This is Professor Raymond Liu from the Department of Management and Marketing. I just came back from China with a group of my MBA students. We have visited many Chinese companies including Alibaba, Sany (the #1 construction company in China), Pudong Development Bank (on Future 500 list), and even an American company – Otis (one of the best elevator makers in the world) in Shanghai. Of course, we went on to the top of the Great Wall (See the pictures below). Alibaba went public in the US last October and made a US IPO history as the largest one ever. In addition to its Taobao, Tianmao, Ali Logistics, and Ali Pay, recently, Alibaba made quite a few very diversified strategic moves, which include Ali Bank, Ali Movie City, Ali “Social Security Card”, Ali Music, Ali Finance, and Ali Entertainment, etc. Today, Alibaba is no longer just an online store or a Chinese amazon.com. It is a very diversified company.
In the US retail history, Sears used to be the largest retailer in the world. Later it went into Catalog business, Insurance business, and car repair business and many more. Because of getting too diversified and beyond its key competences, Sears failed to compete on those diversifications.
During our visit to Alibaba, we told them the Sears story and asked them what the base or key competence is for their so many diversified moves. The answer is their big data and the analytics of their big data. Later when we visited Pudong Development Bank, we found a similar answer for a financial company in a digital time – how to understand the customer needs and wants through the bank’s big data. Pudong does not have any division in the US, but they are planning it right now.
The similar story with big data we could see here in the US as well. Barns and Nobles did not pay much attention to online book store when amazon.com launched. A few years later, when Barns and Nobles launched its own online bookstore and claimed that they had the largest online bookstore in the US. At the end, they could not catch up with amazon.com no matter what. One of the reasons is that even they could put more books online several years later, they will never have the data amazon.com generated during the past several years and the analytics of the data for the buyers’ online buying behaviors.
In the fall 2015, I will teach a Marketing Research course: MBAMKT671, which will focus on answering the two questions: to make good business decisions, how to collect the right data and how to analyze the data? There is a huge demand in the US job market for the people with the skills you would learn from this course. According to the US News, six marketing jobs are listed on the “25 Best Business Jobs to Watch” in 2015, in which Market Research Analyst and Marketing Manager are ranked No.1 and No. 2, respectively. (http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/best-business-jobs). The ranking is not only based on job growth with 10-year growth volume and rate, but also many other factors such as future demand, salary, and work-life balance etc. (http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2014/01/22/about-the-us-news-best-jobs-ranking-methodology).
Furthermore, even you are not working in the marketing fields, the skills of how to collect the right information and how to analyze the data are useful for all types of organizations (for-profit and non-profit). Students who took my MBAMKT671 course have revised their resumes by conducting a real world market research project. Some of them later even got a job because of the research project.
You could find some information about me at our school website:
or from Google Scholar website:
If you have any further questions or simply would like to know more about it, please write to me:
Best and enjoy your summer,
Attached below is the course description:
MBAMKT671: Marketing Research
Marketing research is a common currency in modern business practices. Business professionals rely on primary and/or secondary research to make well-informed decisions. The objective of this course is to provide business professionals a fundamental understanding of marketing research methods that improve managerial decisions. The course focuses on integrating problem formulation, research design, questionnaire construction, sampling, data collection, and data analysis to yield the most valuable information. The course also introduces the proper use of statistical applications as well as qualitative methods, with an emphasis on the interpretation and use of results.