Success stories

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SUCCESS IN THE CLASSROOM

Professor Masaki Matsunaga, Robert T. Huang Entrepreneurship Center of Kyushu University (Japan)

professor-masaki-cropped

What made you choose Markstrat for your program?

We chose Markstrat because it perfectly resonates with the educational philosophy of our institute, Robert T. Huang Entrepreneurship Center of Kyushu University (aka, QREC), which is “Learning by Doing.”

That is, we wanted to create an environment that prompts students to achieve the learning objectives through their own initiative, rather than passively listening to a faculty member’s monologue lecture. We found Markstrat a great fit for this purpose.

What is your class setting? 

We have a total of 17 undergraduate and post-graduate students involved in our course; 10 from Kyushu University, and this group is of great, great diversity—we have a few 1st-year undergraduate from Tech Dept., we have a business school student, and we have a Ph.D. student in bio science—and they all are enjoying Markstrat!

And we also have seven students from Fukuoka University, which is another top-tier institute of the area. What is great about Markstrat is that it works on cloud; as a result, we can create a setting where students from different institutes that are physically apart can compete against and learn from each other on a common ground.

The course title is “Technology Marketing Game.”

 

Does Markstrat solve a problem for you? 

Yes; as I noted above, we were looking for a way to create a competitive environment that presents a lot of challenges so that students learn marketing “by doing” marketing. Markstrat provides a great tool to realize this vision.

 

What is your approach to using Markstrat in the classroom?

I start off with quite a structured start and gradually let students play on their own. That is, during Day-1 and Day-2 classes, I give a lot of instructions and guidance, as well as tutorials, for the students so that they acquire how to navigate in the Markstrat world. But then, as they become accustomed to the way the game operates, I loosen my control and increase the area of freedom for the students.

What effect does Markstrat have on your students?

Excitement. If I had to choose a word, that would be it. Because Markstrat is so well-structured that the students feel it is “real.” Because of this perceived reality, they find the game worth investing their efforts and commitment, and that’s the key for our course, because it is designed for the students to learn by doing. If, therefore, the students are not excited enough
to commit and learn by themselves, our course doesn’t work. Fortunately, Markstrat works for us, as students get excited just by me explaining its world setting and how they are going to
conquer it.

Professor Matasunaga’s students in action (see more on his official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TechMarketingGame/)

students3students-4students

 What is your favorite feature of Markstrat?

Not a specific feature, but I am very impressed by the finely tuned balance of the game between reality and “simulated” parts. It is realistic enough, as I noted above, to intrigue
students, while it is controlled enough to build a course on it.

 Do you have anything else you would like to share regarding your experience using Markstrat?

Markstrat is a great tool, which enables us to turn ourpedagogical vision, “Learning By Doing,” into practice. With Markstrat, students actually learn marketing through their own experience—trials, errors, and reflections over their decisions— rather than learning “about” marketing by listening to a lecture. That makes a big difference.

 

Professor Miguel Angelo Hemzo – University of Sao Paulo (Brazil)

professor-hemzo

What made you choose Markstrat for your program?

My first experience with Markstrat was as an undergraduate student in the 80’s, I was very satisfied with the learning it provided. I started using it as teacher in the 90’s as it proved itself a very powerful tool to integrate marketing strategy concepts in a fun and involving way.

What is your class setting?

Today I am in charge of the course Marketing Strategy Simulation. Each class of students from the fourth year is divided in 6 individual office-like rooms where each group access the game to analyze and make the marketing decisions of each round.

Does Markstrat solve a problem for you? If so, how?

As most of the other disciplines in the course are  conceptual, Markstrat offers the opportunity to integrate all concepts that have been taught over the previous years in a systematic way in a scenario similar to real life. It is also very effective to practice teamwork.

What is your approach to using Markstrat in the classroom?

I make an initial presentation of the aims and tools of the software and make a trial run with the “practice” file to help them familiarize with the interface and decisions, and conduct 12 rounds of the game, helping with the mechanics of the game, but avoiding giving strategic decisions information.

What is your favorite feature of Markstrat?

The multivariate tools that help to develop a data-driven strategy.

Can you share results and impact of using Markstrat in the classroom?

When I started using Markstrat at USP, I applied a questionnaire with the students to identify the impact of use of the game in  their learning progress, which resulted in a paper published in vol 8, n.20 of the Revista Brasileira de Gestao de Negocios (Brazilian Journal of Business Management) that concluded: the students recognize the simulation as a transdiciplinarity tool that helps them obtain an holistic view of the strategic marketing decision process, while learning teamwork skills like negotiation, time management and building relationships.

Do you have anything else you would like to share regarding your experience using Markstrat?

It’s a very exciting game for the students, that motivates them to critically evaluate what they learned in previous courses in a near-reality environment and go back to the theory and concepts to better understand their application. The course creates an emotional bond with the experience of the game that lasts for several years.

 

Dr. Nirmal Gupta, Marketing Educator, Indian School of Business (India)

Nirmal Gupta-1

What made you choose a simulation for your program?

 

I have been using the Markstrat simulation for last 25 years now. Originally I began using it in my MBA classes and then quickly moved to using it for Executive Development programs (from middle management to very senior management). Main reason for choosing it was as alternate pedagogy to a case method of teaching and something that was more involved, dynamic, and learning focused as a pedagogic approach.

What is your favorite feature of Markstrat?

My favorite feature of Markstrat is integration of Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning (Perceptual and preference maps) and link with the formulation of marketing strategy with good support of data capturing customer needs, behavior, and market dynamics.

What is your simulation class setting (participants’ level of education and number of participants)?

My classes are MBA students (with class size varying between 45 to more than 150) but I don’t teach MBA classes much in last several years. My Executive programs around the globe have middle to very senior management (with post-graduation, MBA, and other specialized degrees) and class size varies from 15 to 45 participants.

Can you share results and impact of using our simulation?

Through my programs (using Markstrat simulation) I have been able to influence thought process and decision-making skills in large number of organizations around the globe and help participants change their perspective about marketing decision making. This has resulted in organizations making better decisions and (though not measure directly by me in any research) feel the impact on performance. I have also had participants from the same organization return back to undergo Markstrat based learning experience after a gap of few years and learn from Markstrat (in a far more complex scenario and with far more advance concepts taught during the program).

Do you have anything additional to share regarding your experience?

Over last 32 years of my teaching experience, Markstrat remains one of the finest pedagogical tool that I have used. I still like classic Markstrat and I am not a big fan of various versions that have been launched over the years but that is a matter of personal preference. I would love to see (a) Markstrat perceptual maps now moving to vector-based preferences rather than ideal point based preferences to remain with reality of the market, and (b) better movement of Vodite markets both in growth and market shares specially if a competitor drops the prices initially to incentivize better price and better value decisions rather than cutting price kind of decisions (to better capture diffusion of innovation concepts).

 

Lewis Lim, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marketing Practice, Nanyang Business School (Singapore)

Lewis Lim 2015 - Square

 

What made you choose a simulation for your program?

I wanted to introduce an experiential learning component to my course so that students could really reinforce and boost their learning through action-oriented course activities. As Confucius said, “I hear, I forget; I see, I remember; I do, I understand”.  Indeed, students learn much better in the “doing” mode. For example, we can talk at length about the merits of different market entry strategies during a class lecture. But it is when the students have to actually make a decision on how to introduce a brand into a market, to juggle with the budget for the brand introduction vis-à-vis existing brands’ marketing expenditures, to deal with all the trade offs across brands in the portfolio, and face the market and financial consequences of their decision that they can really learn the science and craft of marketing strategy-making.

What StratX Simulations program do you use? 

We use Markstrat in our undergraduate, MBA, and senior MBA programs.

Each time we use the simulation, we see an amazing transformation in our students into highly analytical, confident, and finance-savvy marketing decision makers. The students have a lot of fun competing among themselves in highly engaging marketplace scenarios.

What is your favorite feature of the simulation?

There is no one favorite feature, but the Marketing Plan module is I believe one of the most useful tools in Markstrat. The Marketing Plan tool allows students to make financial projections of the their periodic results based on the decisions they have entered and certain assumptions they make about the market growth and their likely market share performance. This tool enables students to perform a reality check on their decisions and helps them be more disciplined in their planning. So, instead of just entering all the decision numbers and hope for the best, the students can plan for the outcomes by varying the likely market scenario and adjusting/re-adjusting their decisions. The tool also helps the students learn to forecast their sales and profit performance more accurately.

Professor Lim’s students enjoyed the simulation so much, they created a dynamic movie trailer recounting their experience:

 

Professor R.C. Natarjan, Director, IRMA (Institute of Rural Management Anand), Gujarat, India (Former Director at TAPMI, Manipal, India)

Professor Natarajan

What made you choose a simulation for your program?

TAPMI is known for its emphasis on experiential pedagogy. Case-discussions form the core of the 2-year learning process. At the pinnacle, we have chosen MARKSTRAT in the curriculum in which students apply their learning in (a) segmentation, targeting and positioning; (b) SWOT analysis; (c) decision-choices and selection; (d) strategy formulation (e) executing a strategy in terms of programmes and activities; and (f) auditing the impact of their decisions

What is your favorite feature of Markstrat?

MARKSTRAT provides the best scope for evolving a strategy out of SWOT Analysis hands-on and implementing it. Importantly, the abundance of data available to them forces them to make intelligent choice of information to confine their normal decisions to and wisely seek additional information in a selective manner. The real-time competition and the uncertainties provide the real-life experience of anxiety, trepidation and tribulations in decision-making, especially in a realistic competitive scenario. The discovery of “bounded rationality” is a regular part of learning in this game.

What is your simulation class setting? 

I teach mainly full-time MBA students with prior work experience of about 3 years. The course is offered in the second year of the Programme. Usually the number of a class varies from 150 to 250. I have been using MARKSTRAT for 15 years.

Can you share results and impact of using our simulation?

  1. Students learn to manage their business within the funds generated. Thus, they report a first-hand learning in “there is no free lunch.”

  2. The best feedback from students is mostly about the engrossment with the decisions and analysis and their ability to see the consequences of their decisions. The important learning they report is that blunders once committed cannot be undone in life and the impact carries them in a different trajectory; there is no apology and there are only consequences for bad decisions; and this is the best learning they have reported across the batches.

  3. Much of the feedback received from alumni of TAPMI who underwent the simulation has been one of fond memories of how much they both enjoyed and suffered during the MARKSTRAT days.

Do you have anything additional to share regarding your experience?

The ten days when the MARKSTRAT simulation is handled in TAPMI are said to “remove ten days from the student’s life”. Everything else comes to a stop; there are no friends; there is no social medium; there is no entertainment; food is optional. The juniors watch the seniors with amusement, discussing terms such as Perceptual Map, SPI, Sonite and Vodite. Not infrequently, juniors have asked me, “Sir, what exactly is this MARKSTRAT?” and when I respond, “Why don’t you ask your seniors?”, I usually get a reply, “I tried; but that guy just looked through me and went past as if I did not exist !!! ”

There have been batches that made T-Shirts celebrating the completion of the simulation, which said “I lost ten days of my life; but I survived MARKSTRAT !”

Need I to say more?

PROFESSORS

You have helped put together an amazing teaching tool.  I just love teaching it. Students still rave about it after 25-30 years!

Arun Jain, Samuel P. Capen Professor of Marketing Research, University at Buffalo School of Management (USA)

 

My first experience with Markstrat was very rewarding.

Martha Savastano, Professor, Fundação Getulio Vargas – FGV (Brazil)

 

The BrandPro Workshop has been really helpful. Learning and playing with the simulation hands-on in the workshop, helped me overcome my hesitations that this simulation would be challenging to use in the classroom. The professional workshop execution and the wonderful support of BrandPro staff has definitely reassured me to use BrandPro in my teaching!
Dr. Barbara Stöttinger, Associate Professor, Academic Director, Professional MBA Mktg & Sales, WU Vienna (Austria)

 

I finished Markstrat simulation last week among 50 students at TAPMI, Manipal. The feedback from my students has been exhilarating. I was stunned when I got a standing ovation on the last day ! So much overwhelmed were the students by the simulation-experience”
Dr .R.C. Natarajan, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Marketing, T A Pai Management Institute, Manipal (India)

 

The new coaching sheets are marvelous! What used to take me a couple of hours can now be accomplished very quickly when checking the run and just before consulting with a team.

Nancy Haskell, Professor of Marketing, FSA-ULaval (Quebec, Canada)

 

A very big THANK YOU for all the tremendous support you gave to my recent MBA course. Everything went really well !

Dr Belina Dewsnap, Lecturer in Marketing, School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University (UK)

 

Thank you for your excellent explanation. Always very useful!

Dr. Arun Jain, Samuel P. Capen Professor of Marketing Research, Jacobs Management Center, University of Buffalo (USA)

 

The simulation provided the right platform for the students to apply all of their relevant learning first-hand, and face the consequences almost instantly. Owing to the integrative and competitive nature of the simulation, the course attracted one of the largest student registrations ever.

Dr .R.C. Natarajan, Director, IRMA (Institute of Rural Management Anand) (India)

My students loved the game. Markstrat provides a very stimulating learning environment that helps the students integrating and applying the marketing concepts covered during the course.

Eva Ascarza, London Business School, (UK)

 

I like the new version.  The logistics of registration have improved tremendously, and backing-up has become easier as well.  Another element which is useful (and long needed) was of course the Instructor Dashboard.

Professor Rudy Moenaert, Professor of Strategic Marketing,  TiasNimbas Business School (Netherlands)

 

Over several decades, Markstrat has remained one of the finest pedagogical tools in the area of marketing strategy. I have used it extensively around the globe, both for MBA program and for corporate teaching and at various levels in organizations. Markstrat is highly analytical tool and is based on rigorous marketing concepts. It gives enough flexibility to any professor to blend intense theoretical constructs with practical realities. It provides superior learning laboratory to participants to learn sound marketing principles along with superior decision making skills.

Dr. Nirmal Gupta, Marketing Educator, Indian School of Business (India)

 

I really love Markstrat and have been using it for the past 3 years (6 semesters in total) as I think it provides the students with a highly challenging but rewarding experience to practice their higher level marketing skills. I also have past students who have advised me that they have been given work positions based on their discussion of what they learned in Markstrat – it gives them a competitive edge because they can discuss marketing strategy more insightfully. So thank you for a wonderful program.

Dr Lynda Andrews, Lecturer School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)

 

We use Markstrat in our undergraduate, MBA, and senior MBA programs. Each time we use the simulation, we see an amazing transformation in our students into highly analytical, confident, and finance-savvy marketing decision makers. The students have a lot of fun competing among themselves in highly engaging marketplace scenarios.

Lewis Lim, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marketing Practice, Nanyang Business School (Singapore)

 

I have no hesitation in concluding that standards in marketing analysis, marketing management and marketing strategy achieved by our MBA students are far higher from using Markstrat than they ever were when our course was purely book-based.

Prof. Guy Knapton, University of Phoenix Europe

 

I’ve successfully used Markstrat for several years in my Marketing Management and Marketing Strategy courses at the MBA and the EMBA level. It enables students to assimilate several concepts discussed in the courses in a competitive, data-rich environment. They learn about team work, and quickly see the good and bad of their decisions at less cost to their careers. I highly recommend it to marketing instructors.

Prof. Vithala Rao, Cornell University (USA)

 

I’ve used Markstrat for the last 3 years as part of an MBA level strategic marketing course. I always receive excellent responses from students, and feel it adds an important dimension to the course. Carol Bienstock, Ph.D., University of Memphis (USA)

 

The wholly web-based game is very easy to administer.

Edward C. Strong, Bristol (UK)

 

I’ve had students, usually Executive MBAs, come back years later and say they find themselves using Markstrat terminology to argue for actions within their own company. The simulation is so involving, learning and long-lasting, they’re seeing their own business and marketing world through the Markstrat lens.

Prof. Bill Cron, Texas Christian University (USA)

 

Markstrat is simply the best simulation I’ve used in taking the analytical and strategic thinking skills, as well as teamwork spirit, of my MBA students and participants of executive education programs a step further. It’s the perfect tool for them to apply business concepts in a highly competitive, but still risk-free, environment.

Prof. Paulo Sergio Quatiermeister, ESPM, Associado Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing

 

I am teaching an Executive MBA Marketing Strategy course, with a key component being Markstrat. The StratX technical support staff has been extremely professional and patient in helping me and my class understand both the fundamental philosophy and relevant strategies of the simulation. Your support and guidance has enabled me to focus on teaching Strategic Marketing using a very sophisticated and practical hands-on approach.

Prof. Sandy Becker, Rutgers University, Graduate School of Management (USA)

 

Markstrat has been a fundamental tool for my Undergraduate, Master of Science and MBA courses in Brazil. The simulation allows the understanding and exercising the basics of Strategic Marketing up to  the foundations of several Marketing Research reports presented in the game.  I have  received consistently positive and enthusiastic feedbacks from students about their learning experience. Other than that, I should say that the StratX support team for the Instructor makes a difference when planning the course management and running the game.

Professor Luciano e Castro, University of Sao Paulo (Brazil)

 

Markstrat es quizá el mejor simulador en el área de mercadeo. Desde mi experiencia, es claro que Markstrat es una herramienta muy valiosa para comunicar y afincar conceptos como segmentación, innovación y manejo de productos, todos conceptos claves en la gestión de mercadeo. Desde la perspectiva de mis estudiantes, la retroalimentación que recibo siempre es positiva, especialmente por la clara conexión entre el simulador y las muchas situaciones de la vida cotidiana en el mundo del mercadeo.

Professor Ricardo Vallenilla, Marketing Profesor, IESA (Caracas Venezuela)

PARTICIPANTS

Watch participants videos

 

 

This is the third time I do this type of simulation game, but the first one focused on marketing strategy and it has been very interesting. The universe is rich and you can access a lot of different data and type of studies to make your decisions regarding products, research, sales forces, advertising, etc. Furthermore the instructor has been very present to explain results and give strategic advices. This game as been quite challenging and really interesting regarding the management of the scarcity of resources.

A. VAN DE CASTEELE – ESSEC Business School student

 

If you are a Marketing student and you haven’t/will never use Markstrat Simulation, I feel bad for your future. I am learning so much.

Tweet from Allison, 27/09/2012

 

I have spent three incredible days managing Markstrat. It’s been a really great experience.

Marc,  S.M.I.S. ESSEC 2012, Laboratoire Takéda France

 

It’s been great to play Markstrat!

I was a little bit worried at the start; after the first period I felt like I was going to sink under all the data… but it got better as of the second period, and I really quickly got immersed into the game! Our team was managing a company and we were always very anxious to get results to continue our progression.

The whole team got overexcited, and very quickly got clear goals: get market shares, launch a mnew product while watching competitors moves…. Have the most successful strategy to win!

It’s been a really fun, enriching learning experience !

Marguerite-Marie, S.M.I.S. ESSEC 2012     

 

I learned more during this simulation than I did during regular class time.

Student at Dartmouth College

 

I loved the competitive aspect of the simulation…it was wonderful to see strategies succeed, and it was very motivating when competitors’ strategies proved more effective.    I found MarkStrat to be very effective at cementing the intangible marketing concepts we cover in class.

Casey, Georgetown University

 

The group interaction was intense, as the simulation requires a lot of work, but the intensity made this one of the most rewarding group projects of my MBA.

Jeff, Northwestern University

 

I loved being able to compete with the peers in the real time.

Vineet, UCLA Anderson School

 

It’s exciting to control a company, put theory into action and actively compete against classmates.

Thomas, University of Pennsylvania

 

Markstrat allowed me to better understand course concepts by applying them to my experience!

Vera, McGill University

 

The realism was incredible

Thomas, Northwestern University

 

It was fun and educational at the same time.

Student at New York University

 

The simulation is very close to reality. Very wide set of information to make decisions  Enhance competitiviness!

Hernan at EDDE (Latin America)

 

Very good concept, I would play outside of school if it was available; Lots of good information available to make decisions; Good application to real world

Maggie, University of Pennsylvania

 

Great learning tool as it mirrors real world! The complexity of decision making made it more valuable than some simpler simulations I’ve seen.

Lindsay from Macquarie University

 

Gives a real life experience to the marketing world.  Helped to increase understanding and putting into practice the marketing lessons learnt during lectures and seminars throughout the year.

Ekta, Warwick University

 

Very realistic, was an excellent learning experience & gave a greater understanding to topics covered in the course

Amisha, Warwick University

 

Markstrat extensively developed my strategic thinking!

Kevin from Rochester Institute of Technology

 

I enjoyed working as a team and gaining a more practical understanding of how business works

Kea from RMIT University

 

I liked the variety of market research available to assist in making decisions

Courtney, Cornell University – Johnson School

 

The simulation was a good way to learn marketing tools like MDS and brand perception.  It was a great way to practice marketing strategies

Smita, Cornell University – Johnson School

 

Working in a team environment added to the value of using a simulation.  I learned from class and from others, but Markstrat provided a good tool to apply what we had learned.  I liked having the ability to benchmark.  I also found the ability to compete against other teams in the same class to be a valuable experience because you can learn how teams approached situations which may not have been identical to your own.

Daniel, Dartmouth College

 

It teaches how to formulate strategies in an environment where it’s uncertain how the competition will react.

Troy, Northwestern University

 

I could see how the things I have been learning in our course work in a business world

Ricardo, ESPM – Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing

 

Excelent learning tool with a fun and on hands approach. A very complete simulation.

Andres, UFM – Universidad Federico Santa María

 

The simulation gives you an excellent chance to be in control of several situations at a time.    You have to figure out how to understand people’s choice and create a product more attractive to them.    It is a good way to merge theory and instinct when it comes to marketing.

Gustavo, Universidad Francisco Marroquín

 

“I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your class. This was the first marketing class that I have taken and although I knew that I would find it interesting, I didn’t realize how much I would love it. My favorite was the Markstrat simulation. When I first looked into it I was overwhelmed and intimidated by all the information. Once I started getting familiar and more comfortable with it, it was so exciting. I looked forward to the morning after the decisions and couldn’t wait to see how the group did. I was just telling Mikal that I was going through Markstrat withdrawal symptoms! We both equally enjoyed it!

Having been in public accounting for years, which doesn’t really lend itself to much flexibility and creativity unless you want to suffer the consequences of possibly ending up in lots of trouble, learning about marketing was so refreshing and very different from my norm. Hum, I wonder if I’m in the wrong profession.”

Student at University of Houston-Victoria

 

“I have to say that your support is more than the best. You gave me the opportunity to learn more.”

Nikolaos Pavlidis, Student at University of Peloponnese, Greece

SUCCESS IN THE CLASSROOM 

PROFESSORS

PARTICIPANTS