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

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

BMGT 311: Assignment #5, Observation

One of the most powerful marketing research tools we can use is the one that is often overlooked: simple observation of customer behavior. By using observation in a real world environment, or using ethnographic techniques, researches can lean a lot from a very small sample, and design experiences around customer needs.

A good example of this was a new ATM designed by BBVA in Europe.  In a partnership with IDEO (Pioneers in human centered design), they were able to use observation to redesign an ATM with the end-user in mind.

This type of observation is a powerful tool for marketing research.  Your last assignment is to focus on the world around you, and take notes of customer behavior in a real world shopping environment.  How do customers choose products?  How do they pay?  Do they feel rushed or stressed?  What recommendations would you have from this observation.

Take some time this next week and observe the world around you, and let us know what you observed.  Share with us what you found in observing customers around you in a real world environment.

Chris Lovett

Interactive Student Learning Project