Course
Descriptions

CORE COURSES

Asian Consumer Insight
This flagship course of the programme exposes students to the unique challenges of consumer insight in Asia. The course will focus on similarities and differences among Asian consumers, for example, between Chinese, Indian, Indonesian consumers and others. Management and consumer-insight experts will be invited to share their experiences and insights on Asian consumers with students. Students will get a chance to learn about best practices in the industry from insiders who have worked in various markets. The highly interactive nature of the course also allows the instructor to tailor the learning experience according to the students’ interests and needs.


Creativity and Design

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the basics of product design, including issues relating to product form and function, as well as aesthetics and experience. Students will learn how to integrate creative ideas into product designs that would appeal to consumers. Cutting edge and relevant issues in product designs will be discussed. Special emphasis will also be placed on examining product designs in an Asian cultural context.


Consumer Behaviour

This course focuses on the acquisition of consumer insight by examining the psychological processes underlying consumer purchasing decisions. Drawing from the latest research findings in sociology, psychology and marketing, students will be introduced to the various perspectives and practical frameworks on how consumers process information, make choices and behave in the marketplace. Key concepts in the course include consumer attitudes, emotions, and lifestyles. Special emphasis will be placed on how these concepts are applied in practical marketing decisions.


Strategic Marketing Management
This course provides students with a holistic overview of the planning and execution of marketing strategy. Students will be exposed to the fundamental marketing concepts, including segmentation, targeting and positioning and various marketing tools. Beyond the strategic issues, the course will also cover the tactical and execution issues that marketers need to consider such as product and pricing decisions, channels, and communications via traditional and new media.


Qualitative Research Methods

This course shows students how qualitative research methods can play a key role in gaining consumer insight. Methods such as focus groups, projective techniques, observational research, and in-depth interviews will be covered in the course. This practical course will also discuss how qualitative research methods are used to address specific marketing research needs companies have.


Quantitative Research Methods
This course introduces students to quantitative research methods such as regression analysis, experimental designs, multivariate analysis and multidimensional scaling. The course will also include methods for data mining in new media. Students will be given an opportunity to engage in hands-on activities to better understand the whole market research process. The focus of the course will be on how marketers can best utilize these tools in their analysis and decision making.  


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ELECTIVES

Retailing in Asia
Various forms of retailing and shopping malls are omnipresent in Asia and offer opportunities for engaging consumers and providing them with a positive experience. This course covers both the strategic and tactical aspects of retailing, including retail structure, retail design and in-store marketing. The course also examines the latest trends in the retail industry, changes in consumers’ retail preferences and entry of global retailers. Special emphasis will be placed on the Asia market.


Marketing in Emerging Economies

This course examines the difference between emerging and developed economies and between middle-class consumers and the “bottom of the pyramid.” Social and economic situations such as income levels, regulations and social norms differ drastically in these two types of economies. Through lectures and cases, the course introduces students to the latest thinking on how marketing must be adapted to differing conditions. The focus will be on Asian emerging economies and consumer behavior in these economies.


Service Marketing in Asia

The service sector in Asia (for example, banking, hospitality and media services) is growing by leaps and bounds. Yet, what constitutes great service in Asia? This course provides students with the fundamental concepts in service marketing—including both the service delivery process and implementation. Special emphasis will be placed on the Asia market, including an examination of what Asian consumers expect from a service provider and how services should be tailored to different markets.


Digital Marketing

Digital marketing will dominate the way companies communicate with and sell to consumers (and other businesses) whether online, on mobile devices, in-store, using social media, with search ads or through programatic buying. This module will explore the digital marketing landscape globally and regionally and equip participants with tools and strategies to design and evaluate digital strategies and activities for brands, to explore changing customer needs and gain digital consumer insights.

The module will look beyond the traditional campaign model to longer-term relationships and omni-channel strategies and explore how these are being built around deep customer data. Participants will be encouraged to build and try things for themselves as well as learn to use tools to explore existing campaigns, trends and competitor activities. They will explore and propose a digital strategy for a company, product or brand of their choice based on these insights.


36 Stratagems of the Chinese

With the increasing importance of China as an economic superpower, more and more multinational corporations are interested to understand the mindset of the Chinese strategist and on how to conduct business with China. However, it is not so simple to understand the mindset of the Chinese strategist. China is a civilization that has survived more than 5,000 years, much longer than the Catholic Church! Among other things, the Chinese were also known to be good traders, businessmen and strategists. The Silk Route and Zheng He’s naval ventures into South-east Asia are two vivid examples to illustrate the Chinese acumen for trade and business.

The size of Chinese consumers with strong purchasing power within its national borders is also fast increasing. At the same time, Chinese consumers and tourists are making their presence felt very significantly around the whole world. Certainly, the time has come to have a better insight into how Chinese consumers (and marketers) think, strategize and behave. Interestingly, owing to its ancient civilization, long history and culture, such understanding can be culled from its many ancient Chinese classics and literature. Among them, the 36 Stratagems of the Chinese (三 十 六 计) provide a very useful and fascinating start. 

The 36 Stratagems of the Chinese (三 十 六 计) is a collection of war tactics from ancient China. The stratagems, owing to their origins in war times, appear to rather grotesque, ruthless and deceptive. However, when used appropriately and in various combinations, they can provide great inspirations for the development of countless marketing and business strategies for companies, large and small. They also provide much insight into understanding the behavior of Asian consumers, especially those with strong Chinese influence. Instead of fearing the negative connotations that are seemingly associated with the 36 Stratagems, one should examine the inherent strengths of these stratagems, and learn to understand and apply them creatively, and within legal and ethical boundaries.

The impact and influence of the 36 Stratagems on the Chinese are very much ingrained in their daily lives. For example, Chinese consumers often practice “Stealing goat(s) along the way (顺 手 牵 羊),” “The beauty scheme (美 人 计),” “Self-injury scheme (苦 肉 计),” “Pointing at the mulberry but scolding the locust tree (指 桑 骂 槐),” knowingly or intuitively without explicitly naming or coining them. Interestingly, many business 3 strategies also contain different combinations and permutations that are be rooted in the 36 Stratagems. 

This course will supplemented by a modern text, Business Journey to the East. Participants will learn how ancient Chinese classics like the 36 Stratagems are still so relevant to the modern world of business, including for small and medium-size enterprises SMEs.


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ELECTIVES in the CONSUMER INSIGHT TRACK

Consumer Neuroscience & Neuromarketing
This course will introduce students to modern psycho-physiological technologies and neuroscience to understand how the human body and brain affects consumer emotion and cognition It will show when and how such technologies can complement traditional qualitative and quantitative research techniques. Greater understanding of how the human brain functions allows marketers to tailor marketing messages to consumers with greater precision. The course showcases methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and other biometric assessments.


Consumer Decision Making

This course examines how consumers make decisions in response to communications, in stores and online. It focuses on individual and group decisions and biases in consumer decision making. Taking both an economic and psychological perspective, this course examines the type of decision making strategies that consumers use and how an understanding of the decision making can help design successful strategies.


Branding in Asia
Brands are increasingly important, especially to Asian consumers. A brand that connects with consumers can differentiate a company and its products from its competitors. This course covers branding in Asia from the perspectives of the consumers and marketers. The course examines how Asian consumers react to branding strategies, and how an Asian brand can build a strong presence in the market.


Managing Media in Asia
 
This course takes an introductory approach to acquaint students with the media environments in Asia, particularly Singapore. Of greater focus is how students learn to interact and manage the complex media environment both for proactive and responsive communication. The media in this course is conceptualized as an integral communication tool to reach out to targeted audiences. Thus, the range of topics covered include: public opinion, media relations, paid media in Asia, crisis communication management, or strategic communication in a nutshell. Students will also get a chance to interact with the media and have the opportunity to host a press conference where face they will face journalists live.


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ELECTIVES in the MARKET RESEARCH TRACK

Ethnography
Ethnography is a qualitative research method that uses naturalistic observation and in-depth interviews to understand consumer behavior. It is increasingly used by marketers to understand the psychology and behavior of targeted groups of consumers. This course will introduce students to the fundamentals in conducting ethnography research and videography to gain more in-depth understanding of consumers’ lives.


Bayesian Modeling
Bayesian modeling is a powerful method one may use to understand the consumers and markets. It emphasizes how prior knowledge about the world may affect subsequent interpretation of a new observation. This course aims to provide an introduction to the methodology and application of this method to the field of marketing. Students will learn how to carry out simple analysis and when and how this method may be used to help them make better decisions.


Business Analytics
The modern organization has scores of data (e.g. web retail traffic data) that are often under-utilized for business planning and market research opportunities. This course equips participants with the knowledge and skills, to investigate existing business operational data to continually develop innovative marketing insights and new solutions for marketing decisions. Participants will be exposed to various data modeling techniques using real-life business data that will allow them to provide useful predictions such as supply and demand forecast, pricing and profitability forecast, consumer trend analysis and the likes. This course systematically introduces the process of developing a strong business analytic case starting from the exploration of the data context to finally obtaining the explanatory or predictive results.


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