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Statistics: sampling ages of moviegoers

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The file HP.xls contains the ages of 48 moviegoers to a recent showing of a Harry Potter movie.The following two methods illustrate in different ways how you might select a random sample of eight moviegoers' ages. In each case use the initial order of the files ages as the starting point, so that the first person in the list is 32 years old and the 48th person is 21.

a. Start in row 18 of Table E.1., and reading across, use the table to pick the sample of eight ages. So if your random number was '48' the age would be '21'. Pick your sample without replacement.

b. In this part you are to use Excel to generate random numbers. Picking eight out of 48 is pretty trivial, but imagine picking 1,200 out of 50,000. You are to use the RANDBETWEEN function.

i) Start again with a worksheet that has the original 48 moviegoers in the original
starting order of the file and label that worksheet tab 'Original'.

ii) Next, open up a new worksheet tab and use the RANDBETWEEN function to pick 48 values from 1 to 400 in Column A. Label this worksheet tab 'Random'.

iii) Now be careful. You are to select those 48 random values and, in Column C, choose the Paste Special option and choose the Values option and then paste. The original column of random numbers should be different now! Finally copy the random numbers from column C back to column C of the Original worksheet.

What is gained from all this? Say you wanted to select a sample of eight as in (a). You could now sort on your random numbers and pick, say, the lowest eight.

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The file HP.xls contains the ages of 48 moviegoers to a recent showing of a Harry Potter movie.The following two methods illustrate in different ways how you might select a random sample of eight moviegoers' ages. In each case use the initial order of the files ages as the starting point, so that the first person in the list is 32 years old and the 48th person is 21.
a. Start in row 18 of Table E.1., and reading across, use the table to pick the sample of eight ages. So if your random number was 48 the age would be 21. Pick your sample without replacement.

Note: there are several methods of using a random number table. I'm using the method here:http://www.evaluationwiki.org/index.php/How_to_Use_a_Random_Number_Table. I'm looking at the last two digits of each group of number and I'm choosing the ones that are between 1 and ...

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Background:

NEW PRODUCT IDEA (Online cosmetic surgery advice and solutions):

We will have one set of cosmetic surgery doctors who will remain online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, give online advice to the site visitor. Show them with the help of pictures and videos the improvement that can be made, quote a price for the cosmetic improvement and direct them to an empanelled cosmetic surgeon who will carry out the surgery. This surgery will be carried out with complete anonymity and not even the operating surgeon will know the identity of the patient. To further protect the identity of the patient, the surgery will be conducted at a confidential operating theater and to avoid payment by credit card, the bill may be paid in cash.

TARGET MARKET AND THE BENEFITS OF THE PRODUCT TO THE TARGET MARKET:

The target market is the movie and television industry where the actors are willing to spend money for high quality cosmetic improvements if confidentiality is maintained. These are also easy to target as the publicity material and other communication can easily be sent to them by direct marketing agencies for a small fee. The competitors are the surgeons in Los Angeles and in other parts of Southern California who are already operating. However, they lack quality assurance, which a brand name and a systematic referral system have. Several surgeons have earned a bad reputation of actually defacing the 'stars'. So if our business can establish a strong brand name and reputation and oversee the performance of its surgeons then there is an excellent market for our business.

The benefits it brings to the consumers is that they receive the standardized advice and counseling not from a predatory surgeon but from a reputed panel of experts who have the interest of the customer at heart. Depending on the identified and accepted needs of the customer, the best surgeon who is empanelled will be chosen and he will confidentially carry out the operation under the supervision of our company. We are not a private hospital or a private clinic but a specialized online service provider for a specialized service.

There are two types of competitive advantage--cost and differentiation. Cost advantage occurs when the firm is able to deliver the same benefits of competitors at a lower cost. Differentiation advantage is when a firm delivers benefits that exceed those of competing brands. A firm must have resources or capabilities that are superior to those of its competitors in order to establish and thus sustain a competitive advantage.

For this particular problem, I will employ a differentiation focus strategy. In the differentiation focus strategy, a business aims to differentiate within just one or a small number of target market segments. The special customer needs of the segment mean that there are opportunities to provide products that are clearly different from competitors who may be targeting a broader group of customers. An important issue for any business adopting this strategy is to ensure that customers really do have different needs and wants - in other words that there is a valid basis for differentiation - and that existing competitor products are not meeting those needs and wants.

In this case, our customers will be high-profile celebrities who want to engage in cosmetics surgery without having others find out. By providing a confidential online setting where they can have their questions answered, set up an appointment and have their surgery conducted in a private place allows for this. Most other cosmetic surgeons do not offer advice online so this is a competitive advantage for online advice and surgery resources. The surgery will take place in an operating theater and payment will be in the form of cash. These are the key capabilities.

The macro trend analysis for the cinema industry and for the plastic surgery industry can be culled from this secondary data.

Film Production: Market Size: The US market for film production grew a dramatic 10.6% from 2000 to a value of US\$8.41 billion in 2001, which itself was in line with the 23% annual increases in theatre revenue, largely due to ticket price increases.
? Film Production: Market Sectors: Capturing a 91.7% market share at a value of US\$7.7 billion, the new release sector was the largest of the US film production market in 2001.
? Film Production: Share of Market: Market shares in the US film production market can fluctuate radically, due to the unpredictable nature of the box office performances of each company's new releases.
? Film Production: Marketing Activity: With an advertising expenditure of US\$3.8 billion, Disney had the largest sum of money for marketing its products in 2001.
? Film Production: Corporate Overview: The US market for film production saw a sharp rise in the number of films produced, from 628 in 1999 to over 800 in 2001.
? Film Production: Distribution: During the past six years, the average number of screens per site has increased to 5.6 from 3.6.
? Film Production: Viewer Profile: Moviegoers, unlike television audiences, can be reached across age groups, making this medium a very efficient buy.
? Film Production: Market Forecasts: the US film production market is expected to grow 23.3% over the 2002 to 2006 forecast period to a value of US\$11.0 billion.
? Film Production: Sector Forecasts: Increasing 23.5% to a value of US\$10.0 billion in 2006, new releases are expected to continue to be the largest US film production market sector.

Apart from this, please consider the growing popularity of plastic and reconstructive surgery for the movie industry.
Talk about knee-jerk reactions! When Demi Moore, 41, saw Star's photo of her saggy knees in our July 19 "Celebrity Flaws" story, she supposedly ran straight to her plastic surgeon.

In fact, according to the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 4,000 teenagers, ages 18 and younger, underwent breast augmentation last year, more than a 24 percent increase from the year.

It's a match made in plastic-surgery heaven. Joan Rivers, the fashion critic who for years has openly joked about her own cosmetic surgery, will guest star as herself on the season finale of the FX.

French performance artist Orlan, who has undergone numerous plastic surgeries to transform her face and body to challenge traditional perceptions of beauty, says art "has to shock." And two top plastic surgeons are at odds over who did what to Michael Jackson's nose.

From the secondary data, it is obvious that both the movie industry and plastic surgery in the movie industry is on the rise and is likely to increase further. So, there is assured growth and market demand for the website and its services.

SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS:

The secondary data shows tremendous scope for the cosmetic plastic surgery industry in California. The segment to be targeted is the top-notch movie stars who without even their family members' knowledge can undergo surgery in the best clinics. For this, the broadest range of cosmetic strategies both surgical and non surgical will be available, for instance if a movie star has battled with fat on her upper arms, buttocks or stomach then the suitability of liposuction could be considered and if a person is interested in non surgical strategies then demabrasion or botox treatment can also be administered by the doctors on staff. The website will surely help the star realize her goals for image enhancement. Our company's cosmetic surgery members would be fully trained and certified by the national association as well as being members of the California Society of Plastic Surgeons and experienced in the most effective cosmetic surgery techniques.

THE FIVE FORCES:

First, the surgeons who are experienced in dealing with the movie stars and have the experience of the latest plastic surgery procedures have to be empanelled. Their charges are to be determined before the empanelling and in proportion to their expertise. Second, the customers would be informed of the cost of the operation online and they have to agree to the charges by making an advance payment this would preclude any bargaining at a later date.
Third, the website would try to empanel the best plastic surgeons and make a contract with them precluding them from entering into a similar contract with another website. Fourth, the obvious substitutes are the non-surgical procedures, and our website would offer a combination of surgical procedures as well as non-surgical procedures. Also, as a part of the second year expansion project, high tech non-plastic surgical health improvement facilities like high tech weight reduction centers for celebrities would be established to avoid customer leakages to substitutes. Finally, there are individual plastic surgeons who meet the current needs of the movie stars in California, the best among those should be empanelled by our website but the other will easily be out competed because of the systematic organization, quality of service and confidentiality provided by the website.

LIST OF QUESTIONS TO BE ADDRESSED THROUGH MARKITING RESEARCH:

1. What will be the total billing in the first year of operation?
2. How many customers will enlist the help of the website?
3. What will the per customer revenue be for the website in the first year?
4. What is the list of the potential customers in the target segment?
5. What is the price level of services that will be acceptable to these customers?
6. What will be the medium of reaching the potential customers?
7. What communication will appeal to the target consumers that will persuade them to try our services?
8. What is the familiarity of our target customers with Internet and what is their frequency of use?
9. Which plastic surgeons are the most reputed among the movie industry in Southern California? How can they be contacted? Persuaded to be empanelled?
10. What are the competitors' prices for the various procedures being offered by us?
11. What measures can the website take for building confidence in the prospective customers with regards to the quality of the services provided, the cost of the services, the follow up "check ups" and the confidentiality of the services.
12. Who are the sources or the agents through which the stars can be approached?
13. What will be the commission paid to these agents for their services?
14. What is the profile of the typical prospective customer of our website?
15. What are the habits and preferences of our target customer?

RESEARCH PLAN:

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES:

1. To determine the expected sales of the website.
2. To determine the target market for the website.
3. To determine the price level to be charged to the potential customers
4. To determine the media to be used for reaching the target customers.
5. To determine the internet friendliness of the potential customers.
6. To determine the profile of the potential customers.
7. To determine the habits and preferences of the potential customers.

DESIGN OF THE PLAN:

1. First to use secondary information about the movie industry and the plastic surgery industry in the movie industry limited to the area of Southern California. The sources will range from trade publications to internet sources.
2. Second, to use syndicated sources to get a report on the plastic surgery industry in the movie industry.
3. Thirdly, survey- interviewing to be use to collect primary data including the use of observational methods.
4. Fourthly the use of sampling methods for the selection of sample for survey.
5. Fifth, measurement of the data collected.
6. Sixth, the tabulation of the data collected and data processing.
7. Seventh, preliminary data to be analysed.
8. Eighth, data analysis and forecasting of sales.

METHODS TO BE USED:

1. Mainly trade journals and Internet for secondary data.
2. We intend to use the CMS report on the movie industry and on the plastic surgery industry for secondary data.
3. Observational methods will be through recording the behavior of our target customer through indirect methods.
4. The sampling will be done by sampling design given below.
5. The data will be entered on a spreadsheet, and calculations and analysis done from the data collected.

SAMPLE:

The target population will be all the potential users of cosmetic plastic surgery in the state of Southern California. The sampling frame will be the list of all entertainment industry persons who may purchase plastic surgery services. The sampling unit will be each member of the entertainment industry who may purchase the services of the constructive plastic surgery. To determine the sample size a small-scale pilot study would be carried out to determine an estimate of the standard deviation. Then we would take a sample size that would give us a 95 percent confidence level. Using a combination of contact agents and prior notification would reduce non-response or refusals bias.

STATISTICS EMPLOYED:

This would be a combination of means, standard deviation and a correlation coefficient matrix. This matrix would be used to do cluster analysis.

OBSERVATIONAL RESEARCH:

This would be mainly through the observations made through our website. That is the items that are clicked by the potential customers. As a part of developing the list of preferences of our potential customers, especially the movie industry, the observations need to be made of the behavior of the actors. For example, the hairdressers who are patronized by the movie stars, the cosmetics which are most popular and the outfitters who are most visited by our target customers.

ESTIMATE OF THE MARKET SIZE/ FORECAST:

From the secondary data we have an estimate of the market size of the cosmetic plastic surgery industry in the movie industry. From this data we can use moving averages or exponential smoothing to estimate the market size in the year of launching of the website. Based on the percent of the market share that we will be targeting for the first year we will be able to get an estimate of the sales during the first year.

Directions:

Identify an initial target market for the good or service to be marketed, using demographic, geographic, and/or behavioral descriptors. Prepare a market attractiveness/competitive position matrix for the segment.

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