Colorado Technical Applied Managerial Marketing Discussion Questions Now that you have evaluated the marketing environment and established some marketing g

Colorado Technical Applied Managerial Marketing Discussion Questions Now that you have evaluated the marketing environment and established some marketing goals for MM, it is time to get started with the new product plan. The first step is to research the mobile phone market. Without knowing who is buying phones in certain market segments, Michelle won’t know how to market MM’s new product. She needs your help to determine who the market is for the new product.

Primary Task Response: Read the dialogue below. Within the Discussion Board area, write 400-600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.

Michelle knows that MM needs to determine who the target customer is for the new product. She knows that marketing research needs to be done as part of this market segmentation and product development processes, but she is not well-acquainted with some of the details that are involved in the processes. She has stopped by your office to ask some questions.

“Thanks for canceling your other meeting this afternoon,” she says.“No problem,” you say. “I rescheduled my meeting with multimedia; it actually works out better for them, too.”
“I’ve heard about quantitative and qualitative research, but I’m not sure I really understand the difference between the two,” she begins. “I’m sure there are advantages and disadvantages to each of them, but without knowing, I’m not sure which type of research we need to conduct. What do you think?”
Before you can respond, Michelle’s cell phone vibrates.
“Excuse me, I have to take this,” she says.
Michelle takes her call and then stands up.
“Well, I’m sorry to do this, but I have an emergency that I have to deal with right now,” she says. “Would you do me a favor? Send me a memo that explains the two types of research and include brief explanations about the advantages and disadvantages of each as related to how they could be used by MM. I’d like to be able to speak intelligibly to this at the next board meeting.”
“Sure,” you respond, thinking that this will make for a pretty lengthy e-mail. “I’ll also include how each method can help us define our target market. Will that help?”
“Yes, great idea,” she replies.

“Ok! I’ll get that to you by close of business tomorrow,” you say.


Unit 2 DB Instructions:

Within the Discussion Board area, write 400-600 word primary post that explains the difference between/shows advantages & disadvantages of the following:
primary and secondary research TYPES;
quantitative and qualitative research METHODS.

be substantive (specific & detailed) and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas as well as APA format FAQ: Marketing Methods and Challenges
Question 1: What types of information should I research about my industry?
Answer 1: The following are some industry-specific data you should collect:
Market size: This is generally stated as annual revenue or sales
figures with growth rate projections.
Competition: Who are the competitors, and what is the market
share, product offering, and financial status of each?
Regulatory environment: This is a list of regulations and
government organizations that govern your industry.
Innovation: This refers to the technological or other changes and
improvements occurring in your industry.
Question 2: Why is it important to conduct market research?
Answer 2: The data points collected in your market research will contribute
to your marketing efforts and plans. First, understanding market size and
competition is very important when it comes to preparing plans and setting
marketing initiative objectives and goals. For example, if you are in an
industry with $1 billion in annual revenue and you predict growing to a 5%
market share, setting a $100 million annual sales goal would be inconsistent
and rather unrealistic. Second, if you understand the regulatory environment,
you will avoid paying costly fines because you have followed government
restrictions or guidelines in the production, distribution, or marketing of your
product. Finally, a grasp of the your industry’s innovations will allow you to
make realistic projections regarding product releases and production
schedules, as well as preempt any competitive moves that might undermine
your marketing efforts.
Question 3: How can market research be used to determine metrics for
Answer 3: In doing market research, you will collect data that you can use
to measure your own success. For example, if you know that the largest
market share of the top competitor is only 12%, you can feel a lot better
about a 4% market share than if the top competitor has a 72% market share.
Also, the number of competitors should be considered. It is also important to
understand customer metrics such as wallet share. If you know customers
spend an average of one hundred dollars per year on a product you carry,
your goal should be focusing consumer spending on your brand.
FAQ: Marketing Methods and Challenges
Question 4: How can I learn what consumers like and want?
Answer 4: General market data are easily found on the Internet or
purchased from research firms that specialize in gathering and disseminating
market data. More specific methods such as focus groups or surveys once a
specific target market is chosen. These methods can be used to collect data
that can be even more helpful in determining product mix, branding,
marketing campaign approaches, distribution, and pricing.
Question 5: What is meant by marketing campaign?
Answer 5: A campaign is a marketing plan that may include one or several
different methods of communicating a specific message or promoting a
specific product. For example, a company launching a new line of desserts
and snacks will launch a campaign that might include television advertising,
newspaper coupon inserts, and in-store samples. The campaign is viewed as
a set of efforts with a specific goal, such as successfully introducing a new
product to a market, increasing sales, or decreasing returns and customer
service inquiries.
Question 6: What are the various options for advertising a product or
service, and why would I choose a particular one?
Answer 6: There are numerous venues and channels for advertising, which
Highway billboards
Internet banner ads
Signs buses and taxis
Within each of these, are numerous choices to make, such as length or size of
the advertisement, network, specific publications, and so on. Your choice will
depend on what you learn in your market research. For example, if you
decide your target audience is business travelers, you should advertise your
product in magazines most often distributed on airplanes or on the in-flight
media presentations.
FAQ: Marketing Methods and Challenges
Question 7: When is it appropriate to engage in direct marketing?
Answer 7: Direct marketing requires contacting individual consumers
directly, which means a company needs to obtain addresses, phone numbers,
or e-mail addresses for targeted customers. Direct marketing can be very
expensive, but generally has a higher response rate because it is sent directly
to a customer. If a marketer can learn more about a customer’s demographic
data or preferences, the message can be tailored and become even more
effective. For example, a video rental store company could send a mailer to
those who rent mostly video games with offers for rentals and purchases on
new video game releases.
Question 8: What are the restrictions and roadblocks to direct marketing?
Answer 8: One of the greatest challenges encountered when embarking on a
direct marketing project is obtaining accurate and complete data. Consumer
data can be purchased from many companies, but it is very difficult to
maintain a high level of accuracy on that data. Additionally, there are many
privacy laws that protect much of that consumer data. A company wishing to
use data to market directly to customers should be fully aware of the
regulations and guidelines suggested by governing bodies to avoid any costly
Question 9: How do advertising techniques apply to a business-to-business
(B2B) scenario?
Answer 9: Many companies engaged in B2B will use traditional advertising
for a mass audience targeted through a specific publication. For example, an
investment bank is more likely to run a print ad in Forbes than in People
magazine. Other common B2B marketing efforts are:
Trade shows: Many companies within an industry or complimentary
industry gather in one place to display their wares.
Field sales force: These are generally divided by geography.
Conferences or seminars: These are designed to educate the
customer on product features or on industry knowledge.
FAQ: Initial Development of the Marketing Plan Project
Question 1: Where and how should I begin my initial analysis for my
marketing plan project?
A clear strategy is critical when beginning to develop a marketing plan. The
best place to begin a marketing plan project is to remember that your
ultimate goal will be to produce a comprehensive marketing plan that
develops a new product or service. It is therefore essential to begin by
choosing a company that you are able to find data to research. The data,
which could include sales and market information, is essential for you to
access so you can develop a clear marketing analysis and build a strategy
that fits that company. Said another way, do not choose a firm that is
privately held or has no public data or that is unwilling to provide you with
data so you may complete your project. It is recommended that you make a
list of four or five firms and do some preliminary research. If one stands out
as to the wealth of data, which might include access to executives, that it will
provide or is accessible that firm might be an excellent choice. If possible,
you should consider the firm for whom you currently work; however, before
you begin, be sure to speak to management to guarantee that you will have
access to the information you need.
Question 2: Should I work in a group or alone?
The choice of working in a group or alone should be based upon careful
reflection. The following are some basic considerations:
Do you prefer to work alone or in a group? If you prefer to work alone,
you have an advantage because you will not have to depend upon
anyone to perform his or her share of the work. Conversely, it can be
a tremendous help to have another student to bounce ideas off and to
share the workload. There are advantages and disadvantages to either
Are you able to identify group members with whom you have worked
before? Have they proven to be reliable and as committed to the
quality of work as you are? Do they feel the same sense of urgency to
complete work on schedule?
If you choose to work in a group and the members do not perform as
promised or expected, you may have to make up for their dereliction
by doing a larger proportion of the work.
FAQ: Initial Development of the Marketing Plan Project
If there is a dispute in the group, are you prepared to negotiate and
compromise if necessary?
Remember that once you have made a commitment to a group, you
cannot change your decision. Likewise, if you begin the project
independently, you will not be able to join a group during the process.
Carefully consider these points and choose wisely.
Question 3: When I do the SWOT analysis, what should I learn from the
strengths of a company?
The strengths of a company should give you insight into what new markets
you might enter and what types of products you are able to produce. The
strengths will also highlight areas where the company can compete and
prevail over competition. Company strengths involve and are related to many
areas or facets of an organization. Some organizational strengths may be
operational or process related. Business processes are the procedures and
activities that, after being refined, may help deliver a competitive advantage.
For example, an organization may possess a powerful distribution
system. Powerful distribution systems allow firms to quickly cover market
segments with a product that a competitor with poor distribution systems
may not be able to match. A company with this type of strength can quickly
bring new products to market and gain a first-to-market advantage. Other
company strengths may be related to personnel: Companies with a keen or
specialized talent can create highly competitive organizations. One example
of specialized talent is a highly effective and productive research and
development team. Companies that possess strong research and
development functions are often able to leverage their skills by developing
more advanced or innovative products. Research and development skills may
then provide the organization a way to bring ever more attractive products to
the market, which helps them maintain or develop competitive advantage in
a market.
Question 4: When I do the SWOT analysis, what should I learn from the
weaknesses of a company?
While it is wise to understand and take advantage of the strengths a company
possesses, it is equally wise to fully consider and take into account a
company’s weaknesses. Company weaknesses could be deficiencies or a lack
FAQ: Initial Development of the Marketing Plan Project
of abilities when compared to competition. In either case, strategic planning
will generally account for company weaknesses in two general ways. The first
general strategy is to attempt to minimize the effect that a weakness may
have on operational effectiveness. This type of strategy is meant to isolate
the weakness to keep it from disrupting our competitive position. For
example, planners might decide to outsource some or all business processes
to use specialized and more proficient labor. The second general strategy
designed to deal with organizational weaknesses is to invest in the
improvement of the weak area or areas. For example, the organization’s
ability to recruit talented employees is found unsatisfactory. In addition, this
ability is deemed essential for a firm to remain competitive, or if this inability
keeps the firm from entering a new and attractive market, one would need to
take action. In this case, strategic planners might consider investing in that
area by increasing salaries or improving human resource’s abilities to
recruit. In addition, a company might invest in training its current employees
to a level that would restore or improve the firm’s competitive position. In
any event, one must account for and deal with weaknesses in the firm.
Question 5: When I do the SWOT analysis, what should I learn from the
opportunities of a company?
Opportunities are those market conditions that fit into organizational
strengths. Opportunities may take several forms and carry varying risk
levels. Some opportunities will involve completely new products in new
markets. Understand that the products themselves do not have to be new to
the world; they would just be considered new ventures for the company. New
products in new markets tend to carry a fair amount of risk for the
organization. This is because of the fact that as an organization, it may have
to learn and apply new processes to new customers. These customers may
demand a level of service that will require much more than the company’s
previous markets did. The risk is that the organization will fail to learn and
adapt to the new product and market—no matter the size of a firm, it can be
very difficult to change organizational behavior.
Other opportunities may involve partnering with another firm in a joint
venture. This is usually done because each organization has identified
strengths that are unique to them, and by partnering, they can bring a very
competitive offer to market. The risk in this option is that the organizations
will not be able to cooperate enough to make the venture work. Companies,
like individuals, have different ways of doing things and communicate in
vastly different ways. This leads to confusion, and some joint ventures are
FAQ: Initial Development of the Marketing Plan Project
abandoned because of these issues cannot be overcome. There are other
opportunities that may be completely external to the organization. For
example, a change in laws may ban certain products or services. This may
create an opportunity for the organization. Any time there is change or
turmoil in a market, there are opportunities. The key is to understand that for
something to truly be an opportunity it must correlate with organizational
strengths, and the organization’s strengths must be sufficient to compete
with current firms that are serving that market.
Question 6: When I do the SWOT analysis, what should I learn from the
threats to a company?
Threats should also guide one’s decision making because they focus the
attention on market conditions that may prevent a firm’s success. Threats
may be short-term in nature or long-term threats. In either case, each threat
should be evaluated and categorized. One factor would be to categorize the
threat in terms of their impact in a monetary sense. For example, some
threats may make and have a small impact on cash flows and others may
potentially be quite large. Another critical category would be an evaluation of
the probability of whether the threat will materialize. Some threats are
projections or involve scenarios that may develop. For example, some threats
are based upon several economic events that would need to happen at the
same time. While these events would be a real threat, the probability of them
happening at the same time may be small. This is critical to evaluate because
it gives the organization a way prioritize and plan to deal with threats and not
waste resources on low probability risks.
Other threats involve competition from other companies. If a company is
currently serving a market successfully and there is a threat of a large and
very aggressive firm entering a market, this could pose a very large threat. A
firm could not keep another from entering the market; however, it should
plan to meet the threat and not fall into a reactive “let’s see what happens”
type of situation. If a company has not planned and developed contingencies
to meet this type of threat, then by the time the threat becomes real it may
be too late to plan and react.
Another very real type of threat involves government regulation.
Governments—local, state, and federal—may pass or enact regulations that
have a very negative impact on operations. The good news is that
government will likely not change rules or pass regulations without some
FAQ: Initial Development of the Marketing Plan Project
forewarning. This should allow a firm to prepare for the changes and in some
cases lobby the governing body for a more favorable change.
Question 7: What is a PEST analysis, and how will it help me make
PEST is an acronym that stands for certain factors included in an analysis of
the macroenvironment: the political, economic, social, and technological
variables of the environment external to the organization. These factors affect
all firms and may include more or fewer factors depending upon the needs of
the planners. These variables are almost always beyond the control of the
firm and are often viewed as threats; however, changes in these variables
may also create opportunities. This analysis is often used in conjunction with
a SWOT analysis and together serves to give a very comprehensive picture of
the strategic environment. In addition, keep in mind that many of these
macroenvironmental variables are nation specific. This is extremely helpful
when planning for international expansion.
The following examples are some of the criteria that might be considered
when performing a PEST analysis:
Political factors in a country should be considered, including the
political stability of a country. The legal system and how contracts are
enforced are also evaluated. Trade regulations and taxation
regulations are also very important. Additional political considerations
include wage and work regulations such as industrial safety rules.
Economic factors of a nation are very important as well. For example,
whether the economic system of a country is capitalistic or socialistic
is very important. Currency exchange rates and the stability of the
financial markets are critical factors as well. The general business
cycle should also be considered. For example, is the country in a
recession or experiencing prosperity?
Social factors are also critical variables. What include the
demographics of a nation, and what social classes exist? Other social
factors analyzed include education, how people use their leisure time,
and what is the populations’ attitude toward work and culture.
The last factor is technology. Questions to be asked and answered
would include information about technological breakthroughs and the
impact that technology may have on a firm or product. How
technology affects costs and business processes is also considered. In
FAQ: Initial Development of the Marketing Plan Project
addition, planners must consider how technologically advance a nation
Question 8: What are the different types and sources of market research
Like any function in business, is it best to plan before beginning any task to
maximize the results. A general framework for market research involves first
defining the problem or opportunity and the objectives you need to
accomplish. If an organization were performing primary research, the
research plan would be for gathering data from sources external to the
firm. Primary research attempts to gather primary data, which are data that
are newly gathered for a specific purpose or need. The process of gathering
primary data is complex, time-consuming, and generally expensive. Typically,
primary data are gathered through observational methods such as watching
people shop or other market-related behaviors. Focus groups involve groups
of 5–10 participants that would have characteristics similar to the target
market. This group would discuss topics of interest to the marketer. Mail and
Internet surveys are also methods of gathering primary data.
Secondary data are data that have already been gathered. Secondary data
include sales information the company possess and data that other firms
have made public. Accounting and financial data can also prove to be very
helpful. Internal data that comes from purchasing, production, and the
service department are often ver…
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