1. Tell me what topics you have chosen to write about....Choose any one of the three and tell me if you could ever see a career for yourself in that company.... Even if your answer is no, what job ( in the same company ) would be the most likely you could see yourself doing in 5 years and how much do you think you would realistically earn per year. Then tell me what would be the biggest threat to you getting laid off or fired.
2. Describe all of the segmentation variables that your primary choice used to target their customers. How are they different from the other two competitors ? (Geographic, Demographic, Psychographic, and Behavioral ). A chart or graph to supplement your discussion would be nice. This will be long. Do all three products in detail.
3. Discuss the Marketing Mix for all three products. ( Four P's ) . Compare all three in detail ( Perhaps you could make a chart of the items and prices of all three competitors ). ( I expect this section to be quite extensive ).
4. Visit the web sites for all three competitors. Give a synopsis of your findings and thoughts. Are they user friendly sites ? Do they provide needed information ? Are they interactive ? Do they offer coupons, locations, or directions, if applicable ? Tell me as though I am blind.
5. How have each of the three competitors positioned themselves in the market- place ? In your opinion, have they done a good job ? If not, why not ? Do you feel that the target consumers see the company properly (as the company expects) ? Design a short survey to find out and analyze the results. Do all three competitors occupy the same place in the consumers mind or are they somehow differentiated from each other ? Is one the "quality leader" while the others are vying to be the "price" leader, etc. ?
6. What issues do these competitors have to deal with ? Do a SWOT analysis for your primary choice. Think this one through....you probably won't find too much information on the internet to help you out.
7. Discuss how your three choices handle " CRM ".....Customer Relationship Management.( Chapter 19 ) If they aren't, what do you suggest that they do ? Which of the three is better at it , as far as you can tell ? Are any of the three addressing the "lifetime value" that their customers represent ? ( ie: after care service, free visits in the future if you visit now, frequent purchaser awards, etc.). Hint: Sometimes the website has ways to sign up for special offers, emails, etc.
8. What can you find out about your three choices and how they are addressing the "societal marketing concept" ? Do they pollute ? Do they recycle ? Do they use pesticides ? ( hint: look at their web sites or in-house literature ). Do they support charitable causes ? Google it.
9. Based on the current state of the economy, are any of your three products in danger of hitting hard times ahead....are they already having big trouble ??? If none of yours are in trouble, give me an example of ANY product in your industry that you would like to see removed from the face of the earth for ANY reason and explain why...... ( even if it isn't one of your three choices ).
10. How does Relationship Selling affect the final consumer who buys your product ?? Connect the dots for me....what kind of sales efforts from ALL the different suppliers was required to 'create' the final product ? In other words, how did the efforts of all the B2B transactions and sales people associated with your primary choice finally impact the final consumer once they bought your product or service?
11. We have talked about 'Land's End' and how they were able to sell more product by data mining a list of customers, out of their own data storage, and then matching accessories to the 'Blue Sports Jacket and Grey Slacks" that were purchased as much as 18 months beforeby their 'best' customers.....remember, they offered those customers matching shirts, ties,shoes, etc., and the company was rewarded because over 30 % of those past customers ordered 'new' stuff from the special mailing that Land's End sent them.....Think about ANY ONE OF YOUR THREE PRODUCTS....how would you try to get your 'BEST' customers to order MORE ? Your best customers are 1-RECENT....2-FREQUENT....and 3- HIGH DOLLAR people.
12. Give me a descriptive analysis of your impressions of each of the three competitive advertising efforts. Include a brief description of your favorite campaign or ad. If they don't have one , suggest one .
13. Discuss at least three different activities that your choice has to deal with in their supply chain management process. ( ie: suppliers, raw ingredients, resellers, trucking companies, etc. ). Explain how they interact with or handle these issues.