Marketing at Cal Poly

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Cal Poly’s Marketing Area in the Orfalea College of Business prepares career-ready graduates to lead in an ever-changing marketing environment. The curriculum is a conscious balance among the technical rigors of data analysis, the nuance of creative strategy, and the finesse of brand and customer management.

Core Curriculum

BUS 396 - Consumer Insights

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: For GRC Majors, GRC 361; for all other majors, BUS 346.

Process of individuals selecting, purchasing, using, or disposing of products, services, ideas, or experiences, based upon psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, semiotics, and micro/macro economics. Consumer experience through analysis of the consumer journey and touch points. 4 lectures.

BUS 418 - Listening to the Customer

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: For GRC Majors, GRC 361; for all other majors, BUS 346; Business majors must have formally declared their concentration to enroll.

Discovery and development of customer insights based on a project-oriented introduction to the research process. Development of research questions. Design and application of multiple research methods (e.g. secondary, observation, interview, focus group, survey research). Exploratory and confirmatory approaches leading to the analysis, interpretation, and presentation of results. 4 lectures.

BUS 454 - Marketing Projects

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Three of the following: BUS 419, BUS 421, BUS 423, BUS 450, BUS 451, BUS 452, BUS 453.

Client-based course providing an opportunity to apply marketing abilities. Teams draw upon research, analytical, and strategic marketing skills to develop an actionable plan that addresses a critical marketing challenge faced by an organization. Deliverables include research findings and written and verbal presentation to the organization and instructor. 4 lectures.

BUS 455 - Marketing Strategy

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Three of the following: BUS 419, BUS 421, BUS 423, BUS 450, BUS 451, BUS 452, BUS 453.

Integration of key marketing concepts using tools such as computer simulations, readings, and/or case studies. Development and implementation of strategic and tactical decisions for companies and brands. 4 lectures.

BUS 419 - Strategic Marketing Measurement

Term Typically Offered: W, SP

Prerequisite: BUS 396; BUS 418; STAT 252.

Development of skills to gather, analyze, and report information critical for marketing decision making. Focus on primary data collection and analytical techniques (e.g. experimental design, descriptive statistics, cross-tabulation, ANOVA, and regression). Other methods may include data mining, GIS, and customer relationship management (CRM). 4 lectures.

BUS 421 - Marketing Analytics and Business Intelligence

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: BUS 396; BUS 418; STAT 252 or STAT 302.

Analysis of customer information using a broad range of tools and techniques. Application of analytic findings to marketing decision-making. Integration of data into reporting platforms that emphasize return on marketing investment. Course may be offered in classroom-based or online format. 4 lectures.

BUS 423 - Digital Marketing Metrics and Management

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: BUS 396 and BUS 418.

Measurement and optimization of digital marketing. Return on investment, lifetime value of the customer, customer acquisition costs, search engine marketing, paid search, display advertising, website analytics, email marketing, social media marketing, online reputation, mobile marketing, and new media marketing. 4 lectures.

BUS 430 - Internship/Cooperative Education


Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: Approval of area chair; junior standing; and a Cal Poly cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 without being on academic probation.

Work experience in business, government, or non-profit sector that provides an opportunity to explore career interests while applying knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in a work setting. Periodic written progress reports, final report, and periodic evaluation by work supervisor required. Credit/No Credit grading. Major credit limited to 4 units; total credit limited to 12 units.

BUS 450 - Current Topics in Marketing

Term Typically Offered: W, SP

Prerequisite: BUS 396 and BUS 418.

Selected topics in emerging areas of marketing. Intended for students in the Marketing Management concentration who want to learn and acquire in-depth knowledge and skills. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 4 lectures.

BUS 453 - Digital and New Media Marketing

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: BUS 396 or BUS 418.

Definitions, scope, phases, and tools of digital and new media marketing communications. Planning integrated marketing communications in a systematic way across digital tools and new media channels that reflect a client organization’s strategy for managing its identity, image, and reputation. 4 lectures.

Courses based on the Current Cal Poly Course Catalog.

View the Marketing Concentration’s Declaration Form, Course Flowchart, Tentative Course Offerings and Career Information on the Orfalea Student Services concentration page.