MathSoft, Inc. (A)

Case Solution

V. Kasturi Rangan, Gordon Swartz
Harvard Business School ()

MathSoft’s VP of Sales has doubled the company’s direct sales force to help launch a new high-end workstation software product priced at nearly $ 9,000. However, sales of the new product are well below plan. At the same time, the VP of Marketing is calling for increased magazine advertising to support sales of the company’s $ 349 PC software product, which is marketed through a combination of distributors, retailers, phone sales and direct mail. The president of this corporate corporation must determine the appropriate channel structure and communication programs for the current MathSoft product line and future growth. He illustrates the close connections and trade-offs between industrial marketing channels and communication methods and tracks the evolution of a company’s hybrid marketing channels. In addition, students are introduced to the use of advertising and direct marketing in the sale of complex industrial products. For students who have completed a quantitative modeling course, the case involves generating a market reaction model developed from MathSoft sales and advertising data.

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