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Now that you have evaluated the marketing environment and established some marketing goals for MM, it is time to get started with the new product plan. The first step is to research the mobile phone market. Without knowing who is buying phones in certain market segments, Michelle won’t know how to market MM’s new product. She needs your help to determine who the market is for the new product.

Primary Task Response:Read the dialogue below. Within the Discussion Board area, write 750–1,000 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.

Michelle knows that MM needs to determine who the target customer is for the new product. She knows that marketing research needs to be done as part of this market segmentation and product development processes, but she is not well-acquainted with some of the details that are involved in the processes. She has stopped by your office to ask some questions.“Thanks for canceling your other meeting this afternoon,” she says.

“No problem,” you say. “I rescheduled my meeting with multimedia; it actually works out better for them, too.”

“I’ve heard about quantitative and qualitative research, but I’m not sure I really understand the difference between the two,” she begins. “I’m sure there are advantages and disadvantages to each of them, but without knowing, I’m not sure which type of research we need to conduct. What do you think?”

Before you can respond, Michelle’s cell phone vibrates.

“Excuse me, I have to take this,” she says.

Michelle takes her call and then stands up.

“Well, I’m sorry to do this, but I have an emergency that I have to deal with right now,” she says. “Would you do me a favor? Send me a memo that explains those two types of research and include brief explanations about the advantages and disadvantages of each. I’d like to be able to speak intelligibly to this at the next board meeting.”

“Sure,” you respond, thinking that this will make for a pretty lengthy e-mail. “I'll also include how each method can help us define our target market. Will that help?”“Yes, great idea,” she replies.
“Ok! I’ll get that to you by close of business tomorrow,” you say.

Responses to Other Students: Respond to at least 2 of your fellow classmates with at least a 100-word reply about their Primary Task Response regarding items you found to be compelling and enlightening. To help you with your discussion, please consider the following questions:What did you learn from your classmate's posting?What additional questions do you have after reading the posting?What clarification do you need regarding the posting?What differences or similarities do you see between your posting and other classmates' postings?

The materials found in the M.U.S.E. may help you with this assignment. Additional information is also provided in the Lessons From Experience series found at the following links: Tracking the SkippersAiming at the Right TargetLessons From Experience: Tracking the Skippers


The story that you are about to read is from actual events that occurred in the field. Its purpose is to provide you with a real-world example from a seasoned professional in the business world.

Tracking the Skippers

Although it looked like a promising year, the results of the previous year’s earnings and profits were not good. The commercial credit reporting agency needed to do something fast to start bringing in more revenue.

After the board meeting, the executive management team brought in the marketing research and product development teams for a brainstorming session to discuss how to take the product and segment customer groups, both existing and new, who are interested in the GlobalSkipLocator (GSL) global positioning system (GPS) app that is available primarily to consumer credit card company customers.

The GSL app was created 5 years ago for credit agencies to collect bad debt from customers who had skipped town or moved without new address notifications. With a 95 percent success rate in finding these skipped customers, the product has enjoyed overwhelming success during its 5 years on the market. Essentially, the GSL app has become a cash cow for the company.

The logic behind bringing in a new retro-fit of the GSL product hinged on the core idea that the app can be slightly modified by the product development team. Because a fast fix needed to be implemented in the calendar year, this seemed like the only viable option. The marketing research team can perform a segmentation analysis within a few weeks to find new customers and extend market reach by offering this modified GSL product to law enforcement agencies.

The meeting progressed with the product development and marketing research teams discussing some opportunities and options for finding new market shares in a competitive space by extending the existing GSL product line.

It is important to take away the following from this scenario:

• In such a competitive space and place, where technological products and services are moving at lightning speed, consider extending product Lessons From Experience: Tracking the Skippers

lines based on finding new customer segments through research and analysis. Brands should constantly be on the lookout for new customer segments.

By finding innovative solutions based on existing products and services, companies can often reach different markets by customizing existing product solutions for new customers.

Another consideration is keeping operational and production costs low internally.

Learning From Experience: Aiming at the Right Target


The story that you are about to read is from actual events that occurred in the field. Its purpose is to provide you with a real-world example from a seasoned professional in the business world.

Aiming at the Right Target

Auto repair is big business. With warranty-related work, it is straight to the dealer. As for other types of repairs: How does one choose? Many females are uncomfortable getting their cars repaired for various reasons, including being made to feel inferior, having to sit in unclean waiting rooms, and the perceived rip-off factor. This may all sound cliché, but these feelings are real. Magazines and media geared toward women provide coverage on the topic. Perception has become reality.

How can an auto repair business cater to female customers?

Some of the large dealerships recognized the gender’s apprehension and hired female intake consultants in the repair department. This move was supported by ads featuring the female employees. To not alienate male clients, the ad campaign never spoke to the gender strategy, but simply featured women as integral to the repair process. Self-reported customer service surveys pointed to this move as positive for the department across both genders.

If the strategy worked for large dealerships, the opportunity to brand a femalerun repair business could bring success to the owners. A local company did just that and developed a female-centric repair facility that was run by women. Almost all of the clerks, salespeople, and repair professionals were female. So as not to alienate male consumers, the logo and look was mainly genderneutral with a little splash of pink. As shown in the dealer survey, male customers were not adversely affected by female intake employees, and thus the move to target women without discounting men worked.

The car repair business is typically not segmented by gender, and the sex of the customer usually does not come into play in marketing communications. Reaching out to a group that feels disenfranchised and meeting its unmet needs is an excellent growth strategy.

It is important to take the following away from this scenario:

• Recognizing and attracting an underserved target market is a powerful

Learning From Experience: Aiming at the Right Target

strategy for a business that is grounded in marketing research.

• Positioning a business to appeal to a target market without alienating other groups is a balancing act that is supported by internal and external marketing communications.


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