Undergraduate Teaching 2023-24

Engineering Tripos Part IIA, 3E2: Marketing, 2023-24

Engineering Tripos Part IIA, 3E2: Marketing, 2023-24

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Module Leader

Dr O Merlo


Omar Merlo

Lab Leader

Dr O Merlo

Timing and Structure

Michaelmas Term. 8 online lectures + 3 Supervisions mixing lectures, case analysis and class discussion.


The aims of the course are to:

  • Understand fundamental marketing terms, concepts, principles, and theories.
  • Understand the role of marketing and its contribution to customer and financial value.
  • Develop critical thinking and communication skills relating to marketing.
  • Appreciate how to develop and deploy an effective marketing plan.


As specific objectives, by the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Display a fundamental understanding of the marketing management process in different environments, contexts and situations enabling students to use marketing approaches to facilitate goal achievement.
  • Have a solid ‘first principles’ foundation, if wishing to pursue a career in business,
  • If pursuing other career paths, have a sufficient understanding of marketing to be able to interact effectively with marketing personnel in cross-functional activities.


Among business disciplines, marketing is the primary contact point between a business and its customers. Business majors and non-business majors will benefit by taking this course because nearly everybody wears a marketing hat during their career. Understanding marketing will help you whether you want to be an accountant, a movie producer, an engineer, a programmer, a doctor, an entrepreneur, or a museum curator. Understanding customer needs and how to marshal the resources of an organisation to meet those needs will enhance your chances of career success.

This course develops a general management viewpoint in planning and evaluating marketing decisions. This course will also help you understand how marketing decisions are affected by organisational and environmental influences and will also enable you to develop your ability to contribute to general management. Accordingly, the course sessions are structured around the following topics:

  • Introduction to Marketing.
  • The strategic marketing planning process
  • Segmentation, targeting and positioning
  • The marketign mix: managing product, price, promotion and distribution
  • Brand management
  • Marketing communications
  • Loyalty and customer relationship management


This course examines the key analytical frameworks and tools that are essential to building an effective marketing strategy. We cover concepts including marketing theory and customer centrism; strategic marketing planning; segmentation, targeting and positioning; the marketing mix; brand management; marketing communications and digital marketing; loyalty and customer relationship management.

The goal is that at the end of the course, you’ll be able to apply these concepts as part of a comprehensive and sophisticated marketing strategy.  You should be able to employ these elements across a variety of industries and functions, in ways that create customer value and financial value. That’s the aim of marketing.


The course readings consist primarily of case studies and a textbook.

Case Studies

The course employs a number of case studies, which should be read prior to coming to lectures and are the basis of discussion. You must read the allocated case for each class.


There is a prescribed textbook in this course:

  • Merlo (2020) Strategic Marketing, Amazon.


The final course grade is based on an exam. Students can also write a non-compulsory paper which can count as a lab paper. 

Teaching format

Eight lectures.

Further notes

Examples papers


A paper outlining the marketing strategy for a new product or service.


Omar Merlo (2020) Strategic Marketing, Amazon.

Case studies: Swatch, Coke, Pets.com. Cabo San Viejo

Examination Guidelines

Please refer to Form & conduct of the examinations.


This syllabus contributes to the following areas of the UK-SPEC standard:

Toggle display of UK-SPEC areas.


Develop transferable skills that will be of value in a wide range of situations. These are exemplified by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority Higher Level Key Skills and include problem solving, communication, and working with others, as well as the effective use of general IT facilities and information retrieval skills. They also include planning self-learning and improving performance, as the foundation for lifelong learning/CPD.


Apply appropriate quantitative science and engineering tools to the analysis of problems.


Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, theories and principles of their engineering discipline, and its underpinning science and mathematics.


Have an appreciation of the wider multidisciplinary engineering context and its underlying principles.


Understand customer and user needs and the importance of considerations such as aesthetics.


Identify and manage cost drivers.


Ensure fitness for purpose for all aspects of the problem including production, operation, maintenance and disposal.


The ability to make general evaluations of commercial risks through some understanding of the basis of such risks.


Extensive knowledge and understanding of management and business practices, and their limitations, and how these may be applied appropriately to strategic and tactical issues.


Understanding of contexts in which engineering knowledge can be applied (e.g. operations and management, technology, development, etc).


A comprehensive understanding of the scientific principles of own specialisation and related disciplines.

Last modified: 03/10/2023 12:40