It can be used both in academic e. MBAs and executive education, and for a variety of courses like strategic marketing, product planning and management, brand management and advertising. Markstrat is a game where teams of students compete against each other in an artificial world under realistic market conditions. In , Kinnear and Klammer p. This competition is based upon the utilization of the classic marketing variables: product development and management, distribution, promotion, and price.
Decision makers in competing firms utilize marketing research studies and develop strategies based upon effective segmentation and positioning. Their performance in the game is based upon such measures as market share, sales, contribution margin, and return on marketing investment.
In many respects, then, it is a classic strategic marketing situation that a real-world manager would face. Disclaimer: The following information has been collected from the literature and various other sources and may not be totally reliable since the author has neither access to Markstrat nor experience in teaching marketing subjects - Daniel K. Markstrat is usually played in direct competition team against team with days of running time, but it also can be played a single team against computer.
The three key concepts that define strategic marketing in Markstrat are  brand portfolio management analyse and plan on how it is perceived in the market , segmentation divide a market of potential customers into groups based on different characteristics and positioning strategies distinguish a brand from the products of the competitors.
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This implies the following types of learner actions  : manage established and emerging markets, conduct market and competitor analysis, use essential marketing tools, conduct research and development projects, create product portfolio and launches, and plan and launch sales and distribution strategies. Each firm can compete in two product categories established and emerging and market up to five brands in each. The overall direction is defined in three dimensions: product portfolio strategy brands to be developed and sold , segmentation and positioning, marketing.
Learners should reflect on their experience in order to achieve a real and deep learning effect.
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The Markstrat simulated "world" is composed of 80 million inhabitants living in a highly developed economy. Both the economic and political situation is stable. The Markstrat world is described in various training materials, e. Given the three versions B2C in electronics, B2B, and B2C in cosmetics outlined above, there are a total of six types of markets. Learners, in a simulation game usually develop one established and one related merging market. Each of the established market's brands are characterized by a few dozen attributes.
There are five to six main attributes, e. Each of the used attributes is rated on scale of 10 poor week to excellent or strong. In a similar way for each established market, consumer types have been segmented, e. For traditional cosmetics clinite customers , high earners, affluent families, medium income families, low income families and singles.
Each of these have specific needs that can be addressed. Markstrat has a client-server architecture using standard web browsers. Some former versions used a special purpose thin client. On the client side, students and tutors can access data and make decisions. The simulation engine is hosted on a server. Tutors can monitor various groups of learners, i. They also can administer online surveys. Interactions with the system are accessible from a main panel.
It includes company results second column , market and competitors third column , market research cols 4 and 5 and finally decisions last column. As we explained above, at the beginning of each round, participants look at reports and market studies and have to sort interpret information.
Reports and studies include:. Typically, the learner has to understand various interactive visualizations, and also be able to identify information needs including new studies. In rounds two and later, the team can revise decisions of round one and in addition must act in the following areas:. The production plan for each brand defines the number of units to be produced. The system also will compute the inventory left overs and lost sales not enough produced.
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The system provides instructors with key performance indicators for each team, both at firm and brand level. This allows individual coaching e. Markstrat includes a tool to compute a grade in function of selected and weighted key performance indicators. The Markstrat page at Insead  , identifies the following pedagogical objectives:.
A number of educational benefits are expected from simulations like Markstrat. We can distinguish motivational aspects enthusiasm, engagement , development of general and metacognitive skills awareness of skills, strategy development, time management, decision making, team work, problem solving , concept learning develop core marketing principles and transfer bridging the gap between theory and practice. Asiri et al.
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