The Marketing Management Stack: A Free Intro Course

Develop your talent stack in marketing management.

Welcome to the Marketing Stack. This free online course is designed to help students further expand their talent stack with an introduction to the world of marketing. We will begin by covering a general overview and the foundations of marketing. Then, we’ll dive into the changes and opportunities that are taking place in the industry. We will finish out on how to begin developing your marketing stack.

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This online course will direct students to free videos, articles, and resources. Each section will offer two to three hours of learning material to build up your marketing stack.

At the end of each section, students will get an opportunity to invest in their learning. While this free online course can stand alone as a great introduction to the vibrant field of marketing, we encourage each student to keep in mind how they can use this experience to continue building their talent stacks and maybe enter into an advanced degree like an MBA.

The World of Marketing

Marketing is persuasive communication. It is the process of identifying and educating a consumer on why they should choose a service or a product over another. Marketing includes everything from ideation to delivery, considering the Four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion, which we’ll discuss further in our Foundations of Marketing section. 

Marketing is ubiquitous. The make and model on the back of our cars, the name of a coffee shop stamped on your morning takeout cup, the verbing of brand names (think: Googling), not to mention billboards, YouTube ads, 40% off sale emails, and product placement on our favorite shows. It’s everywhere. Check out Yeah, That’s Probably an Ad podcast for further conversation on creativity and marketing in our world. 

With this ubiquitousness in mind, what importance do you find in marketing? Read this piece on marketing, which lays out some of the same ideas and compare. What did you notice? 

Types of Marketing

There are many types of marketing. In this overview,  Hubspot describes 41 types of marketing. As you go through the list, identify examples of each of the types. Keep in mind that these types of marketing do not need to be mutually exclusive, so one example might cover a few types. 

Social media marketing is huge right now. Take a dip into the ins and outs of this marketing strategy with the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Note also the overlap between social media marketing and other types of marketing.

Who Are Marketers?

A marketer creates and oversees the implementation of marketing plans for their organization and evaluates the results of the plan with an eye toward their organization’s bottom line. The best marketers tend to have strong communication and analytical skills.

What aspects of marketing appeal to you? What are some of your strongest skills, your best talent stacks, and how do you think they translate well into a marketing role? Read this marketing piece from Feedough, which covers both the responsibilities of marketers and some of the common characteristics of those who are successful in their roles. Spend some time identifying a few of your strengths and areas for growth.

Needs & Wants

Marketers must be customer-centric because it’s one way to help what they are marketing stand out from everything else. A key for marketers is being able to identify a consumer’s needs and wants. Needs tend to sell themselves. If you need soap, you’ll buy a bar of soap. Wants go beyond needs. Wants allow questions around the ingredients or the scent of your soap. Wants need more marketing, and a good marketer can translate wants into more abstract ideas, like hopes. Buy this soap, have perfectly smooth skin. Check out this article from Forbes on needs and wants. Then analyze some of your recent purchases. What do they fall under, and how did the marketing potentially influence you to choose that particular product or service?

Marketing & Advertising

Deeply connected but distinct, marketing and advertising are not synonyms. Advertising, however, is a vital part of marketing. Can you delineate between them? Read through this article that goes more in-depth in the differences and relationships between the two. 

Investment Opportunity

Join the American Marketing Association or another professional organization. As a member of the AMA, you’ll have access to all the association’s content, from journals to toolkits to webinars. It also includes networking with your local chapter and industry discounts. 

Foundations of Marketing

Early Marketing

As they say, there’s nothing new under the sun. And marketing is no exception. It should be no surprise that the English word “marketing” comes from the word “market.” Depending on how it was used, marketing has shown up in English language writing as early as the 1560s, where it simply meant the business transactions at a market. But in 1897, we have the first recorded use of marketing that emphasized advertising and sales when it comes to transactions. 

Brands are an essential part of marketing. A recognizable brand creates loyalty and credibility, although those aren’t the only reason branding is important for an organization. Think about some of the brands that come to mind. What do they make you think or feel? Why are they compelling? This Balance article gives a few more reasons why branding is important for marketing.

It turns out, brands may, in fact, have been around for several thousand years, according to some professors from McGill University. As you read their paper on branding history, take note of how proto-brands bear similarities with brands of today. 

Roots of Modern Marketing

As we just learned, the term marketing in reference to the advertising of goods and services came about in the late 1800s, during the Industrial Revolution. This makes good sense, given this was a period when the ways we both made, sold, and bought things changed drastically. 

Diving into the roots of modern marketing, watch this lecture on marketing by Philip Kolter. Kolter, widely considered the father of marketing, discusses how economists in the early 1900s insisted on factoring in the impact of aspects beyond price that shaped demand in the market, thus giving rise to marketing as we understand it today. Consider the ties between marketing today and the economy but also the aspects of marketing that Kolter considers part of the humanities – showing the balance of marketers between the analytical and the creative. 

Borden & The Marketing Mix

Neil Borden developed the idea of the marketing mix in the 1950s and 1960s, which are the factors in all marketing. The marketing mix was later distilled down into the Four Ps by E. Jerome McCarthy: product, price, place, and promotion. These Four Ps interact closely with each other and are impacted by both external and internal factors, helping to identify barriers to the adoption of a good or service. As some of the barriers have changed over the years and new ones have arisen, the Four Ps are often expanded to the Seven Ps with the inclusion of people, process, and physical evidence. You can read more about the Seven Ps here. 

Spend some time reading Borden’s article on the marketing mix from 1964. What is still relevant today and what isn’t? 

Take a deeper dive into the Four Ps in this article. Take a service or good and apply the Four (or Seven) Ps to a marketing strategy. 

Investment Opportunity

Advertising is, arguably, the most visible part of marketing, and it’s of utmost importance for a successful marketer. Still, to understand advertising, you must also understand how the interplay with other factors in our society. Take this Advertising and Society course through Coursera from Duke University. This course will go over the relationship between history, culture, and the economy with advertising. It will take 11 hours to complete, and you have the option of paying for a certificate of completion. 

Changes in Marketing

Digital Marketing Continues to Evolve

Digital marketing uses channels like social media, search engines, and other channels on the Internet and digital devices. For some, digital marketing is considered a branch of marketing that insists on an almost entirely new way of engaging with customers. 

You can read more about digital marketing and some of the common types here. What avenues of digital marketing do you see most often or are most familiar with? What are your thoughts around the idea of digital marketing requiring a different approach to attracting customers?

Given the platforms of digital marketing, it’s no surprise that it is an area of marketing that is constantly and rapidly evolving. As a marketer, it’s therefore important to stay on top of new developments and trends. Here are four trends you might want to pay attention to in digital marketing in 2021. Are these trends you are already familiar with?

Email Marketing Is Revitalized

As part of digital marketing, email marketing has been around for ages at this point. But with the pandemic limiting many other channels for marketing, there has been a resurgence in interest in email marketing. There are a variety of reasons that email marketing can be an effective tool. 

Here are eight email marketing trends for the next year or so. Did anything surprise you? What’s your take on the role of email marketing in the near future?

One area of email marketing that’s currently being talked about is AMP email. If you aren’t familiar, AMP email allows marketers to embed elements in their emails that don’t require customers to open a new tab to go to the company’s website. Think confirmation or purchase buttons as examples. If this is perhaps a newer concept for you, this article goes more in-depth and looks at the differences between AMP and traditional types of email marketingListen to this episode from the Delivering podcast that looks at why AMP is something marketers might want to revisit. What’s your take?

Going Beyond Digital

If anything was to be learned from 2020, it was how much we need human connection. And as the world begins to move out of the pandemic, that perspective is seeping into current marketing trends. While digital marketing remains vital, given how online our world is, we are seeing a shift in what digital marketing looks like. What used to be considered “old school” email marketing is making a comeback, as we just discussed. This is partly because it feels more personal than many other digital channels. But there are also some genuinely in-person-type marketing trends making the rounds at the moment. Check out this piece on 2021 marketing trends with the perspective that what once was old is new again. How do you see the impact of the pandemic on the marketing you’ve created or seen recently?

Direct Mail Is Also Coming Back

Along with the trend of IRL marketing, we’re seeing a rise in direct mail marketing. To be fair, it’s never really gone away, but marketers have found a renewed interest recently. It can still be personalized and targeted, just like email marketing. This article covers some of the other ways direct mail marketing is being used today, as well as a breakdown of three types of campaigns for customer nurturing. What’s your take on direct mail as a marketing strategy?

To stay up-to-date with marketing trends, subscribe to the Marketing Trends podcast to hear from high-level marketers on their take on what’s new in the field.

There are always differing opinions from experts on what trends and changes are most relevant as with any field. From your perspective, what changes do you think marketers should be focusing on in the next year or so? What trends or changes pique your interest? Here are 15 marketing trends that professionals from the Forbes Agency Council see coming or happening now. 

Investment Opportunity

Take an email marketing certificate course from Hubspot. Dig into the email marketing side of digital marketing with this course. This is a nine-lesson course made up of 28 videos, and the program will take you around three and a half hours to complete. 

Opportunities in Marketing

Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing is not brand new but an area that offers continual growth and innovation for marketers. This take on marketing views customers first as people and uses that mindset to create unique, engaging, positive experiences as their marketing campaigns. This elicits a reaction from the consumer that makes the experience memorable and builds a positive connection to the brand. In many ways, experiential marketing is not marketing for a product but for the brand as a whole. 

Can you think of some instances of experiential marketing you’ve encountered recently? What did these campaigns evoke for you?

Let’s take a deeper dive into experiential marketing with this guide from EventMB. You’ll dig into what this form of marketing is and how best to use it, and when to achieve the biggest impact. One challenge when it comes to experiential marketing is how to measure the return on investment, which you’ll also read about. And spend some time with examples of compelling experiential marketing campaigns. Which stood out to you, and what was the impact on you? Would you consider them successful when it came to marketing to you, specifically? Why or why not?

What opportunities do you find with experiential marketing that aren’t present with traditional marketing campaigns? 

Advocacy Marketing

Advocacy marketing and experiential marketing are closely related. You could say, in some ways, an effective experiential marketing campaign will lead to advocacy marketing. Advocacy marketing is encouraging customers to share your brand, product, or service via word of mouth, social media shares, hashtags, or reviews because your customer thinks it’s just that good. Advocacy marketing can be compelling because people trust what their friends, acquaintances, and even strangers have to say about something. After all, unlike a company, the perception isn’t that they are trying to sell something to you. They’re just being helpful, friendly, and thoughtful. However, we should note that there are brand ambassadors, which is one advocacy marketing strategy. Brand ambassadors are clearly promoting a product, but the compelling aspects in many ways still hold. 

This blog post from Hubspot offers some suggestions to consider when it comes to doing advocacy marketing effectively

What have been some advocacy marketing strategies that have worked for you? Why were they effective?

Market Beyond Profit

Marketing isn’t just for those trying to turn a profit. Any organization can benefit from strong marketing, and most marketing strategies we’ve discussed can also apply to the nonprofit sector. 

In this podcast episode from Stories of Market Research, you’ll hear from marketers who are applying market research outside the for-profit realm. What strikes you as the differences and similarities when it comes to this world of marketing? 

Be sure to check out the case study they reference for the Pawsitively Making Changes campaign. 

Research Market Research

Market research is a useful area for marketers to have at least a general understanding of. It’s how organizations can determine if a product or service is viable and helps find target markets. Read through this overview of market research. Where do you see the value as a marketer in this type of research? What type of market research have you had experience with?

Check out this podcast episode from Happy Market Research with an interview with Whitney Dunlap-Fowler, founder of Insights in Color, a community for multicultural professionals in market research and insights. As a marketer, how do you consider inclusivity in your campaigns, if at all? 

Investment Opportunity

Digital marketing is the here and now, and it’s full of possibility. As a marketer today, it’s imperative that you have a handle on the digital side of things – think analytics, conversions, emails, SEO, and social media. This digital marketing course offers certifications aligned with Facebook, Google, and Hubspot and will provide a great foundation. You can also become an Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) when you complete the course.

Marketing Stack

Chart Your Career Course

Marketing has such a variety of directions you can take in terms of career choices. Consider your talent stack. Your unique type of creativity, your current skill set, and your areas of interest and expertise. All of these elements can help provide direction when it comes to your marketing career. Also, identify where you might have a gap in skills or knowledge in a particular marketing area and consider if those are things you want to develop or if you’d rather put your energy elsewhere. Because a large part of marketing deals with creativity and innovation, it’s great if you can find the areas that help encourage them.

This article from Indeed provides a high-level overview of typical skills and common marketing roles in the industry that can help you when thinking through how you’d like to shape your marketing career. If you want to go a tad deeper into some possible roles, check out this article that covers nine common marketing jobs

Check out the Marketing Careers Podcast. In particular, listen to the Career Moments episodes to hear from marketing professionals about their career paths and what has helped them succeed. There are a bunch to choose from; which do you find most aligns with your career plans or perhaps surprised you?

Learn Some Code

Granted, as a marketer, there are many reasons why you don’t need to know how to program, and you can have a successful career without it. But, marketing today is data-driven. So being able to analyze data and understand how a website or other platform works to continually improve a customer’s experience. And these can be valuable skills for a marketer to have in their back pocket. So, if you’re wondering about the connection between coding and marketing, check out this article from Hubspot

Here are several programming languages that you might want to look into as a marketer. Do you already know any of them? Or do you feel that any of them might be of particular benefit to your career goals and interests?

Flex Your Lens

One vital area of marketing is inclusive marketing. This isn’t just a buzzword. Inclusive marketing is good for brands and customers. People are more likely to buy into something when they see themselves represented in it. It’s a way to intentionally reflect the diverse world we live in. It’s important to note that it’s not a marketing strategy but rather something that comes out of an organization’s values, and consumers know the difference. 

This article gives a nice overview of why inclusive marketing is important and some examples of brands they have identified that are doing the work. What do you think of these campaigns? Do you feel they are effective and are beyond simply a strategy? 

Watch this roundtable discussion on inclusive marketing. What do you think about the term “woke-wash” and how is true inclusive marketing different? Did anything about this conversation spark something for you? How does the idea of inclusive marketing impact how you think about how you might approach a marketing campaign?

There’s always more to learn. Check out these seven marketing-related podcasts and the particular episodes called out for the lessons the author learned through them. What did these podcasts offer to you? And what have been the best marketing lessons you’ve learned so far in your career?

Investment Opportunity

In terms of inclusivity with marketing, practically speaking, there are many tools available that marketers can use to help make their campaigns more accessible. Watch this webcast from Microsoft on how you can leverage Office 365 to be more inclusive in your marketing. While the webcast is free, you will have to sign up to gain access to it. 

This is the end of our free online course to help you develop your marketing stack. We hope it gives you a great foundation to build on.