Executive Education

Strategic Marketing Analytics: Leveraging Big Data - New!

Organizations have ever-increasing access to data on customers, competitors, channel partners and their own activities, such as advertising. Firms that can use analytics to translate "big data" into actionable strategies will be the winners in this environment. State-of-the-art marketing analytics can show companies how different marketing investments affect sales and profits. Strategic Marketing Analytics: Leveraging Big Data will expose participants to the possibilities provided by marketing analytics and explore some fundamental metrics, tools and frameworks that can help organizations improve the performance of their marketing functions. Emphasis will be placed on practical tools that can provide some quick wins and obtain widespread adoption. Real-world case studies will be used to illustrate the interplay between marketing analytics and managerial intuition. Participants will have the opportunity to apply the concepts learned in the classroom through a hands-on simulation experience. Managerial processes to translate analytics into action and closed feedback loops to ensure continued improvement in analytics and sustained growth will be explored.

Program Overview

In this Executive Education program, participants will:

  • Gain a framework for identifying the right marketing metrics for an organization.
  • Develop a chain of effects system for connecting performance metrics to marketing inputs.
  • Identify the relationship between marketing inputs and customer behavior through simple yet effective response models.
  • Design experiments to estimate the return on marketing investments.
  • Develop marketing resource allocation guidelines that maximize the marketing metrics.

The program will identify the capabilities analytics can provide an organization, mapping a firm's strategy and marketing analytics, and connect marketing spend to financial returns.

Related Resources:


Primary Audience: Leaders in marketing, business development, analytics and information technology who wish to translate marketing data into organizational action - and, ultimately, sales and profits.

Sample Participant Titles:

  • Marketing Controller
  • Director of Marketing Resources
  • Director of Marketing Analytics
  • Director of Marketing
  • Associate Director of Marketing
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Director of Finance
  • Brand Managers and Directors
  • Group Product Manager
  • Sales Manager


Darden Professors Paul Farris, Raj Venkatesan and Ron Wilcox are authors of the upcoming book Cutting Edge Marketing Analytics: Real-World Cases and Datasets for Hands-on Learning, due to be published in spring 2014.


Raj Venkatesan - Faculty Lead

Bank of America Research Professor of Business Administration
Venkatesan is an award-winning researcher in the marketing field. Recognized as a top rising scholar in marketing and as one of "The World's 40 Best B-School Profs Under the Age of 40" by Poets & Quants, he has consulted with firms (e.g., IBM) in the technology, retailing and pharmaceutical industries on their marketing analytics initiatives.

Faculty Bio Page

Farris EE

Paul Farris

Landmark Communications Inc. Professor of Business Administration
A retired first lieutenant of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Farris has years of industry experience in marketing management and advertising account management. His research focuses on marketing productivity and budgeting and has been featured in six books - including his award-winning Marketing Metrics: 50+ Metrics Every Executive Should Master.

Faculty Bio Page

 Steenburgh EE

Tom Steenburgh

John L. Colley Research Associate Professor of Business Administration
An expert in B2B marketing and sales, Steenburgh came to Darden in 2012 from Harvard Business School. His cases are used in business schools worldwide, and his research addresses questions that help managers measure the effectiveness of their sales and marketing strategies. He previously worked in marketing and operations at the Xerox Corporation.

Faculty Bio Page

Ron Wilcox

Ethyl Corporation Professor of Business Administration; Marketing Area Coordinator
Named one of the "World's Best B-School Professors" by Poets & Quants in 2012, Wilcox has been teaching in Darden's Marketing area since 2001. A former economist for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Wilcox is known for his expertise in marketing financial services and its interface with public policy. His research has appeared in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek and Forbes.

Faculty Bio Page

Please visit the Darden Faculty Directory for complete faculty information.

Key Takeaways

  • Develop a conceptual framework for marketing resource allocation across brands, customers, markets, media, channels and sales force.
  • Design test-and-learn experiments to connect marketing spend to ROI.
  • Measure the value of your brands and customers.
  • Overcome barriers to translating analytic recommendations into allocation decisions. Foster cross-functional collaboration - especially between marketing and sales - to implement allocation decisions.
  • Conduct risk assessments and plan for contingencies in the allocation process.
  • Create and nurture the feedback loops that promote organizational learning and continued improvement.


  • Resource Allocation Framework
  • Measuring Marketing Assets - Brands and Customers
  • Marketing ROI: Tracking the Return on Your Marketing Dollars
  • Test and Learn: Designing Marketing Experiments
  • Optimal Pricing Strategy: Conjoint Analysis
  • Market Response Models
  • Sales Force Allocation Models
  • Designing Marketing Dashboards
  • Telling a Story
  • Feedback Loops


Program activities include:

  • Case discussions on industry leaders, including:
    • Samsung
    • Etch A Sketch
    • David's Bridal
    • Enterprise Rent-A-Car
    • Progressive Insurance
    • Portland Trail Blazers
    • HubSpot
    • Red Bull
    • Netflix
  • Simulation game on marketing resource allocation, in which participants can apply concepts covered in the program
  • Opportunity for one-on-one interaction with and feedback from top-ranked faculty experts
  • Time for individual reflection/development of a personal action plan - so that knowledge learned is immediately related to individual roles, functions and companies



Day One: The Big Picture: Dashboards, System of Metrics and Resource Allocation Framework
Day Two:

System of Metrics Framework
Metrics: Brand Equity and Customer Lifetime Value
Experimentation: Design of Marketing Experiments, A/B Testing

 Day Three: Breakfast
Price and Advertising Elasticities: Market Response Models,
Estimated Tradeoffs in Product Design and Price: Conjoint Analysis
Simulation: Allocator. Developed by Darden Professor Paul Farris and used at other top business schools, this game encourages participants to apply the concepts of marketing resource allocation.
Media Optimizers : Allocating Resources Across Different Media
Day Four: Breakfast
Sales Force Allocation
Debrief Simulation
Implementing Analytics
Telling a Story
Taking it Home





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  • Course Information

    19-22 October 2015

    Image for EE Register Here
    $4,900 covers materials and meals.

    Leaders in marketing, business development, analytics and information technology who wish to translate marketing data into organizational action — and, ultimately, sales and profits.

    Gain one week of credit toward a Certificate of Specialization.

    Washington, D.C.

    Additional Information:
    +1-434-924-3000 or contact the program director