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Impact at ESCP Europe with Markstrat: A Professor’s Perspective

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When it comes to Markstrat, Sandrine Macé knows all of its inner workings. This marketing professor at ESCP Europe has been using the game for 20 years with groups of students in France, Lebanon and Russia, between five and ten times a year. She shares with us her expertise on the subject.

The strategic marketing simulation's purpose

Markstrat has a clear objective: to introduce the bases of strategic marketing, and allow students to apply what they have learned. And it is from this perspective that it must be used, according to Sandrine Macé. “It’s a perfect game for approaching the major rules of discipline: segmentation, targeting, positioning. Above all, this teaches students to make strategic choices. Some are terrified at the idea of putting a zero in a column, they prefer to divide up their marbles… But this is often less efficient.”

Going beyond the glamour of marketing

Another advantage of Markstrat, according to Sandrine Macé: going beyond the “glamour” of this discipline. “Markstrat shows students that marketing isn’t all publicity and flashing lights. That there is a rational facet to it, that decisions aren’t linked to a subjective feeling but obey certain rules “, she notes. The fact that the high-tech product at the center of the game doesn’t exist allows one to make more objective decisions, and thus to submit oneself “to what the client wants and not one’s personal point of view", she says. “It’s a game that’s very good for learning to bend oneself to the needs of the market: the marketing of demand.” Format.

Applying the simulation in the classroom

Sandrine Macé has experimented with Markstrat under diverse formats: from the most intense – 15 to 20 hours in one week– to the least intense (3 hours per week for 10 weeks). “What is certain is that one mustn’t go under 14 hours, because there is a sizeable cost of entry. The more time one has, the deeper one can go. When I do it over a span of 10 weeks with my Masters’ students, I use it as an opportunity to add in exercises, to find the main point of certain notions, like the marketing levers of performance. I’ve even created individual tests from the game, in order to evaluate the students on concepts they’ve learned,” she claims.

For Professor Macé, Markstrat is ideal for Masters’ students. “It also works very well in continuing education. For example, I did the game with people who work in marketing studies. They loved seeing how their profession – studies – takes part in the value chain of a business.”

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