MRKT 310 Marketing Principles
PRODUCT CHOICE & CONTENT
Think carefully about your choice as you will focus on this product or service offering for each of the four writing assignments. It is in your best interest to select a product or service that interests you and for which you feel you can gain sufficient information.
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.
FORMAT & WRITING
Each writing assignment will require you to respond to four questions total (two in Part 1 and two in Part 2). You must respond to all four questions, or the assignment will be unsatisfactory.
Each assignment should be approximately four to five pages of double-spaced text in length. A page is approximately 250 words. You may attach exhibits if you wish. More pages are acceptable, however, fewer than three pages is not satisfactory.
Note that a percentage of your grade will be based on your grammar, composition, adherence to the submission requirements, and use of an appropriate college-level style guide for writing and referencing (APA format).
Prepare each assignment in Microsoft Word. Here are the technical requirements:
- Use a simple 12-point font such as Times New Roman and black ink primarily. Use color where it enhances your ability to communicate your thoughts
- A cover page is required. A references page is required. The cover page and references page are not included in the written analysis or the page count.
- Be sure your name, writing assignment number, the date, and the name of your product or service are on the cover page of your writing assignment.
- Use headings to separate topics (e.g., Part 1, 1. Creating Value for Customers)
Use a minimum of six (6) references, four (4) of them dated 2016 to the present.
- Includes references that explain the assignment concepts and references to the actual product.
- Use credible academic sources.
- Wikipedia it is not acceptable as a reference source.
Use APA format for citation of sources, both in-text and on the references list.
- Refer to the product or service you selected at the beginning of the semester. This week, you want to take a closer look at what consumer factors may be relevant for customers who are considering buying your product or service offering. This will require some critical thinking on your part based on your own behavior if you are a customer yourself, or you may want to research others who have purchased the product. Sometimes you can find clues when looking at the marketing messages that may be addressing some of these factors. More importantly, there is always information available in the research.
- So far, you have only been considering the customers of your product or service as one big group, or a mass market. More astute marketing breaks down this large group into smaller market segments of consumers who have similar characteristics. For any specific product or service, there could be numerous market segments. However, company resources may only allow a company to pursue one or two or these market segments, which then become target market(s). In this paper, you should divide the mass market for your product or service into at least two market segments and then pick one target market you think would have the most potential for future growth.
- Think outside your own box. Chances are you picked a product with which you are familiar. That is a good starting point, and you may represent one target market. But you may represent a target market that is saturated and therefore not the best target market to pick for the remainder of the semester. So be sure your second target market is different enough and represents growth potential.
- If you did not do a thorough analysis of the competition in the prior writing assignment, you may need to go back and figure out the nature of the product’s or service’s competition. This will be important when you address the positioning of your product for your newly identified target market inasmuch as positioning is a competition-based concept.
- We understand you are not an employee of the company and do not have access to the insider data that you feel will allow you to discuss the questions to the degree you would like. Take your best educated and reasoned guesses whenever you need to do so, but please substantiate your thoughts with cited data when available.
- Your job will be to critically examine all of the segmentation bases and arrive at your own description of potential market segments for your product or service.
- Prepare your assignment beginning with a title page with your name 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. Do not repeat the question. Do use headings to separate the sections.
- Consumer decision-making process. Go through the six steps of the purchase process outlined in the readings and identify where marketing can influence each of the six steps. For example, if a consumer just identified a need for your product in step one, then the company can advertise how your product fills that need. Or, if a consumer purchased your product, the consumer can be called and asked about their satisfaction with the product and if there is any dissatisfaction steps can be taken to ensure the customer satisfaction. Be sure to be more specific with respect to your product or service than this example.
- Segmentation. Using the various criteria of the segmentation bases described in the week’s readings and in Table 4.1, identify at least two distinct market segments for your product or service. Each market segment description must include at least three (more if needed) of the characteristics from amongst any of the four bases categories, e.g. one from demographic variables, one or two from psychographic variables, and one from behavioral variables, or a similar scheme. Be sure to explain your choices based on what customer need the product or service offering can fill for each segment.
- Target market & strategy. Select one of the market segments you described in your segmentation response as the one you believe is or can be the most profitable for your product or service offering and explain why you feel they can represent growth for the company. Refer to the six criteria for an attractive market segment as described in course content under ‘Selecting Target Markets’. Name your target market so you can use this name throughout all of your remaining writing assignments. Your name should be descriptive of the segments’ characteristics like ‘savvy young shoppers’ or ‘educated baby boomers’, or ‘urban hipsters’, or the like. The goal is for your faculty member to get a mental image of your target market for the remainder of the semester. Should the company focus all their resources on this new target market (concentrated marketing) or should they continue to pursue both the new and the existing target market as well as other market segments (multi-segment marketing)? Alternatively, is the market so saturated might they be more successful by focusing solely on an even more narrow market segment, perhaps an even narrower version (niche marketing) of your selected target market, as their best chance for growth? What is your reasoning?
- Positioning. Develop a Practitioner’s Positioning Statement as demonstrated in Class, and also in the Week 4 Classroom PowerPoint. Make sure that the positioning statement includes a target market with clear demographics and what they are looking for; a description of the product or service, and a point of difference vs. the direct competition that will ensure there is uncontested space on a perceptual map. (i.e. something the product or service can own and communicate to customers that differentiates it from the competition.)