Brand or Product Management
The following collection of courses emphasizes brand/product management as found in the traditional consumer packaged goods companies. It would be relevant also for those who wish to bring these skills to non-traditional marketing positions such as those in financial services, health care and other service businesses. Typically, managers are responsible for the overall management of a product over its entire life cycle.
The B2B selection of courses is focused on those who wish to market products/services to other businesses. These firms range from high-tech, to traditional manufacturing companies, to financial services and consulting companies. Business marketers also engage in activities similar to their consumer products colleagues, although the role of advertising has typically been less important and sales-related issues rise to the fore. Although the focus is on B2B marketing issues, the selection of courses takes a very strong position on strategy implementation.
The market research selection of courses is more technical and emphasizes a more quantitative orientation. This course selection is attractive to those who wish to pursue more analytical careers such as in marketing research or general consulting or work for a manufacturing/service company in marketing planning, pricing or business development. Focus ranges from general strategy consulting to more targeted marketing consulting that addresses specific marketing problems.
Customer Relationship Management
This selection of courses emphasizes positions that rely heavily on the Internet and addresses both B2C and B2B applications. With a more technical focus, topics include determining the lifetime value of the customer, understanding marketing metrics and performance. Emphasis is on developing go-to-market strategies that reach customers through a broad set of channels. In addition, these courses rely heavily on analytical tools to understand the effectiveness of marketing programs launched via both traditional channels and emerging channels.
*Courses offered in the First and Second Year. All other courses are offered only in the Second Year.
Please note: courses are subject to change each year. Consult the course directory for the most up-to-date course offerings.
Darden faculty created the following marketing concentrations to help Second Year students develop course plans:
This concentration builds on brand management and will prepare students for careers in organizations where brand leadership is critical — in traditional consumer packaged goods, consumer durables, consumer services, consulting firms and even NFPs. This track focuses on the end-user as “customer”, offering the opportunity to gain insight into how customers search for information, processes that information, make purchase decisions, and become loyal, engaged consumers. Faculty Contact: Marian Moore.
Business to Business Marketing
This concentration is designed for those students who wish to pursue a career in organizations that market goods and services to other businesses. It is also appropriate for those seeking careers in consulting, operations or non-marketing jobs in a B2B firm. The objective of this concentration is to provide students with an understanding for how businesses relate to one another, how to manage these relationships, and how to develop and implement a viable strategy. Faculty Contact: Robert Spekman.
The objectives of this concentration are to equip students with strong analytic skills, expose them to large data sets where they can engage in mining as it relates to customer relationship management, brand marketing, and other processes for building closer relationships with one’s customer base. The concentration is positioned for those students who wish to follow a B2C career with more of a focus on the research, who are looking at careers in consulting, business development, or other areas where analytic skills are highly valued. Faculty Contact: Raj Venkatesan.
Clubs & Events
- Marketing Club - The Darden Marketing Club is committed to helping members understand the varied and exciting professional opportunities in marketing, develop the necessary knowledge and skills to accomplish career goals, build relationships with peers and faculty, and network with professionals in organizations with strong marketing opportunities.
- Darden Brand Challenge - The Darden Brand Challenge brings together more than 400 students, faculty, and family members for an evening of blind taste testing and product trials. The Brand Challenge is an educational and entertaining event that excites students about careers in brand management and familiarizes them with issues surrounding product positioning and market research.
- Darden Marketing Forum - The Marketing Forum is a symposium of marketing managers brought together to explore current issues and trends affecting marketing professionals and to provide the Darden community with additional insights into the various career options within the marketing industry.
View the full list of Darden student organizations.
Jay Adoue (Class of 2012) talks about the job search process for Darden students interested in marketing careers. He discusses why marketing recruiters value Darden's general management focus, the benefits of the case method, off-Grounds recruiting, the Darden alumni network, resources of the Career Development Center and the Darden Marketing Club.
Still have questions? Feel free to contact the following current student and alumni to ask specific questions about marketing at Darden or in their careers. For additional contacts, please visit the Darden Student and Alumni Ambassadors list.
Jason Tilghman (MBA '12)
Undergraduate education: Florida International University
Undergraduate major: Finance
Position: Supervisor, Strategic Business Development
Location: Minneapolis, MN
"As a member of the Strategic Business Development group at 3M, it is essential that I be able to absorb large quantities of information quickly, ask well thought-out questions and make key decisions to help move a client initiative forward or solve a client challenge. I believe the case study method at Darden has equipped me with the tools and armed me with the academic foundation that I need to excel at my job. Having worked through hundreds of cases during my two years at Darden, I feel confident about and prepared to taking on broad-ranging projects and challenges at 3M."
Sadie Wieschhoff (MBA '12)
Undergraduate education: Bowdoin College
Undergraduate major: History
"Darden does a great job of bringing top companies on Grounds to get to know students and to educate them about their company and the opportunities they offer. My classmates and the Darden alumni network has been invaluable. People are always willing to talk with you, give career advice, help you learn more about a company, a specific role, etc. I have truly found they help in anyway they can. I feel very lucky to be part of such a supportive and dedicated network and to be headed to Target."
Trisha Bailey (MBA '11)
Undergraduate education: Duke University
Undergraduate major: Public Policy Studies
Company: PepsiCo (Frito-Lay North America)
Role: Marketing Manager
Current location: Dallas, TX
"As a career-switcher looking to transition from the nonprofit space into a marketing role at a large corporation, I was attracted to Darden’s general management approach. Darden’s rigorous, inter-disciplinary curriculum has given me the analytical tools and enterprise perspective necessary to help me solve problems, make strategic decisions, and address complex challenges in the dynamic and fast-paced consumer packaged goods marketplace. The case method has also prepared me to cultivate a clear point-of-view and to think creatively. Most importantly, Darden’s vibrant community and strong emphasis on collaboration have enabled me to build incredible personal and professional relationships and have prepared me to manage cross-functional teams, agency partnerships and collaborative processes, which are a critical part of my marketing role."
Kelly Becker (MBA '08)
Undergraduate education: Texas Christian University
Undergraduate major: Advertising/Public Relations
Role: Product Manager
Current location: Chicago, IL
"I chose Darden's strong general management program to move my career from a single discipline strength to an enterprise-wide skill set. As a global product manager, I am frequently asked to make decisions with imperfect information across the spectrum of business challenges. The program's integrated marketing, operations, finance, leadership, and organizational behavior curriculum provide you with the business content; yet it is the analytical skills learned, the teamwork emphasis, and professional exposure received going through the program that I am able to draw upon to make those decisions with speed and confidence."
Trevor Winn (MBA '08)
Undergraduate education: University of California, Riverside
Undergraduate major: History
Company: General Mills
Role: Associate Marketing Manager
Current location: Minneapolis, MN
"Darden faculty teach for the love of teaching! Great personalities and an impressive depth of knowledge they use to engage their students and broaden our skill sets. Even better, the faculty make themselves available outside of the class, for projects, or even in the working world."