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MKT325 - Taylor

Dr. Taylor: Advertising and Promotional Strategy



1. Perform market analysis & choose, analyze, and compare a mediocre, low share brand to the “top brands” in the product category

2. Propose an integrated marketing communications program, which will significantly influence your brand's market share

In Class

Class outline:

  • Welcome & Introduction
  • Library website features
  • MKT325 Research Guide
    • Relationship to contents of Assignment sheet
    • Structure & resources
    • Step through basics of 1 & 2
    • Request for comments
  • Research time, individual and team

How did we do?

Please take a few minutes and tell us how you feel about today's library session.


I. Consumer Purchase Behavior

What are people buying and why? The what is pretty straightforward, the why is interetsingly murky.

  • Total sales for generic product category - dollars and percent of persons our house holds using - current and trend for recent years or relevant period
  • Consumption concentration pattern for generic product category - "the heavy half." (If available)
  • Market shares - dollars and percentages of market - for major competitors - current and trend for the last ten years. 
  • Brand purchase concentration patterns (brand "loyalty" or repeat buying) for generic product category, among major competitors.  (If available)
  • Shopping patterns for generic product category - shares of sales accounted for by reseller types (supermarkets, drug, discount, etc.) - typical repurchase cycle - seasonal or other temporal demand variations.

As a research process, the following databases should be helpful for total sales, market share, concentration patterns, and brands:

  • First try: Mintel (US & global markets), marketresearch.com (US markets), IBIS (US markets), Passport (US & Global Markets)
  • Then try: ABI/Inform (trade journals), Business Source Premier (look for indutry reports), and ProQuest Newstand (major newspapers)
  • For market shares and competitor comparisons, use Morningstar or Mergent
  • To look at mostly raw data, the sources listed in the STAT-USA guide are governmental agencies

In addition to these library sources, personal conversations as suggested in your assignment description (X,Y) plus advertisments in popular magazines (Z) will help with this section

II. Evaluative Criteria (features/benefits)

What features or bling do people use to decide what to buy?

  • Listing of all evaluative criteria used in promoting brands included in generic product category.(U,Y,Z)
  • Evaluative criterion/criteria stressed by major competitors - currently and historically.(U,Y,Z)
  • Other evaluative criteria, which might be applicable for brands in product category.

Much of this information will come from in-store observations and conversations with store managers. Consumer Reports (in print at the Shippensburg Public Library) is a popular source for reviews and possible crietria. Amazon, C-Net, newspapers, trade magazines, and many other resources provide both customer and professional reviews.

III. Attitudes toward Product Class & Brands

Prediction of consumer attititudes is an art form, the phrase "past results do not guarantee future performace" may apply.

  • Choice/Decision Models or Composition rule(s) presumed to be used by consumers for this product category -- as evidenced by explicit promotional techniques for leading brands.(Z)
  • "Positioning" of brands in consumer's minds--vis-à-vis competitors (e.g. is a brand for young buyers or an older market? is the brand seen as high quality or just average?)

There are several competing models of behavior. For backgrund research on some of the models, PsycINFO and Busness Source Premier are good sources. To see results of application of modeling, try Mintel, marketresearch.com, and Passport. Observation and conversation with retailers will also flesh out possibilities.

IV. Psychographics (lifestyles / lifestyle needs)

Related to this Product Category and/or Brands: 

  • a) Where or how does this product "fit in people's lives?"
  • b) Are there any relationships between
    • 1) Use vs. non-use of product category,
    • 2) Consumption concentration (heavy vs. light use),
    • 3) Specific brand usages,
    • 4) Differences in importance of various evaluative criteria,
    • 5) Attitudes toward specific brands,
    • 6) Demographic determinants (e.g., age, income, region, family status, etc.),
    • 7) Psychographics (personality, lifestyles, opinions, interests), (. . . as determined from published material and/or your interpretation of possible relationships based upon and supported by your analysis of explicit promotional programs)
  • c) Current or potential promotional themes - for competitive brands - based upon social role needs,
    • 1) Reinforcements and/or extension of desired central role(s),
    • 2) Facilitation of role switching,
    • 3) Overcoming inter-role conflicts.

Applied psychographics databases for marketing are Mintel, marketresearch.com, Passport, and IBISworld. In addition, reviewing the academic and trade literature in Business Source Premier, ABI/Inform, and ProQuest Newstand should be helpful. Observation and conversation with retailers will also flesh out possibilities for this section.

V. Explicit Promotion

Buy this thing! Buy it now! You want to!

  • Advertising. For the relevant period, what are the advertising histories of the major competitors in terms of campaign themes, total budgets, distribution of budgets among media and specific vehicles within media types? How have campaigns reflected points discussed in II, III, and IV, above?
  • Consumer Promotions. What use is (or has been) made of coupons, sampling, displays, premiums, contests, etc., to consumers and/or resellers (trade promotions)? 
  • Publicity, Public Relations, Corporate Ads, Sponsorships. Is there any evidence that some or all brands attempt to use these in conjunction with of the rest the explicit promotional program? If so, what are the themes and techniques used to generate publicity or handle public relations? 
  • Personal Selling. How are the sales forces organized? What “approach” do salespersons take in contacting resellers (or consumers, if applicable)? What do they seek and what do they offer to get it? How often do sales representatives call on various types of resellers?
  • Direct Marketing/Internet (Web Site)/Interactive Media/Support Media

Advertising and marketing campaigns and promotions can be sussed out of Mintel, marketreserach.com, Passport, ABI/Inform, and Business Source Premier. Check the scholarly and trade literature for tantalizing hints about advertising efforts and check the applied databases for what happened. In addition, company filings, if public, often have some mention of successful marketing and advertising efforts. Observation and conversation with retailers will also flesh out possibilities for this section. Check the ads in Facebook, Bing, and Google to see what is being advertised based on your searches and web history.

One of the best ways to trace campaign themes over a period of years is to examine print advertisements, mainly in consumer or trade magazines. These are available in the library and will give you information on product packaging changes, and some sales promotional techniques such as contests.  See also Major Marketing Campaigns Annual  HF5837 .M35 and  & Encyclopedia of Major Marketing Campaigns (ebook).

VI. Implicit Promotion

Is it cheaper to buy 5 pounds for $2.99 or 32 ounces for $0.24? Which are people more likely to buy? New AND Improved! (is that an oxymoron?)

  • The specifics in the basic nature of brands that distinguish them from competition - chemical or physical composition, performance features (related to evaluative criteria), aesthetic features (packaging, color, odor, etc.) and their actual or potential effect upon perception of functional features. (Y,Z,AA and products themselves)
  • Price positioning of various brands, e.g., comparisons of base prices and $/ounce. Coupons and price-off discounts to consumers.

Lots of brand-level data is available in Mintel, marketresearch.com, and Passport. The trade literature will also cover a little about brands. Observation and conversation with retailers will also flesh out possibilities for this section. 

VII. Reseller Support & Trade Promotion

  • What is (or was) sought in the way of cooperation from resellers (especially retailers I the case of consumer goods) - shelf positions, displays, cooperative advertising, couponing, etc. (U,X,Y)
  • What basic strategies are used to gain such support (usually related to personal selling effort)?  e.g., Mark-up advantages, deals and allowances, credit terms, sales guarantees, etc.

Sales Management, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times  via ProQuest Newstand and the trade literature via ABI/Inform may provide you with excellent supporting material. Observation and conversation with retailers will also flesh out possibilities for this section. 

VIII. Summary, Conclusions, & Marketing Objectives

Give general conclusions about the situational analysis, stating your conclusions as to the receptiveness of the market to your revitalized product introduction.  Justify why you think an opportunity exists for you to increase your brand’s market share.

Spell out the specific objectives of your marketing plan, i.e., what you want your IMC campaign to accomplish.  Identify clearly the target market, market share, sales volume, etc.

Additional Websites

Handy Websites

Citation Styles

Citation Formatting

Check out our quick guides for APA, MLA, and Chicago styles and links to some of the better online citation tools.

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Online Citation Tools

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Trial Databases

Trial Databases for Marketing Research

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