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Research and discuss the choice of advertising media used by the two organizations in your assigned category. Compare and contrast those plans.

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1) Select one of the following categories: computers (Dell and Gateway), mobile phones (such as Cingular and Verizon), restaurant franchises (such as Subway and Quizno's), and insurance (such as Allstate and State Farm).

2) Research and discuss the choice of advertising media used by the two organizations in your assigned category.

3) Compare and contrast the advertising plans - both online and offline - and discuss why they are successful/or not. What ideas can you borrow for WF?

Feel free to review printed materials as well as the World Wide Web to review promotions currently being used by both organizations.

NOTE: Be sure to provide works cited/references/links

FYI ONLY on Background/Scenario:

The Woodland Foundation (WF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of the Woodland Nature Center. Several families who donated their neighboring farms to the local park district established WF 50 years ago. Recently, WF completed their first business plan with the park district. The plan was undertaken to determine why visitors to the Woodland Nature Center have declined and what changes would be needed to bring them back. The plan includes improving the nature center's buildings, hiking paths and interpretive signage, and program offerings.

WF has decided to focus program development on teens and young adults who are not served by regular park programs. WF co-sponsors family programs with the park district with the objective of creating life-long conservation minded citizens. WF's program goals are to create activities that become "traditions" that all participants cherish and attend annually.

You are WF's new marketing director and are tasked with developing the integrated marketing strategy. Two sacred program offerings must be promoted - and hopefully - expanded in content and attendance.

There is no program for volunteers. So, all work is completed by the WF board or park district employees. The membership database is a list of names in a word processing document. And there has not ever been any informal or formal market research conducted. A new concert series and recent art exhibits were not evaluated to know whether the attendees would like to see more of these programs. In fact, the success of any of WF's programs is not known.

Fortunately, you are not inheriting any media contracts or legacy advertising programs. You need to determine what media mix will appeal to your audience, and then develop the action plan to implement the media plan. Your goal is to use an integrated marketing strategy to achieve the following vision.

By the year 2012, with the support of the local park district, the town's citizens, and generous donations to WF's capital campaign, WF will grow into one of the nation's premiere conservation areas. Specific goals include:

Facility: WF's buildings will be transformed into a handsome complex of meeting rooms, exhibit galleries and assembly spaces. The architecturally significant home will be restored and become a popular retreat location for the region's non-profit leaders and corporate executives. Business function attendees will return with their families and friends to enjoy the center's quiet beauty.

Programming: In collaboration and with the support of the local park district, lectures, conferences, musical performances, art shows and other activities in the facilities will attract visitors and devoted supporters.

Education: Expanded classroom facilities in the original buildings will accommodate a growing number of environmental education offerings for school children from the town.

Community: The Woodland Foundation will be an important player among the region's nature-oriented institutions. WF's energetic volunteers have launched several successful special events.

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Solution Preview

When evaluating the advertising plans of the two competitors in any of these categories, it is important to keep in mind that these plans were (hopefully!) based on upon marketing research. The research was used to identify:

- what image that the company could project that would be most appealing to the target market, key words to use, product/service offerings that were important to the target and what should be emphasized to the target (e.g., price, convenience).

- where to advertise according to ...

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