BUS 235 Introduction to Marketing

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BUS 235 Introduction to Marketing

Week 1 DQ 1: Marketing Trends

Consider the broad changes occurring in marketing today and identify themes that you believe are emerging from these changes. Can these themes and changes be related to societal forces? How? Provide examples of societal changes and how these changes have impacted the way marketing activities are conducted. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.

Week 1 DQ 2: Customer Needs and Wants

Marketing has often been defined in terms of satisfying customers’ needs and wants; however, marketing critics argue that marketing can be unethical by creating needs and wants that did not exist before. Marketing can encourage customers to spend money on goods and services they really do not need or want. Take a position on the following ethical dilemma: Do you think marketing merely reflects the needs and wants of consumers, or that marketing creates unnecessary customers’ needs and wants? Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings

Week 2 DQ 1: Market Research

Describe methods you would use to analyze one of these three different markets: consumer, industrial or international markets. What challenges would you face to ensure accurate data gathering in the market and what recommendations would you make to overcome those challenges? Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.

Week 2 DQ 2: Customer Loyalty

Successful companies recognize that high satisfaction leads to high customer loyalty. Provide an example of a company to which you are loyal in terms of buying products or services. What marketing actions does the company take to promote your loyalty and satisfaction? Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.

Week 3 Assignment, Retail Stores

Visit any retail establishment of your choice in order to gain specific knowledge about the marketing activities of the operation. Provide a 2-3 page report on your visit using at least two references (one reference to be the textbook) to support your analysis. Suggested areas to analyze include:

1. Type of outlet (convenience, shopping specialty, etc.)

2. Location – Describe reason for specific location.

3. Customer profile – Who shops there? Target market segments?

4. Unique competitive positioning – What separates them from competition?

5. Categories of products (types, quality, brand, non-brand and assortment)

6. High, medium, low prices (example: high quality-high price)

7. Can products be easily competitively shopped at other retail stores?

8. How well is the store laid out – displays, etc.?

9. Are promotions consistent with image? Are special sales obvious?

10. Sales approach – aggressive, laid back, or in-between?

11. Is information available to help you? Do they hide prices?

12. Can you get answers easily from clerks?

13. Do sales people seem well trained?

14. Return policies and warranties?

Week 3 DQ 1: Branding Debate

Take a position on one of the following statements: a) “All brands have a limited life as indicated by the product life cycle and will slip or disappear.” b) “There is no reason why a successful brand can’t live forever.” Provide examples to support your position. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.

Week 3 DQ 2: New Product Development

Have you ever had a need for or interest in a new product or service that you wish someone had developed? Identify what you believe could be a new product or service and why you think it would be successful. Is the product or service targeted to a particular group or would it be available to the mass market? Describe how you would test market the product or service to determine if it has commercialization potential. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.

Week 4 DQ 1: Price and Ethics

Discuss the ethics of pricing products to match the value that consumers are willing to pay for products (e.g., $2.50 bottle of water, $150 running shoes, etc.). Is it unethical to charge high prices when the cost of making a product is significantly less than the retail price? Provide examples. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.

Week 4 DQ 2: Service Marketing

Identify the differences between product and service marketing. For example, how does Ashford market its services (education) differently than businesses offering products such as the retail store you visited in week three? Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.

Week 5 Final Paper, Marketing Mix

The final assignment for this course is the Marketing Mix. The purpose of the Marketing Mix is for you to culminate the learning achieved in the course by describing how each variable of the marketing mix (product, price, place, and promotion) is being executed in a product you select. After you select an existing product of your choice and identify its target market, address at least three elements of each variable. The Marketing Mix represents 30% of the overall course grade.

Focus of the Final Paper

In a 6-8 page paper, excluding title and reference pages, consider the following:

Product: What features do customers care most about? How are the key features and benefits better or worse than those of competing products? How do consumers choose and use products in this category? How is the product branded?

Price: How is this product priced relative to competing products? What is the rationale for employing this pricing strategy? Are there pricing discounts (e.g., wholesalers, bulk)?

Place: Where is the product sold and why have those locations been selected? Do the locations give adequate accessibility to the target market? Are products sold online as well? Is there transparency between online and brick and mortar outlets?

Promotion: What marketing communications does this company use to promote the product? Describe the advertising, personal selling, public relations, direct marketing, etc. efforts). What main messages are portrayed to consumers? What is emphasized? What is the image?

What recommendations do you have for the marketing mix? For example, should the advertising be changed or should the product be distributed differently? Be sure to use at least 3 resources to support your analysis and recommendations.

Week 5 DQ 1: Super Bowl Advertising

Super Bowl commercials cost millions of dollars (as an example, companies paid an average of $2.6 million for 30 seconds of airtime in Super Bowl XLIV for the chance to reach a projected audience of 90 million viewers worldwide). View the latest Super Bowl ads. Identify which ad you believe was the most effective for domestic and international markets and why. Respond to two of your classmates and discuss whether you believe their choices would be successful for domestic and international markets. Why or why not?

Week 5 DQ 2: AMA


Visit the American Marketing Association, AMA, website and review the statement of ethics. Identify two companies that you believe integrate corporate social marketing in their overall strategic marketing plan. Provide examples. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings

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    BUS 235 Week 1 to 5 Assignment, Discussion, Final Paper

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