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DemandTec Inc., the collaborative optimization network for retailers and consumer products companies, revealed during DemandBetter 2011 a partnership with the Labovitz School of Business & Economics (LSBE) at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) to back the university's new program to equip students with skills for careers in the retail and consumer products industries.
Pending approval of UMD's board of regents, the Retail Marketing Analytics Program (ReMAP) will offer undergraduate students an educational curriculum that can be directly applied to real-world careers. Backed by a network of retail and consumer products corporate sponsors, ReMAP students will be able to build a strong foundation of statistical analysis know-how and advanced marketing techniques. Participation in the program will provide students with the necessary skills to make better merchandising and marketing decisions throughout their careers.
“The program fills a large and previously unaddressed void in the retail and consumer products industries for early-career, analytical talent,” noted Dr. Kjell R. Knudsen, dean of LSBE at UMD. “Our program is designed to attract and nurture the future leaders of the retail sector.”
As the first program of its kind, ReMAP will be offered as an undergraduate major and minor area of study through LSBE at UMD. The program provides core competencies that are necessary for a successful career in the retail marketing industry, among them marketing research, consumer behavior, marketing analytics, customer relationship and database marketing, analytics practicum, database management and design, and applications of economic analysis.
Program highlights include:
- Specialized coursework designed and supported by faculty from the marketing, management information systems, and economics departments
- Use of the new Retail Marketing Analytics Lab to experiment with datasets and sophisticated software tools, featuring simulations of DemandTec analytical software and services
- Active learning opportunities including sponsorships with local retailers and consumer products companies that enable students to apply knowledge and skills gained in the classroom to the real world via internships providing work experience
- A full-time program director teaching courses, mentoring students and running the internship program
“Talent knowledgeable in marketing analytics is in high demand.” said Diane Harper, group VP of consumer insights and strategy at Minneapolis-based Supervalu. “Yet the availability of individuals with these specialized and highly coveted skills is scarce. By starting the ReMAP Program, the Labovitz School of Business & Economics at UMD is creating a pipeline of local talent that would be a great benefit to companies, including Supervalu”
“DemandTec and LSBE at UMD share a common goal to ensure the future leaders of the retail and consumer products industries acquire the skills they need to be competitive in today's workforce,” added Dan Fishback, president and CEO of San Francisco-based DemandTec, adding that the program would give participants “a unique opportunity to gain valuable knowledge that will benefit them and our industry, specifically our Minnesota-based customers … for years to come.”
DemandTec’s retail customers include Ahold USA, Delhaize America, H-E-B, Safeway, Target and Walmart.