The blog for the Fundamentals of Marketing & Advertising course

Prep for in-class work 2/17/10

Posted in General resources & presentations by Jennifer McDowell on February 14, 2010

Answer these questions in preparation for class on Wednesday, February 17th.

  1. Compare and contrast Baby Boomer, Generation X, and Generation Y consumers.
  2. Explain the relationship between gross HH (household) income, disposable HH income, and discretionary HH income.
  3. What percent of you gross HH income is left in a typical month after paying taxes and buying necessities?
  4. Define marketing research.
  5. Why is good marketing research difficult to do, particularly for entrepreneurs?
  6. What is the difference between primary and secondary data?
  7. What is a sales forecast, and what are four techniques commonly used to produce a sales forecast?

Bob Marketer works for Pentair!

Posted in positioning the brand by Jennifer McDowell on February 12, 2010

On Monday, February 15th, we will cover several new topics, including the environmental scan and positioning.

We will use the new mind map below to demonstrate a process for scanning the business environment, identifying threats and opportunities, determining the positioning of a brand, and deciding whether the brand should be repositioned. This will set us up for a later discussion about marketing research.

The presentation for February 15th is attached here.

Take-Home Quiz Due 2/15/10 (Monday week 6)

Posted in Quizzes by Jennifer McDowell on February 10, 2010

This is an open-book, open-note quiz. It is worth 5 points.

  1. Why are mind maps considered by some to be useful study devices?
  2. Describe the process demonstrated in class for applying the PRIZM, VALS, Maslow’s Hierarchy and family life cycle tools to the development of target market segments. (Hint: review the ‘Bob’s Pet Store’ scenario.)
  3. Describe the process demonstrated in class for analyzing a company or brand’s strengths and weaknesses. (Hint: review the ‘Bob buys a tire’ scenario.)

Please type your answers and bring them to class Monday. Contact me if you have any questions.

REVISED COURSE SCHEDULE – effective 2/10/10

Posted in Course schedule & syllabus by Jennifer McDowell on February 10, 2010

The revised schedule for the course is attached here.

ad2430-fundamentals-of-mktg-adv-wi10-mcdowell revised course schedule 021010

Competitive Analysis – homework due 2/15/10

Posted in Competitive analysis by Jennifer McDowell on February 9, 2010

As we discussed a few weeks ago, the Competitive Analysis is the second sub-section in the Situation Analysis of the marketing plan. The purpose for the competitive analysis is twofold:

  1. It identifies and describes your company or brand’s strongest competitors.
  2. It offers a strategic evaluation of opportunities and threats that exist because of these competitors.

The competitive analysis should answer the following questions:

  1. What is the competitor’s name, brief history and financial position?
  2. What is the competitor’s business model? (Is it a small business, national or global chain, or franchise operation? Is it a category leader? Does it compete on the basis of lowest price, best reputation, most prestigious brands, or best customer service?)
  3. What do the consumers/buyers in your target market segments like about the competitor?
  4. What do the consumers/buyers in your target market segments dislike about the competitor?
  5. Does the competitor offer a ‘market substitute’? In other words, do your target markets consider the competitor’s offering to be practically equivalent to yours?

You can find answers to these questions using annual reports, press releases and other information from company websites. You can also sometimes find this information in business news stories and industry articles or reports.  This information should be available online or through our library’s databases.

Remember to keep track of your sources! Sources should be cited using MLA format in your final marketing plan.

Once your research is complete, you will be able to draft a profile for each competitor. The profile is a two- or three-paragraph narrative description of the competitor’s history and current business strategy, including its appeal to your target market segments.

Compare these profiles against each other and your business or brand to determine the market opportunities and threats that emerge from the competitive landscape. The Opportunities and Threats sections of the SWOT chart can then be enhanced by this analysis.

Homework due 2/15/10

  • 5 points for completing research described by the questions above, and developing at least two competitor profiles
  • 3 points for drafting a competitor comparison
  • 2 points for revising the opportunities and threats sections of the SWOT chart accordingly

The Market-Product Grid

Posted in General resources & presentations by Jennifer McDowell on February 9, 2010

the-market-product-chart in-class 020810

This presentation shows how we can use our research tools (PRIZM, VALS, Maslow’s, etc.), knowledge of consumer behavior, and market segmentation to help a hypothetical entrepreneur choose a location for a new retail business and begin to make marketing mix (4 P’s) decisions.

SWOT assignment materials

Posted in Assignment materials by Jennifer McDowell on February 3, 2010

1. Introductory paragraph – Summarize your business and your market. Use all of the tools that we’ve worked with so far, including VALS, Maslow’s, Personality Traits, Family Life Cycle influences, cultural influences, PRIZM (geographically-based segmentation).

2. SWOT chart/diagram – all 4 sections include content that is specific to your business.

3. Strengths (paragraph elaborating on the strengths listed in the SWOT chart)

4. Weaknesses (paragraph elaborating on the weaknesses listed in the SWOT chart)

5. Opportunities (paragraph elaborating on the opportunities listed in the SWOT chart)

6. Threats (paragraph elaborating on the threats listed in the SWOT chart)

Please include the names of all project team members on your work. Don’t worry about citations for this assignment, but stay organized with your research materials. (Your final marketing plan project will require MLA-style in-text citations and Works Cited page.)

Remember that the difference between internal and external factors is all about decisions that your company either controls (internal), or conditions in the marketplace that your company must respond to (external).

Please print out and bring your SWOT Analysis work to class next Monday, February 8th. I will collect them at the end of class.

Mind Maps and Market Segments

Posted in Assignment materials by Jennifer McDowell on February 2, 2010

Instructions were to give mind mapping, or concept mapping, a try! For this exercise, effort counts. There are no right or wrong answers exactly, but Tony Buzan offers a few guidelines:

  1. Connect associated ideas with ‘curvilinear lines’.
  2. Include images, not just words, in the map.
  3. Don’t be afraid to use color.
  4. Label each connection line with a single word. (Keep it simple)

Apply these guidelines to develop a map of the market segments for your marketing plan project. I realize this involves integrating a new skill set (mapping) with new content (market segmentation), so it may be challenging. Give it a try anyway, so that you can get feedback in class.

Another look at Strengths and Weaknesses

Posted in Assignment materials, Consumer behavior, SWOT by Jennifer McDowell on January 31, 2010

Every marketing decision is tied back to the information in the SWOT.

The SWOT is probably the most important part of the entire Marketing Plan.

So, let’s take another look at how to identify relevant Strengths and Weaknesses. (Hint: consumer behavior!)

Bob solves a problem by making a purchase

Posted in Consumer behavior, General resources & presentations by Jennifer McDowell on January 31, 2010