal selling process from beginning to end. In addition, the essentials of the sales management process are covered, including sales plan formulation, implementation, and evaluation.

18. Interactive & Multichannel Marketing – Case Study: Smarthome, Inc.

When Smarthome, Inc., opened its doors in 1992 as a very small retailer of home automation products, few people could have imagined that within the next decade the company would become an active participant in one of the most significant technological revolutions in history. At the time, Smarthome was simply a printcatalog retailer of convenient and inexpensive products designed for the average consumer to customize and automate the home.In 1995, however, Smarthome saw a new avenue of distribution and communication in the marketplace—the Internet. The company immediately took advantage of this new media and developed one of the first e-commerce sites on the Web, where the results exceeded everyone’s imagination. Thanks to interactive and multichannel marketing strategies, Smarthome has established itself as a leading designer, manufacturer, and online retailer of home automation products. This case study takes students through this process.

National Academic Advisory Team

Alison Adderley-Pittman, M.B.A., Brevard Community College
Vena Garrett, M.B.A., Orange Coast College
Constance B. Golden, M.B.A., Lakeland Community College
Norman Kaderlan, Ph.D., Technology Innovation Group, Inc., University of Texas at Austin
Frances F. Lea, Ph.D., Germanna Community College
Myke McMullen, M.B.A., Long Beach City College
Rebecca Mihelcic, Ph.D., Howard Community College
Dennis Morgan, M.B.A., Orange Coast College, Morgan Marketing Group
Linda M. Newell, Ph.D., Saddleback Community College
Sue Umashankar, Ph.D., University of Arizona
David A. Wiley, M.S., Anne Arundel Community College

On-Camera Experts

Richard W. Adams, Co-Owner, Long Beach Ice Dogs
Ron Aller, Vice President of Casino Marketing, Stardust
Paul W. Bates, Vice President, Client Service Group
Danielle Beck, Core Market Manager, Roxy
Denny Bender, Habitat for Humanity International
Steven Bombola, Consulting General Manager Stuart Cellars LLC
Joshua Brock , Cup Fund Recipient
Raquel Brown, Co-Founding Partner, The Telein Group Inc.
Maria Burrow, Buyer, Nature’s Best
Michael A. Carr, Executive Vice President Pacific Coast Feather Cushion Co.
Roland J. Christensen, CEO, Freedom Innovations Inc.
Dan Cregg, Vice President Engineering, Smarthome Inc.
Matt Dean, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Smarthome, Inc.
Anthony deGuzman, Vice President of Field Operations, Jumpstart
Dewey Weber Surf Team

Dewey Doan, Regional Vice President, Quiksilver Inc.
Jeff Dyrek, Director, Marketing & Game Operations, Long Beach Ice Dogs
Gregory C. Ellis, Senior Vice President & Partner, Rosetta Marketing Strategies
Robert Erb, Executive Vice President TaylorMade-Adidas Golf
Yvette Espiritu, Account Manager, Hiatt Furniture
Kate Frame, National Sales Manager, Newman’s Own OrganicsJoe Fuscaldo, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Sam’s Town
Omollo Gaya, Coffee Tasting Room Assistant, Starbucks
Rebecca Geffert, Senior Vice President, Analytic Insights Group Information Resources Inc.
Scott Goodspeed, Vice President, Sales/Marketing, Chocolates à la Carte
Don Hall, Ph.D., Partner, The Telein Group Inc.
Mick Hall, President & Chief Creative Director, Hall Communications
Cyrille Hanson, Wine Broker & Distributor, Vine Tales
Ron Harding, Double Amputee
Dub Hay, Senior Vice President Starbucks
Collette Henn, Manager Corporate & Community Development Long Beach Ice Dogs

Hans Hiatt, President, Hiatt Furniture
Randy Hild, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Quiksilver Inc.
Diana Hirst, General Manager, Hi-Time Wine Cellars
Paul Holden, Director of Operations Vitamin & Body Care, Mother’s Market
Chris Hukill, Graphics Design, Stadium Competitions Inc.
Joseph D. Johnson, LLD, President/CEO, The Telein Group Inc.
Jerry Johnston, Vice President Operations/Organizational Development, Nature’s Best
Kevin Kaminski,Head Coach, Long Beach Ice Dogs
Justin Kemp, Director Business Development & Team Services, Long Beach Ice Dogs
John Kensey, Smarthome Consumer
Todd Kline, Surf Program Manager, Quiksilver
Cristina Kopecky, Vice President, Pacific Coast Feather Cushion Co.
Roxanne Leap, Executive Vice President, Analytic Insights Group Information Resources Inc.
Mark Leposky, Chief Operations Officer, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf
Karen Peterson Lienau, Marketing Manager, Habitat for Humanity International

Jeffrey Light, Chairman and Founder, Jason Natural Cosmetics
Randy Lindberg, President & CEO, Nature’s Best
Marlene Lockwood, Director Strategic Planning, Habitat for Humanity International
Shahr Lopatin, Director Sales & Tech. Services, Freedom Innovations Inc.
Karin Lysek, Director, Global Marketing Services, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf
Foster Bruce Macgurn, Chairman, Mother’s Market
Elizabeth R. Macken, Vice President, Client Service & Consulting, Information Resources, Inc.
Merle Marting, VP of Global Marketing TaylorMade-Adidas Golf
Nina McClendon, Habitat for Humanity International
Lauren Moore, Director Community Affairs & Giving, Starbucks
Michael Moss, Vice President Operations, Rocamojo Inc.
Richard N. Myers, Jr., President & COO, Freedom Innovations, Inc.
Nancy Murphy, Vice President of Sales, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
Michael Nunes, Chief Information Officer, Smarthome Inc.
Jay Oshiro, Analytic Insights Group, Information Resources, Inc.

Ben Packard, Director Environmental Affairs, Starbucks
Elizabeth Papagni, Vice President of Client Services, Specialized Marketing Services Inc.
Russell Parker, Vice President Purchasing & Marketing, Nature’s Best
Char Partelow, Vice President Panel Consulting Group, Information Resources, Inc.
Beverly Prather, Sales Manager, Sam’s Town
Rick Pocrass, CEO, Chocolates à la Carte
Rena Pocrass, Founder & President, Chocolates à la Carte
Neil Puro, President & Founder, Pacific Coast Feather Cushion Co.
Rossi Ralenkotter, Executive Vice President, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
Ralph Rodheim, President, Rodheim Marketing Group
Carol Rón, Nature’s Best
Jason Root, Director Contact Center & Warehouse, Smarthome Inc.
Diane Rudman, Marketing Manager Chocolates à la Carte
Eric Sandberg, Director, Information Resources, Inc.
Anne Saunders, Senior Vice President Marketing, Starbucks

Marissa Simoncini, Account Manager, Hiatt Furniture
Bonnie Smith, Director, Hall Communications
Doug Smith, CEO, Best Brands Corporation
Amy Snyder, Vice President of Marketing, Roxy
Diane Snyder, Nature’s Best
Victor Sohagi, CEO, Mother’s Market
Anthony Soares, President, Long Beach Ice Dogs
Ryan Sousa, BRC Store Manager, Quiksilver
Doug Sprague, Vice President of Strategic Development, Specialized Marketing Services Inc.
Michael Stannard, General Manager, Specialized Marketing Services Inc.
Jerry Stansbury, CEO, Stadium Competitions Inc.
Dan Stark, Director of Marketing, Boyd Gaming Corporation
John Steinbach, Director of Global Communication, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf
Brian Stewart, Professional Race Car Driver
Marshall Stuart, Owner/Manager, Stuart Cellars, LLC

Ken Tasker, Long Beach Ice Dogs
Sandra Taylor, Senior Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility, Starbucks
Sean Toulon, Senior VP Product Marketing, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf
Strider Wasilewski, Surf Team Captain/Manager, Quiksilver
Caroline Weber, Owner, Dewey Weber Surfboards
Corey Weber, Dewey Weber Surfboards
Shea Weber, President, Dewey Weber Surfboards
John White, Mother’s Market
David Williams, Executive Vice President & COO, Habitat for Humanity International
Donald Wressell, Pastry Chef, Four Seasons Hotel
Keisuke Yamane, Product Marketing Manager Asia, TaylorMade-adidas Golf
Jack Yager, Director, Marketing and Brand Strategy, Habitat for Humanity International
Erika Yowell, Manager of Public Relations, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
Colin Zulianello, Long Beach Ice Dogs

I have worked with the staff at Coast Learning Systems for over 10 years. They are professional in all aspects and endeavor to keep up with the ever changing world of academia."
-Bonnie Shimasaki, Learning Resources Assistant, Pasadena City College


Instructors can customize the course by making learning assets open or closed to student view, add learning assets such as new assignments, discussion forums, web research activities, and extra credit work. Instructors also have the option to request a “copy” of their prior course each term. Finally, there is the option of turning on automatic student tracking that simplifies the evaluation process.

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