Italy Associate Professor of Marketing University of Bologna Core Faculty
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Sara Valentini is Associate Professor of Marketing at the School of Economics, Management and Statistics, University of Bologna, where she teaches Marketing (undergraduate degree), Social Media Marketing (Master of Science Degree), and Introduction to Statistics (PhD). She is currently the Italian representative executive member of European Marketing Academy. Sara's research has appeared in Journal of Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing. She holds a degree (Laurea) cum laude in Statistics and a Ph.D. in General Management, University of Bologna. Science, Psychology & Marketing. She was visiting scholar (2007) at the Tuck school of Business, Dartmouth College (USA).


The objective of this course is to introduce students to the activities, decisions, and strategies used by marketers in the information gathering and analysis tool. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to marketing research, and discusses key concepts, processes, and techniques, as well as their applications. Besides an overview of marketing research, the course covers research design, and quantitative methods used for analyzing research data to make decisions.

This course explores the strategies that companies can adopt in order to establish, nurture and maintain relationships with their customers by using all (“omni”) the available channels, selecting the most appropriate channel mix for each customer or customer segment and integrating the activities performed across all the touchpoints. Students will receive theoretical and analytical tools needed to investigate the customer journey across the multiple contact points. The focus of the course is mainly on, but not limited to, the digital channels and their integration with the offline channels in order to obtain a complete overview of the plethora of firm-customer interactions.  

Introduction to marketing research: descriptive analysis. Utilizing probability and hypothesis in marketing research. Design and technical development finalized for collecting primary data. Data analysis: regression. Segmentation and clustering techniques. Perceptual maps and positioning.

In this course, students will be introduced to the most common marketing research methodologies. The course will stimulate analytical skills and enable students to understand which are the most appropriate research techniques according to the specific purpose or research question.

The course is aimed at introducing the basic concept of marketing and distribution channel management. In detail, after an introduction to the marketing concept and orientation, the strategic approach to marketing is presented (i.e. innovation and new product development, managing the product life-cycle, the strategic sequence STP – segmentation, targeting and positioning), and then the 4 Ps (Product, Place, Price and Promotion) are analyzed focusing on distribution decisions. Practical application are presented by analyzing data on sales in grocery stores in the business to consumer context (modeled with linear and multinomial legit models), and data on buyer-seller relationships in the business to business framework.

The main purpose of the course is to give students an introduction to the key analytical tools necessary to effectively pursue the core courses. The course provides a survey of fundamental tools for analyzing financial and managerial problems including time value of money, elements of financial analysis, discounting, data analysis and basics of statistics and econometrics.