Innovative Marketing for Strategic Advantage


How can customer psychology drive marketing innovation? Why do stories influence customer behavior? And how can you find and use meaningful data to develop more effective marketing strategies?

Stanford’s Innovative Marketing for Strategic Advantage program helps you ask and answer the most pressing questions to move your organization’s marketing forward. The program’s curriculum is a convergence of theory and practice, business and use cases, B2B and B2C, strategic frameworks and design thinking methodologies. Taught by some of the world’s leading experts in marketing and innovation, the curriculum gives you exposure to cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research from almost every academic discipline at the Stanford GSB. It’s comprehensive, experiential, innovative, and, most importantly, actionable — with a hands-on marketing challenge and daily reflections to help you individualize and implement what you learn.

360° Experience: Innovative Marketing for Strategic Advantage
360° Experience
Codirector and professor Jonathan Levav provides an immersive, 360° look at Stanford GSB.

​Program Highlights

Examples of sessions in the program include:

Customer-Focused Innovation in Action

The first week of learning culminates in a full-day, hands-on field project where you and your peers will work together to solve a real-world marketing challenge. Guided by faculty, you and your team will conduct field interviews with customers, ideate, and then prototype innovative solutions based on customer-focused insights. It’s a unique opportunity to put the frameworks and fundamentals you’ve learned into action.

Neuroscience to Inform Strategy

Leveraging recent advances in neuroscience, we will immerse ourselves into the workings of the emotional brain, highlighting the notion of two mindsets, the Type 1 and Type 2, and how these mindsets map onto the “X-Framework.” We will then delve into Customer Experience Design to inform strategy: Unearth new business opportunities, develop and sustain distinct competitive advantages, and in the process have a direct impact on top-line and bottom-line growth. We will go through examples of how multi-billion dollar enterprises have been formed by removing pain-points and adding pleasure-points along various phases of the customer journey. We will subsequently get into approaches to gain rich customer insights, including design thinking, the systematic approach, and leveraging factors that influence neurochemicals and, thus, the mindsets.

A Framework for New Product Innovation

Research shows that people deliver more creative solutions when they are assigned a task that includes restrictions compared with a task in which they are given free reign. It turns out that with creative tasks, structure helps. This finding also extends to tasks in which people are asked to ideate new products or develop concepts for marketing campaigns. We will discuss an approach to product ideation that introduces five templates or "recipes" that can help you structure your thinking and develop both incremental and disruptive ideas. We will discuss each template and practice applying it, workshop-style, to a business case as well as your own products or services.

Other Selected Sessions

  • The Customer-Focused Organization
  • Disruptive Innovation and Business Models
  • Sales and B2B Marketing
  • Persuasion
  • Deriving Customer Insights from Data
  • Value-Based Pricing