Innovation in marketing channels

A.A. 2023/2024
Crediti massimi
Ore totali
Obiettivi formativi
The management of distribution channels is going through profound changes. The definition of new business models (Lean Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas) and digital marketing innovations has greatly altered the nature and structure of marketing channels, thus creating more and more hybrid forms of companies' presence in the market: physical/offline vs virtual/online, or direct vs indirect. Omni-channel ecosystems, user-based innovations and co-creations, the diffusion of online communities, and the evolution of digital/technological tools have redefined how consumers purchase goods and services (both in B2C, B2B, and C2C), opening up a whole new array of strategic opportunities for channels of distribution (i.e., disintermediation or re-intermediation). The course aims to introduce the main issues involved in marketing channel strategy - including channel structure, channel design and management, channel performance, and channels' end-user analysis. Students will be provided with an overview of how conventional multi-channel distribution strategies moved toward omni-channel systems, exploring the impact of internet-based technologies and the key implications for distribution decisions. The first part of the course focuses on the nature of marketing channels, within the marketing mix, understanding how they are evolving, progressing, and changing. Channel players, behavioral processes, potential conflicts, power, roles, and communication will be discussed, specifically focusing on the benefits of upstream, intermediate, and downstream channel actors. The second part of the course focuses on how to effectively design, manage, and evaluate a marketing channels strategy, focusing on the main drivers of customers' expected service outputs: bulk-breaking, spatial convenience, delivery time, variety and assortment, customer service, information sharing. Finally, students will learn how franchising vs licensing channel strategies work, investigating their pro and cons through real case study analysis. Central issues around innovation in the digital economy will be covered, gaining knowledge on how to make products or services available to customers in more effective ways. Students will learn how to connect marketing channels strategies to the main trends in new marketplaces.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
At the end of the course, students will learn how to: critically assess the current situation of a company's marketing channel design and management; investigate through teamworking real cases of emerging successful startups by focusing on their distribution channel strategies; propose efficient and effective marketing plans to significantly improve the distribution channel management of such companies by presenting concrete strategic actions.
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica

Secondo trimestre

1) The Omni-channel ecosystem: how marketing channels are evolving
2) Channel basics: online/offline, direct/indirect; the channel matrix strategy
3) What is a distribution channel: development of the marketing mix; linkages between supply chain management and marketing channels
4) The main actors involved: producers, wholesalers, retailers, consumers; channel decision mix; go-to-market strategy in channel management
5) Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and Value-added resellers (VAR); upstream channel members; intermediaries; downstream channel members
6) Business Model Canvas: a focus on channels building block
7) Lean Canvas Model and Value Proposition Canvas: Uber case study
8) End-user analysis: channel segmentation, targeting, positioning
9) Commoditization and the sunk cost fallacy in marketing channels: examples; the "Ikea Effect"
10) Drivers of service outputs in marketing channels: bulk-breaking, spatial convenience, delivery time, variety and assortment, customer service, information sharing
11) Service outputs segmentation template; targeting end-users
12) Benefits for downstream channel members; benefits to upstream channel members for marketing channel strategies
13) Disintermediation and re-intermediation in marketing channels. Make or buy decision; cost-benefit analysis
14) Zero-based channel design; channel gaps analysis and matrix
15) Distribution depth and breadth; "store within a store" (SWAS) strategy
16) Metrics for measuring omni-channel depth and breadth
17) Franchising and licensing: an introduction
18) Franchising: McDonald's example vs Starbucks. Franchisor and franchisee; Disclosure Agreement Document
19) 7 types of franchising model: analysis and case studies
20) Licensing: brand extension example, Tiffany and Virgin. Brand dilution. Legal arrangements
It is strongly recommended to have already attended and successfully passed the course Digital Marketing and Innovation, which is considered as preparatory for this course.
Metodi didattici
Lectures in class, team-working activities, seminars by channel managers and marketers of innovative tech-based companies.
Materiale di riferimento
Book: "Marketing Channel Strategy: An Omni-Channel Approach" by Robert W. Palmatier et al. (2020).
Slides, reports, and materials provided by the Professor.
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
1) Attending students (80% of presence in class and active participation in teams): students will form a teamwork with other students and each team will be evaluated on both a written report ("growth strategy plan") that will be sent at the end of the course and weekly pitches (oral presentations) in front of the class during the course. Each team will be assigned real companies business cases with the aim of enhancing and innovating channel strategies.

2) Non-attending students: oral exam on Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11 of "Marketing Channel Strategy: An Omni-Channel Approach" by Robert W. Palmatier et al. (2020).
Lezioni: 60 ore
Docente: Zollo Lamberto
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