Competitive Strategic Marketing

Course Description

In today’s hypercompetitive marketplace, consumers have endless access to information, often gathered in seconds, which impacts their goals, behaviors, and beliefs. To build market relevance and to grow, understanding customer preferences is vital in developing and in executing an effective marketing strategy. Successful marketers must be flexible and responsive in adapting to shifts in markets and in customer buying behaviors.

In this course, via marketing case studies, large group discussions, and small team breakouts, you will easily be able to translate learnings into an effective marketing strategy. You will return to the office with strategic marketing insights (and a plan for addressing a current marketing challenge that you will be asked to bring to the course) that will help you generate demand from your customers. In Competitive Strategic Marketing, you will learn how to win strategically by putting successful marketing tactics into effective practice.

We encourage you to come to the course (individually or with other colleagues with whom you may want to work as a team) with a business challenge that you want to solve. We will discuss the biggest business issues you are facing currently (or that you predict will become the biggest business issues in the future), and we will generate ideas and solutions to overcome these challenges.

  • How strategic marketing decisions can generate demand from your customers
  • How an enhanced understanding of your customer’s psyche will lead to success
  • How to differentiate your product in your customer’s mind
  • How to leverage your brands to maintain their competitive advantage in the marketplace
  • How to market to millennial, Gen Y, and Gen Z customers
  • How to utilize digital marketing effectively
  • How to tackle the specific business challenge(s) you bring to this course

Who Should Attend?

This course has been designed for managers who are asked to lead strategic efforts, to employ innovative marketing tactics, and to understand customer purchase behavior. Marketing directors, product managers, entrepreneurs, business owners, and other professionals across a range of industries can benefit from the new skills and approaches gained through this program. You will return to the office with new approaches and perspectives to apply to your biggest business challenges.

Registration and Payment

This is an open enrollment program. Application is not required. Course registration is complete when payment is processed. Upon registration, a representative of Wake Forest will contact you to validate the registration information and to assist in fee payment. Please click the link below to begin the registration process.*

*This program is not currently accepting registrations. Please check the Executive Education website for a list of upcoming programs.

Additional Program Information

Dr. Kenny Herbst

Dr. Kenny Herbst is the Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Business Program, an Associate Professor of Marketing, and a Sisel Faculty Fellow in the School of Business at Wake Forest University. He has a Masters and Ph.D. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. from Wake Forest University. In 2016, he won the Kienzle Alumni Teaching Award (given for outstanding contribution to the education and personal development of our MBA/MA/MSM alumni who graduated at least three years ago). He also recently has won the MA/MSM Educator of the Year Award (in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, and 2019).

Dr. Herbst’s expertise includes obesity and unhealthy food consumption, branding and trust effects in advertising, affect and cognition in consumer decision making, food marketing, and supermarket retailing and merchandising practices.


Classes begin promptly at 8:30 each morning and will wrap-up no later than 5:00.

The cost of the program is $1,650 and includes materials, continental breakfast and lunch both days, and is due in full at time of registration. Wake Forest University alumni, faculty, and staff receive a 25% tuition discount. For more information please send an email to .

Wake Forest University Charlotte Center
200 N. College Street, Suite 150
Charlotte, NC  28202

Parking is available in the Wake Forest Charlotte Center parking deck, which is adjacent to the Wake Forest Charlotte Center on 5th Street.

Wake Forest University Charlotte Center – Map, directions & parking

Day 1

Session 1: Introductions, Team Break-Outs, Discussion of Your Biggest Business Challenge(s), Course Overview, Marketing Strategy, and Marketing Research

  • Understand the goals of marketing
  • Understand the importance of marketing research
  • Describe the pros/cons of the various types of research methods
  • Explain the difference between primary research and secondary research
  • Discuss how a market challenger can change the consumer’s focus in order to battle a market leader

Session 2: Buyer Behavior

  • Understand the “head” versus the “heart” as it relates to consumer behavior
  • Describe what most influences consumer purchase
  • Explain what needs to be measured in order to predict consumer behavior effectively
  • Understand how influencers affect whether your products/services are purchased, and describe how you can utilize influencers
  • Describe how the consumer journey differs over the various age cohorts (Boomers, Millennials, Gen Y, and Gen Z)

Session 3: Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning (this session will continue until the end of Day 1)

  • Understand the various bases of segmentation
  • Understand the characteristics of niche markets
  • Describe the characteristics of good target markets
  • Understand the various positioning strategies, and explain how you can differentiate brands/products/services
  • Understand how to utilize your brand’s “architecture” to position your brand(s) effectively

Day 2

Session 4: Branding Strategy

  • Explain how understanding your augmented brand helps you define the service you are actually “selling” to patients
  • Identify and explain the various means for establishing brand equity and for maintaining brand equity
  • Understand the importance of brand architecture
  • Explain how the various brand strategies (e.g., line extensions, brand extensions, and co-brands) differ from one another
  • Explain upward stretching and downward stretching and the role that both play on brand building and on brand dilution

Session 5: Pricing Strategies/Approaches

  • Discuss the differences between cost-based, competition-based, and perceived-value pricing approaches
  • Explain what affects whether your customers are price-sensitive
  • Describe the effects of elasticity and relativity (as well as other psychological factors) on your customer’s perceptions of your price

Session 6: Digital Marketing and Promotion Strategy

  • Explain how the promotion mix is developed strategically
  • Explain the importance of the marketing funnel
  • Analyze various advertisements and discuss the strategic goals behind each of the advertisements
  • Explain how advertisement spokespersons should be chosen
  • Discuss the trends in digital marketing
  • Explain how digital marketing can be utilized in promotion strategy

Session 7: Team breakouts to develop an action plan and to prepare individual/team presentations –

  • Kenny will also provide a course recap, and he will discuss next steps for addressing your biggest business challenge(s)

Course materials are included in the cost of tuition. Course materials will be distributed electronically in advance of the program start date. Participants must have a laptop or tablet computer to access course materials.

Program Cancellation

This course is offered contingent upon sufficient enrollment. If a course must be cancelled, all registered participants will be notified at least five (5) calendar days before the course’s start date. All registered participants will receive a 100% tuition refund. No fees will be charged for cancelled courses.

Individual Cancellation – Refund Policy

Prospective participants who withdraw at least 10 days prior to the start of a course will receive a full refund of tuition paid.

For More Information

For more information, or to speak with a program adviser, please send an email to or visit the Contact Us section of this website.