Corporate partnership brings real-world data to marketing students

Image: A photo of a computer screen displaying "role play roles" from the class.

Learning the retail procurement process can be difficult to present with real-world information – many companies do not publicly share the data from their pricing, negotiations, retail planning strategies. This presented a challenge for a course created by Department of Marketing Assistant Teaching Professor Courtney Cothren, MRKTNG 3510: Procurement Processes and Analytics.

To remedy this last fall, Cothren, who authored the textbook for the course, partnered with Trulaske alumnus Joe Stuckenschneider, BS BA 2015, who is currently a Trade Marketing Manager with Anheuser Busch InBev, to give students thousands of raw data cells on category-level sales of all beer products at a grocery store. Communication with the class remotely, he presented an in-class case competition that required students to go through the data to create a product display pitch and role play challenges that asked students to assume the role of either buyer/negotiator or seller.

“The students did even better than we expected and even though this was tough, the students loved it,” Cothren said. “They got so much value from the project and they told me they’ve already talked about it in interviews.”