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Master in

Agro-food marketing

Next edition: 1st part: 25 September 2017 – 1 June 2018 / 2nd part: September 2018 – June 2019

Master in

Agro-food marketing

General information on the Unit

ECTS: 8
Contact hours: 72 (56 lectures, 16 practicals)
Personal work hours: 128
Character: Compulsory
Venue: Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza
Scheduling:
- Developed in the first academic year of the Master, at the end of the first semester and the beginning of the second semester.
- The assessment of this Unit consists of a continuous evaluation of the practical exercises and two written exam at the end of the first semester and during the second semester.
Requisites and permanence
There are no previous requisites.
Learning methods
Combination of theoretical and practical sessions consisting of lectures, group work, solving of exercises and problems and technical visits.
Language
Lecturers deliver the courses in English. Simultaneous interpretation into Spanish is provided. The documents supplied by the lecturers may be written in English or Spanish.

 

Presentation of the Unit and context within the syllabus

The Unit includes two main topics: Product and pricing policies, and Promotion, distribution and logistics of food products.
Concerning the first topic, an overview of product and product range decisions, within marketing policy, and the influence of structural changes in food retailing and consumer preferences are provided. Product policy within the marketing system is studied, as well as the objectives of product policy decisions, the nature and life section of the product, product evaluation and the development of new products, their importance and stages for their creation. Product range decisions are exposed with respect to quality, packaging and branding. The objectives and the factors influencing price determination are also analysed, such as organizational objectives (financial, marketing, competitive, product differentiation), costs, marketing mix strategies, competition, intermediaries, customers, considering that price is one of the most visible variables.
Concerning the second topic, the economic theory and the application of commodity advertising and promotion programmes are analyzed in first place, with greater emphasis on generic advertising. An overview of generic advertising is given, covering the structure for this type of advertising, tools needed to study checkoff programmes, types of commodity programme, target audiences, programme intensities and methods to evaluate their impact. Students carry out practical work analysing advertising elements used in real case studies. Regarding the branded food product (that is closely related to consumer behaviour and lifestyle, geographical origin, relative prices and the search for information, consumer decision-making, evaluation and learning) the following are studied: brand loyalty, role of brand strategies, portfolio of brands, co-brands, the relationship between brands and the product, the buyer and the company. Distribution functions (exchange, physical and facilitating functions), distribution decision making and strategies are then analysed. Special care is given to the institutionalization of the distribution process affecting producers, wholesalers and retailers. The structures and evolution (marketing strategy, efficiency drive and concentration) of marketing channels are exposed. The growing importance of e-market and communication is emphasized. Finally, the objectives and main components of logistic supply chains are dealt with. All the steps are analysed, from the network configuration, transportation, warehousing and inventory control to customer services. Strategies are presented whether they are related to production or time-based.

 

Competences

Specific competences

  • SC4 Using current information and communication systems to improve marketing strategies.
  • SC6 Integrating food safety, labelling and product quality in marketing plans, considering the regulations established by agro-food policies at international and national levels.
  • SC7 Mastering the concepts, components and phases of marketing and its specific application to agro-food products.
  • SC9 Establishing relevant product policies and pricing strategies, planning and developing advertising campaigns, and determining good distribution schemes to obtain competitive advantages.

General competences

  • ­GC1 Integrating scientific and technical knowledge and applying them discerningly.­
  • GC3 Analyzing results or strategies and elaborating conclusions which contribute to clarify the problems and to find possible solutions.
  • GC4 Making decisions and generating new ideas and knowledge in complex systems.
  • GC5 Learning and working autonomously, responding to unforeseen situations and re-aiming a strategy if necessary.
  • GC6 Team-working and promoting exchange and collaboration attitudes with other students, researchers and professionals.
  • GC7 Communicating reasoning and conclusions both to a general audience and to a specialized public.
  • GC8 Writing presentations and synthesis, preparing and presenting oral communications, and defending them in public.

 

Learning outcomes

The student, at the end of the learning of this Unit:

  • Is able to establish a relevant product policy for an agro-food company, in the framework of the agro-food policies in force and based on those decisions that better consider and take advantage of structural changes in retail markets and consumer preferences.
  • Is aware of the nature and life cycle of a product, and can develop successful marketing plans and launching strategies for new products.
  • Has gained further insight into the determinant factors influencing the pricing of products, and can establish pricing strategies that may favour the marketing of products and its market competitiveness.
  • Is acquainted with the fundamentals of generic promotions and advertisement of branded products, and has experience in setting up publicity strategies and in planning and developing advertising campaigns of agro-food products.
  • Identifies the different types of distribution channels in the supply chain of agro-food products, has criteria in the key decision making in order to determine a good distribution strategy, and knows how to manage the distribution channels to obtain competitive advantages.
  • Masters the objectives of logistics and its main components, and is able to formulate suitable logistics strategies based on supply or time in order to implement an optimal organization of the agro-food product distribution.

 

Contents

  • Product and pricing policies
    • Objectives and dynamics of pricing policies
    • Product decisions
    • New product development
    • Pricing objectives and policies
    • Pricing strategy in the marketing mix
  • Promotion, distribution and logistics of food products
    • Generic advertising and promotion of agro-food products
      • Decisions in generic advertising
      • Promotion evaluation methods
    • Advertising and promotion of branded food products
      • The brand concept
      • Brand management
      • Brand development strategies
    • Food distribution and supply chain management
      • Marketing channels of agro-food products
      • Strategies in the choice of marketing channels for agro-food products
      • Decision-making in distribution policies
    • E-marketing and communication
    • Logistics
      • The logistics system
      • Supply chain integration
      • Use of logistics as a factor of competitiveness

 

Learning activities

Learning activity 1: Lectures combined with illustrative examples
ECTS: 6.4
Hours: 163
Percentage of contact: 34%

Learning activity 2: Work in groups
(A) Product policy
The objective of the practical is that students may apply the necessary concepts and criteria to elaborate the marketing strategy for a product in the Spanish market, following the necessary steps and maintaining the coherence along the process.
All groups work with the same product. Students are provided with: (i) information concerning the product and its production, packaging and promotion costs; and (ii) the list of elements to be considered when planning the strategy. Each group prepares a very brief report with the results and these are commented with the lecturer and the other groups.
(B) Pricing policy
The objective of the practical is that students may apply the necessary concepts and criteria to elaborate a price policy strategy for a product in a given market.
Students work in groups with data from a case study, solving some questions provided by the lecturer concerning the adoption of a price policy strategy. Each group prepares a very brief report with the results and these are commented with the lecturer and the other groups, contrasting the different approach followed by each group.
(C) Generic advertising and promotion and Advertising and promotion of branded food products
The objective of the practical is that students apply concepts learned during the lectures and develop criteria in the analysis of advertising and promotion projects (both for generic products and branded products).
The lecturers provide examples of advertising and promotion of different products concerning their particular topic. Each group of students chooses one of the advertisements, in such a way that different branded products and generic products, different strategies of advertisement, and different communication media would be represented. Each group has to consider the quality and pertinence of the publicity for the product concerned, analysing the purpose of the message, the convenience of the media used for communication, the target audience and the length of the advertisement. Each group prepares a brief document presenting its analysis and submits it to the lecturers. A final session is devoted to presenting the results of each group, answering questions posed by lecturers and debating with the lecturers and the other groups.
(D) Food distribution and supply chain management
Based on a case study that will be discussed in class about an existing supply chain problem being experienced by a food producer/processor/manufacturer/retailer or an entire agro-food industry, students in groups will be asked to prepare and submit a report (maximum of 3 pages, typed double spaced) on how the supply chain could be restructured or changed in an effort to help solve the problem. They will then need to briefly present and share their report with the whole class during the last two hours of the course.
(E) E-marketing and communication
Students work in groups with some examples provided by the lecturer on different agro-food enterprises involved in e-marketing. Each group work with an example and have to make a characterization and critical analysis of the service provided and the website design of the enterprise concerned, following a list of specific issues to be taken into consideration when performing the task. Each group prepares a brief report with the results. Results are commented with the lecturer and the other groups in a joint session.
ECTS: 1.1
Hours: 27 (A: 6, B: 6, C: 6, D: 6, E: 3)
Percentage of contact: 33.3% (A: 33.3%, B: 33.3%, C: 33.3%, D: 33.3%, E: 33.3%)

Learning activity 3: Solving of exercises and problems. Students work in class then in groups then individually answering questions concerning the inventory and transportation management of several different types of products, taking as a base a reading provided by the lecturer. Students prepare and submit a brief document with the results. The results are discussed with the lecturer and the rest of students.
ECTS: 0.2
Hours: 4
Percentage of contact: 25%

Learning activity 4: Technical visits
(A) Enterprise specialized in the production and marketing of cattle meat, with special emphasis on on-line sales.
(B) Main logistic platform for wholesale of fresh products in the Aragon region. The objective of the visit is to become acquainted with its structure, functioning and logistics as both source market and destination market for international products.
ECTS: 0.3
Hours: 6
Percentage of contact: 100%

 

Assessment method

Assessment system 1: Written exams, composed of questions provided by the different lecturers of the Unit, covering the lectures and exercises similar to those carried out during the practicals. The exams are made up of concrete questions requiring a short answer, being possible also multiple-choice tests. Short-answer questions are marked according to the technical and conceptual precision of the answer, and to the reasoning approach.
Weighting: 71.7% of the final score of the Unit (Product policy: 10.6%, Pricing policy: 10.6%, Generic advertising: 10.6%, Advert. branded prod.: 10.6%, Distribution: 10.6%, E-marketing: 6.6%, Logistics: 12.1%)

Assessment system 2: Global assessment by the lecturers of the group works. The assessment is based on the reports and on the presentation and discussion of the results/analysis. Understanding of the concepts/methodology, quality of the results/analysis and of their presentation, and suitability of the answers to the questions posed will be assessed.
The score is the same for all group members.
Weighting: 25.3% of the final score of the Unit (A: 4.5%, B: 4.5%, C: 9.0%, D: 4.5%, E: 2.8%)

Assessment system 3: Individual assessment of the exercise by the lecturer based on the document providing the results. Understanding of the methodology and the pertinence of the students’ individual answers will be assessed.
Weighting: 3% of the final score of the Unit

Assessment system 4: Direct assessment by the lecturers tutoring the technical visits. The marking is not numerical but a “pass” or “fail”. Active participation and compliance with previously established guidelines for process observation will be assessed.
Weighting: -

 

Lecturers

Marianne ALTMANN, Co Concept, Leudelange (Luxembourg)
Miguel GÓMEZ, Cornell Univ., Ithaca (United States)
Harry KAISER, Cornell Univ., Ithaca (United States)
Rodolfo M. NAYGA, Univ. Arkansas, Fayetteville (United States)
Cesar REVOREDO, Scotland's Rural College, Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Jonathan M. SELTZER, Corporate Resource Inc., Minnesota (United States)
Randall WESTGREN, Univ. Missouri, Mumford Hall (United States)