Marketing & the Internet: 1997
Professor John M. McCann
Fuqua School of Business
Last update: March 21, 1997
This 1997 version of Marketing and the Internet is changed from the 1996 version. Whereas the 1996 version featured the development of Web pages, the 1997 version has dropped that requirement and focuses much more on marketing.
The goal of this course is to prepare students to become leaders
of your firm's Internet-based business strategies, tactics, and
implementation. To do that, you must know
- how the Internet works,
- what business strategies are being used in various business
- how people are currently making money with the Internet,
- the technologies that are creating the larger digital realm,
usually referred to as cyberspace,
- how this new digital realm will impact the ways we live and
- what new business opportunities are likely to flow from new
ways of living and working.
The theme of the course is that technologies such as microprocessors and fiber optics are primary change enablers; they are technologies that are enabling managers and entrepreneurs to make dramatic changes.
These technologies are leading to a digital dawn that is giving us the Internet and related products and
services. This digital dawn is impacting the media, the way we live, and the way we work. Finally,
marketing is changing to accommodate these technology, media, and societal developments. Details of this theme are presented in my CyberTrends Web page.
Teaching and Learning Considerations
Most courses in business school are based upon topics that have
been with us since at least the 19th century, such as economics,
finance, psychology, management, marketing, manufacturing, and
statistics. The professors who teach these courses have studied
and researched their fields for long periods of time, and there
is a long history of course development and delivery behind almost
all of our courses. Professors in almost all of those courses
can select from an array of textbooks and dozens of Harvard cases.
Those textbooks build upon decades of published research, and
the Harvard cases flow from field research that cost about $25,000
per case. In those courses, the professor is the expert and the
students are the novices who must acquire some of the professor's
This course involves topics that do not have any of the traditions
that underlie most business school courses. For all practical
purposes, the Internet is a 1990's service and "marketing
on the Internet" is certainly in its infancy ... a newborn
baby. There are no academic journal articles, no textbooks, and
no Harvard cases. And there are no real experts, primarily because
1) the Internet is still being invented, 2) it is part of a larger
"digital dawn" that is creating a "digital era,"
and 3) the marketing and business models that will succeed in
this new digital era have yet to be invented.
Although it is likely that I have more knowledge and expertise
that others in the classroom, I do not have any thing close to
a monopoly of knowledge and expertise about the Internet, the
technology developments that are creating the digital era, the
business models that flow from these developments, and the ways
people will live, work, and learn in the coming decades. A significant part of our learning will be experiential in the sense that we will be exploring the Internet and sharing our learning with each other. Therefore,
it is very important that each student in this course recognize
that much of the learning will come from all of us in the room.
I view my job as providing articles and assignments that will
allow you to generate a new understanding that you can then share
and discuss with others in the class, leading and directing that
class discussion, providing in-class activities (lectures, videos,
and speakers) that can add knowledge and/or generate discussion,
and evaluating the contribution of each student to the course.
Whereas this is the mode in most marketing courses, it is even
more important in this course that each student takes responsibility
for the learning process because of the variety and newness of
the topics being considered.
Daily Assignments and Class Sessions
- The document Readings and Discussion Questions contains a list of reading for each course, along with Discussion Questions for each reading. Each student must read each assigned article and be prepared to discuss the questions in class (and any others posed during class by students or the professor).
- Business Models
- Our readings, videos, and lectures will highlight various business models and strategies for making money on, with, or through the Internet. However, these assignments are likely to reveal a small fraction of the approaches that firms are applying. Each student should prepare a description of a business model being applied by a firm of your choice, and present your ideas in a class session, along with leading us through a visit of the firm's web site.
- Class Sessions
- Class time will be devoted to discussing the reading, visiting corporate WWW pages and discussing corporate uses of the Intenet, watching and discussing videos and lectures, and interacting with visitors. Each class will open with a few students taking us on a visit of a web site that illustrates a particular business model or stategy.
Grades will be based upon three activities:
- The examination will be held in class on April 21. It will be designed to take about one hour to complete.
- The exam will cover all the assigned readings, class discussions, lectures, videos, speakers, and any other material distributed or discussed in class.
- You are responsible for the classroom activities for your section, regardless of whether you cannot (or elect not to) attend one or more classes.
- At least one-half of the exam will be taken from the assigned questions. For instance, the following question is assigned for the reading "Can Giants Dance in Cyberspace?":
Outline Kanter's "webs of cyberspace versus chains of bureauspace" argument.
That exact question could be on on the exam, as could any of the other 175 or so questions.