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BMGT 311 (Wednesday): Assignment #2 Data Visualization


As we learned in the first assignment and first couple of chapters, visualizing data can be a powerful tool for marketing researchers.  There is an over abundance of data – and it becomes more powerful when managers can use it to make decisions that affect their marketing strategies.

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Example of Data Visualization:

In assignment one, I gave you a series of data and asked you to visualize it using excel or other method – to help show current users of popular social media networks.  In this assignment, you will be tasked with finding the data for yourself, and then using tools to visualize the information and package it.

For this assignment, please use the American Community Survey (As shown in class):

1. For Pittsburgh and your hometown, please use the ACS to develop a market profile (Note: If from Pittsburgh, choose any other city in the US to compare against Pittsburgh).

2. The Demographic Profile should include, at minimum, a graphical comparison of these two cities that include:

  • Population of each city
  • Percentage of traditional college aged students (18-24)
  • Race Distribution (Percentage of each race)
  • Median Income Ranges and Percentages for each city
  • Educational Attainment for each city
  • Unemployment statistics for each city

3. Show this information graphically, comparing the two cities

4. Based on your findings, which city, in your opinion, would have more opportunities for a recent college graduate.  Did any of the data surprise you?

5. Place your findings in a powerpoint or pdf, and upload to slideshare.  Please be prepared to share your findings in class on September 24th after the test.

Assignments are due before class on the 24th.

Chris Lovett

BMGT 311 (Saturday): Assignment #4, Focus Group Discussion Guide


Focus groups are a great qualitative marketing research method to get key information and insight from consumers.  We watched one example of focus groups in class for the Google Chromebook – now I would like you to prepare for and conduct a focus group.

In the example above, Domino’s Pizza learned their customers were not aware they used natural ingredients.  So part of the resulting marketing strategy was to focus more on natural ingredients.  This insight was gained directly from the result of conducting focus groups – another example of how marketing research can drive a marketing strategy.

Your group is going to plan a focus group.  The topic: How would instructors increase engagement at Point Park University, both inside and outside of the classroom.   How could they leverage technology to increase this engagement – and would this engagement help the students become more prepared for jobs post graduation.

To plan for a group – the first step is to prepare a discussion guide.  This is used by the moderator to guide the conversation.

  • Four to eight primary questions and/or discussion topics should be developed for each focus group discussion

Another good resource is here for preparing for and conducting a focus group:

So as a group, please prepare a discussion guide to prepare for our in-class focus group in week #5 (Your last assignment will be the focus group).

Please attach your groups discussion guide to this post via slideshare – and we can discuss next week.

Chris Lovett

BMGT 311 Assignment #3 (Saturday): Observation (Due 9.13.14)


Observation is a simple, yet powerful tool, in the field of Marketing Research and business in general.  Walking in your customers shoes, and experiencing what they experience, helps managers develop products and services that better meet the needs of their customers.

Observation is also a key component of human-centered design, or ethnographic research.  By observing customers in their natural environment, key things can be learned that otherwise may go unnoticed in a lab or in a focus group.  See the example below on how Nordstrom’s designed an app in their stores, learning from customers as it was developed.


Today, observation is difficult because we are often distracted by technology, and not paying attention to the world around us.  For this assignment, I want you to explore the world around you, around us, on campus, and observe humans in their natural environment for a few moments to see what you learn.  Go to one of the locations below:

1. Starbucks

2. Market Square Coffee Store, etc

3. Point Park Cafe

4. CVS

5. 7-11

While there, I want you to observe the people that shop or visit these locations.  I want you to note:

1. What type of person visits this place (demographic, behavioral)

2. Do they stay or do they go?

3. What type of items do they buy?

4. How do they pay for the items?

5. How would you describe the checkout experience?

6. Could you sense any frustration on the customer’s part?

7. Do you have any ideas to improve the buying process?

Please post your answers directly to this blog post – and we can discuss next week.  I look forward to the discussion.

Chris Lovett


BMGT 311 (Wednesday) Assignment #1 (Due 9.10.14)


As we get into the class, we are going to find that an important part of marketing research is finding and using secondary data to help support your AlthleteTrax project.  Finding the data is the first step.  The second step is visualizing that data so it tells a story.  The third step is to develop a point of view (POV) from the visualizations as it relates to the project or task at hand.  Since the AlthleteTrax project involves digital and social media marketing, you are going to be tasked with taking raw data sets and forming charts that help visualize the story they are telling.

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Listed below are raw data sets from 2013 on a variety of social media sites.  The raw data is available here:

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Your first assignment is as follows:

1. Pick one of the social media sites listed above (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or LinkedIn)

2. Using Excel, develop charts and graphs that showcase the following for the site you choose:

  • Usage, Men Vs Women
  • Demographic usage
  • Age Group Cohort usage
  • Usage by Educational Attainment
  • Usage by Income and employment
  • Breakout of usage (Urban Suburban, Rural)

3. Please place your charts into a PowerPoint, and in summary, please answer the following questions in summary:

  • Do you feel the users of this social network meet the target market for AlthleteTrax (College Age, College Club Sports Managers?)
  • If so – why?  If not – Why not?
  • Did any of this data surprise you?  In what way?

4. Please save your PowerPoint as a PDF, and upload to slideshare and include the link in the comments section of this blog post.  Be creative in your responses!

I look forward to seeing your visualizations and your POV’s on the data.

Chris Lovett


BMGT 311 (Saturday) Assignment #2: Due September 6

Source: Netflix (House of Cards Intro)
Source: Netflix (House of Cards Intro)


Now that you have taken a deeper dive in data visualization using data that was given to you, I want you to expand your learning by getting more comfortable not only visualizing data, but finding it as well.  Finding secondary data is a key part of marketing research, and this exercise will get you more comfortable finding and using data.  Please use the American Community Survey:

Please find the following information for Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, PA, and your hometown if not from Pittsburgh.

Develop a demographic profile of each city comparing the following in visualized format against one another:

  • Average age
  • Race distribution
  • Income distribution (average income)
  • Poverty distribution
  • Employment statistics

If you were launching a new product, which city would you launch in?  Why?  What other items would you have to consider when launching a product in various markets.

I look forward to seeing your responses.  Like last week, create charts using excel and then upload in powerpoint format or pdf format on slideshare and leave the link as a comment for the class to share.

DC Metro
DC Metro


Chris Lovett


BMGT 411: Assignment #1 (Due September 9th)

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During this semester, we are going to get a background in Marketing, and help a local startup, AthleteTrax with their 2015 Marketing Plan.  A big part of the marketing plan you develop will include elements of digital marketing.  Because Athlete Trax has a limited marketing budget, they will rely on digital marketing as their core marketing tactic to reach team managers looking for a better way to manage schedules, teams, etc.


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Assignment #1 is an individual assignments, but will be used as a resource for the entire class, as each of you will focus on one aspect of digital marketing and share your findings with the class.  Each of you has been assigned one digital marketing tactic to explore in greater detail.

1. Google Paid Search: Dominique

2. Facebook Promoted Posts: Sophie

3. Instagram Paid Marketing: Kari

4. Twitter Promoted Tweets: Aaron

5. Email Marketing: Neiman

6. Digital Display Ad/Retargeting: Darian

7. Snap Chat/Messaging: Grace


Please Provide an overview of how these channels work and present it to the class.

  1. Overview of how these channels work
  2. Current demographics of these channels (Who uses them)
  3. Best Practices on using these channels (Creative, Time of Day, Popular Apps to use them with, etc)
  4. Strategies AthleteTrax could use to reach their target market
  5. Cost Structure to Place Ads
  6. Creative Considerations (How to engage audiences)
  7. Develop a one page resource your class mates can use, and a 5-10 minute presentation reviewing each topic (Due September 9)

I am requesting that each of you create a slideshare account, and each of you upload your responses to Slideshare.  Then in the comment section of this post, you provide a link to your material so we can all review and access throughout the semester.

I look forward to this semester, and think you are going to enjoy learning about marketing management.

Chris Lovett

BMGT 311(Saturday): Assignment #1 Point Park Student Population


Welcome to the Fall Semester.  Marketing Research is an exciting subject and one that I am very passionate about.  In today’s marketing environment and job market, analytical skills are in the highest demand, as marketing shifts from being an “art” to a “science”

Marketing Research is a key component of this shift.  Understanding secondary data and consumer behavior helps marketers connect with their customers on a 1:1 level, and focuses their marketing dollars on activity that provides the biggest return on their investment.

A key skill is learning how to read data that is presented to you, use the data to develop visualization that impact decision makers, and finally allow you to have a point of view (POV) on the data that is presented to you.  Data comes in all shapes and forms, and is often hard to understand or develop a POV in its raw format.

So for assignment #1 – I would like you to take the following data below, and use excel to develop charts and visualizations that help answer the questions below.  Here is the raw data sets around the Fall 2013 Point Park Student population.

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Student Enrollment
3,841 for fall 2013.  Overall, enrollment has grown by nearly 19 percent within the past decade.

Student Demographics

74 percent of our undergraduate students are traditional age (18-24-year-olds)
25 percent of our undergraduates are non-traditional (25 years old or older)
28 percent of our graduate students are traditional age (18-24-year-olds)
71 percent of our graduate students are non-traditional age (25 years old or older)


72 percent of our undergraduates are White
16 percent of undergraduates are Black or African-American
3 percent are Hispanic of any race
4 percent are Two or more races
1 percent are Asian
3 percent are international

Graduate students:

73 percent of our graduate students are White
15 percent are Black or African-American
1 percent are Asian
2 percent are Hispanic of any race
2 percent are Two or more races
6 percent are international



Here are the questions that I would like you to answer for next week.  I would prefer you upload your presentation to slideshare and leave a link to it in the comments below.  We can discuss in class on how to do this.  The charts can be developed in excel, and then copied to PowerPoint where they can be uploaded (PDF’s preferred).

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1. Can you show visually, the demographic breakdown of Point Park University undergrad and graduate students?

2. How does that breakdown compare with the population of the City of Pittsburgh?  (hint: use the census links on this web page)

3. Can you find another schools demographic profile online?  How does it compare with Point Park’s? (hint: use google)

4. What is the Student/Faculty ration at Point Park University using the information above?

5. Do the demographics of Point Park University reflect the demographics of the US as a whole?

I look forward to seeing your visualizations and presentations.

Chris Lovett

BMGT 205: Assignment #4 Pricing

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Last week, Amazon announced a 25% increase in their Amazon Prime membership – from its current level of $79 to $99.  This is an example, a very visible one, of the importance of the P in the marketing mix equation (Price, Product, Place, Promotion).

Amazon Prime provides a lot of value – providing customers with free 2 day shipping, free streaming video, and free books on the Kindle lending library.   A key variable in a company’s ability to raise prices is the perceived value customers place on the product or service.  If the perceived value is higher than the cost, companies have a better ability of getting paid for the value they provide.  An overview of the price increase can be found here.

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An example of a customer who will be willing to pay for this value on twitter:

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Why this Amazon price increase is important is it really showcases a company’s ability to get paid for value if it is perceived highly by their customers.  Think about if if some other companies raised their prices by 25%:

  • A Gallon of Gas would be around $5.00
  • A Ford Focus would increase by around $5,000
  • A pair of $49 jeans would be $62

Would you be so quick to pay for these type of price increases?  Probably not – and the fact that Amazon can add 25% is pretty significant.  Some think it will work with minimal customer attrition.  Some don’t.

So for assignment #4 – I want each of you to be more aware of the P part of the pricing equation.  A few questions we will discuss in class next week:

1. Do you think that the Amazon Prime Price increase will be accepted by customers?  If so, why?

2. If not, and there is widespread attrition, do you think Amazon will back down and lower the price?  Why?

3. Think of your favorite retailer.  Give an example of how that retailer provides value to their customers.

4. What pricing strategy does your favorite retailer use (Chapter 15?)  Why do you think it is effective?

5. As a consumer – do you prefer everyday values and every low prices – or the thrill of getting a deal?

6. What part of the marketing mix are more important to you than price at your favorite retailer?

As always – post your thoughts in the comment section and we will discuss next class.

BMGT 205 Assignment #3: STP

In chapter 9, we are going to take a deeper dive into STP and it’s importance to the overall marketing equation.  Remember,

S: Segmentation

T: Targeting

P: Positioning

This subject matter is often learned best when we apply it to a real company.  For this assignment, we are going to look at a local company called 4Moms.

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Take some time to take a look at this company and the products it makes.  Based on our topics from chapter 9, please answer the questions below:

1. What do you feel are the different segments that 4Moms would appeal to?  What would the best approach to segment their potential customers be (geographic, demographic, psychographic, behavioral, benefits) in your opinion?  Why?

2. As a lead marketer for 4Moms, who would you choose to be your primary target market?  Why?  Would you have a secondary target market?

3. Before you launched to the target market, how would you position the 4Moms brand and products to your desired target market?  Do you think 4Moms does this already?

Assignments due in the comments section before 2.24.14.

Chris Lovett

Career Advice: Ignore Everything Everyone Ever Told You

On test one, I gave the example of Gary Vaynerchuk as an example of a sensor in regard to personality types.  Gary is an industry leader and thought leader because he hustles and is not afraid to say what he believes.

gary-vaynerchukAs a college student nearing the end of your college career, you have probably received a ton of advice – from your parents, teachers, advisers, etc.  Gary’s advice is to ignore a lot of the advice you have received.  In his speech to NYC interns, he delivers a 20 minute career presentation that probably is unlike any advice you have ever been given.  Take a look at the video, and ask yourself a few questions:

1. Do you agree with Gary’s advice and positioning for soon to be graduates?

2. Do you think you have been given bad advice in the past in regard to your career and your future?

3. Did the video change the way you think about your future career and goals?  Why?

4. What are your career goals?  What do you want to achieve in the next 3-4 years?

Leave comments below and we can discuss next class.

Chris Lovett

Interactive Student Learning Project


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