Marketing is a little theory and a whole lot of application, and that’s how I always taught it. I gave as few lectures as possible, and used textbooks only when absolutely necessary. Instead of paper-pencil tests, my students had to actually DO something to get a grade. I called it project-based curriculum.
One of the units I taught in Marketing I was sales, and after a few weeks of learning about selling, the students had to actually “sell” an item of their choosing. In the weeks leading up to the actual sales presentation students learned how to approach a customer, question the customer about their needs, make a features-benefit sales pitch, get the customer involved with the product, ask for the sale, and reassure the customer after the purchase and invite them back. Once I felt the students were ready, I brought in REAL customers, and I just sat back and watched the action.
One particular business partner, Bennett Frost Personnel Services, always came through with a number of “customers” who would come to the classroom and go through the 40 or more sales presentations over a three day period. Cathy Frost, the owner of Bennett Frost, came onboard with the Marketing Academy just about the time she started her business and we were starting the Academy. She offered great advice, listening with sympathy to our pleas for help and always coming through with assistance like sending her employees to be customers. Some of our students got to intern in her office, and she gave guest lectures about job seeking.
When Cathy moved into bigger offices with a conference room she invited our department to meet there for planning days. She often popped in with advice and ideas for our classrooms. It helped make us better teachers. And, I hope it made our students better learners. My former students still remember those sales presentations I “made” them do.