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BMGT 311: Assignment #3, Observation (Due 10.7.14)

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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.   I want you to observe their usage of Smartphones specifically.

I want you to note:

1. Where did you go?

2. Are the majority of people on their smartphones or tablets?

3. Does it look like they are being productive or killing time?

4. If you can notice, what apps are they using (don’t be too creepy)

5. Is the smartphone enhancing the environment and experience around them?  Or is it preventing them from fully being immersed in where they are?

6. Are they with other people?  Is everyone in the group using smartphones?  Or just some?

7. Is everyone engaged with each other?

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 #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 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 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 311: Assignment 1 (Saturday)


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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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.

Customer Experience Pittsburgh American Marketing Association Presentation

I am excited to present Customer Experience and Journey Mapping at the June 5,2013 American Marketing Association meeting.  A lot of good content for marketers looking to take their marketing from good to great.

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”; title=”Customer experience ama_lovett” target=”_blank”>Customer experience ama_lovett</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”; target=”_blank”>Chris Lovett</a></strong> </div>

Ads Worth Spreading turns 3 and releases a report

Great Creative Examples from the ad biz.

TED Blog

At the AICP Conference in New York this morning, TED announced the third cycle of Ads Worth Spreading, our initiative to find the 10 most compelling ad campaigns of the year. We also released a report to share insights from the creatives behind the winning ads and the nomination teams that picked them. The paper reveals how both creators and consumers think about ads.

Ads Worth Spreading finds examples of what advertising can be — how companies, corporations and organizations can successfully create informative, stimulating and enriching content for audiences. Imagine if advertising was not something to “sit through”; but instead, inspiring media that could spark change, raise awareness and communicate new thinking. Chipotle’s “Back to the Start” campaign spoke to people because it advocated a compelling idea – a return to a sustainable, ethical way to produce food and support for struggling small farmers.

In searching for the…

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