Thomson Higher Education Revolutionizes the Model for Higher Education Publishing with New MKTG Product

Thomson Higher Education, a leading provider of higher education textbooks, software, and Internet materials, and part of Thomson Learning, today announced the launch of MKTG, the first student-tested, faculty-approved, new textbook format that provides students with evolved learning materials they will value and use in the classroom. MKTG, designed carefully in accordance with student learning preferences, covers all core concepts of the principles of marketing course in half the pages of a traditional textbook. MKTG includes additional learning tools students say they prefer, including online and cell phone quizzes, audio/MP3 downloads, and printable flash cards – all at a price lower than standard textbooks.

“Traditionally, we begin with the professors and use their ideas to shape the textbook, but with MKTG, we turned that model around and began with students,” said Neil Marquardt, THE’s publisher of MKTG. “What we learned in discussions with more than 150 students was that some often didn’t buy textbooks, and when they did, they weren’t using them. In an effort to learn why, we probed deeper and based upon their input, we built the MKTG prototype to address their preferences. Next, we approached 75 marketing instructors to find out if the changes made would also serve the needs of faculty—turns out they were even more excited than the students.”

Student Insight

Students told Thomson that they preferred print learning materials, paired with selected digital tools. Especially noteworthy were students’ comments around their struggles to balance life and school with ninety percent of those interviewed saying they worked part- or full-time jobs and studied an average of 31 hours each semester. This underscored a need for shorter, more easy-to-digest textbooks. Students also voiced strong concerns over the cost of textbooks and challenged publishers to find ways to lower costs while maintaining high quality. MKTG directly addresses this issue as well.

Faculty Feedback

Faculty voiced concerns that some students don’t buy assigned textbooks, don’t read assignments, or aren’t engaged by the content. They also expressed the importance of maintaining valuable classroom tools such as instructor’s manuals, slide presentations and test banks, while supporting a shift in the focus of textbooks to the learner. Pricing issues were of some concern to faculty, however, they stressed the importance of not sacrificing resources or quality in pursuit of lower costs.

“I like the fact that MKTG is less expensive, yet it covers the main points,” said Fred Hurvitz, marketing professor at Pennsylvania State University. “As a result, I’m going to give it a lot of consideration.”

The MKTG Solution

Based on this extensive faculty and student feedback, MKTG was developed to address issues of engagement, different student learning styles and access to quality course materials at an affordable price.

MKTG retains all the high-quality core content of an introductory marketing text within a tightly-edited, easy-to-navigate design that draws students into learning. Unique features include:

  • A 350-page annual paperback edition, compared with 700+ page hardcover texts
  • Nineteen chapters adapted from Lamb/Hair/McDaniel, including all learning outcomes, key concepts and terms
  • “Chapter in Review” summaries for students; prep cards and news feeds for instructors
  • Online and cell phone quizzes, audio/MP3 downloads, and printable flash cards
  • $49.95 suggested retail price

“As a practitioner for more than 20 years, I have been very dissatisfied with the current ‘encyclopedic’ nature of marketing textbooks,” said Randy Russ, professor at Belhaven College. “I visited www.mktg4me.com to listen to the focus group which replicated many of the same comments I hear from my students who don’t buy the text or buy old versions online. MKTG represents a refreshing new approach for both students and faculty. I plan to show my marketing students this semester the mktg4me.com site and focus groups to illustrate marketing research, product development, and promotion in action. How MKTG was developed could actually be a great case study in marketing.”

“We’re proud to share the first learning tool specifically designed to fit the busy and diverse lifestyles of today’s college students,” said Ed Moura, president of Thomson Business and Economics group within Thomson Higher Education. “The thoughtful, extended conversations with students and instructors that shaped MKTG ensure this new text will provide improved learning outcomes for students and help instructors teach better.”

For a full case study behind the development of MKTG, please contact Lindsay Brown at [email protected] and for additional information and demos please visit: www.mktg4me.com.

About Thomson Learning and Thomson Higher Education

Thomson Learning delivers highly customized learning solutions for colleges, universities, professors, students, reference centers, government agencies, corporations and professionals around the world. These solutions are delivered through specialized content, applications and services that foster academic excellence and professional development, as well as provide measurable learning outcomes to its customers. Thomson Learning’s mission is to shape the future of global learning by delivering consistently better learning solutions for learners, instructors and institutions. Thomson Higher Education is a leading provider of higher education textbooks, software, and Internet materials for the humanities, behavioral and social sciences, mathematics and the sciences, and business and economics. It publishes under the brands of Thomson Wadsworth, Thomson Brooks/Cole, Thomson South-Western, Thomson Heinle, and Thomson Schirmer. You can learn more about Thomson Learning and Thomson Higher Education by visiting us on the web at www.thomson.com/learning and www.thomsonedu.com.