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The University of British Columbia

Marketing for Non-Marketers

The University of British Columbia via edX

This course may be unavailable.


This course will help you increase your understanding of effective marketing strategy by adding core marketing concepts and techniques to your toolkit and help you integrate a marketing orientation into your thinking and responsibilities. You will emerge with proven tactical skills and a strategic framework that can immediately be used to differentiate your contribution to your organization’s goals.

Designed and led by UBC’s award-winning Marketing Faculty that include the 2015 American Marketing Association’s #1 ranked professor worldwide, a 2013 3M National Teaching Fellow, and the 2013 judge and online audience pick for the Economist magazine’s Business Professor of the Year Award, this course brings a marketing lens to complex business and organizational challenges to aid holistic decision-making that aligns customer and company goals.

You will earn a professional certificate from the University of British Columbia and edX upon successful completion of this course. Certificates can be uploaded directly to your LinkedIn profile or added to your resume.

Watch a preview

  • Welcome to the Course
  • The Changing Nature of the Market
  • Understanding the Rules of the Game: A Story About Chocolate


Who should take this course?

This course is for professionals who interface with marketing, would like to better understand the role of marketing and marketing decisions, or would like to acquire fundamental marketing concepts and tools in order to join or transition to a  marketing department. Students do not need any formal marketing experience or training. Whether you are in a small or large organization, a for-profit or non-profit organization, and regardless of the role you play in your work, if you have customers and competitors, you can learn something valuable from this course that will make you better at what you do.

How is this course taught?

The course is a well-designed mix of online video lectures, reading, case studies and discussions. The content is designed so that you can enroll up to June 29, 2015 and still be able to successfully complete the content.  

To get a sense of the instructors personality, style, and dedication to their students, view the course video and Darren Dahl’s video for the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Business Professor of the Year Award.

What is Sauder Executive Education?

Since 1969, Sauder Executive Education at the University of British Columbia has delivered programs designed to make a real difference in the way you do business. Financial Times recently ranked Sauder Executive Education in the top 50 providers of executive education in the world. Our aim is to help individuals and organizations achieve hard-hitting business results through relevant, integrated and action-oriented learning. Our programs are developed and delivered by a formidable community of leading Sauder School of Business faculty and business practitioners.


Course Description

This course will help managers in accounting, finance, operations, manufacturing, R&D, legal and other functional areas gain a better appreciation and understanding of core marketing concepts and techniques that all managers should have in their toolkit.

The course will cover: customer segmentation, targeting and positioning; establishing product-market fit; the psychology of buying decisions and influence networks; pricing strategies and multiple revenue streams to maximize profitability; go to market channels and customer acquisition; marketing conversion and retention funnels; designing metrics to assist in reducing customer acquisition costs, improving retention, and harnessing loyal customers as advocates to expand the customer base cost effectively.

This course draws on the award-winning teaching approaches of Sauder School of Business Marketing Faculty, in bringing a marketing lens to complex and messy business and organizational challenges, to aid holistic decision-making that aligns customer and company goals.

Course Schedule

Release Date Module Topics June 16 Week 1 Introduction: The changing nature of Marketing | Competition and Understanding the rules of the game June 23 Week 2 Market Research | Segmentation and targeting June 29   Course enrollment deadline June 30 Week 3 Positioning and value proposition | Product July 7 Week 4 Branding | Pricing July 14 Week 5 Distribution | Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) July 21 Week 6 Social media | Measurement and conclusion (IMC) August 4   Course completion deadline


Course Structure

Each weekly module will focus on two topics. The module will begin with a brief introduction to the topics, mapping out the learning goals, key concepts, and activities to be covered that week. The introduction will also include a recommended plan and timeline to complete the components of the weekly module. While following the recommended activity plan and deadlines will maximize your opportunities to interact with the instructional team and with other learners in the course, following the recommended schedule and deadlines are not mandatory for course completion. We understand and value your need for flexibility in participating in the course on your own schedule and time.

Each weekly module will include a number of components:

  • Videos that focus on cases and stories that exemplify fundamental marketing concepts.
  • Videos that provide practical frameworks and tools for you to apply to your own context and practice.
  • Videos that contain discussions between the two course instructors focusing on areas where concepts and applicable frameworks intersect or diverge, and provide pragmatic takeaway tips for business professionals.
  • Quizzes that will help you self-assess your own knowledge and progress through the module.
  • Discussion questions that will allow you to explore and discuss marketing concepts further with other learners in the course.
  • Activities that focus on applying concepts, frameworks, and tools to real world business contexts.
  • Checklists that will allow you to reflect and report your progress through the module.
  • An end of module video from the instructors that summarize and comment on conversations, activities, and learner progress that have taken place in the past week.

Students are expected to spend 3-4 hours per week to complete course activities. Before the course starts, learners will be asked to complete a pre-course survey to understand their learning motivations, expectations, background and professional experience, and previous education. At the end of the course, learners will be asked to complete a post-course survey to understand learners’ satisfaction levels with the course, and to gain feedback about the course that will be leveraged towards future improvement of the course.


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