MRKT 310 Principles of Marketing
Strategic Marketing & Value for the Customer
Please use the service offering below;
- PRODUCT CHOICE & CONTENT
- Your focus will be on the domestic, or U.S. marketing of this product only. If the product is also marketing in other countries you do not need to concern yourself with the global operations.
- You are not expected to be an expert on the product or service, and you will have large gaps in your knowledge due to proprietary information. You are not expected to purchase any sources that may have the information you need. You are expected to form well-reasoned conclusions based on what you do know or have found through research, or can reasonably assume. Respond comprehensively. Give examples when appropriate. Be sure to provide your own perspective on each of the questions.
- See below Supporting Conclusions with Your Ideas and Reasoning.
- Step One: Research your product or service offering through the Internet (your references will need to be mostly academic sources.) and your own outside research. Do not limit yourself to searching solely on the product or service name. Look up the industry it is in (Hoovers.com is a good source) and search on that industry as well. Look up the direct competitors. Check industry journals and the trade press. You may want to visit a retailer to compare the products on the shelves or visit all of the websites. Keep all your research as you will need it for future writing assignments.
- [Optional] Think about the customers with whom the company regularly communicates, offers special deals, etc. These are the Most Valuable Customers (MVC) of the product or service. You may want to find an MVC if you are not one yourself. What is the evidence of an MVC of your product or service? It isn't just that the customer regularly buys the product or service. It means that the customer is treated differently -- better -- than other customers. The MVC represents about 20% of the company's revenues.
- [Optional] To truly understand the MVC for your product You may want to calculate the lifetime value of a most valuable customer. See the discussion of the lifetime value calculation in the week's reading, and calculate the LTV using this simple equation: LTV = (Price - cost to produce the product) * number of annual purchases * number of years expected to purchase - initial acquisition costs. For simplicity sake, you can assume your customer will have a relationship with you for ten years and you can make an educated guess as to how much the initial acquisition costs were to get him as a customer in terms of advertising or other types of promotion efforts. If you are not an MVC yourself, make and share your assumptions about your calculation. If you are not an MVC, you might want to find someone who is and ask them why they are loyal to the product or service and what they feel the company does for them that is special that they don't do for other customers.
- Step Two:The assignment begins with a heading and the name of your product or service. Then answer each of the following questions (two in part 1 and two in part 2) in order and number the beginning of your response to each question. Although you do not need to repeat the question, each section should have a heading.
- Part 1 - Customer Value & Role in Mission
1. Creating Value for Customers. Consider the customers you believe currently use your product or service and the definition of marketing offered in the course content. Discuss how you think the company creates value for its customers based on the concepts in this week's readings.
2. Role of the Customer in the Company's Mission. The readings indicate that the best marketing begins with the customer and that commitment to the customer begins with including the customer in the company's mission statement. Find your company's mission statement. Copy, paste and cite the company mission statement (or attach as an exhibit if it is too long). Comment on its effectiveness in demonstrating the company's commitment to having a customer focus. Could the mission statement have more focus on the customer? How would you recommend it be modified? Is it supported with value statements or other evidence of a customer focus?
Part 2 - Company Analysis
1. SWOT analysis. Identify at least one element of each of the SWOT categories (a strength, a weakness, an opportunity, and a threat). Explain your choice using a citation if needed. Then identify possible implications for each of the four elements. You can use a Table in which these elements are posted. For example, if a strength is a strong national brand name, the implication is that the company may be able to launch other related products under the positive umbrella of the same brand name. Conversely, if a major weakness is the company is carrying a lot of debt, the implication is that the company not be able to achieve significant growth, but may have to consider retrenchment strategies.
2. Competitive Analysis. Identify at least two major competitors or those two products that are trying to sell essentially identical products to the same type of consumer. Then, identify at least three criteria that are important to those consumers when they are making their decision as to which of the three competing offers to buy (e.g. price, specific benefit, service, warranty, convenience, specific feature, etc.). Make a chart with the three criteria along the left-hand side and the competitor products (including your own product) across the top. Rank each of the products on a scale from 1= low to 5= high on each performs on each of the three criteria. Add down each column. Which product ranked highest overall based on the sum of the columns? Then, look at the highest score in each of the criteria boxes. Explain the following...Which products ranked the highest on each of the three criteria? Was it the same product, was it three different products? What do these results tell you about the competitive environment of your product category. Which product is the leader? Which product is the follower, challenger and nicher, if those categories apply? Include your chart in your text
Supporting Conclusions with Your Ideas and Reasoning
All MRKT courses require you to integrate the course readings and case scenario facts (if applicable) into all discussion posts and major assignment answers to demonstrate you have read, understand and can apply the class material. This is done by supporting the conclusions drawn in the answer or post with ideas and reasoning substantiated by the class material. If the conclusions are not drawn by using the class material or facts they are nothing more than your opinion and therefore show no evidence that the class material is read and understood well enough to be applied successfully.
In this class, you are expected to approach every assignment with the understanding that all conclusions you present are to be validated with ideas and reasoning that is reinforced by the class material, case study facts or outside research, if appropriate.
Below are acceptable methods of supporting your ideas, reasoning and thus the conclusions you have drawn. You may find that there are circumstances that require you to use one or more of these methods simultaneously.
Most of the support for the conclusions will be provided by the classroom literature. This literature is derived from expert opinion and research in the field. You must rely upon the literature to add validity to your own perspective, claim, conclusion, choice, or argument. The eBook(s) and other resources in the class have been selected because of the credibility of the information and expert authors presented. The expectation is that you will use this information to support the ideas and reasoning that led to conclusions drawn in your posts and answers. The greater the degree of support for the ideas and reasoning that provides the underpinning of the conclusion, the greater correlation to the degree of critical thinking demonstrated (and the higher the grade).
You are asked to determine the best organizational structure for Charlie's Crab House by the Sea. In answering, you will identify the structure in one sentence: The best structure for Charlie's Crab House is a functional organizational structure. Then, in a separate sentence support why the best structure is a functional one. The functional organizational is the best structure because the structure improves efficiencies through job specialization, presents a clear chain of command, allows for better control for employee promotion, cultivates a learning organization and makes training easier (Accounting Tools, 2017, para. ).
In this answer, you will have drawn a conclusion as to the best structure, defined the structure, and given a reason for the conclusion, all of which you were asked to do to answer the question. Notice that the use of in-text citation shows how the conclusion was drawn by using the class material to support its validity. To provide support, you have to give an in-text citation with an associated reference to support the idea of what why a functional structure is best for this situation. Finally, to provide an outstanding response, defining and describing other organizational structures and why they would not be appropriate, again supported by the class material and case study facts provides a stronger more in-depth answer. Notice the response explains the "why and how" of an answer rather than merely making a statement. This type of answer would return an A grade versus a C- for providing an answer that omits the support of the course material.
Accounting Tools (2017, May 13). Functional Organizational Structure. Retrieved from https://www.accountingtools.com/articles/2017/5/13/functional-organizational-structure
2. Use of Statistics
Presenting data is one way to provide convincing support for conclusions when used with an explanation of why or how the numbers are significant. However, be careful that the statistics presented are presented in the correct context, otherwise the information is not credible. When using any type of statistics, you need to cite and reference the source document.
If you are asked if small businesses contribute significantly to employment in the United States, a good start to providing an answer could be:
Small businesses contribute significantly to the employment of US workers. Small businesses are 28.8 million strong and employ 56.8 million workers (Schwinn, 2016, p. 1).
Schwinn, R. (2016, March-April). 2016 state small business profiles released with fresh design. The Small Business Advocate, 35(3), 1-8. Retrieved from https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-4061763191.html
3. Educated Examples
Examples can bring your writing alive, capture your audience's attention and support the conclusions drawn!
If you are asked how as a manager you can help employees accomplish his or her career goals, then you can use an example combined with the course readings to draw a conclusion from the example.
A manager can use several tactics to help an employee reach his or her career goals. First, it is critical for a manager to engage an employee in a conversation to gain an understanding of an employee's goals (Lighthouse, 2017, para. 7). For example, since starting work at Gee-Whiz, Inc. two years ago, my immediate supervisor, Jack meets with me every three months to discuss my career goals. When a manager has an understanding of a worker's goals, then it is possible to tap into what motivates the worker (para. 2). According to Lighthouse (2017) a manager needs to develop a rapport with the people he or she supervises, let a worker know that his or her success matters, and share his or her own goals to get the worker to share theirs (Lighthouse, 2017, para. 8). For example, my manager takes a sincere interest in my growth at Gee-Whiz and provides specific feedback on different tasks that I perform. For instance, I led a team on a project that involved five different workers who collaborated to review and recommend changes to current operating procedures for the department.......
Lighthouse (2017). How to help your team achieve their goals. Retrieved from https://getlighthouse.com/blog/how-team-achieve-goals/
Week 1 What Is Strategic Marketing?
What makes a business idea work? Does it only take money? Why are some products a huge success and similar products a dismal failure? How was Apple, a computer company, able to create and launch the wildly successful iPod, yet Microsoft's first foray into MP3 players was a total disaster? If the size of the company and the money behind a product's launch were the difference, Microsoft would have won. But for Microsoft to have won, it would have needed something it's not had in a while—good marketing so it can produce and sell products that consumers want.
In the first week of the course, we will focus first on understanding what marketing means as a discipline, and how it integrates within an organization. Once we have an understanding of what marketing is and does, we will get more specific as to how marketing activities are planned and implemented. Also, if you are interested in a marketing career, we outline some of the potential marketing positions most commonly considered the main marketing jobs. We will begin our discussion on marketing ethics and sustainability, two themes you will see frequently throughout the course.