Category Archives: Marketing

BMGT 411: Assignment #3 Advertising

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Assignment #3 is pretty simple.  I would like you to identify a current advertising campaign running now, one that you think is done well, and answer the following questions:

1. Why do you think this is a successful campaign?

2. Who is the target market(or segment!)?

3. How is the brand positioning its product or service?

4. How is it supported in Mass Media

5. How is it supported in Digital Media

An example of a brand with a current campaign I like is Southwest Airlines.  Read more here

In this case, I think Southwest knew their brand was getting stale, and in an effort to make the airline remain attractive, communicated the key elements that the brand has always stood for – low prices, service, and humor, but in a fresh way.  The campaign is supported in both traditional and digital media.

This assignment is due November 18th.



BMGT 411: Assignment #2, Positioning Statement (Due 10.6.14)

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In Chapter 9. we went over in detail the importance of developing a positioning statement for a brand.  A good positioning statement helps a brand clearly define who they are and who will benefit from their product or service.  From class, the outline for developing a positioning statement is:

For (Target Audience), (Brand Name) is the (Frame of Reference) that delivers (benefits/point of difference).

Pretty simple, yet very powerful.  For assignment #2 – I want you to:

  1. Develop a positioning statement for AlthleteTrax
  2. Develop a positioning statement for Point Park University
  3. Develop a positioning statement for your favorite brand

Like always – include your response in the comments section, and we will discuss in class next week.

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(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 #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

The Classroom of Tomorrow is Everywhere

This past Sunday, a group of Point Park instructors collaborated with  a professor at Slipper Rock University and others in the social media community to hold a live twitter chat during the Super Bowl.   With an event like the Super Bowl, we felt that it was a great opportunity to have a marketing and social media discussion in real-time.  The goal was to create lively discussion and allow our students to interact with us as well as each other as they viewed one of the marketing events of the year.

Teaching and learning, in my opinion, is not restricted to a classroom for a set period of time.   When studying a field like marketing and social media, learning in real-time helps the students understand marketing and social media, and how they are applied in real situations.  I am not a fan of marketing or social media books, because they are out of date as soon as they are printed.  A collaboration, however, happens in real-time and I believe sticks with the students longer.

So how did the event go?  Did students interact with each other?  Did we learn anything?  Yes.  Yes.  And yes.

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Using the twitter hashtag #sbmktg101, the discussion generated over 1 MM impacts, 200 people contributed, and reached over 251,000 unique people.  Not to bad for a collaboration between two small schools in western PA.  If you are afraid your students are not willing to interact and learn on a Sunday when they are not in school, the stats above say differently.

Just how far did the discussion go?  Our discussion was retweeted by Fred Graver (@fredgraver) Head of TV at Twitter.

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And this discussion was a lot more than just a few people contributing.   Over 55 people tweeted more than 6 times during the event.

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And contributions varied, but overall were well represented by students in on the discussion.  Some of my students never tweeted before this event, but contributed and shared throughout the night.  I actually tweeted TOO much – my account was locked for most of the 4th quarter!

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Some examples of the live discussion (A small sample – the discussion included professors, Pittsburgh agencies, and students).

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To see the full discussion, visit and plug-in the hashtag #sbmktg101.

My final take aways from the discussion:

1. I am not a social media manager by trade, but developed the strategy and managed the discussion.  THIS WAS NOT EASY.  I have a new-found respect for social media manager – you women and men are rock stars.

3. My pick for best ad in the Super Bowl?  The Budweiser #bestbuds spot.  Why?  It was ‘sssssscute!

4. My pick for the worst ad in the Super Bowl?  The Budweiser #bestbuds spot?  Why?  I think it will not appeal to their target market (men) and drive beer sales.  Budweiser is focused on the promotional era of marketing, and should really focus on the Product portion of the marketing equation, to address lost sales to craft beer makers, etc.  We love puppies, but we love good beer even more.  But heck with hit – lets watch it again!

5. Best Social Media Interaction: Tide.  Tide responded in real time to other brands ads using Vine.  It was a great approach, and P&G did not have to spend $4 MM on an ad – but just respond to them like we all were anyway.

Tide Goldie Blox Vine

6. My runner up best ad goes to Goldie Blox.  Great music.  Great message.  Great overall concept to help girls reach their fullest potential and break the existing pressure to act in certain ways.

….and shout out to Toys R Us for showing us Targeted Marketing, while not as flashy, might matter even more (Event tie-in, featured product, clear call to action).

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7. Thank you to everyone who joined the discussion to make it a success, especially the following:

Douglas Strahler, Professor of Communications at Slippery Rock University, @profstrahler

Christina Morgan, Professor of Communications/Social Media at Point Park University, @christinamorgan

Deanna Ferrari Tomaselli, Social Media Manager at Rue 21, @dferrari

Patty Swisher, Professor of Communications/Social Media at Point Park University, @pmswish

Garrett Green, @garrettgreen – for hashtag usage.

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8. Never stop learning.  Never.

Chris Lovett

Twitter Super Bowl Marketing Chat

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The Super Bowl is a great time to study marketing in real time, as companies often save their best marketing effort for the Super Bowl.  With an estimated :30 second price tag of $4 million dollars companies will do their to maximize the ROI (Return on Investment) for their ads.

One of my favorite super bowl ads was Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit” 2 minute anthem from the 2011 Super Bowl.  America, and Detroit, was down on its luck.  The ad was a rally cry not just for Chrysler, but for everyone who was hurt by the financial crisis and ready to move on.  This was not just an ad for Chrysler, it was an ad for Detroit, and for the everyone.


The television watching experience has become very social over the years with individuals tweeting about their favorite shows real-time or checking in with apps like GetGlue. The Super Bowl has become a true second-screen event, with marketers using TV as the primary vehicle to market their products and services, and using social media to interact with customers in real-time (

Details of Event:

Moderator: Chris Lovett, Professor of Marketing at Point Park University, @burghdaddy

Contributor: Douglas Strahler, Professor of Communications at Slippery Rock University, @profstrahler

Contributor: Christina Morgan, Professor of Communications/Social Media at Point Park University, @christinamorgan

Contributor: Deanna Ferrari Tomaselli, Social Media Manager at Rue 21, @dferrari

Hashtag: #sbmktg101


The goal of this Twitter chat is to discuss the advertising and marketing efforts in real-time.  Topics of focus will center on the 7 M’s of Marketing (Discussed later in the course):

Market (Target Audience)

Message Content

Mission (Strategy Behind Campaign)

Message Design (Creative Solution)

Media Strategy (Including Social)

Money (Investment)



This is a conversation that will evolve in real-time.  Chris Lovett will moderate and ask questions using the hashtag, and number the questions, with respondents providing answers using the same hashtag.  After the game, we will ask you to pick a winner and a loser.  What was your favorite brand during the super bowl?  What brands used social media to back their advertising efforts during the game?  What brands took advantage of social media even though they did not run a spot during the game.


Let’s have fun and learn in real time.

Chris Lovett


BMGT 205: Assignment 1, Amazon Fresh

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For Assignment #1, I want the class to read an article from the August 18th issue of Fast Company:



After reviewing the article, please take some time to answer the following questions.  Please answer them numbered, in the comments section of this blog.

1. Why is Amazon Prime so important to Amazon?  What metrics did they talk about to show this importance?

2. Do you think a Amazon Fresh will be successful?  If so, why?  If not, why?

3. Out of the 4 p’s of marketing discussed in week one, which one do you feel is the most important to Amazon Fresh’s success (Price, Product, Place, or Promotion).  Why?

4. If you were a competitor of Amazon, how would you prepare to compete against Amazon Fresh?  How would you position your experience vs. Amazon (Include which competitor you are, and how you would position against this new competition).

I look forward to a good discussion on this next week.

Chris Lovett









BMGT 205: Introduction to Marketing Kickoff

Welcome to BMGT 205: Introduction to Marketing.  We are going to learn a lot about marketing, and the key components that make up the Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Place, Promotion.  4 Words – but a lot go into the words and we will spend an entire semester reviewing.

As we start 2014, lets take a look back at 2013.  Ad Week recently released the top ads of the year

So lets take a look at these ads and discuss why they are good…..

10: Kmart Ship My Pants

9. Chipotle “The Scarecrow”

8. Robinsons “Pals”

7. Volvo Trucks Epic Split Featuring Van Damme

6. Nike “Possibilities”

5. Dick’s Sporting Goods “Every Pitch”

4. Geico “Hump Day”

3.  Guinness “Basketball”

2. Ram “Farmer”

1. Dove Real Beauty Sketches


Let’s have a good semester, learning, sharing, and growing.

Chris Lovett