Sometimes you need more than a one-sentence answer. While the term marketing generally refers to what a company does to create value for customers, practicing marketers know they have a major role in setting their company’s strategic direction. Successful marketing requires a deep knowledge of customers, competitors, and collaborators–and great skill in serving customers profitably.

The book provides the foundation for developing those skills and insights. It’s organized according to the design of the first-year marketing course at Harvard Business School’s MBA program. Each chapter was written by HBS faculty and used by MBA students to analyze marketing opportunities and develop and execute successful marketing strategies. Areas covered include:

• Consumer behavior
• Business-to-business markets
• The four P’s-product, placement, promotion, and price
• Market segmentation, target market selection, and positioning
• Unique value propositions
• The design of new products and services
• Product line extensions and repositioning of exciting businesses
• Brand valuation and brand equity
• Fulfillment and after-sale service
• Direct, retail, and wholesale distribution channels and networks
• Marketing communications and promotions
• Advertising, public relations, and choice of media
• Pricing for profitability
• Personal selling and sales management
• Customer relationship management and customer privacy
• Customer acquisition, retention, and dismissal
• Basic math for making marketing decisions

Timeless yet timely, this book provides valuable background information for understanding and interpreting business and competition from a marketing point of view. That makes it useful in both formal and informal educational settings, including on-the-job training. Simply put, it’s required reading for marketing students and a must-have recourse for marketing professionals.


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