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Which Track Would You Choose: Consumer Behavior or Marketing Analytics?

Students pursuing the USC Marshall M.S. in Marketing degree have a choice between two academic tracks: the Consumer Behavior track or the Marketing Analytics track. In this post we’ll share insights from Jackie, who studies the Consumer Behavior track, and Ross, who is completing the Marketing Analytics track.

October 28, 2018
• by
Ross Henderson

Students pursuing the USC Marshall M.S. in Marketing degree have a choice between two academic tracks: the Consumer Behavior track or the Marketing Analytics track. In this post we’ll share insights from Jackie, who studies the Consumer Behavior track, and Ross, who is completing the Marketing Analytics track.

"I find the psychology behind consumer decisions fascinating" - Jackie

Consumer Behavior is the first half of the scientific component to marketing and has traditionally informed marketers through qualitative study. It’s important for marketers to understand the complex thought processes behind consumer decisions. The MS in Marketing program’s Consumer Behavior track starts out strong, with a required course in Consumer Behavior that walks students through the intricate and varied customer motivations. This track gives students the opportunity to participate in focus groups and field research to understand the nuances behind consumer decisions in order to best serve their target markets and further their business. In addition, the class invites guest speakers from industry to speak on how consumer behavior studies are used in their jobs for internal and external clients.

"Analytical capabilities are a vital tool for the modern marketer" - Ross

The Analytics track enables students to equip themselves with a highly desirable skill-set in demand with many of today’s top employers. Through a variety of classes, students learn how to organize and analyze large data sets using real-life case studies and business problems. Students take a series of required classes over the duration of the program, including Customer Insights & Analysis, Marketing Analytics, and Internet Marketing. Through these classes, students learn how to use widely used data analysis tools including SQL, SPSS, SAS, and Tableau. 

Data is becoming ever more central to organizations, with companies across all industries looking for new leaders to enhance their existing data capabilities. Increasingly, the role of the modern marketer is increasingly defined by the ability to work with data, identify consumer trends, and create marketing campaigns that build on these to drive value creation. Many of our graduates move into Marketing Analyst or Consumer Insights roles, and others take their analytics skills and employ these across a diverse range of industries.

Consumer Behavior and Analytics go hand-in-hand to inform marketers of consumer trends and help organizations make informed decisions to best serve their customers. Throughout the program, students from both tracks are given opportunities to learn each discipline to become well-rounded marketers. Students are also able to select elective courses throughout the Marshall School of Business that can further enhance their exposure to either track. Find out more about the difference between the two tracks here: https://www.marshall.usc.edu/programs/specialized-masters-programs/master-science-marketing/academics

Still can’t decide? Not to worry. Prospective students do not choose an academic track until they are admitted and in the process of selecting their summer courses.