College of Business Illinois State University
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Best Buy Case Study


Course Introduction

This case is a work in progress. Please do not cite until the work is completed Thanks!

Welcome to the Best Buy case co-developed by Illinois State University's Marketing faculty, IBM, and Best Buy. The origins of this project can be traced back to some initial discussions between IBM and Illinois State University's Marketing faculty concerning a general goal of more strongly incorporating marketing practice and marketing analytics software into our general Marketing curriculum. A decision was made to co-develop an undergraduate Digital Marketing elective as a means to structure our efforts towards achieving this goal. Please note that we use the term "digital" in this course consistent with the 2015 perspective of McKinsey & Company:

"It’s tempting to look for simple definitions, but to be meaningful and sustainable, we believe that digital should be seen less as a thing and more a way of doing things. To help make this definition more concrete, we’ve broken it down into three attributes: creating value at the new frontiers of the business world, creating value in the processes that execute a vision of customer experiences, and building foundational capabilities that support the entire structure." (Please click here for the complete article).

The course that we developed seeks to directly address three important skills often not well explicitly addressed in traditional marketing curricula, including the ability to (1) think critically in a formal sense, (2) manage increasingly complex business phenomena using "big" data, and (3) summarize the ever-growing body of knowledge related to marketing practices in terms of both theoretical knowledge as well as rapidly evolving data management techniques. A decision was made to develop a case to help organize the necessary pieces to accomplish these ambitious goals, including introduction to emerging marketing theory such as Service Dominant Logic (SDL), formally articulating critical thinking in practice, reviewing the emergence of Customer Engagement as a focus of retail marketing, and demonstrating in a hands-on fashion how software solutions such as IBM’s Websphere and Digital Analytics suites are emerging as important tools in consumer retail marketing practices.

Best Buy became privy to our efforts through their association with IBM. Best Buy executives enthusiastically embraced the goals of our developing course and offered to help us to build the class around a case that considers the challenges and opportunities associated with “showrooming” and “webrooming” that are currently facing many traditional consumer retail marketers. This case is the result of this collaboration between Illinois State University Marketing's faculty, IBM, and Best Buy.

The case is nontraditional in the sense that it is not structured like a typical business case. We encourage feedback related to the pros and cons of the approach we have developed herein, including any constructive suggestions for improvements. Please feel free to send your comments to Professor Gary Hunter at Illinois State University at Thank you!

2017-06-13T11:36:23.743-05:00 2017