Upon starting my first term at LSE, I realised that whilst I got a head start in understanding several theories and frameworks because of my background in business, there were certain concepts that I had a hard time comprehending.
While there is a lot of support provided by the Department of Management and professors, there were basics I wish I understood before starting the program.
1. Why People (Don’t) Buy: The GO and STOP Signals by Amitav Chakravarti and Manoj Thomas
A core course which takes place in the first term is Principles of Marketing – taught by Professor Amitav Chakravarti. Why People (Don’t) Buy: The GO and STOP Signals is a publication which is heavily used during the course and gives a fantastic understanding of the content. To get further insight into this publication, read this blog by Rose Deller to get a head start and get some quality reading in before starting the program!
Reading the publication definitely gave me a better understanding of the theories taught during the lectures and having the professor make references to the publication was also really useful.
2. R studio basics on Data Camp
A core part of the Marketing Analytics 2 course is using the program R Studio. To get a head start and a general understanding of the software, I would highly recommend a crash course on understanding the program. You can learn the basics of R on data camp, which is provided by the LSE Digital Skills Lab. I felt extremely lost and fell behind after the first two lectures of the course. I then tried out the crash course which was highly effective and really gave me an insight into how the program works. I was grateful to have completed the crash course because it also proved to be extremely useful for the group project as well.
3. Brush up on economic theories (i.e. Elasticities)
Another marketing elective I chose during term 2 was Pricing Strategy. While this is quite mathematically heavy, there are several concepts which branch from economics such as price elasticities. Though the concepts are explained quite thoroughly during the lectures, I would recommend brushing up on some theories and understanding the foundation. This proved to be very useful in understanding the formulae and working examples explained during lectures.
I also found brushing up on theories to be extremely useful when studying for the individual assignment. It gave me a better understanding of the reasoning behind the formulae and its application to real life situations.
4. Reading up on basic analytics theories
Within the first term, Marketing Analytics 1 is an introductory course which covers the basics and gives an insight into applying analytics in the real world. Despite a background in business, I did face a little difficulty in understanding the concepts and applying them. This includes running regressions in Excel and interpreting data. To get a better grip on the concepts that are explained in the lecture, I would recommend that you read up on and get a general understanding of the following: A/B testing, conjoint analysis, cluster analysis and regression analysis.
Although this may be slightly overwhelming before starting the marketing degree, it will make understanding concepts during lectures much easier and enable you to follow class content from your first day.
If you would like to hear more about the experiences of past Marketing students or would like to get more information about specific modules, LSE Student Ambassadors are more than happy to answer your questions and provide you with insightful information about the programme.