The Workbook of Quantitative Tools and Techniques in Marketing can be used as a standalone computer lab course, a computer lab associated with a course, or as a supplement text for a market research course.
In terms of curriculum design, the Workbook of Quantitative Tools and Techniques in Marketing is designed to be used for instruction either during or after an undergraduate introduction to marketing course and prior or during an undergraduate market research course.
Some graduate market research courses find this text helpful as a review of Excel as a supplemental text.
Ideally, the teaching methodology would rely upon a computer lab equipped with MS Excel 2010. The lab time is divided between an instructor demonstration and lecture followed by hands-on work by the students in Excel. During the instructor's demonstration, the instructor walks students through a review of the chapter showing students how the different functions and tools of Excel work and how these techniques enable data to be quickly plotted and analyzed. During the hands-on time, students execute different types of analysis with sample datasets, completing exercises included at the end of each chapter.
MS Excel 2010 was selected over other software packages such as SPSS or Minitab. The selection of Excel as the tool for instruction was based on
- students usually have a surface knowledge of Excel,
- it is a common office tool which employers seek to have students able to use,
- it is able to handle relatively large datasets unlike the handheld calculators which students use in a business math and statistics courses,
- it forms the foundation for understanding how more complex tools, such as SPSS, Minitab or Sawtooth, analyze data.
The instruction approach starts at a fundamental level of making pie charts, histograms, bar charts, scatter charts, and lines as well as calculating basic statistics of single datasets. The instruction approach progresses to topics of confidence intervals, t-Test, F-Test, Chi-Square, regression analysis, and hypothesis testing.
Along with this progression of statistical analysis, the instruction approach demonstrates how students can apply basic business math to marketing challenges. It teaches students how to calculate the category incidence frequency, the profit equation of the firm, margins and markups, and breakeven analysis. It then progresses to issues of indexing such as CDI and BDI, chain ratio methods, return on investment (ROI), and finally discount factors and net present value (NPV). The calculations of ROI and NPV have been found useful for showing students the value of marketing efforts and the value of an offer to a customer in a sales situation.
As a lab course, we found that it did not require the addition of any new credit hours to be included in the curriculum. The lab effort is designed similar to science and engineering courses that routinely have a lab accompaniment with little to no course credit associated. This marketing computer lab learning did not require any additional credit hours.