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Peer Review

Strategic Marketing

by Andrew Whalley


Overall Numeric Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4.25 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4.25 starsstar
Reviewed: Mar 30, 2013 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: Strategic Marketing is an online textbook covering introductory topics in the field of marketing. The book is focused on studying marketing in terms of strategy and competitive advantage. It is available through as a free e-book with minimal advertising. Chapter topics include marketing's role in business, segmentation and positioning, branding, and the marketing mix. This module links to a free Strategic Marketing textbook authored by Andrew Whalley and provided through the website.
Type of Material: Free online textbook.
Recommended Uses: Introduction to the process of compiling a marketing plan. Could be used as a supplement to an introductory course or the textbook for a strategic marketing class.
Technical Requirements: Web browser and either Adobe Reader or Microsoft Word. Book can be downloaded in either a Word or PDF format. Download requires a valid email address.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Describe the field of marketing and how it functions in a contemporary business. Develop a strategic marketing plan appropriate for the company product or service.
Target Student Population: The text is available to any interested person. The topic itself lends itself to an upper-level Strategic Marketing course and undergraduate marketing students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Readers who have already completed some Marketing courses would benefit the most, however the text is understandable enough for those somewhat familiar with the concepts addressed.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: This reviewer admittedly did not read the entire 121 page text, however the chapters read seemed quite valuable. The text is understandable, covers a wide spectrum of marketing topics, highlights major theories/graphics that are well-established in the discipline, and in general, appears to be a worthy resource. Presumably since it was published in 2010, the information is relatively current and the document appears to be a well-written, supplemental overview of Strategic Marketing. Uses very credible sources throughout the book. Rich in marketing theory. All aspects of topics given very good coverage.
Concerns: This is not a traditional text in the sense that it comes with chapter-ending summaries, questions for thought, cases, etc. It therefore lacks the flexibility offered by other texts on the market, and would need additional support materials if used for classroom purposes. Additionally, traditional texts generally are longer than 121 pages, leaving this reviewer the impression that the material discussed isn’t perhaps as in-depth as needed for classroom purposes. Lastly, the text was rated a 3.5 out of 5, from 12 reviewers. Further information from these reviews was not accessible, and therefore the quality can only be interpreted at this numerical level. It needs more real-world, contemporary examples. Mini-cases from real companies would be helpful and would breakup the reading. Some student discussion questions at the end of each chapter would be beneficial if the textbook is used in the classroom.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: As a supplemental resource in the classroom and/or for the non-student, this text provides good information on the topic. The discussion is formatted in a logical sequence, incorporates charts/graphs/pictorial representations as needed to reinforce points, and is efficiently summarized in under 125 pages. The layout is conducive to finding information quickly and is well organized on the page, with headers, bullet points, etc. for readability. Individuals reading this text could learn much in a short period of time, ending with good foundational knowledge of Strategic Marketing. Excellent coverage of marketing theory. Documented sources provide students with a wealth of information on each topic. Multiple concepts presented in each chapter could be used as basis for discussions, assignments, and assessment material.
Concerns: For an instructor/student needing the support/complete discussion that is provided with a traditional textbook, this source would be limiting. There are no identified learning objectives, summaries, discussion questions or cases. The onus for Powerpoints, classroom activities or assignments would be completely on the instructor to develop, and therefore other texts may be more appropriate. Again, the rating was a 3.5 out of 5, indicating there were some concerns from other readers, however the nature of those concerns is unclear. Advertising in the e-book is a little distracting.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: The textbook is very easy to access and download, and is free making it a cost-effective resource for students. The textbook itself is nicely laid out with understandable language, graphics and good design style. There are some advertisements scattered throughout that make the “free” cost possible, however these are not overly distracting to the material. Book can be downloaded in either the Word or PDF format. Easy to navigate the PDF book.
Concerns: Though not a huge concern, the reader should note that several questions are asked/newsletter sign up is required prior to downloading of the text, and Adobe Reader must be installed. A larger concern is the lack of explanation for the ratings provided and/or a clear way to be a rater for the text.

Other Issues and Comments: Could not download in the Word format once the PDF was downloaded.