Fast Company

Free to Be B2B

How do your rates compare to your competitors? This course helps marketers assign more accurate values to products and services.

Course: Business Marketing Strategy
When: Three times a year; Next: October 10-15
Instructors: James C. Anderson, Gregory S. Carpenter, Dipak C. Jain, and Mohanbir Sawhney
Class size: 50 to 64
Where: Kellogg School, Northwestern, Evanston, Illinois
Cost: $7,500

How can you sell anything if you can't prove its worth? Kellogg's Business Marketing Strategy course teaches business-to-business marketers how to assess the value of their products so that they can market them effectively. One of the integral aspects of the course is the study of customer-value models, a tool used to estimate a product's worth in comparison to the competition. Marketers can then decide the best sales tactics, including when to partner, when to sell directly to other businesses, and how to price different products. "Most people think you can't express value in monetary terms," says program director James C. Anderson. "You can get an estimate so you can say, 'Here's what you're getting, and here's the price in return for what you're getting.' "

Student Evaluation

Bridget Farley, director of sales for NBC Universal Cable, chose the course because she wanted additional perspectives on how companies bring products to market. "I am in sales and distribution for TV networks, so I am constantly looking at customer-value models, and the fact that they could put it into a formula for us was great."

The Professors: "They're all consultants, so they are able to pull in their experience, which keeps them [and students] at the forefront of new concepts."

Want to go? Register at: www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/execed/course/bustobus/bust_000.htm

Can't go? Read the same books the students take home: Business Market Management: Understanding, Creating, and Delivering Value (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2003), by James C. Anderson and James A. Narus, and Marketing Moves: A New Approach to Profits, Growth, and Renewal (Harvard Business School Press, 2002), by Philip Kotler, Dipak C. Jain, and Suvit Maesincee.

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