Marketing Paper

Topic: External and Situational Factors Affecting Consumer Behavior.  Apply Market Segmentation and Consumer Behavior Research. (15% of the final grade)
Assignment # 1 –”The Interview” (15% of the final grade) 
As a newly minted Consumer Behavior Researcher your assignment is to conduct an interview (about 30 minutes in length) with a person (respondent) who is not a member of your family. The respondent needs to be qualified to participate. In other words, you are looking for a respondent who has recently purchased a product priced at more than $50.  Your goal is to understand why the interviewee purchased this particular product/brand, and to understand the product’s “place” in the consumers’ life. Probe for segmentation variables that cannot be observed which represent all four bases of segmenting variables. Spend most of your time during the interview probing/researching external influences that shaped this particular purchase (influences like family, culture, and social class SEE Week 3 for a  thorough list, these are the forces that need to be applied to limit the focus/scope of the assignment).   Do not ask directly about External Influencers, it is our job (as CB researchers) to apply such from the respondents answers to broad open-ended questions.  Come to the interview with questions pre-prepared.  Also be ready to ask questions in an impromptu follow-up manner that may help uncover insights to the external impacts (Consumer Behavior related) that were components of the purchase.  To formulate questions, read the resources from WEEK 3 and learn about what each possible External Influence is.  Then, formulate and tailor questions to try to uncover if they are present in the purchase.
As a Consumer Behavior Researcher, this interview should take about 30 minutes in length. Make note of body language during the interview as this is a big indicator of things not verbally communicated but which are relevant when a researcher writes about their findings.   The write up of results is required to be no more than 4 pages, double spaced. Keep in mind that this report needs to be useful to a marketing manager for the product (so use your Principles of Marketing language AND the language of Consumer Behavior to convey concepts observed and researched).  The following headings are required and helpful to ensure nothing has been left out (use in order):

Introduction: Describe the interviewee using the four bases of segmentation, at least two segmentation variables to represent each base.
Brand Choice Discussion:  Identify the brand, how much it was and where purchased.  Was there a special meaning associated (gift, life-change, temporal) with this purchase.  Explain the details in paragraph form, don’t list.

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For 3-5. Identify the three of the external influences that are discussed from WEEK 3 Learning Resources:
    3. External Influence #1  (identify it and explore using applied concepts) 
    4. External Influence #2  (identify it and explore using applied concepts)
    5. External Influence #3  (identify it and explore using applied concepts)
6. Conclusion: Which of the influences was most impactful when making this purchase? Make note of body language- were there any non verbal messages conveyed in the interview? Last, which type of Consumer Behavior Research Approach was done for this exercise?

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