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    Mixed Marketing Questions

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    1. What are the advantages of qualitative measurements when doing marketing research? What are the disadvantages? Be sure to answer both questions.

    2. A colleague at your place of employment says to you that when it comes to the decision-making process within his company on a major capital equipment purchase, it's a frustrating experience.
    As you respond to the question below, consider how businesses go about making purchase decisions and to what marketers would want to be sensitive when attempting to market their goods to a business.
    What might be your colleague's rationale for making such a statement? What are some of the things that differentiate the business decision-making process from that of the consumer's decision-making process?

    3. What are the benefits to a company of a well-executed BRANDING strategy? What are the benefits to a consumer?

    4. The United States has been a "services" economy since the late 1980's, at which time our GNP was focused more on providing services than the manufacture of physical products. Marketers recognize that the marketing of services is different than the marketing of a product because of the different characteristics that distinguish them from physical products.
    List these characteristics and demonstrate your understanding of what each means relative to services marketing.
    What are some marketing strategies that might be employed with services to ensure positive results? In your answer, provide an example of a service to which your strategies would be utilized.

    5. An increasing number of companies are basing their prices on the customer's perceived value of the product or service. Explain the concept of perceived value pricing and what is the "key" to pricing in this manner? How might the marketer determine the price that the consumer might pay in exchange for that value that they receive?

    6. Atlantic Wholesale Distributors is located in Wilmington, Delaware, and represents twenty-seven different companies that make electronic stereo equipment components (e.g., DVD players, audio speakers, amplifiers, graphic equalizers, etc).
    Given the independent retail customers to which Atlantic sells, you would like to discuss with them the possibilities of their representing your company, Meyerkord Cable Company (you make cable that connects loudspeakers with the stereo equipment, DVD players, etc).
    What would be at least six (6) channel functions or services that you would look to Atlantic to provide Meyerkord Cable Company and/or Atlantic's independent retailers that would provide value?

    7. Edward Smeets is the new sales manager for Grunwald Instrumentation. He has just come aboard to head up a sales force of seventy sales professionals, all of whom possess at least a B.S. in a scientific field. Many have Master's Degrees.
    Smeet's sales reps sell highly complex instrumentation systems that are used to analyze a variety of different materials in a variety of laboratory environments. The instruments, sixteen in total, are used to analyze gases, liquids, and blood. Each product is very technical and customers expect their Grunwald sales rep to be very knowledgeable about the technical applications of their product to their analysis requirements of their laboratories.
    Each sales professional covers an assigned territory which usually comprises about one-half of a state. In some cases, the sales rep may cover two states, but 80% of the sales reps are within a two-hour drive of their home. The sales team has been divided into twelve teams around the country, with each team having its own sales manager and five to nine sales reps, all of whom call on a variety of customers. Sales teams operate out of the same office, located in a major metropolitan area (e.g., Boston, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, etc).
    Sales rep turnover has been 15% annually the past few years and Smeets sees it as imperative that he do something about this. Annual sales have been averaging a 3-5% increase each year over the past five years... but the corporate president wants more, complaining that your competition has been averaging 6-8% sales growth increases in revenue each year.
    Analyze the sales force structure. What is the current sales force structure that is being used and what might be the limitation of the sales force structure that is currently employed? What changes, if any, would you suggest that Smeets consider to the sales force structure to effect increased sales?

    8. Your product, the iPhone, has had a good Introduction phase and is now in the Growth stage of the Product Life Cycle (PLC).
    You know that one product-related strategy that you can employ is to offer newer iPhone models or offer more features on current iPhone models.
    As you prepare to do battle with other companies who area also in the market, what might be some other PRODUCT-related strategies that you might utilize to enhance your product offering that complements your introduction of newer models/features?
    (NOTE: This question asks you to focus ONLY on the "product." Responses that focus on what you would do relative to the product's pricing, promotion, and channels of distribution are not what you are asked to provide. )

    9. You have just become the marketing manager for a new line of DVD players. Your Fixed Costs (FC) for running your plant are $1,300,000 a month. This includes salaries, insurance, rent, amortized capitalization of equipment, etc.
    Your Variable Costs (VC) per unit will, of course, vary. You have looked at your hourly salaries, your utilities usage, your raw materials used to make your DVD player, shipping, promotional programs, and other variable costs. These Variable Costs (VC) average $1,634,000 per month.
    Your plant is able to produce 76,000 DVD players each month (30 days per month).
    Your price to your wholesaler distributor is $71.25. The retailer's price (e.g., Best Buy) from the wholesale distributor is $94.70. Your suggested list price for consumers for the DVD Player at the retail store, e.g., Best Buy, is $129.99.
    What is your Unit FC per DVD player?
    Your Unit VC per DVD Player?
    How many DVD Players do you need to sell each month to "break even"?
    See attachment for the breakeven formula

    10. The concept of a Marketing Audit is gaining acceptance within marketing circles, especially as a means to ensure that companies are seen as "above board" and "ethical" in their marketing practices. Were you tasked with creating a Marketing Audit, what would be some things that you would want to consider to ensure that your Marketing Audit was well-structured and was "all inconclusive?"

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    Solution Preview

    The answers to the above questions are in the attached document.

    1. Qualitative research focuses on why or how a condition exists, rather than simply gathering
    data on what conditions are, such as the number of young adult consumers who buy a particular
    product or the number of consumers who purchase a product based on its packaging. Qualitative
    research may focus on why the consumer makes a purchased based on packaging or how age effects
    purchasing decisions. Qualitative research may be conducted on a one to one basic with a single
    individual, or may be conducted with more than one consumer, such as in focus groups.
    One advantage of qualitative research is that an organization that understands why consumers
    behave the way they do can, they can develop more effective marketing strategies and messages to
    target specific market segments (Qualitative Market Research, 2010). Another advantage is that the
    marketing strategy can consider how price affects consumer decisions and use an appropriate pricing
    strategy. A disadvantage of this type of research is that it can be time consuming to conduct several
    focus groups or one large group. It is even more time consuming to conduct one to one interviews with
    consumers. Another disadvantage is that members of a focus group may not typically represent other
    members of the target segment they belong in and that buyer behavior can change quickly from one
    day to the next, depending on market or industry competition . For example, a consumer who explains
    that a decision to buy the product is based on packaging or product quality may then change his or her
    behavior tomorrow, when a competing product reduces its price and the consumer is attracted to the
    lower price.
    2. The colleague's rationale for making the statement is based on the approval process within
    many organizations that requires more than one manager, group of executives or board of directors to

    approve a capital expenditure. Some board members or members of the organization may not see
    the value in an expenditure in the same manner as others or as having the same benefit. The business
    decision making process if often based on data and hard facts, rather than on emotion. Packaging,
    and added features do not mean anything to a business if they do not help improve the bottom line,
    which is profit. When marketing goods or services to a business, the marketer should focus on how
    they will affect the organization's profitability or where they may make the business more efficient.
    3. A well executed branding strategy helps a company establish a brand that can compete within
    its Industry and has the potential to increase market share. For the consumer, the branding strategy
    creates a sense of trust and loyalty. If the consumer is satisfied with the brand and is familiar with
    the brand, he or she is more likely to use the brand in the future.
    4. The difference between services and products is that:
    a. ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution covers concepts like qualitative market measurements, branding strategies, perceived value pricing, market auditing and more in a 1838-word attachment with the necessary calculation displayed and references given.