The MSc in Business Administration at the University of Twente is a one-year programme (60EC). In addition to the three core courses (15EC), the specialization in Strategic Marketing & Business Information consists of four courses (20EC) and a Master’s thesis (25EC).
BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS (B2B) MARKETING
What will you learn?
You will learn how value is understood, created and delivered in business markets, including the complexities and managerial challenges involved. Unlike the relationships existing within consumer markets, those in B2B markets are characterized by a high degree of interdependencies between actors. You will learn about the composition of these interdependencies and why they are important, even though they pose challenges to managers in terms of strategic change and the development and termination of relationships. Furthermore, you will learn why buying processes in B2B markets are complex and which capabilities supplier firms need in order to reduce the complexities by shifting their emphasis from products and services to various aspects of value-in-use. This course will also help you to develop the analytical and critical skills that you will need in order to transform the B2B problems of firms into plausible practical solutions.
This course draws upon multiple instructional methods to highlight topics from both a practical and a theoretical point of view. Most of the work is performed in groups, with frequent case analysis in tutorials, collaboration in serious games focusing on the customer value experience and attending lectures in which concepts are explained and elaborated. Finally, the course includes several guest lectures, in which practitioners in B2B markets present the ways in which they cope with these concepts in practice. Key topics include organizational buyer behaviour, relationship management and development, customer value, decision making, business marketing analysis and inter-organizational relationships and networks.
ADVANCED TOPICS IN DIGITAL MARKETING
What will you learn?
The course reviews and discusses current technology-based business trends, in order to help students understand the importance, impact and pervasiveness of information and communication technologies (ICT) in today’s business environment, particularly within the domain of marketing. Students also learn to evaluate and apply current tools and technologies based on ‘Social, Big and Open Data’ as part of the marketing strategy.
The course underlines the managerial, strategic approach to coping with problems related to online/digital marketing by providing participants with knowledge and competence relating to digital marketing technologies and tactics. Students are trained in the use of ICT, in addition to learning the latest techniques in digital marketing, digital marketing research and digital analytics.
The course reviews the basic knowledge areas related to ‘traditional’ digital marketing topics (e.g. online customer behaviour, the creation of a successful online presence and social media marketing). The primary goal of the course is to provide the advanced knowledge, competence and skills needed in order to manage the rapidly changing online and mobile commercial environments. Examples include improving customer engagement and coping with reputation management; using techniques for capturing/analysing customer data in order to harness customer intelligence; and developing innovative products based on customer data and co-creation.
The course allows students to become aware and engage in critical review of emerging technologies (e.g. the Internet of Things, Neuromarketing, Big Data, Cloud Computing), which are becoming part of the current and future landscape of digital marketing.
The course focuses on the identification of data sources, the ability to tap customer data and the application of Web Analytics techniques in order to analyse customer information and to serve as an important source of innovation. Special emphasis is devoted to the new area of Cognitive Computing and improved decision making using tools based on IBM WATSON® technology (Group Assignment).
What will you learn?
In this course, students apply skills in information strategy planning, information architecture planning, information project planning and learn to achieve a balance between comprehensive, incremental and transactional planning. They explore new IT trends and apply these to an organization of their own choosing. In addition, each student develops an integral information plan for a specific company and assesses an information strategy in practice by creating a tool card and a workshop plan. In each session, students study a scientific paper on e-strategy, thereby mastering strategy from several different angles.
The course concerns the analysis of and development of skills in information planning. Students take part in a case study and write an integral information plan for a specific company, using the information-planning literature provided. In groups of four or less, the students use an e-book, Incredible Information Strategy, to study the literature, applying the theory within the case study.
Elements of the course include four aspects of Dynamic and Thematic strategizing:
The course balances comprehensive and incremental planning, and it includes inter-organizational e-strategizing and e-governance. It adopts a socio-technical approach, characterized by pre-sensing (as opposed to a top-down approach). Students also explore the future of digital and social media strategies.
IT-BASED KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT FOR BUSINESS INFORMATION
What will you learn?
You will learn the key concepts of knowledge management and business epistemology, and you will be able to understand and recognize different approaches to knowledge management, along with their strengths, weaknesses and added value for business innovation. The related approaches are empirical, rational, Kantian, political and pragmatic.
You will learn to use and evaluate the opportunities of modern IT in knowledge management. The information technologies addressed include business intelligence; simulation; ontology and mapping; opinion identification and triangulation; and crowdsourcing platforms. Finally, you will learn to define research goals, contributions to the field, propositions and research designs for IT-based knowledge management studies.
Information and knowledge are key resources for operational and innovation processes in modern organizations. In modern organizations, business-innovation methods are increasingly relying on IT (e.g. market-product-technology roadmapping, crowdsourcing and virtual co-creation with customers). Many of these concepts have been introduced in other courses (e.g. Innovation and Entrepreneurship). The true comprehension of how these tools work and how information technology drives advancements in business innovations requires a deeper understanding of knowledge and the new technologies that are available for processing it.
Information consists of meaningful representations, an abundance of which are available through information technologies. Nevertheless, this overload of information does not easily lead to meaningful insight (i.e. knowledge, which can consist of predictions, methods of working, and understanding of business situations) that could help an organization to move ahead of the competition. Five paradigms concerning the nature of knowing have been developed and codified by epistemological (knowledge theory) traditions that provide insight into the types of knowledge and information needed for business innovation.
GLOBAL STRATEGY & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
What will you learn?
In this course you will learn that well thought business models are a prerequisite for organizations to strategize, compete and cope with industrial and global developments. You start with understanding customer value, and from there you are challenged to work systematically through each part of the business model ranging from value proposition to external relationships. You will learn how and why the parts of a business model are linked and why they should be coherent to arrive at a solid business model. With this knowledge, you will learn how to apply an integral approach for developing a business model for a new venture. In addition, you will learn how to alter a business models when environmental circumstances change based on results from strategic foresight.
This course draws on the basics of a business model and its usefulness for a firm in today’s rapidly changing markets and global contexts to map consequences for strategy and business development. We will work successively through each part of the business model framework and beyond, each week discussing a part in more depth. Following the structure of a business model, the topics include customer value analysis, customer relationships, value proposition, capabilities, resources and activities. Furthermore, we discuss the role of partners, for instance strategic alliances and joint ventures as part of a business model including its developmental stages. We will also focus on the competitive aspect of developing strategies and implications for business models. Throughout the course, we elaborate on how parts relate to each other and how any change in one part affects the opportunities and challenges for strategic change and business development. In doing so, we will work with cases of firms who are challenged with strategic, marketing and business development problems and systematically analyses the cases using the business model, we will draw implications for strategic change and business development. Besides, we will probe into the future of a business using strategic foresight techniques and from there develop business model that will help to bring the future into existence.