TRADE MARKETING AND COMMERCIAL STRATEGIES
Profile of the programme
In recent years, marketing has increasingly branched off into Consumer Marketing and Trade Marketing. The former refers to marketing strategies directed at final demand (consumer), while the latter refers to marketing strategies directed at intermediate demand (commercial distribution). As a result of changes in the market structure, Trade Marketing strategies have played an increasingly important role in value building processes within Marketing Channels. More specifically, the factors influencing this trend have been: the growing central role of points of sale in industrial marketing processes; a gradual increase in the demand for commercial services; developments in distribution systems that amount to a true Commercial Revolution; an increased commercial concentration on purchases and sales, such as to affect “power” relations within the supply chain. These phenomena have resulted in a strong demand for professionals with the ability to plan, manage and organize company commercial policies. In this perspective, the second cycle degree in Trade Marketing and Commercial Strategies (TRADE) is designed to provide specific skills for the management of distribution problems, with the aim of improving the quality of corporate market policies.
As far as learning outcomes, the course studies will enable graduates in Trade Marketing and Commercial Strategies to:
− extend and refine the knowledge acquired in the basic economic-business studies, with particular reference to reading market dynamics and analyzing the relations that companies develop with final customers (consumers) and intermediate customers (distributors);
− develop advanced expertise in applied understanding, analytical and problem solving abilities, with specific reference to company market policies, adopting a wider perspective not only about business to consumer (B2C) situations, but also business to business (B2B) situations;
− develop independent judgement skills through the ability of processing the knowledge acquired, in order to manage complex market situations, as well as those situations of conflict/collaboration between companies that occur in vertical relations in the supply chain;
− consolidate communication skills to enable the transfer of information and strategies in a clear and unambiguous way to management as well as employees, to stakeholders as well as the non-specialized public;
− acquire outstanding learning skills through a multidisciplinary educational approach, aimed at the creation of marketing value from the perspective of an integrated supply chain.
Graduates in Trade Marketing and Commercial Strategies can hold positions of responsibility managing companies, above all in Sales, Marketing, Purchasing and Analysis. More specifically, the positions that match the skills profile of Trade Marketing and Commercial Strategies graduates are the following. In Sales: Sales manager, Key account manager, Area manager, Trade marketing manager, Channel manager, E-commerce manager, Export manager, Store manager. In Marketing: Marketing manager, Brand manager, Product manager, Loyalty marketing manager, Merchandiser, Customer service, Media planning manager. In Purchasing: Purchasing manager, Category manager, Supply chain manager, E-procurement manager. In Analysis: Research manager, Market analyst, CRM expert, Business consultant, Specialized journalist.
The Course of Studies is characterized by:
- the use of innovative didactic methods in most of the subjects (Laboratories, group work, marketing games, role paying, by managers and experts in the field);
- innovative and cutting-edge material in Marketing subjects, as lecturers also carry out their own scientific research on topics discussed in their subjects;
- the presence of students from different Italian regions, which creates a stimulating and enriching work and study environment;
- its international perspective, which in the case of excellent students fluent in French means the opportunity of getting a Double Degree by spending their second year abroad, at the Jean Moulin – Lyon 3 University, in France.
The curricular requisites for admittance correspond to the basic content of degree courses in class L-18 (previously 270/04) or 17 (previously 509/99). In addition, specific knowledge of the themes regarding sector SECS-P/08 is required. In particular: graduates from class 17 (previously 509/99) or L-18 (previously 270/04) are required to have attained at least 20 credits in the SECS-P/08 sector.
Graduates in other classes are permitted to enrol for the course, as long as they have attained at least:
- 20 credits in sector SECS-P/08;
- 10 credits in sector SECS-P/07;
- 10 credits in the following sectors: SECS-P/01, SECS-P/02, SECS-P/03, SECS-P/06 or SECS-P/12;
- 10 credits in the following sectors: SECS-S/01, SECS-S/03 or SECS-S/06.
Assessment of students’ personal preparation is performed by means of systems defined in the Academic Regulations for the Course.
Key learning outcomes
The Master’s Degree course in Trade Marketing and Commercial Strategies was designed to provide a specific training for the management of distribution problems, in order to improve company sales policies, and to provide an effective response to the strategic and operational management of companies and institutions, adopting an interdisciplinary approach, interconnected with the world of companies. Trade marketing activities are in fact becoming increasingly important in horizontal and vertical marketing processes. More specifically, this importance has been encouraged by: the increasing significance of points of sale in industrial marketing processes; a progressive increase in the demand for trade services; developments in the distribution system that could be considered as a true revolution in the world of commerce; and an increase in levels of commercial concentration in purchasing and sales processes, such as to affect “vertical” power relations in the production chain. These phenomena have given rise to a strong demand for professionals with a consolidated cultural background in the area of planning, management and organization of corporate commercial policy. More specifically, a considerable knowledge in the field of sales strategy and channel relations is required.
The course is structured as follows. In the corporate area, the following subject areas are presented: marketing channels, consumer & sales marketing, merchandising policies, systems for planning and monitoring sales, risk assessment and debt purchasing, integrated marketing, and trade marketing policies. As regards the economic area, the following areas are studied: macroeconomic scenarios, the economy of information and advertising, and the development of distribution systems. Statistical methodologies necessary for the analysis of marketing data are presented. The degree to which the course’s academic content corresponds to real necessities is constantly assessed with regard to scientific progress in the sectors of marketing and trade marketing (and this is assured by the fact that the professors involved in teaching conduct their own research in these sectors), and by means of interaction with operators working on the market. The latter is achieved in part by involving qualified company and institutional personalities in academic activities, with seminars, descriptions of personal experience, and case studies.
Master’s Degree graduates in Trade Marketing and Commercial Strategies can hold positions of responsibility in company governance, because their skills correspond to the necessities of industrial and trading companies, determined by changes both in consumer models and in the distributional structure of the various markets. More specifically, the roles that can be effectively performed by Master’s Degree graduates in Trade Marketing and Commercial Strategies are: Marketing manager; Point of Sale manager; Brand manager; Key account manager; Channel manager; Buyer/purchasing manager; Category manager; Merchandising manager; Area head/district head; Product manager; Logistics manager; Sales manager; Trade marketing manager; Research manager; Media planning manager; Loyalty and CRM Manager; Data miner and Data analyst; Project manager; Internet marketing manager; Business developer; Micromarketing manager; Web marketing manager.
Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, graduates will have acquired consolidated specialist skills in the main subject areas involved in corporate-economic problems, developing detailed knowledge of theoretical and applied concepts in the fields of marketing and trade marketing (by means of the teaching comprised in sector SECS-P/08), along with additional learning providing a grounding in the areas of economics, statistics, law, company finance and accounting. More specifically, graduates extend and refine their knowledge developed during their foundation corporate-economic training, developing advanced skills above all in the interpretation of market dynamics and the analysis of relations with final clients (consumers) and intermediate clients (distributors). Master’s Degree graduates in Trade Marketing and Commercial Strategies are therefore familiar with:
- the key concepts and scientific language specific to business and corporate subject areas, above all in the marketing sector;
- the macro-economic scenarios that are becoming the distinctive feature of trends in international markets, and their implications for companies’ commercial policy;
- micro-economic phenomena that are influencing developments in the vertical relations between companies in the marketing channel;
- the changes that are occurring in the area of behavioural traits in the final demand for goods and services, and their impact on supply policy;
- the principles regulating the sales policies adopted by industrial companies;
- techniques for controlling retail marketing levers, with particular reference to pricing policies, distributional branding, merchandising, and advertising & promotion;
- techniques of statistical analysis and the quantitative interpretation of market phenomena;
- the contents of legislation regarding negotiations between industrial and trading companies, and their implications as regards trade marketing;
- the fundamental instruments for planning and controlling corporate sales flux, in an outlook of monitoring the indicators for economic balance;
- the characteristics and hallmarks of management applied to new digital communications media, with their respective methods of application in the micro-marketing approach;
- the fundamental quantitative and corporate tools for assessing and measuring financial risk linked to marketing and trade marketing activities.
These results, in terms of knowledge and a capacity for comprehension, will be attained by means of the combined application of several educational methods: frontal lessons and seminars led by company professionals, exercises, project work, supervised and independent personal study, and activities performed in preparation for the final dissertation. The assessment of learning will be achieved by means of written examinations and oral tests, possibly by participation in work groups, and by the discussion of the dissertation.
Applying knowledge and understanding
Master’s Degree graduates in Trade Marketing and Commercial Strategies possess the knowledge necessary to develop a capacity for selecting and applying the most appropriate methodological and analytical tools in order to identify the most suitable operational solutions, tailoring them to the particular contexts concerned. More specifically, graduates will:
- have a “unitary” and complete vision of corporate phenomena, with a consequent skill in analyzing companies’ positioning in terms of their commercial profile;
- develop advanced skills of applied comprehension, analytical competence and problem solving, with specific reference to corporate marketing policy;
- develop the capability of interpreting market phenomena in new and more extensive areas with respect to more traditional areas of study, adopting a wider approach, not only for business to consumer (B2C) situations, but also for business to business (B2B) contexts;
- develop a specifically-formulated, quantitative approach to the interpretation and monitoring of market phenomena, measuring their impact on commercial strategy;
- be able to develop team projects on specific research themes, at advanced levels of detail.
The attainment of these skills in the application of knowledge is developed by means of the critical examination of texts proposed for individual study (encouraged by lecture-hall activities), the study of research case-histories and individual and/or group work on practical themes coordinated by professors, practical exercises in various subject areas, and possibly by means of internship activities. The assessment of the results described above is performed by means of written and oral examinations, by exercises and the production of short papers, and by the evaluation of the final dissertation.
Graduates in Trade Marketing and Commercial Strategies have to be capable of using analytical tools for the analysis and interpretation of marketing and corporate phenomena, in order to develop and sustain their independence of judgement. This independence in judgement is expressed by the capacity of developing an individual process of reflection on data acquired, and of formulating an opinion/interpretation of said data in both qualitative and quantitative terms. Using many sophisticated analytical tools, graduates will be able to take strategic decisions and identify operational solutions with regard to various commercial problems, in the area of conflict and cooperation between companies in the marketing channel. The development of these skills will enable graduates to take decisions even in conditions of uncertainty and/or lack of information. The interdisciplinary nature of the course is important for the development of independent skills of judgement, because the study of a single problem from different disciplinary viewpoints encourages the capacity for critical analysis. The objective of independent judgement is also pursued by means of the combined application of various educational methods, such as the discussion of company case histories, work on group exercises, and project work. The assessment of the students’ acquisition of skills in independent judgement is performed using different methods, both at individual and group levels. The preparation of the dissertation is particularly important in the assessment of the degree of independence in judgement developed by the student.
Master’s Degree graduates in Trade Marketing and Commercial Strategies will be able to activate and motivate individual learning processes, enabling them to extend, update and develop the level and scope of their foundation knowledge. More specifically, the development of these skills will enable graduates to:
- demonstrate a constant intellectual curiosity, helping them accommodate their desire to acquire advanced knowledge;
- adopt an ongoing approach to updating professional skills, in consideration of changing market conditions;
- develop an independent capacity for researching information and data in order to develop knowledge in different areas of corporate economics;
- develop the independent expression of models for the interpretation and management of knowledge, a skill that helps independent professional improvement.
These results are attained during the entire course, by means of a multidisciplinary cultural approach with the objective of creating marketing value in a global production chain viewpoint. The capability for learning is consolidated during individual study, by means of the preparation of individual projects, and, above all, during the study and research activities performed in light of the final examination. Learning skills are assessed by means of various types of tests, taken during the entire course. Particular importance is attributed to the final examination.
Master’s Degree graduates in Trade Marketing and Commercial Strategies will be capable of acquiring adequate communications skills. More specifically, the principal communications skills acquired are:
- a capacity for communicating data, information and concepts (whether basic or highly complex) regarding a strategy and/or a technical problem in the corporate sphere, clearly, succinctly and coherently, to heterogeneous counterparts;
- the tools necessary for the management of company information processes, such as active listening skills, the capacity to understand concepts expressed by other individuals, and skills in interpreting non-verbal language, above all within the context of trade relations between companies;
- consolidated linguistic skills in both national and international contexts, by methods that include periods of study and residence abroad facilitated by student mobility schemes;
- behavioural and relational skills for interaction with other individuals in “team” projects, nurturing a marked availability to relate to people, including those from very different cultures.
These skills will enable students to develop their ability in compiling brief papers, or providing an oral summary of a given subject, possibly using information technology presentation systems. Graduates will therefore be able to communicate information and strategy clearly and univocally both to top management and to employees, and likewise to stakeholders and to the non-specialist general public. This information may regard both the results of analytical activities (including quantitative analysis) of market data, and the resulting applied operational decisions. It may be transmitted in English. Skills of expression in English are assessed by means of the verification of advanced linguistic skills, above all as regards the knowledge and use of specialist economic-business terminology. These results are achieved by means of a combination of methods, such as group work, lecture-hall presentations of project work, and case-history studies. The assessment of these skills will be performed by means of oral interviews, including evaluation during the discussion of the dissertation.
Final examination, if any
For the final examination, students are asked to prepare a paper, under supervision by a course professor, consisting of a detailed study of themes treated in the course subject areas, developed both from the theoretical/conceptual point of view, and by means of empirical observations.