Marketing & Logistics 894 - Multi-Channel Consumer Experience Creation

Draft Syllabus:

Marketing & Logistics 894 - Multi-Channel Consumer Experience Creation

DATE: Fall Quarter, 2009

Faculty: Michael Bills

CREDIT: 2hr.



LOCATION: Gerlach Hall


Today’s consumer expects companies and brands to serve her in a seamless fashion, wherever and whenever she chooses to interact with the company. What are the challenges of different modes of service delivery? What is the consumer’s definition of a seamless experience? How does marketing ensure that the experience across different channels is consistent with the brand promise? What do we do with channels that we don’t completely own such as consumer interactions in social networks?

If you deem these questions important and find them interesting, this is the course for you! Through this course, you will learn the unique challenges of bringing a service brand to life across multiple channels. You will gain an appreciation of the complexity of managing consumer experience in a 24/7 world.

In the course the student will learn how to craft an effective, holistic, 360-degree value proposition for customer experience, including a consideration of consumer’s evolving tastes and expectations. Today’s consumers want much more control over how and when they access our company. Consumers also expect customization and personalization, but on their terms. They are less content with merely being an audience to the service we provide. They are co-producers of the service experience. This class will provide students with the ability to understand these new dynamics and the methods, processes and approaches to creating holistic experiences that resonate with the target audience.


Creating holistic and seamless experiences within today's highly fractured communication channels requires the expertise and knowledge to deliver marketing strategies that are at once consistent and integrated, while also highly individualized and targeted. The curriculum includes a review and assessment of best practices in online, digital, direct, brick & mortar, advertising and customer service oriented marketing strategies. The primary learning objective is to provide students with a deep understanding of today's dynamic marketing landscape and the tools and processes for creating consumer experiences that are brand differentiating and which ultimately improve performance through a comprehensive relationship building.


Lecture, Review & Critical Discussion - of theories, concepts and frameworks discussed that day from the course text, academic journal readings and/or case studies – class participation counts for 40% of grade.

Team Assignment & Presentation - applying the concepts from each day’s lecture and readings to a specific assignment (to be determined). – 30% of final grade

Final Exam – 30% of final grade

NOTE: teams will be assigned the first day of class. Each student on a team will receive the same grade for team assignments.



Building Multi-channel Experiences - Through Customer-centricity & Holistic, 360 Degree Marketing

A.)  LECTURE #1: an introduction to multi-channel experience creation through the emphasis of consumer-centricity. The introductory lecture explains how leading brands are building personalized relationships focused on the target consumer’s individual wants, needs and desires and access to products and services where, when and how they want to purchase and consume them. Recent changes to the socio-economic profiles of both demographic and psychographic cohorts, the advent of disruptive technologies and globalization have all conspired to create a dramatically different marketplace that has placed the consumer in control of the purchase decision, thereby requiring brands of all types to create more holistic and integrated brand experiences. Lecture one introduces the concept and associated methods and approaches for building 1:1 customer relationships across channels of communication and distribution in order to deliver the optimal brand experience. Sub-branded experience development, engagement of the “prosumer” and employment of 360-degree research methodologies will be introduced in this session. Associated readings and cases will profile best practices in multi-channel marketing and the differences between passive entertainment and interactive experiences that build long term loyalty and brand resonance.

Critical Discussion & Review of:

B.)  CASE #1: (holistic- multi-channel experience case) TBD\

C.)  ARTICLE #1: (holistic- multi-channel experience case) TBD


A.) Lecture #2: Direct Marketing & Advertising Experience Creation – following the break, part two of session one will continue with a deep dive into the first of the four channels of communication that comprise multi-channel branding in today’s marketplace: advertising and traditional direct marketing. This foundation for any dynamic marketing strategy establishes the brand promise upon which the remaining communication and distribution channels attempt to deliver. In a multi-channel world the fractured media market requires a much more sophisticated, interactive and integrated approach to marketing in order to overcome the exponentially more challenging landscape comprised of 500 cable stations and their diminishing viewership and readership. These components, once considered simply brand building mechanisms with “reach”, are now, pre-selection comparison, trial and testing opportunities for consumers to determine brand and product/service “fit” with their lifestyle and idiosyncratic tastes and interests. Advertising and traditional direct marketing therefore set the tone for establishing a truly multi-channel experience.

B.) CASE #2: TBD

C.) ARTICLE #2: (Apple article) TBD


Direct Marketing Experience Creation (continued)

A.)  GUEST LECTURER #1: Direct Marketing – To be determined


Offline Experience Creation - Brick & Mortar Presence – face –to-face interaction through permanent and temporary physical presence.

A.)  LECTURE #3: Regardless of whether a particular brand has a permanent or proprietary retail presence, physical branding and service offerings are more, rather than less important than ever. Recent studies indicate that for most categories, over 70% of purchase decisions are made in-store. But instead of serving exclusively as the primary channel for purchases as the once did, the physical channel of distribution is increasingly also serving as the best and most reliable manner for consumers to experience face-to-face interaction with the company and it’s associates. The physical “store” therefore serves both a backdrop for the brand and as a facilitator of the service provision. Physical presence whether in the form of a company owned and operated environment, as “pop-up” retail, or as part of a third party partner’s offer, is an integral part of a comprehensive consumer experience.

Critical Discussion & Review of:

B.) CASE #3: TBD



Online Experience Creation - Digital Marketing & the Role of Social Networking

A.) LECTURE #4: More than simply brochure-ware, or ecommerce, today’s best in-class marketing strategies combine multi-dimensional sites, wiki’s, mobile communication, twitter and social network based solutions in order to connect with the consumer wherever, whenever and however they want. And the consumer plays are far more complex and sophisticated role in the relationship than simply that of customer, patron, guest or audience. Today’s consumer is also the co-producer, reviewer, brand and policy advisor and all-around supporter or detractor to the company she interacts with. Building off the three previous sessions, lecture four will address methods and approaches for harnessing the power of the digital channel in order to create and maintain highly interactive relationships with the target customers. In addition to best practices in online marketing we will review the latest trends in social networking, it’s meteoric rise in dominance and companies attempts to understand and harness its power.

Critical Discussion & Review of:

B.)  CASE #4: TBD (Google)



A.)  GUEST LECTURER #2: Digital Marketing & Social Networking - TBD (Derrick Ungless, CMO DSW?)


Customer Service Experience Creation

A.) LECTURE #5: The “red thread” running through all of the four previous lectures is customer service. Relationships are the connective tissue that allows all the other channels to facilitate relationships. Lecture four will address best practices in customer relations and how they serve to enable other aspects of a multi-dimensional strategy.

Critical discussion & review of:

B.) CASE 5: TBD (Best Buy – Geek Squad)

C.) CASE 5: TBD (Nordstrom)


D.)  TEAM ASSIGNMENT/ PRESENTATIONS: 20 minutes each/ 5 teams


Integrating Learning – Putting it All Together – Creating Multi-channel Consumer Experiences

A.) LECTURE #6: - the final lecture in the series reviews all five of the preceding lectures and provides examples of best practices from a spectrum of leading brands in diverse industries.

Critical discussion & review of:

B.) CASE #6:



A.) Final Exam


1.)  Primary Course Text: To Be Determined

2.)  Course Packet: Required reading packet available in downloadable, electronic format from Includes readings - academic articles and book/chapter excerpts and case studies. NOTE: includes copyrighted material and therefore requires that each student purchase his or her own copy of the materials.

NOTE: To order the readings, cases and articles listed please follow the directions provided below. All additional readings and chapters will be provided as handouts on the first day of class. To order the cases and articles as electronic downloads:

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