| June 5, 2016

My Marketing Mix

We defined marketing as, “the art and science of getting people to spend their money on your product rather than the other guy’s, and be happy that they did so.” Do you think that’s true? Does some Wizard of Oz person-behind-the-curtain get you to buy something by manipulating you through the 7 Ps? And is “manipulate” the right word for us to use? Which one of the Ps gets you to purchase – a great price? Superior product no matter what the cost? Or are you influenced by a cool promotion? Give an example of a product and why you bought/buy it. Be specific in referring to the 7 Ps in your post, and include which of the Ps is less relevant to you as well. Don’t forget that the Ps often are inter-related – there may be more than one P that influences your decision to buy a product.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

We’ve all heard the cliché that “nice guys finish last.” Is this true in marketing? Do firms that use good ethical practices have an advantage or disadvantage? Do you think consumers will pay a few cents more for non-polluting soap or environmentally friendly food products? Even popular movies have raised this question. In the film, “Heaven Can Wait,” Warren Beatty plays Joe Pendleton, a former NFL quarterback who came back to life as a CEO after a fatal accident. Joe tells his executives that he wants his company to be the “good guy tuna company.” Joe believed his customers would pay a little more to not kill dolphins. This sounds good in the movies, but is it true in real life? How about for you and your family?

Select a company that you believe has exceptionally good or bad ethical practices. Tell your classmates if you believe they are at an advantage or disadvantage and why. Consider the Saint Leo core values, particularly excellence. Does the firm you selected reflect any of them in their marketing practices? Use specific examples to support your opinions. Don’t forget to include your personal experiences with the company and with our core values. Please type the name of your firm in the title of your post (e.g., TOM’S SHOES) so your classmates can easily see it. Any firm can only be used ONCE – first come, first served!

“I love that brand”

If you’ve had a really bad day (one of those “I wish I had stayed in bed days”), is there a product that always makes you feel better? How about at the holidays; does your family have favorite foods that you associate with all the good things the holidays mean to you? The firms that make those products certainly hope so, because it means they have been successful in creating a brand image that you associate with positive feelings or values. We don’t even have to eat that favorite food; just the logo or jingle can cause us to make those associations. Explore the brands you love and how the firms that sell them to you have created a brand image.

For this discussion, first read Real Marketing 8.2 in the textbook. Then, select one of your favorite brands and describe how you see its brand image. What do you think the firm did to create that image? If you were the brand manager for the product, what would you do to continue building that brand? Be specific and get creative. After all, if Harley Davidson can build a brand that makes 55 year old orthodontists feel like wild weekend bikers – the road’s wide open.

You actually bought THAT?

You and a group of your co-workers take a long lunch on Friday and visit the local mall for a quick snack and some speed shopping. Being polite and valuing your co-worker’s friendship, you don’t burst out in laughter when you see what is unmistakably the most hideous blouse in the history of Macy’s, not to mention how much she paid for it! Clearly, you have MUCH better taste. Sorry, it’s not that simple. Consumer behavior, or why we buy what we buy, is complex and influenced by our culture, family values, self-image, and attitudes (just to name a few factors).

After reading Chapter 5 in the text, paying special attention to the characteristics of buying behavior starting on page 137, consider the product you are using for your marketing plan. Which of the factors influencing consumer buying behavior best fits your product, and how do the factors drive the consumer’s likelihood to purchase? (For insights into this, be sure to read Real Marketing 5.1 and 5.2). Is culture important to your buyer behavior? How about self-concept or lifestyle? Are there psychological motivations? Be specific and give examples supporting your decisions.
You want HOW much for that bag?

Why can Prada sell a handbag for $2,000 that costs the firm a little more to manufacture than the $200 bag sold at a department store? At the other end of the pricing spectrum, why would a consumer goods company provide a coupon that makes their new snack product all but free? We learned in the text that there are a number of pricing strategies firms can use to achieve their marketing objectives. Do they want to build market share, create a perception of exclusivity, or simply get you to try those new cookies?

Consider the product you are using for your marketing plan. How would you price it to achieve your objectives? Describe the pricing strategy you would use to introduce your product to the market, and why you selected that strategy over other options. Is your choice a long-term or short-term strategy? What advantages or disadvantages do you foresee? Suppose that sales are not meeting your objectives, what change might you make in your pricing?

By the way, that $2000 Prada bag may seem like lot of money for a simple handbag, but it is not even close to top of the pyramid. For that, check out the Tanaka designed bag sold by Hermes for a staggering $1.9 million. Why not order two?

What were they thinking when they made that ad?

During the course of a day, you’ll be exposed to thousands of ads using a dizzying array of messages and image strategies, each of which appeals to different consumers in different ways. Are you a “slice of life” buyer that prefers to see products in the way you would use them at home? Or maybe humorous ads are more your style; the product that makes you grin is the one you’ll grab walking down the grocery aisle. It’s a good bet that the ads that make you want to buy a product are different than those that influence other shoppers. Advertisers study consumer trends and behaviors to match their ads to their target audience.

For this discussion we’re going to focus on print ads, which are generally created for magazines, newspapers, and web pages. Find an ad (many are available online) that you think is interesting, copy and paste it into your discussion post, and describe the message and image strategy. Why is it effective or ineffective? What type of consumer is the ad targeting? If you were creating an ad for this product, what type of message and image strategy would you use and why?

Module 8 Discussion

Jumping in the shark tank

Unless you happen to have a rich uncle or get very lucky and find an “angel” investor, you’ll have to compete for a start-up investment with dozens of other firms also trying to get off the ground. You and your classmates have worked the entire term on your marketing plans, and you now have the opportunity to review their plans and to get some feedback on yours. You’ll be playing the role of a rich investor looking for the next great company. Review a few of your fellow classmates’ Marketing Plans. Taking in account the grading rubric for this assignment, post a substantive review to at least two other classmates’ Marketing Plans.Be certain to review someone’s who hasn’t been reviewed yet.In your review:

1. What questions do you have for the entrepreneur asking you to invest?

2. Does their SWOT make sense? Do you think they missed any important opportunities or threats?

3. Did they pick the right targets in their segmentation? Will those consumers really buy their product?

4. How about the IMC plan; did they pick the right message and medium?

5. Finally, Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down? Will you invest in the product and why or why not?

Feel free to set conditions such as a different ad campaign or changes to the product. After all, it’s your money! By the way, we’re much nicer than those guys on TV so make sure your feedback is friendly and constructive.

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