BMGT 331: Assignment 1 (Wed)

Class,

Today we got a good background on the marketing research industry from chapters 1 and 2.  The first assignment is to

Find an article that lists out why marketing research is important and how it helps companies market products successfully.
As noted in class, Marketing Research is about avoiding mistakes, and giving decision makers access to key information about their business so they can react accordingly.  Whether internal, external, primary, or secondary, marketing research provides value when decision makers have access to information and can adjust their plans on what the data is telling them.  One company, P&G, is developing innovations in data and output called Decision Cockpit, designed to bring data at the front of every decision.  They have even redesigned meeting space to bring this data to managers, rethinking everything we do.
To read more, vist the HBR Idea Center From Harvard.
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BMGT 411: Assignment #1

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JC Penney has been in the news of late.  In the last few years, their STS (Same Store Sales) have declined at an alarming rate as has their profit.  They hired a new CEO only to remove him after poor performance.  Here are just some of the things that happened at JC Penney over the last few years:

– STS Dropped 25% in 2012 (First Year of Ron Johnson at CEO)

– Laid off 20,000 workers, in stores and at corporate

– Is in a lawsuit with Macy’s over a Martha Stewart exclusive agreement

– The stock continues to hit new lows, now trading near $12 a share

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Find an article that talks a little about what happened at JC Penney?  What would your recommendations be to have prevented this?  What in regard to marketing strategy could have JC Penney done to do this differently?  Do you think JC Penney will survive?

Post your comments below and link to the source of the article.

Chris Lovett

 

 

 

BMGT 311: Assignment 1 (Saturday)

Class,

Today we got a good background on the marketing research industry from chapters 1 and 2.  The first assignment is to

Find an article that lists out why marketing research is important and how it helps companies market products successfully.
As noted in class, Marketing Research is about avoiding mistakes, and giving decision makers access to key information about their business so they can react accordingly.  Whether internal, external, primary, or secondary, marketing research provides value when decision makers have access to information and can adjust their plans on what the data is telling them.  One company, P&G, is developing innovations in data and output called Decision Cockpit, designed to bring data at the front of every decision.  They have even redesigned meeting space to bring this data to managers, rethinking everything we do.
To read more, vist the HBR Idea Center From Harvard.
Screen Shot 2013-08-24 at 8.48.42 PM
Here is a video on data visualization – a key concept of this class.  It’s a good watch when you have 20 minutes.
So – please take some time to find some examples of why marketing research is important, and how it helps companies market products successfully.  Please post your answers in the comment section and be prepared to present in the next class.
Chris
 

Marketing Research in Action: Teen Retailing

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Image Source: http://a57.foxnews.com/global.fbnstatic.com/static/managed/img/fb2/660/371/American-Eagle-Outfitters-Apparel-Retail-Store.jpg?ve=1

This week has been a very tough week for retailers focused on teen customers.  American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Aeropostale all reported sales that disappointed Wall Street.  American Eagle gave a weak Fall Forecast, Abercrombie reported a drop in STS sales of 10% for the quarter, and Aeropostale said STS sales dropped 15% and forecast a loss for the quarter.  To read more on this report, click here.

While the 3 A’s sales were a disappointment, sales for retailers Gap (Old Navy), H&M, and Forever 21 performed well.   This situation is a very similar situation that marketing professionals face everyday.  Some thought starters as we begin this class:

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If you were a marketing research professional at American Eagle:

  • Would you be concerned about these results?
  • Internally, what kind of data would you look at to explore the situation more?  What would you be trying to find out?
  • What kind of secondary external data would you explore based on these results?  What would you be looking for?
  • How could marketing research have prevented this large of a sales drop at American Eagle?
  • If you would recommend a marketing research project to help turn things around at American Eagle, what types of things would you recommend?

Let’s Discuss before we kick off chapters 1 and 2 tomorrow.

 

Chris Lovett

 

Welcome to the fall semester

Wigle Whiskey Logo

Students – welcome to the fall semester for Marketing Research and Marketing Management at Point Park University.  I am excited to join all of you in this experiential learning process where we learn about Marketing and Marketing Research, while helping a local start-up develop their marketing research and  plans.

Every semester I challenge my students on a real marketing project.  This semester, we are going to partner with Pittsburgh’s own Wigle Whiskey to provide the marketing research they need to reach their desired customers and continue to expand – while also giving them a robust marketing plan they can execute on in 2014.  I find the best way to learn is to actually do, and you have a great opportunity to build your portfolio and expand your knowledge base in marketing and marketing research.  We are going to have a of fun this semester.  Marketing Whiskey is not going to be easy, but I can assure you it will be fun.  I can also assure that you will grow to appreciate marketing and marketing research – and how your plans are going to help a local business grow.

Meredith Grelli is going to kick off the project on Tuesday and Wednesday night – so come prepared to ask questions about her goals and challenges.  As you can see from the video below, she is in charge of a lot.  Our goal is to be her marketing resource this semester.

This is an exciting time to learn about marketing.  Marketing is under a transformation from an art to a science, where data drives decisions and models predict consumer behavior.  Having analytical skills has never been more crucial in today’s marketing environment, and these are skills we will focus on in both classes this semester.

I look forward to seeing everyone next week.  In the meantime, take some time to learn more about Wigle Whiskey.  

Chris Lovett

Customer Experience and a Fish Sandwich

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Yesterday I decided to get out of the office and grab lunch at one of my favorite places in Pittsburgh, Wholey’s.  I have been going to Wholey’s for years, and I truly love the experience.  Fresh fish is what they are known for and at reasonable prices.  I love everything about Wholey’s – the atmosphere, the smell, the Pittsburgh grit.  Most of all I love how no matter how much in the world changes, when I walk through those red doors, it’s still the same.  It’s about the food and nothing else.  Wholey’s is everything that is great about Pittsburgh.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/10/wholeys-whaler-pittsburgh-pa-robert-wholey-co-strip.html
http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/10/wholeys-whaler-pittsburgh-pa-robert-wholey-co-strip.html

I grabbed a Big Whaler Fish sandwich, of course, and I went upstairs to eat away from the crowd.  When I got up there one of the owners was there, a member of the Wholey family.  He introduced himself then asked a question I was not quite ready for:

“Can I taste a piece of your fish?” He asked me.  So without hesitation, I broke him off a large piece of the fish and he took a taste.  He confirmed it was good, and stated, “I’ve worked my whole life for that sandwich, and I hope you like it.”  He continued to tell us that it’s an entire pound of fish sourced in British Columbia, and they are proud of the price point of $6.99.  It was a good discussion.  He walked away, and I finished my lunch.  It was clear customers and customer satisfaction meant everything to him.

I did question why an owner of Wholey’s would ask a customer for a bite of their fish sandwich like I was a member of their family.  Why didn’t he just get his own fish sandwich?  He owns the place right?  I shrugged it off then went about my day, catching the bus back to the office.

Then two things came to me:

1. He did in fact consider me family.  They treat their customers like family – and that is why they have been in business for over 100 years, because their customers are family to them.  I gave him a piece of my sandwich, and he would have done the same if I had asked him.

2. He was testing the experience in a real environment.  If he asked for a sandwich from the kitchen, the staff would have used the best fish, the best batter, clean oil, etc.  He wanted to see what the experience was like for a real customer.  He wanted to experience what his customers experience and wanted to ensure it was up to his standards.

This reminded me that when we are designing experiences for our customers to make sure they are designed with the customer in mind, and when they are tested to test them in as real of an environment as possible.  Amaze, delight, and surprise.  It’s the Wholey’s way.  And I am betting they will be around for another 100 years if they make sure that experience stays amazing.

You can learn a lot if you get up from your desk every once in a while and take a walk to Wholey’s in the strip.

Chris Lovett