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Peer Review

15.834 Marketing Strategy



Overall Numeric Rating:

2.5 stars
Content Quality: 2.75 stars
Effectiveness: 2.75 stars
Ease of Use: 3 stars
Reviewed: Jun 12, 2013 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This material is an online Marketing Strategy course made available through MIT's Open Courseware. This Spring 2003 course is targeted toward graduate business students and consists of a syllabus, lecture notes, and course assignments. Professor Birger Wernerfelt‘s course teaches students to look at the marketing mix in the context of firm strategy. He adapts Michael Porter’s famous 5-force model of firm strategy to the specific context of marketing strategy. This course is very appropriate for students pursuing careers in which they need to look at the firm as a whole, not just the marketing department as a separate unit. These careers include consultants, investment analysts, entrepreneurs, and product managers.
Type of Material: Online Course
Recommended Uses: The author of the material views this as a course for graduate students interested in learning about marketing strategy utilizing an approach previously outlined. This reviewer, however, disagrees with this use, and sees this more as a resource for faculty teaching or preparing to teach a similar course. eyond an online course, aspects of this course can be integrated into a marketing strategy class to complement lectures with applied case studies and real world examples.
Technical Requirements: Internet browsing capabilities and ability to access pdf files.
Identify Major Learning Goals: As identified by the author, the learning goals are as follows: 1. identify, evaluate and develop marketing strategies; 2. evaluate a firm's opportunities; 3. anticipate competitive dynamics; 4. evaluate the sustainability of competitive advantages. The author's approach is to look at the firm as a whole and marketing's role in this firm.
Target Student Population: According to the author of the material, the target student population is graduate students. It is assumed these students are enrolled in an MBA program or similar business Masters program. It might serve as resource materials for an upper level undergraduate course as well.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic business knowledge expected of graduate students.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 2.75 stars
Strengths: The author of the material has presented a strong plan for teaching a graduate level Marketing Strategy course. There is a syllabus, lecture notes, and assignments that are available for review. The outstanding feature of this module is a diagram summarizing the overall structure of the cou
Concerns: As stand alone documents, these materials are meaningless to someone trying to learn about Marketing Strategy. The value would only be realized if the student could actually attend the author's course. Further, these materials were designed for a course taught 10 years ago. Some of the case choices would not be great choices for a class taught in 2013.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 2.75 stars
Strengths: If this material is updated for 2013, it could serve as an effective blueprint for someone teaching or preparing to teach Marketing Strategy. The course focuses on competitive advantage as a central organizing concept for marketing strategy.
Concerns: I cannot envision what someone would learn by simply reviewing these course files. The lecture notes are not meaningful without experiencing the professor's lecture. The Harvard Business School cases, while interesting, are not effective learning tools if there is no discussion of them. Even the best student would learn little if simply handed lecture notes and cases to read. Meaningful discussion and professor feedback are necessary to make this online course effective.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths: Materials can be accessed via the course website or downloaded in a zip file. While this reviewer experienced a few glitches with accessing various files, overall it was not terribly difficult to access the materials.
Concerns: The website seems antiquated and unappealing. When downloading the zip file, one ends up with many unnecessary files. One has to spend some time figuring out what materials were meaningful and which ones were not.

Other Issues and Comments: This could serve as a self-tutorial for someone wanting to review from previous coursework. As a "canned open course" there is limited value.