SMstudy® Marketing Strategy Associate certification course

Overview of Marketing Strategy. Get free SMstudy® Certified Marketing Strategy Associate Certification with this course.
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  • Lectures 41
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 12/2015 English

Course Description

This course titled " SMstudy® Marketing Strategy Associate certification course" contains overview of marketing strategy basics and is based on the SMstudy® Guide. It has 41 high quality videos on marketing strategy including a brief about evolution of sales and marketing. Upon completion of this course, students can get free 'SMstudy® Certified Marketing Strategy Associate' certification from www(dot)smstudy(dot)com. The course also touches upon the benefits of SMstudy® Guide. The SMstudy® Guide is developed by VMEdu, Inc., a global certification course provider that has educated over 400,000 students world-wide in more than 3,500 companies. It explains Sales and Marketing concepts through a practical, process-oriented approach. The course begins with the introduction video about sales and marketing in general and marketing strategy in specific. The course then touches upon specific topics to be studied as part of the marketing strategy. It describes how the Aspect of Marketing Strategy aligns with a company's overall Corporate Strategy and acts as a unifying framework to define and analyze the other Aspects of Sales and Marketing. It also supports the alignment of all marketing resources among all Aspects. Marketing Strategy includes determining internal organizational strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats; identifying and segregating prospective buyers into market segments based on common needs; defining competitive positioning to satisfy specific customer needs; and defining the objectives and budgets for implementation, evaluation, and improvement of all marketing activities. The course can be taken by professionals and students interested in gaining a basic understanding of marketing strategy. The many authors, advisers, and reviewers of the course have worked in numerous Sales and Marketing areas and geographic regions across a variety of industries. Thus, insights provided by them make this body of knowledge industry independent. The course defines Sales and Marketing in terms of processes that comprise a series of actions that leads to a particular result. Each process requires specific inputs and then uses tools to create specific outputs. To take this course, students need to have an interest and aptitude for marketing strategy.

What are the requirements?

  • Students need to have an interest and aptitude for marketing strategy.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Gain basic understanding of Marketing Strategy
  • Learn key concepts of Marketing Strategy

Who is the target audience?

  • Anyone interested in knowing more about Marketing Strategy can take up this course and exam for free.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction
Section 2: How to use SMstudy® Guide?
The SMstudy® Guide can be used as a reference and knowledge guide by experienced Sales and Marketing practitioners, as well as by persons with little prior knowledge or experience of sales and marketing roles.
The certifications related to the SMstudy® Guide are administered and managed by There are four levels of certification namely associate level, professional level, specialist level, and expert level.
Section 3: Why Use the SMstudy® Guide?

Some of the key benefits of using the SMstudy® Guide are consolidated expertise, process-oriented approach, application to all industries, applicable to all companies of all sizes, comprehensiveness, applicable to beginners and experts, alignment with job roles, continuous improvement.

Section 4: Evolution of Sales and Marketing
Since Sales and Marketing has evolved significantly over time, it is important to present a high-level overview of the history of the subject in order to understand and appreciate its relevance in the world today. More than a thousand years ago, when coins and other forms of money were not yet popular, the typical and most common way people procured their products or services was through the barter system—the direct exchange of goods or services without the use of money.
In the twentieth century, as the number of manufacturers or industries for specific products grew, consumers had the option to buy from multiple manufacturers. Unlike a seller’s marketplace where sellers have the advantage over customers, mass media marketing features multiple manufacturers, thus shifting the balance of power in favor of consumers.
In recent times, the media has become increasingly fragmented with several hundred television and radio channels, as well as a large variety of print media, including newspapers, magazines, and trade publications. Moreover, since the late 1990s, with the increasing popularity of the internet and, more recently, smartphones, many options now exist for advertisers to reach a global audience using digital media marketing methods such as mobile phone apps, Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, QR codes, gamification, and proximity marketing.
The growing popularity of the internet, smartphones, and digital media provide opportunities for a company to not only use fragmented new-age marketing effectively to promote existing products, but also to come up with innovative business models where product demo, customer acquisition, and order fulfillment can also take place online.
It is important for us to note that the fact that we are in the twenty-first century does not make all the earlier avenues of Sales and Marketing obsolete. Some companies marketing consumer goods continue to spend a significant proportion of their marketing budget on conventional mass media marketing.
Section 5: Corporate Strategy and its Relationship to Sales and Marketing

Corporate Strategy is the overall direction of the company as defined by senior management. Corporate strategy takes into consideration an assessment of the existing capabilities of the company and external opportunities and threats. Corporate Strategy usually coincides with the immediate future fiscal period or it could be developed with a longer-term view.

Section 6: Aspects of Sales and Marketing

The SMstudy® Guide describes six Aspects of Sales and Marketing as follows:

  1. Marketing Strategy (MS)
  2. Marketing Research (MR)
  3. Digital Marketing (DM)
  4. Corporate Sales (CS)
  5. Branding and Advertising (BA)
  6. Retail Marketing(RM)

Since the SMstudy® Guide is geared towards Sales and Marketing professionals or those who desire to work in this field, the six Aspects are based on the six most common and often distinct career fields related to Sales and Marketing.

Section 7: Levels of Sales and Marketing Strategy
The Corporate Marketing Strategy, which is a component of the overall Corporate Strategy, is further divided into various Business Unit or Geographic Strategies, which in turn is further divided into particular Product or Brand Strategies for each product or brand.
Section 8: Marketing Strategy Overview
All successful products or brands need well-planned marketing strategies in place to ensure that they satisfy the goals set by the Corporate Marketing Strategy or Business Unit/Geographic Strategies. Marketing Strategy is one of the most crucial Aspects of Sales and Marketing.

This chapter reviews the external environmental factors and internal organizational capabilities that impact how a company operates to create a successful product or brand. Since companies operate in dynamic environments, understanding the changing landscape and current trends that are impacting business helps develop a sound Marketing Strategy.

This chapter first discusses the factors involved in identifying the competition, understanding industry trends, and considering future competitive scenarios that help in selecting target market segments. It then looks at creating a differentiated positioning statement for the company’s products or services for those target segments selected.
A Pricing Strategy properly prices products or services so that the company can sustain profitability while maintaining or growing its market share. Developing a Pricing Strategy involves assessing the value of the products, based on their features; analyzing the pricing and features of competitive products in the market; analyzing the consumer mindset, which takes into account demand and price expectations for the products; and considering anticipated unit costs, sales and, in turn, profitability.
This chapter deals with the selection of the metrics to be used for Sales and Marketing efforts, such as customer reach, brand perception, product availability, and sales and profitability. It also provides an overview of the various Sales and Marketing Aspects that an organization should consider in determining the overall Marketing Strategy, namely, Marketing Research, Digital Marketing, Corporate Sales, Branding and Advertising, and Retail Marketing.

The last chapter of Marketing Strategy titled Impact of Marketing Strategy touches upon the impacts of an organizations marketing strategy and other aspects of marketing and on other elements of corporate strategy.

Section 9: Analyze Market Opportunity
This chapter reviews the external environmental factorsand internal organizational capabilities that impact how a company operates to create a successful product or brand. Since companies operate in dynamic environments, understanding the changing landscape and current trends that are impacting business helps develop a sound Marketing Strategy.
Section 10: Determine Strengths and Weaknesses
The strengths and weaknesses of a company determine its internal capabilities to compete in a market and to fulfil customer expectations. Strengths provide the company with a competitive advantage and can include factors such as skilled human resources, existing brands, patents, technology expertise, and distribution capabilities. Weaknesses place the company at a disadvantage, for example, factors such as unskilled resources, inflexible organizational structure, lack of updated technology, and inefficient operational processes.
Section 11: Determine Strengths and Weaknesses - Inputs
Since the senior management team regularly receives information from the functional strategy teams, it acquires a comprehensive view of the company and, as a result, can provide insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the company as a whole. These insights allow the senior management team to provide an overall vision for the company, which individual functional teams may not be able to fully recognize.
An assumption can be defined as anything that is considered to be true without proof. For example, there may be an assumption that all of the required skill sets for Sales and Marketing activities are available inside the company, or an assumption that a new product will capture ten percent market share in a particular market segment.
Section 12: Determine Strengths and Weaknesses - Tools
Meetings and discussions are very useful for gathering insights about a company’s readiness to fulfill customer demands—not just from the marketing team, but also from senior management, other functional teams, external consultants, subject matter experts, stakeholders, and industry groups.

Understanding the overall product portfolio of a company, and evaluating the current and future product lines is an important component of the Marketing Strategy. In 1973 Peter Drucker proposed a classification method for analyzing a company’s product portfolio based on each product’s current and expected profitability.


The BCG Growth-Share Matrix, originally conceptualized by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in the late 1960s to evaluate various business units, can be applied equally well to products or services. It consists of a two-by-two matrix containing four quadrants, with the vertical axis depicting market growth rate and the horizontal axis showing market share.

Value Chain Analysis is used to analyze the value created by a company’s current activities. It explores where more value can be added, as well as where value is not being added throughout the chain of activities. It is a useful tool for internal analysis of strengths (activities that add value) and weaknesses (activities that do not add value).
When existing marketing research reports are insufficient for understanding a company’s internal environment, the company may choose to conduct new marketing research to fill any gaps in market intelligence. Such marketing research projects generally fall into two categories—primary research and secondary research.
Section 13: Determine Strengths and Weaknesses - Outputs
Understanding a company’s strengths and weaknesses with respect to its ability to meet its customers’ demands and to face competition helps the Marketing Strategy team determine the competitive positioning of the company’s products. A detailed list of strengths and weaknesses should be documented so it can be used as an input to other processes within Marketing Strategy and other functional strategies.
Section 14: Determine Opportunities and Threats
A company needs to identify the external factors that may impact fulfillment of its corporate goals. Those external factors that help the company achieve its goals are considered opportunities, while those that hinder the company’s efforts are considered threats. Identifying opportunities and threats, together with strengths and weaknesses discussed in the previous process, constitute what is commonly known as a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis.
Senior management has a comprehensive understanding of a company’s business, and this knowledge helps in identifying market opportunities and threats. Senior management may also be able to identify attractive market segments for the company.
Section 15: Determine Opportunities and Threats - Tools
Meetings and discussions are useful for identifying and discussing external factors and their relative impact on a company. As in the previous process, Determine Strengths and Weaknesses, many entities could be involved in these discussions as each of them provides additional value.

Porter’s Five Forces model is used to analyze the long-term attractiveness of an industry. Understanding the interaction of these forces with the existing competing organizations helps explain the differences in profitability amongst industries. It also helps a company decide whether or not to enter an industry.

Market analysis involves analyzing market data to identify patterns and predict future events. The purpose of performing a market analysis is to understand the attractiveness of a market.

When existing industry reports, internal company reports, or generic reports are insufficient for understanding the external factors that can impact a company, the company may choose to conduct primary marketing research in order to improve knowledge of the marketplace, reduce risk, and improve marketing decisions.


The PESTEL Analysis framework is used to analyze macro-environmental factors that are sources of opportunities and threats, and therefore positively or negatively impact the organization, its customers, and/or its suppliers. The six factors of PESTEL Analysis framework are political factors, economic factors, social factors, technological factors, environmental factors, and legal factors.

Section 16: Determine Opportunities and Threats - Outputs
It is important to understand a company’s opportunities and threats with respect to its external environment and competition. The goal is to first identify the key strategy-related factors that impact the company and then build on key strengths, address weaknesses, exploit important opportunities, and avoid or mitigate threats, and then ultimately create a competitive position that is sustainable in the long term.
Section 17: Define Market and Identify Market Segments
After a company has analyzed its internal capabilities and the external environmental factors affecting it, it then needs to broadly define the type of market in which it plans to operate. This process includes identifying the type of customers a company plans to target and specific product categories it wishes to explore.
The strengths and weaknesses of a company are outputs of the Determine Strengths and Weaknesses process. They are important inputs for segmentation and targeting because a company typically seeks to target those market segments where it can leverage and build on its strengths and perhaps avoid entering those where it has weaknesses.
Section 18: Define Market and Identify Market Segments - Tools
Meetings and discussions can be very useful for determining segmentation criteria and identifying the ideal segments for the strategy teams to consider. They bring a variety of perspectives not just from the marketing team, but also from other internal teams (e.g., product team and senior management team) that can add value to the discussions.
This tool involves segmenting customers on the basis of their consumption behavior or attitude towards a product and also takes into account their lifestyles and patterns of buying and/or using the product. This is a more objective method of segmentation than psychographic segmentation. It is used for both the consumer and business markets.

This tool is analogous to the demographic segmentation for consumer markets. Here, the business market can be segmented on the basis of various company characteristics including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Industry Type
  • Company Size
  • Company Location
  • Technology
  • Level of Centralization
Section 19: Define Market and Identify Market Segments - Outputs
A market is defined as the set of potential customers who have a demand for the product category that includes the company’s product. Thus, the definition of market at this stage is not at a specific product level, but at a product category level. It sets the boundaries within which segmentation is carried out.

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Instructor Biography

SMstudy Certifications, Global Certification Body for Sales and Marketing

SMstudy has been created by VMEdu, Inc., a global certification course provider that has educated over 400,000 students world-wide in more than 3,500 companies. SMstudy's certification training is provided through its 500+ Authorized Training Partners (A.T.P.s) across the globe. The SMstudy courses explain Sales and Marketing concepts through a practical, process-oriented approach. This helps Sales and Marketing professionals understand the specific processes they should follow to be effective in their Sales and Marketing roles.

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