marketing assignment 1 check your understanding 5 points each 30 point module total 3590303


Assignment 1:

Check Your Understanding (5 points each, 30 point module total):

  1. Define the term supply chain.
  2. What is the task environment?
  3. What is meant by holistic marketing?
  4. What is the Product-Market Expansion Grid?
  5. Explain the differences between a strategic marketing plan and a tactical marketing plan.
  6. Define Market Opportunity Analysis (MOA).

Exercises (5 points each, 15 point module total):

  1. Good mission statements have five major characteristics. List and discuss each of these.
  2. Distinguish between the five types of need humans require.
  3. An SBU has 3 characteristics. Describe each of these.

Case Study 35 points):  1000 words

What happens when a company reaches a mid-life crisis?

People often hear about the problems of a mid-life crisis – declining health, too much stress, a changing physical appearance, or withdrawal from social relationships. As you probably know, an entire industry has emerged to help people through their mid-life crises.  But what about companies?  Do they experience mid-life crises also? The answer is yes, and researchers have begun to analyze the mid-life doldrums that many of America’s top companies are experiencing. Of particular interest is how mid-life companies deal with disappointing growth.

Wal-Mart experienced exceptional growth during the last three decades. Over the past two years, however, Wal-Mart’s performance has started to show signs of stress and fatigue. Growth averaging only 2% does not send out positive signals to the people who watch this retailing giant. This small growth percentage is especially troubling since major competitors, such as Costco, Target, Kroger, CVS, and Best Buy, have enjoyed increases averaging five times Wal-Mart’s meager rate.

The economic and competitive environment Wal-Mart faces has become increasingly difficult. Also, mismanagement, increasing inventories, loss of market share, and distribution difficulties have all begun to plague the industry’s cost and price leader. New turnaround strategies that management will try include increased advertising, a more holistic approach to marketing strategies, a specific focus on upscale and affluent consumers, store refurbishment and redesign, a renewed commitment to “everyday low pricing” and cost control, and an aggressive global expansion strategy. A mid-life crisis can be a difficult challenge. It will be interesting to see how Wal-Mart ages and how the company handles the difficulties that may come with its increased years.

Adapted from “Wal-Mart’s Midlife Crisis,” by Anthony Bianco, Business Week, April 30, 2007, pp. 46-56.

Case study developed by Dr. John R. Brooks, Jr., Houston Baptist University.


  1. Why should Wal-Mart be worried about a mid-life crisis?
  2. How might Wal-Mart use holistic marketing to address its mid-life crisis?


Assignment 2:

Check Your Understanding:

  1. A marketing intelligence system is a set of procedures and sources managers use to obtain __________.
  2. trend is __________.
  3. __________ shapes the beliefs, values, and norms that largely define tastes and preferences.
  4. The last step in the marketing research process is __________.
  5. Research that is designed to capture cause-and-effect relationships by eliminating competing explanations of observed findings is called ___________.
  6. _____ is by which an organization gathers and interprets relevant information from business and environment and turns it into a basis for marketing action.


  1. What are the steps a company can take to improve the quality of its marketing intelligence?
  2. The text describes ten megatrends that help shape the consumer landscape. Name these trends.
  3. Online research interviewing is estimated to make up 33% of all survey-based research in 2006. Discuss the pros and cons of using this method of data collection.

Case Study: 800 to 1000 words

How does a company known for being conservative attract a non-conservative target market?

As the company’s ad says, “You’re in good hands with Allstate!” Allstate Insurance has used this famous phrase to attract customers for some time. This mainstream market approach has served the company well. But even though the company is one of the industry’s leaders, observers began to notice an erosion of market share in some non-traditional sectors. Lifestyle strategies had not received much attention at Allstate. Motorcycle riders, for example, chose competitors Progressive and Geico over Allstate and other conservatively oriented companies. Why would Allstate be interested in targeting motorcycle riders?

The motorcycle market is growing thanks to increased interest from baby boomers and Generation Y consumers. In 2006, 1.2 million motorcycles were sold according to the Motorcycle Industry Council, and sales have been steadily climbing for the last five years. Allstate decided it was time to conduct targeted marketing research or risk losing this growing market. In addition to learning some interesting facts about today’s motorcycle riders, the company’s market research also found that over 600 of its 14,800 agents were devout motorcycle riders themselves. This interesting fact led the company to completely revamp some of its advertising and marketing strategies.

To target motorcycle riders, Allstate has begun featuring some of their bike-riding agents in their ads. The ads indicate that Allstate knows the needs of motorcycle riders better than competitors because the “good hands” are on handlebars. And who knows the needs of bikers better than other bikers? Acting on additional research information, the company has also begun sponsoring motorcycle rallies and music downloads via Rolling Stone magazine for those people who love the feel of the open road. Follow-up research will determine the success of Allstate’s attempt to bond with this market segment.

Adapted from “Let’s Ride—The Wild Ones at Allstate,” by Burt Helm, Business Week, October 1, 2007, p. 16.

Case study developed by Dr. John R. Brooks, Jr., Houston Baptist University.


  1. What marketing research facts led Allstate to review its advertising and marketing strategies with respect to the motorcycle market?

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