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Maven is a computer-based model that simulates a small marketing company that sells up to two products in one, two, or three regions. The products are sold through retail markets to the general public. The two products are not substitutes for one another, nor are they complementary. This means that the sales of one product do not effect the sales of the other product. You do not make the products yourself; you sub-contract the manufacture of them to another company.
Maven is targeted at introductory marketing courses. Each decision round requires students to make approximately 65 decisions. Through the simulation students learn the challenges of applying the 4 Ps of marketing to a business enterprise. Maven has students apply the marketing concepts they are reading in their textbook. They also develop the skills need to successfully work in teams.
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There are two versions of the Maven program, Maven Team and Maven Solo. In Team Maven you will be part of a group that will manage your company. Your company will compete with other companies in the same marketplace that will be managed by other groups in your class. In Maven Team, the instructor processes the decisions that teams make regarding the operation of their company after all the competing teams have submitted their decisions. After processing, the teams will make a new set of decisions based on the results of those just processed. Each decision-round represents three months of operations (i.e., one quarter of a year). Your instructor will determine how many decision rounds you will play. The maximum number is 20.
Maven Solo is the play-alone version of the Maven Team. The solo version places you in competition with companies managed by the computer rather than by other groups in your class. The computer uses logic developed by us to manage these companies. While your competitors will act rationally, they are not all-knowing, perfect competitors. With practice, you can successfully compete against these companies. In Maven Solo, you process the decisions for the companies. This includes the decisions you entered for your company, as well as those determined by the computer for your competitors.
Using Maven Team and Solo, you will:
- Decide your company mission, goals, policies, and strategies.
- Develop skills in planning and then executing your marketing strategy.
- Execute your strategy by making decisions regarding:
- Pricing, product quality, and investment in the development of features for your products.
- Allocation of your promotional dollars between "push" vs. "pull" options.
- Purchase of market research.
- Financing of your promotional efforts through short-term loans.
- Have the opportunity to ask 'what-if' questions by entering a sales estimate and seeing what the results of your decisions would be IF you achieve this level of sales.
- See the results of your decisions after they are processed and have an opportunity to correct mistakes in the following quarters of operation.
Maven is a great distance learning tool!
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