MBAMKT 671: Marketing Research: A note from Prof Raymond Liu


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 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 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 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 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. ( 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. (

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.

Featured Fall Courses: Social/Nonprofit Marketing and Management of Health Organizations

Professor Louise Parker joined the College of Management’s faculty in 2014 and is leading efforts to expand healthcare management and policy education as well as research. Professor Parker comes to UMass Boston from a long career in healthcare policy and research including social change marketing. Previously, Professor Parker was a researcher and policy analyst at RAND, an internationally renowned think tank, a Professor of Organizational Behavior at The Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School, and a consultant to Healthcare organizations nationwide. She has also been at Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. Professor Parker will be teaching two courses this Fall 2015:

  • Social and Non-Profit Marketing (Special Topics MBAMKT, 697) is a new course that is of interest not only to MBA students in the Healthcare Management track but also to students in Environmental Management and Nonprofit Management.
  • Management of Health Organizations (MBAMGT 680)


Social Change Marketing
(Special Topics MBAMKT 697)
Mondays 5:30 P.M. to 8:15 P.M.
Instructor: Professor Louise Parker 

Why can’t you sell brotherhood and rational thinking like you can sell soap? –  G.D. Weibe

Social marketing seeks to benefit either society as a whole or a segment of the population (e.g., a particular vulnerable population) via influencing behavior.  Nonprofit Marketing primarily involves promoting socially beneficial services and goods (e.g., health care services, educational opportunities, arts performances, museum shows). Additionally, nonprofits can and do employ social marketing to raise funds and engage volunteers.

This course will enable students to gain valuable practical skills that are relevant in a broad range of fields including environmental, healthcare, and nonprofit management, marketing, and public health. Students will examine the functions of social and nonprofit marketing as well as the ways that they both dovetail with and differ from for-profit marketing. And working in teams, students will develop social marketing programs.

Most relevant MBA specializations: Health Care Management, Environmental Management, Nonprofit Management, and Marketing.

Prerequisites:             None.


Management of Health Organizations
(MBAMGT 680)
Wednesday 07:00 P.M. to 09:45 P.M.
Instructor: Professor Louise E. Parker 

According to the World Bank, the U.S. healthcare industry accounts for approximately 18% of the total Gross Domestic Product. Not only is it a large industry but one that is also highly complex, dynamic, and affects everyone throughout their entire lives. This course explores the roles of the health systems manager as planner, organizer, leader, and integrator of health programs. Particular attention is given to how these roles differ from a manager’s roles in other industries, as well as to the special demands made of the manager in a health systems organization.

Most relevant MBA specializations: Health Care Management and Nonprofit Management.


Please email Professor Parker if you have any questions about either of these courses: