Strategic Marketing for Competitive Advantage

Program Overview

In today's highly competitive business environment, marketing is everyone's business. No matter your work experience, if your role increasingly involves marketing responsibilities, you need a solid understanding of its core concepts, methods, and strategic perspectives.

Strategic Marketing for Competitive Advantage is based on Wharton’s popular MBA marketing management program, and unlike executive education programs offered elsewhere, it is taught by MBA faculty. Without distracting you with trends, they distill the latest in marketing research, thinking, tools, and techniques into five intense days. You will come away with a strong knowledge of the data-driven, fact-based science of marketing and know what it takes to understand customers.

Strategic Marketing for Competitive Advantage will show executives how to become more customer-centric, says Academic Director Jagmohan Raju.

Program Experience

Program Highlights & Benefits

In Strategic Marketing for Competitive Advantage, you will:

  • Develop a thorough understanding of customers and what motivates buying behavior
  • Position new products and services and evaluate the effectiveness of current positioning strategies
  • Understand the value of your brands and how to build, develop, and leverage that value
  • Maximize consumer engagement through experiential marketing
  • Conduct quantitative analyses to make — and support — marketing decisions
  • Understand your role in a fully integrated, strategic marketing plan

Experience & Impact

Academic Director Jagmohan Raju on becoming more customer-centric.

In Strategic Marketing for Competitive Advantage, Wharton’s top marketing faculty — who represent a wide range of research areas and expertise — will give you a clear understanding of core marketing concepts. These concepts will help you better align with your customers, differentiate yourself from your competitors, and create a strong and effective marketing plan. You will join a learning community of participants from a variety of industries, geographies, and functional areas. The program uses quantitative and qualitative methodologies, case studies, lectures, and hands-on exercises that allow you to interact with faculty and peers throughout the week.

You will gain the knowledge and skills that drive better decision making and build a common vocabulary to help you communicate those decisions effectively across the organization.

Session topics include:

  • Positioning New Products and Services
  • Maximizing Customer Engagement
  • Smart Pricing Strategies
  • Designing a Communication Campaign
  • Online Advertising: Communication vs. Marketing
  • Managing, Leveraging, and Extending Brand Meaning
  • Channel Strategies
  • Customer Analysis for a New Product Launch
  • Innovate vs. Follow: Strategic Considerations

Who Should Attend

Professor Jagmohan Raju talks about who should attend this program.

Executives from across your organization will benefit from this program, particularly non-marketers who have been given increased responsibility for marketing and planning and need to learn how to evaluate the performance of their marketing functions. Also, managers in any area involved in the development and management of new products will benefit, including those from divisions such as engineering, operations, research and development, finance, accounting, sales, and public relations.

Fluency in English, written and spoken, is required for participation in Wharton Executive Education programs unless otherwise indicated.

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.

Participant Profile

Participants by Industry

Strategic Marketing Essentials participants by industry

Participants by Job Function

Strategic Marketing Essentials participants by job function

Participants by Region

Strategic Marketing Essentials participants by region


Jagmohan Raju, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Joseph J. Aresty Professor; Executive Director, Wharton Co-Sponsorship of Indian School of Business; Professor of Marketing; Vice Dean, Wharton Executive Education

Research Interests: Competitive strategy, pricing, retailing

Ron Berman, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Assistant Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Online marketing, entrepreneurship, marketing analytics, search engine marketing, game theory, industrial organization

Jonah Berger, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Associate Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Consumer decision making, social contagion, social influence, viral marketing

George Day, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Geoffrey T. Boisi Professor Emeritus, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Competitive strategies in global markets, strategic planning processes

Raghuram Iyengar, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Miers-Busch, W’1885 Professor, Professor of Marketing; Faculty Co-Director, Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI), The Wharton School

Research Interests: Pricing, social influence, social networks

Barbara Kahn, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Patty and Jay H. Baker Professor; Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Brand loyalty, consumer choice, customer-relationship management

David Reibstein, PhDSee Faculty Bio

William Stewart Woodside Professor, Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Brand equity, marketing metrics, competitive marketing strategies, product line strategy

Z. John Zhang, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Tsai Wan-Tsai Professor; Professor of Marketing; Director, Penn Wharton China Center

Research Interests: Channel and retail management, pricing strategies


One of the most valuable insights from taking Strategic Marketing for Competitive Advantage was learning how to price a product or service offer. The group exercises were very engaging and entertaining. We had one exercise where we were in an oil company and had to decide how to price our barrels in a country where there were a lot of competing parties. That was really challenging. It was also fun since I’m a very competitive person.”

Eric SabatoWestern Regional Sales Manager, Carber Holdings Inc.

Like a lot of companies, we weren’t very strategic about looking how beneficial marketing is to our company and to our bottom line. The pricing discussion, the analytical part, and the case studies were all hugely beneficial. The one line I will remember from the week was a one percent price improvement creates operating improvement of 11.15%. We’re taking a real hard look at pricing for next year. We manufacture high-quality products, so we can command some small premium for that without losing all of our business.

Also, we did not have a specific marketing manager, so I’ve decided to hire someone for that role. My CEO went on this course a year ago and encouraged me to attend. I would certainly encourage whoever I hire as a marketing manager to take the course. I think everyone in the class came away with something beneficial from the week — to challenge themselves to think differently about some part of their business.”

Alan KellyDirector of Commercial Development, Bimeda Inc., a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of animal health products and veterinary pharmaceuticals

I found the course to be well packaged and one that gave me new and enriching insights into the various facets of marketing. The course content addressed the evolving scenario and challenges in the industry that has prevailed over the years on a global perspective. It was a refresher course as it helped me build on the concepts that I learnt while doing my MBA. This course truly helps a manager with the necessary tools and wherewithal that will equip him to face the challenges in today’s dynamic, innovative, and competitive marketplace.”

Vijay RamachandranSenior Manager, Reliance Industries, Ltd., India

I founded Bloke, a men’s fragrance company, five years ago. It was always my dream to go to Wharton, because it’s the best of the best. I thought it was time for me to step out of my comfort zone of being creative, and become more knowledgeable with what Wharton could teach me. I took the Strategic Marketing for Competitive Advantage course to gain a competitive edge.

Taking a Wharton course had a big impact on my career. Three days after I got back from the program, I got hired as a consultant to do fragrance work in Australia. People were saying things to me like, “You’re so talented, and you went to Wharton.” In addition, the men’s underwear line that I recently developed is getting released at New York Fashion Week in September. I’m very good at what I do, but I’m a designer, a dreamer. Wharton gave me the vernacular and the tools to be more effective when I speak at business meetings.

In the program, I felt like there were participants with both more and less knowledge and career experience than me, yet no one looked at each other any differently. We all learned from each other, a hundred percent. There were people in very different industries from mine: oil and gas, the shipping industry, you name it. I’m still in touch with people from the program on LinkedIn and am glad that I developed a network from the course.

Every professor was amazing. However, Jonah Berger was my favorite. Barbara Kahn was also an inspiration. I have never felt so challenged—in a good way—in my life. I’m considering taking another Wharton Executive Education course in the near future."

Christopher ValianteCreative Director and CEO, Bloke NYC

This program has a unique blend of world-class faculty, an integrated curriculum, and in-class exercises that taught us how to apply key learnings. The evening exercise on break-even analysis was invaluable to me. It was great that each professor could relate to the others’ presentations to continuously drive home the key learnings until the very final session.”

Mark HayesProject Manager, Aetna

Without a doubt, the 'Essentials' program was most valuable. The quality of the information and faculty, coupled with the interaction with the other participants, exceeded every other program I have attended during my entire professional career.”

Keith EnsingerDevelopment Manager, Decorative Coatings & Adhesives

My learning came not only from the professors and class material, but from a really diverse group of classmates from a wide range of industries — city government, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, health care, and retail. Also, the case material was stimulating and gave me a chance to challenge myself way beyond my own business experience.”

Kim SeamanMarketing & Communications Coordinator, Seaman Corporation

Dates, Cost, & Location

March 31 - April 5, 2019Philadelphia, PA$10,950

September 15 - 20, 2019Philadelphia, PA$10,950

Download the program schedule, including session details.

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Logistics Information

Tuition for this program includes lodging and most meals. Prices are subject to change.

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