2021-2022 / MARK0781-2

Strategic Marketing Seminar


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in management, professional focus in law and management5 crédits 
 Master in management, professional focus in law5 crédits 
 Master in management (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in management (120 ECTS) (Management of Transitional Organizational Systems (MOST))5 crédits 
 Master in management (60 ECTS)5 crédits 


Claire Gruslin, Jonas Heller

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course Strategic Marketing Seminar can be considered as an intermediate marketing course, positioned between different marketing courses, and focusing on a strategic understanding of marketing as a discipline. This course builds on insights from the undergraduate marketing courses and will further advance your knowledge in marketing. At the end of the seminar, you shall be able to apply key frameworks and theories to analyze marketing-related issues in a strategic and analytical way to support the decision-making process of Chief Executives of any organization. 
The content of the course will closely follow the comprehensive book of Palmatier & Shridhar (2017) "Marketing Strategy: Based on First Principles and Data Analytics". The book is based on four marketing principles, that we will follow in the course, namely: 

  • Marketing Principle #1: All Customers Differ: Understanding customer heterogeneity
  • Marketing Principle #2: All Customers Change: Learning about customer dynamics 
  • Marketing Principle #3: All Competitors React: Understanding competitive advantage 
  • Marketing Principle #4: All Resources Are Limited: Managing resource trade-offs 

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The course focuses on designing strategies from the market back to create, deliver, and sustain customer value in competitive and dynamic markets. To do so, this course deals with a comprehensive investigation and analysis of all major components of marketing strategy and their integration.

  • Strategy (KLO1): Establish a strategy in order to optimize the value chain of a company... ... based on the analysis of its financial and economic context. ... taking into account its political, social, and societal context. ... taking into account its legal constraints. ... adopting the position of a marketing specialist. ... demonstrating a critical mind and scientific precision.
  • Implementation (KLO2): Take charge of the everyday management of a company, and more especially of a project related to strategic marketing... ... working efficiently in an international and multidisciplinary team, among others in a leading position. ... analyzing one's managerial practice with a critical and ethical mind.
  • Communication (KLO4): Communicate efficiently about a company... ... in at least two languages, including English and French. ... taking into account the multicultural and international features of their environment.
  • Adaptability (KLO5): Adapt one's managerial practice to the needs of a fast-evolving world... ... being conscious of its societal, economic, political, and environmental issues. ... showing curiosity and a scientific precision of academic level. ... showing creativity, autonomy, and entrepreneurial spirit. ... developing one's expertise in a lifelong learning perspective.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

The students are required to participate actively during the group sessions. Accordingly, they need a good proficiency level in spoken and written English. A basic marketing course in marketing and/or knowledge of the basic concepts of marketing is required 

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Specifically, the course will focus on the following content of the book: 

  • Introduction: Recap of basic marketing principles & introduction to marketing strategy (Week 1)
  • Part 1: All customers differ - Customer Heterogeneity (Week 2) 
  • Part 2: All customers change - Customer Dynamics (Week 3) 
  • Part 3: All competitors react - Competitive advantage (Week 4-7) 
  • Part 4: All resources are limited - Resource trade-offs (Week 8) 
  • Conclusion: Implementing marketing principles & analytics (Week 9) 
  • Finalizing group project and Q&A (Week 10) 
The sessions of the strategic marketing seminar will all take place online via MS teams. All sessions will follow a "sandwich-architecture". 
The first of the nine 3-hour sessions will begin with an introduction, outlining the overall objective, agenda, and context of the entire course. It will then proceed with the contents of the upcoming first session.
Most of the sessions will then be taught in alternating phases of collective learning and individual learning.
  • In the collective learning phases, the foundational theoretical inputs will be delivered by the lecturer in traditional lecturer-centered, frontal teaching.
  • For the individual learning phases, the students will be given short, precisely formulated tasks related to the input previously given in the collective learning phase, which they are then supposed to fulfill either individually or in small groups within the following 10-20mins.
A brief classroom assessment (e.g. in the form of a short presentation/talk of one or several group speakers, a collective brain storming, multiple-choice tests using classroom response systems, or other classroom assessment techniques) at the end of the individual learning phases ensures the documentation of the results.
The lecturer provides a recapitulation of the content of the session and the results towards the end of each 3-hour session. Since a focus of the course is on implementation, this recapitulation will include short group assignments, for which the students have 30mins to 1 hour to complete at the end of the session, during which the instructor is available for questions. For these assignments the students will be divided into groups of 5-6 persons in the first session, which are final for the whole duration of the seminar.
Within the assignments, the groups will have to complete a long-term strategy for a company. The instructor will provide students with a set of 6 different companies to choose from. The process of coming up with this strategy is divided into several steps (assignments in various weeks). The complete marketing strategy of each group will also be the group evaluation part of the final grade and account for 30% of the overall grading.
Additionally, a conclusion of the day is provided, by which the students will be able to give immediate feedback on the session (e.g. what was the most important part? What remains unclear? What was the muddiest point of the session?), to which the lecturer will respond to at the beginning of the next session, before a brief outlook at this next session will be given.
The course depends on students working in teams. Each team will work on one company of their choosing and consist of at most 6 people. Your instructor will form and announce these teams at the end of Week 2. Switching teams afterwards is not allowed for any reasons. 

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

This course will be taught fully online, using the software "Lifesize". All scripts and assignments will be provided to the students in electronical form.

Recommended or required readings

The content of the course will closely follow the comprehensive book of Palmatier & Shridhar (2017) "Marketing Strategy: Based on First Principles and Data Analytics".
The book is complemented with marketing research literature on emerging technologies that shape marketing strategies: 

  • Hilken, T., Heller, J., Chylinski, M., Keeling, D. I., Mahr, D., & de Ruyter, K. (2018). Making omnichannel an augmented reality: the current and future state of the art. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 12(4), 509-523. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-01-2018-0023
  • Quesenberry, K. A., & Coolsen, M. K. (2019). Drama goes viral: Effects of story development on shares and views of online advertising videos. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 48, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intmar.2019.05.001
  • Heller, J., Chylinski, M., de Ruyter, K., Mahr, D., & Keeling, D. I. (2019). Let me imagine that for you: Transforming the retail frontline through augmenting customer mental imagery ability. Journal of Retailing, 95(2), 94-114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretai.2019.03.005
  • Appel, G., Grewal, L., Hadi, R., & Stephen, A. T. (2020). The future of social media in marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-019-00695-1 

Assessment methods and criteria

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire )

- Remote

oral exam

Additional information:

First session of examination (January)

  • Individual evaluation (70%) - The Strategic Marketing Seminar examination in January is a written individual exam with Multiple choice questions covering the above-mentioned relevant parts of Palmatier & Shridhar (2017) "Marketing Strategy: Based on First Principles and Data Analytics", and specifically focused on the topics covered in the sessions. To prepare for the exam, carefully review the relevant chapters of Palmatier & Shridhar (2017) "Marketing Strategy: Based on First Principles and Data Analytics" as well as the academic articles that you had to read, specifically the topics covered in the sessions. Exam questions will be multiple choice questions with only one correct answer out of four answer possibilities. Exam questions will be multiple choice questions with only one correct answer out of four answer possibilities.
  • Group evaluation (30%): Sample marketing strategy developed in group work based on the assignments at the end of each class, to be submitted by December 16th, 2021, 23:59. The long-term marketing strategy for a company will be the result of the group work assignments given at the end of each session. For these assignments, students will be divided into groups of 6 in the second week. These groups are final for the whole duration of the seminar. Groups will then be able to choose one company out of a range of six from different industries and backgrounds. The groups will then step-by-step develop the marketing strategy for this company based on the assignments in the sessions. It is expected that the groups apply the concepts and models they learned about in the sessions when developing their long-term marketing strategy, as well as considering recent academic articles that were discussed in the classroom. It is imperative to give reasons, cite evidence, and explain all choices made in the marketing strategy. The full marketing strategy should comprise of a 5-minute video presentation that is recorded in a business professional manner and advice the chosen company on their marketing strategy. The marketing strategy video presentation is to be submitted by December 16th, 2021, 23:59.
Your overall grade must be = 9 for both evaluation to pass the course.
Second session of examination:

  • Oral online exam (individual evaluation) in case you have not got 9/20 in in the MCQ in January
  • Individual Assignment in case you have not got 9/20 in the group evaluaton in January or in case you have not been integrated in one group in due time.

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks

(See the document available on Lola for all guidelines related to the organization of the seminar)
The course is organized within the context of the International Fortnight program of HEC Liège - Management School of the University of Liège that aims to welcome visiting faculty from highly reputed foreign academic institutions to teach in their area of expertise and collaborate with HEC Liège faculty, staff, and students in research and other academic activities.
The course consists of 30 class hours and will be held in 10 sessions of 3 hours programmed over two consecutive weeks: September 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25  from 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM.  The course is given in English.
Attendance is compulsory; it is important to participate in every session.
We only excuse your absence to the class in case of an imperious reason (such as sickness, family emergency). We need an original and official proof such as a medical certificate.
IMPORTANT: Given the importance of taking part in every session, the Article 37(§2) from the 'Academic and Examination Regulations' of the University of Liege (available here: http://bit.ly/2bMA71B) is applicable. According to this article, the teaching staff may declare students inadmissible for exams if they did not (i) physically participate in the seminar, or (ii) submitted their work in due time. Students who did not attend the seminar AND did provide an official proof may be considered eligible for the second session exam, but additional work is first required.


Instructors: Jonas Heller,
Assistant Professor at Maastricht University 
Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management 

Course coordinator: Claire Gruslin.  Should you have any questions with regard to the seminar, please do contact the coordinator first.