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Each of the four assignments in this course includes specific guidelines for completing the assignment and Final Project. Some general guidelines for satisfactory completion of the assignments and Final Project are described below

Assignments

Each of the four assignments in this course includes specific guidelines for completing the assignment and Final Project. Some general guidelines for satisfactory completion of the assignments and Final Project are described below.

Assignment Content

  • Link theory and practice by explaining what you have learned as a result of the readings, dialogue with your fellow students, feedback, reflections, and practical application of skills.
  • Make specific references to readings, feedback, ideas, and theories that prodded you to re-think your experiences and helped to increase your awareness of your marketing skills.
  • Provide examples to support your comments and observations. Be specific and concrete. Tell a complete story. Avoid generalizations. Support a statement with a specific example that would demonstrate your understanding and skill.
  • Share your thoughts and ideas about your own experiences and about the readings. Do not be afraid to challenge or disagree with the readings. Share what makes sense for you and what you have questions about. Be a critical reader.
  • Go beyond general descriptions. Be thoughtful and critical in your analyses.

Assignment Structure

Remember, you will be judged by the quality of your work, which in this case are your assignments. To ensure the quality of your written work, keep the following in mind when preparing your assignments:

  • Set up a cover page with your name, assignment number, and due date for each assignment in MS Word.
  • Organize your assignments with clear headings to identify subsections. For example, depending on the assignment, headings might include: introduction, description of the topic under discussion, analysis and evaluation of the topic under discussion, learning for next time, and summary.
  • Use 1.5 line spacing in your document to improve readability for your Open Learning Faculty Member.
  • Use an 11-point or 12-point font.
  • Number the pages.
  • Use spell checker to eliminate spelling errors.
  • Use grammar checking to avoid grammatical errors such as run-on sentences.
  • Write in a formal manner suitable for business, rather than as a letter to a friend.
  • Do not use red as your Open Learning Faculty Member’s comments will be in that colour.
  • Please do not exceed the required length for each assignment. Communications should be clear and concise.
  • Proofread your work. Not just on the screen while you write it, but the hard copy after it is printed. Fix the errors before submitting the report to your Open Learning Faculty Member.
  • Restating of course material is not included in the format of the assignment reports, nor is it considered part of analysis. Anyone reading your report will be familiar with the case, and you need only to mention those facts relevant to your analysis and recommendations.
  • Reference all quotations appropriately (author, date, title, publisher, page number) and, where possible, a web URL to the content or original web reference. This course uses APA citation style. Refer to the APA Citation Style guide located on the TRU Library website at http://libguides.tru.ca/apa.
  • Common sense and logical thinking can do wonders for your valuation.
  • Proofread your work one last time. Have someone else read it, particularly if English is not your first language. This second pair of eyes will give you an objective opinion of how well your report holds together.

Remember, being clear and concise is important to good communication.

Assignment Submission

Please take a few minutes to review the assignment submission guidelines below:

  • Before submitting your assignment, ensure that you have answered all parts of each of the assigned questions.
  • Name your Word file as follows: Course_lastname_assignment number. Thus, if your name is Jan Smith and you are submitting the assignment for Module 2, you would name it MKTG3471_Smith_Assign2.
  • Follow the instructions given in the Assignments folder in Blackboard to submit your assignment.

Deliverables and Grading Criteria

Grading will be based on:

  • Understanding of the concepts contained in the course materials
  • Ability to connect your own experiences and opinions with the course material and any other outside sources
  • Referencing of the course materials and any outside sources
  • Ability to clearly express your opinions

Many of the assignment questions will ask for your opinion on certain topics. Use these questions to talk about your own experiences and then connect these experiences to the course materials.

Note

Your deliverables are the formal assessments—the quizzes, assignments, and final project, which you submit to your Open Learning Faculty Member for grading and for which you receive marks.

Informal activities are not submitted for grading; however, they are still very important parts of your learning in this course and may contribute indirectly to your graded work.

Assignment 1: Analysis and Research

In this module, you have been introduced to the field of consumer behaviour and the impact of the digital revolution on consumer behaviour. You have also explored the basic research tools used for studying consumer behaviour and discussed the basic elements of marketing strategy. You will now apply your knowledge to practical marketing situations.

Assignment 1 is organized in four sections; this contributes 10% towards your final grade. Each of the four sections carries the marks as stated, for a total 100 marks. While this assignment is only worth 10% of your final grade, the effort you put into it will pay off to a much greater extent in the final project.

Note

Assignments 2 and 3 have more comprehensive activities, which are worth more marks than assignments 1 and 4.

Instructions

Section 1: Choosing a Product or Product Category (10 marks)

Pick a product to research throughout the course. You should look ahead through all the modules to see whether your choice is suitable to complete later assignments. You will need to check with your Open Learning Faculty Member to determine if the product is suitable. You should select an existing product that is widely available and well-known consumer good.

Create a 1-page summary (approximately 250 words) about your proposed product. Include in the summary the product name, product category, sources for finding relevant information, and why you want to study this particular product or brand. Provide brief background information about your chosen product.

Note

Stuck for ideas? One suggestion is to scan the popular business press. One excellent article that you may find helpful is “Luxury for the Masses,” appearing in Harvard Business Review, 81(4) (April 2003) (accessible through the article databases at TRU library).

Section 2: Consumer Research and Trends (50 marks)

Segmentation and targeting is an important aspect of consumer behaviour. In this section, you will analyze the trends in demand for your product and define market segments, targeting, and positioning, which will provide some insights into what would motivate potential customers to choose your product offering).

  • Conduct a secondary research by summarizingtwo or three relevant articles discussing trends in demand for your product. You may research TRU electronic library resources, consumer reports, trade journals, and/or demographic information about your chosen product. You may also refer to Figures 2-2 and Figure 2-3 of your textbook. Remember to provide the references for the articles/resources to which you refer.
  • Perform a small focus group, or a few in-depth interviews, of potential users of your product. You may consider using two different ethnic groups.
  • Using your own experiences, secondary researches, and exploratory research methods (interviews or direct observations), profile the primary market segment(s) for your product. Referring to the segmentation bases on page 55 of the textbook, develop a segmentation approach for the market of your product and provide rationale for why this approach is a good one. You may refer to the Rich Market Profile Questions. Concentrate on the first 2 questions: (a) What do they want to buy, and (b) Who are they?
  • Provide insights into targeting and positioning of the product.
  • Make an estimate of the size of the target market for your product. Identify the market size, growth, and trends within the given market. Use business data published by Statistics Canada (statcan.gc.ca), Chamber of Commerce, and other relevant statistical data. Explain how you arrived at your answer and state any assumptions you have made and why.

Section 3: Use of Internet (20 marks)

  • The Internet can “inform” a consumer when making purchase decisions. What might a typical consumer do online when considering making a purchase of your chosen product?
  • Identify the marketing opportunities that the digital revolution offers marketers of your product.

Section 4: Comparative Analysis (20 marks)

In this section, you will carry out a comparative analysis. Choose a competitive brand of your chosen product. For example, if your chosen product is a digital camera made by Sony you may choose one competitor such as Kodak, Canon, or Nikon.

Assess the two companies’ marketing approaches by comparing and contrasting the two brands’ target markets and corresponding strategies (not the products).

Completion Guidelines

Submit your assignment by uploading it in the Assignments area in Blackboard. Be sure to save your assignment as a Word document and name it: MKTG3471_Lastname_Assign1.

Reminders before submitting assignment:

  • Did you put your name and student number on the front page of the document?
  • Did you complete all of the required elements?
  • Did you use information and terminology learned in this course?
  • Did you support your statements with specific examples?
  • Did you cite references, using correct APA referencing format?
  • Did you ensure that there are no spelling mistakes?
  • Is your report grammatically correct, clear, and well organized?

Assignment 2: Analysis of Internal Influences (Factors) on Consumer Behaviour

In this module, you have explored a variety of internal influences on consumer behaviour. You will now apply what you have learned by analyzing and investigating internal factors or influences on consumer behaviour to practical marketing situations.

Assignment 2, worth 10% of your final grade, is organized in six sections. Each of the six parts carries the marks as stated for a total of 100 marks.

Instruction

You will continue to focus on your chosen product and market for the course. In this assignment, you will examine various aspects of internal factors/influences and their implication to a marketer. Follow the specific instructions to each part of the assignment and complete all sections as required.

Section 1: Motivation and Involvement (20 marks)

Using the product that you have chosen to research, produce a 3–4-page report examining the level of motivation and involvement that a typical customer would display in the purchase of your product.

Consider the following:

  1. Select one level of from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs that can be used to segment the market and position your chosen product. Explain your choices. Justify the application of Maslow’s need hierarchy for segmentation and positioning of your product.
  2. Identify possible motivational conflicts that a prospective consumer of your chosen product may have. Discuss how the marketer can reduce or resolve these motivational conflicts.
  3. Develop an involvement profile for a typical consumer of your chosen product and discuss any key issues that would be relevant to a marketer. Use Figures 3-5 and 3-6 from your textbook in assessing the level of involvement that a prospective customer of your chosen product may have.

Section 2: Personality (15 marks)

Produce a 1–2-page report answering the following questions:

  1. Given your thinking on your product thus far, select two theories or traits from Figure 4-9 in the textbook that should prove helpful in targetting, branding, and related strategies. Provide examples of print ads (with URL, in-text citation, scan or attachment) that would appeal to those with similar personalities/traits. (Note: The ads do not have to be for your chosen product.) Explain your choices.
  2. Using the concept of brand personality, describe a personality for your chosen product.

Section 3: Perception and Positioning (20 marks)

Produce a 2–3-page report answering the following questions:

  1. Draw an attribute-based perceptual map for your chosen product. Include the main competitive brands and discuss any opportunity for repositioning. (You may refer to page 165 of your textbook.)
  2. What extrinsic and intrinsic cues would be used in assessing the perceived quality of your chosen product, and how would you as a marketer use extrinsic cues to improve the perceived quality of your product? Also, comment on the price-quality relationship in general and of your chosen product.
  3. Comment on the type and degree of perceived risks likely to be associated with your chosen product.

Section 4: Reinforcing Consumer Learning (10 Marks)

How would you apply the concept of “shaping” (step-wise operant conditioning) to reinforce desired pre-purchase behaviour and attract customers?

Section 5: Consumer Attitude Formation/Change (15 marks)

Explain the strategies you would use to change consumer attitudes towards a particular brand of your chosen product by:

  1. Changing beliefs about the brand
  2. Changing beliefs about competing brands
  3. Changing the relative evaluation of attributes
  4. Adding an attribute

Do you think the “foot-in-the-door” technique (page 230 of your textbook) is applicable to your chosen product?

Section 6: Communication and Consumer Behaviour (20 marks)

Using Figure 8-3 from your textbook, recommend two advertising media for your product and explain your choices.

For the objective of promoting sales, what type of message structure, presentation style, and appeal would you use? Would you use a comparative message?

Completion Guidelines

Submit your assignment using the Assignments function in Blackboard. Be sure to save your assignment as a Word document and name it: MKTG3471_Lastname_Assign2

Reminders before submitting assignment:

  • Did you put your name and student number on the front page of the document?
  • Did you complete all of the required elements?
  • Did you use information and terminology learned in this course?
  • Did you support your statements with specific examples?
  • Did you cite references, using correct APA referencing format?
  • Did you ensure that there are no spelling mistakes?
  • Is your report grammatically correct, clear, and well organized?

 Assignment 3: Analysis of External Influences on Consumer Behaviour

In this module, you have explored a variety of external influences (factors) on consumer behaviour. In this assignment, you will apply what you have learned by investigating and analyzing the external factors/influences discussed on consumer behaviour to practical marketing situations.

Assignment 3, worth 10% of your final grade, is organized in five sections. Each of the five parts carries the marks as stated, for a total of 100 marks. Remember that this assignment will subsequently be combined and summarized as part of your Integrative Report.

Instructions

You will continue to focus on your chosen product and market for the course. In this assignment, you will examine various aspects of external influences/factors and their implication to a marketer. Follow the specific instructions to each part of the assignment and complete all sections as required.

Prepare a 10–12-page doubled-spaced report containing the following.

Section 1: Cultural and Value Analysis (35 Marks)

In this section, you will conduct a cultural and value analysis of your product by answering the following questions.

  1. Focusing on your chosen product, answer the following.
    1. Find two different print advertisements for your chosen product in two magazines that are targetted to different audiences. Provide the URL, a scan, screen capture, or other visual for each.
    2. For each advertisement, analyze the contents in terms of the written and pictorial aspects, utilizing the core values discussed in this module (and in Chapter 9 of your textbook).
    3. How are these values portrayed to the target audience?
  2. Focusing on your chosen product, produce an analysis of cultural influences by answering the following questions.
    • . Identify the core values most relevant to the purchase and use of your product.
  1. Determine whether these values encourage or discourage use or ownership.
  2. Discuss whether these core values are shifting upward, or downward.
  3. Create a print advertisement for your product. (The result is not expected to be of publishable quality; just do your best.) Show how you would use your knowledge of cultural values to develop an advertising message. How would you portray these values to your target audience?
  4. What symbols would you use in your advertisements? Discuss their effectiveness in conveying the desired product image or characteristics.

Section 2: Subculture and Social Class Analysis (35 marks)

  1. Discuss multi-cultural marketing strategies that you would use to market your product that would successfully target consumers in several different racio-ethnic subcultures?
  2. Identify two othersubcultures and discuss various strategies you would apply to reach specific groups in your target market.
  3. What is the significance of social class to you as a marketer? How would the difference in social class influence the marketing of your chosen product in terms of the following?
    1. Product lines and styles
    2. Advertising media selection
    3. The copy and communication style used in advertisement
    4. Payment policy

Section 3: Analysis of Reference Groups and Family (10 marks)

  1. With your chosen product in mind, who would your target market consider their reference groups?
  2. Consider choosing a superstar or celebrity to promote your chosen product. Who would that be? Discuss the reference group factors that you would raise when negotiating the hiring contract with the superstar or celebrity.

Section 4: Analysis of Consumer Influences and the Diffusion of Innovation (10 marks)

Why is an opinion leader a more credible source of product information than an advertisement for the same product? Are there any circumstances where information from advertisements is likely to be more influential than word of mouth?

Section 5: Virtual Communities (10 marks)

  1. Visit and provide the URL of a virtual site where loyal customers of your chosen product help one another to evaluate the quality of choices in the marketplace.
  2. How are these virtual communities shaking up the ways businesses are operating?
  3. For your chosen product, provide recommendations for a promotional campaign.

Completion Guidelines

Submit your assignment by uploading it in the Assignments area of your course Home Page. Be sure to save your assignment as a Word document and name it: MKTG3471_Lastname_Assign3.

Reminders before submitting assignment:

  • Did you put your name and student number on the front page of the document?
  • Did you complete all of the required elements?
  • Did you use information and terminology learned in this course?
  • Did you support your statements with specific examples?
  • Did you cite references, using correct APA referencing format?
  • Did you ensure that there are no spelling mistakes?
  • Is your report grammatically correct, clear, and well organized?

Assignment 4: Influencing Purchase Decisions

In this module, you have explored a variety of factors that influence the consumer decision-making process and outcome. The consumer’s decision whether to purchase a product is an important moment for most marketers since it denotes whether a marketing strategy has been effective or missed the mark and whether a marketing plan has been successful.

In this assignment, you will refer back to some of the activities you completed throughout the module. You will apply what you have learned so far by analyzing how consumers make decisions about a product and the implications for you as a marketer when developing marketing strategies for your chosen product.

Assignment 4 is organized in two sections here (five small sections in the rubric) and is worth 10% of the final grade. Each of the parts carries the marks as stated for a total of 100 marks.

Instructions

You will continue to focus on your chosen product and market for this course. In this part of the assignment, as a marketer of your chosen product, you will demonstrate how your understanding of the behaviour of a typical consumer during the five stages of the decision-making process will influence your marketing strategy and the development of a successful marketing plan.

Follow the specific instructions to each part of the assignment and complete all sections as required.

Section 1: Consumer Decision Making —Process

Prepare a 5–6-page, doubled-spaced report addressing the following questions:

  1. As a marketer, do you have the ability to control desires or create a need for your product? (Include an example.)
  2. Identify the specific characteristics of your product that would make intensive pre-purchase search likely. Using your chosen product, investigate the various types and sources of information available to a consumer. How would you as a marketer improve the types of information and sources of information available to potential customers for pre-purchase searches? Discuss perceived risks associated with the purchase decision, and strategies for mitigating those risks.
  3. During your research you would have come across a number of brands. Demonstrate your understanding by identifying brands within your product category and classifying them into your own evoked set, inept set, and inert set. As a marketer what strategies would you use in an attempt to place a product in a consumers evoked set after it has already been rejected?
  4. Comment on why evaluation criteria used by customers is important to a marketer of your chosen product? How can marketers influence the rating of their products?

Section 2: Consumer Decision Making —Outcome

Prepare a 3–4-page, doubled-spaced report containing the following answers.

  1. How significant is the choice of brand or outlet to the marketer of your chosen product?
  2. What might lead to customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your chosen product? Outline how you would manage consumer dissatisfaction and provide positive reinforcement to consumers after the purchase of your product to reduce their dissonance? How would you determine whether a consumer is satisfied with your product and whether there will be a repeat purchase?
  3. As a marketer of your chosen product, describe how you would develop trust and a long-term relationship with your customers?

Completion Guidelines

Submit your assignment by uploading them in the Assignment folder. Be sure to save your assignment as a Word document and name it: MKTG3471_lastname_Assign4.

Reminders before submitting assignment:

  • Did you put your name and student number on the front page of the document?
  • Did you complete all the required elements?
  • Did you use information and terminology learned in this course?
  • Did you support your statements with specific examples?
  • Did you cite references, using correct APA referencing format?
  • Did you ensure that there are no spelling mistakes?
  • Is your report grammatically correct, clear, and well organized?

 Assignment 5:

 There are two parts to the final project:

  • Integrative Report (worth 30% of the final mark)
  • Reflective Summary (worth 10% of the final mark)

Integrative Report—Consumer Behaviour

As a marketer, it is important to consider a wide range of consumer behaviour implications prior to developing a marketing plan. You have covered materials that will help you as a marketer to define the market and identify threats and opportunities to a product brand and to recommend strategies to improve marketing programs. You will complete your analysis and research into the market and consumer behaviour of your chosen product by producing a report (roughly 10 pages or 3000 words) reflecting key concepts that you have covered. Provide suggestions or recommendations on strategies that should be focused on in the development of any future marketing programs. You should write the report as if you are a marketing consultant advising the marketing and product managers of a client firm. Include the following in your report. (You should find most sections in the module assignments relevant to this task; however, do not copy and paste what you have written previously, rather edit and synthesize.)

  1. What trends in consumer behaviour can you identify within your chosen market? Discuss how consumers learn about the products from their environment and how they use this information to direct their behaviour. (Module 1)
  2. How would you segment the product market? Develop a Rich Market Profile chart for your product. (You may refer to the Rich Market Profile Questions Exhibit 2and Rich Market Profile Exhibit 1
  3. Identify and discuss the primary key internal factors that would influence consumers of your product. Justify your choices and suggest appropriate strategies for your choices. (Module 2)
  4. What tools will help you better understand consumers’ attitudes and behaviour? (Module 2)
  5. Identify and discuss the primary key external factors that would influence consumers of your product. Justify your choices and suggest appropriate strategies for your choices. (Module 3)
  6. What strategies would you develop and implement to enable customers to choose your product brand over others. What strategies would you develop to satisfy and retain customers? (All modules)
  7. What advertising strategy would you adopt for your product? Include strategies that you would develop to tap into the growth in environmental awareness and opportunities in creative disposal of your chosen product. (All modules)
  8. What kind of marketing activities would you adopt to coincide with each of the five stages of the consumer decision making process? (Module 4)
  9. Conclusions and recommendations.

Reflective Summary

The Reflective Summary requires you to look back at your online discussions and journalling and to reflect on your course experience. As a distance learner, much of your interaction in this course may have come from participation in the online discussions. Write 3 to 4 pages (roughly 1000 words) reviewing your contribution to the discussions in the course and your journalling activity.

  1. Did the contribution of other learners influence you and help enrich your knowledge of consumer behaviour?
  2. Did you agree with everything others posted to the online discussions?
  3. Did the ideas and information presented in the articles have a significant influence on your understanding or perspective on consumer behaviour?
  4. Did your ideas and views shift as you progressed through the course?
  5. Include two or three of the reflective questions and what you have learned from them.
  6. Document your best contribution to the discussions and describe briefly what you have learned from the postings of other learners.
  7. Include highlights from the other activities and the course in general.

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