5 Key Takeaways from Marketing Research & Strategies

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Over the course of the semester I have learned so much from my Marketing Research and Strategies class. It was a very interesting class and a lot of the information covered is relevant for my career in the future.

One important thing I learned was about big data. Big data refers to extremely large data sets that can be analyzed to reveal patterns and trends. Big data is so valuable because this information can help prevent major outbreaks from happening or help predict future trends for businesses. Whatever the case maybe, big data is at the center of the discussion because it opens up so many doors for new opportunities. This is relevant to me because big data is not going away anytime soon and it will be important for me to understand how big of an impact it will have on my life.

Another significant thing I learned was about acquiring the right sources for research. We took a trip to the library this semester where we learned about the various databases that Wesleyan offers. From this, it became apparent to me just how many databases there are and how each is meant for a different use. This is valuable for me to know for my future because I will probably have to complete some type of research regardless of my career. From my trip to the library I am better prepared to undergo this process and choose the most relevant sources for my research.

A third valuable thing I learned was how to actually conduct a focus group. This could be very beneficial to me because by having a career in the business field, I actually might have to complete a focus group for my job. Through this class I am prepared to do this because I know all of the steps involved in conducting a focus group. In addition, I know helpful tips to conduct a successful focus group.

Additionally, I learned about how to create a survey. For our final project we had to compose a survey and we created various questions pertaining to our topic. Before creating the survey I didn’t realize there were so many different question types to choose from. I just assumed there were standard questions like multiple choice and open ended questions. However, I have learned there is so much more than that. Being able to create a survey will also be helpful for my future career because I might have to create a survey for my job. I now am prepared for this if I have to create one.

One final major thing that I learned from this class was how essential and relevant ethics are. Ethics plays a vital role that is essential for marketing and it can address whether a certain action is right or wrong. One must keep in mind the rights of the participants in the study to make sure you do not violate their rights or even harm them. Ethics must be taken into consideration for everything and this even applies to me. Knowing right from wrong is key because I don’t want to do something unethical in the workplace.

In conclusion, I have learned so much from this class. I believe that all of this information is very valuable because I can apply it to my future career.

-Katlyn Hoge

Unethical Research for Animal Testing

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This week for my Market Research and Strategies class we had to look a peer’s blog and expand on their topic of unethical research. I read many interesting blogs, but the blog I finally chose was Katarina’s. In her blog, she discussed the topic animal testing in regards to furthering our knowledge. She stated that there are more than 100 million animals in the United States that have been used for testing. Katarina also stated many ways to help prevent this form occurring. Some helpful tips were:

 

I completely agree with Katarina’s stance on this topic to stop companies from using animals for testing. The harmful use of animals in experiments is not only cruel but also often ineffective. Animals do not get many of the human diseases that people do, such as major types of heart disease, many types of cancer, HIV, Parkinson’s disease, or schizophrenia.  Instead, signs of these diseases are artificially induced in animals in laboratories in an attempt to mimic the human disease. It is not surprising to find that treatments showing ‘promise’ in animals rarely work in humans. Not only are time, money and animals’ lives being wasted (with a huge amount of suffering), but effective treatments are being mistakenly discarded and harmful treatments are getting through.

Through some additional research I found that animal testing is often very unreliable. 95% of drugs fail in human trials despite promising results in animal tests. Also there was a study that found using mice and rats to test the safety of drugs in humans is only accurate 43% of the time. In addition animal testing is very wasteful. Even with the testing of over 100 million animals each year, only 25 new medicines are approved annually by the leading drug regulator, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And the drugs that are approved are not universally effective due to individual reactions. The top ten highest-grossing drugs in the USA only help between 1 in 4 and 1 in 25 people who take them. And not to mention animal testing is very dangerous. Vioxx, a drug used to treat arthritis, was found to be safe when tested in monkeys (and five other animal species) but has been estimated to have caused around 320,000 heart attacks and strokes and 140,000 deaths worldwide.

So as you can see we need to take a stand against these companies that implement animal testing. It is very unethical to test these animals and we need to put an end to this.

If you would like to learn more about the terrible effects of animal testing you can go to https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/why-we-do-it/arguments-against-animal-testing

-Katlyn Hoge

5 Key Takeaways from Sport Marketing

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It is hard to believe that the semester is almost over, but over the course of the semester I have learned so much valuable information from my Sport Marketing class. This class was very interesting and there was a great deal of material covered that will help me prepare for my future career. Since I have learned so much from this class, I will briefly cover only five things that I feel are the most important.

The first thing that I learned is the importance of social media. Over the past years, technology has come a long way and has become more prevalent. Everyone is glued to their phones 24/7 and is constantly checking for updates. Taking this into consideration, social media is vital to sport marketers because it is such a great way to interact with their customers. Fans are on their phones before the games, during the games, and after the games. As a result, the behavior of a team or an athlete on social media can directly influence a fan’s perception of that team or athlete.

Another key thing I learned was about the overall price of tickets and the value of the experience that a customer receives from the event. It is important to note that customers do not just pay for a ticket to go to a game. There are other costs like money for gas, parking expenses, possible hotel costs if they stay the night, concession stand costs, and much more. It is important to realize this because the customers are going to expect that the value they receive from attending the game matches the whole amount they paid, not just the $20 for the ticket. Sport marketers are then required to fully match this expectation by actually exceeding the customers’ expectations. This can be done through offering different events throughout the game. For example, the pierogi race that the Pittsburgh Pirates implement during their games. In addition, they also have contests where the fans have the opportunity to win prizes or they even throw t shirts into the crowd. These events help engage the customer so that they feel they are getting their monies worth.

This then leads into the importance of fan engagement. When fans attend an event, the goal is for them to have an excellent experience and for them to want to come back. Michael Grahl (Vice President of digital platforms for the Milwaukee Bucks) touched upon this idea in the video we watched earlier this year. He has no control over wins or losses. The one thing he can control is delivering an unforgettable experience to the fans each and every night. He strives to provide game entertainment that is unique and relevant to the fans. This is highly important because win or lose, he wants every fan walking out of the arena to come back and do it again. Fans need to be captivated by the event so they become hooked.

The fourth thing that I learned was the importance of branding your product. This can be especially noted through Jeremy Darlow and the Oregon Ducks. Jeremy Darlow makes the point that perception is everything. People’s opinions about the college ultimately determines the success of the program. If you have a winning perception, then you can build upon the equity of the brand. The brand equity allows people to form a perception about the program. Having a strong brand equity ensures that people are aware of your brand and think of your brand positively. Building a good perception of the program is the first step for success. Winning seasons, prestigious programs, and championships all start with improving the perception of your program. A good example of this is the Oregon Ducks because they have been able to do exactly this. They have taken their brand and have turned it into something that is much so much bigger. They have captivated people and as a result people have fallen in love with brand.

The last thing I have learned is how vital media relations are. The way the media portrays you is everything because it can ultimately make or break you. Take the United Airlines fiasco for example. The video released of the United Airlines forcefully removing a customer and beating him up spread like wildfire. This was extremely bad publicity for United Airlines. The result was their revenue dropped dramatically and they lost a lot of customers. It is crucial to maintain good media relations.

In conclusion, I have learned so much from my Sport Marketing class. All of this information will help me in the future because I will be able to apply what I have learned.

 

-Katlyn Hoge

The Oregon Ducks

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This week for my Sport Marketing blog we have to go back and take a look at our Oregon Ducks assignment that we submitted. My paper analyzed the Oregon Ducks and determined what set them apart from other colleges. They are known for being very creative by designing eye catching uniforms. This helps play into their successful marketing of their brand. This paper also discussed the other ways that the Ducks effectively market themselves to make their program successful.

The University of Oregon was founded in 1876 and has a respected athletic program. The Oregon Ducks are a part of the Pac-12 Conference and have eighteen varsity teams. They have a winning tradition and a very successful program. There are various tactics that Oregon uses to promote their brand, which makes their school so successful.

One tactic includes letting the players design their own uniforms. This is appealing because, “Every three years, each recruit who comes here will have a chance to work with Nike, and not only design the colors, but the product, and the look”. This attracts recruits because they get a chance to play a role in creating their uniforms.

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Another tactic that the Oregon Ducks use to promote their brand to potential students and recruits is informing them that their school and sporting facilities are top notch. Oregon has spent millions of dollars over the past few years renovating their facilities to ensure that they are the best.

A third tactic that the Oregon Ducks use to promote their brand to various people is their initiative to go green. Through this effort of going green, the Ducks have been able to advance partnerships with several stakeholders. Some of the stakeholders include Sanipac, the city of Eugene, the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, and student groups on campus. Scott Johnson, district manager of Sanipac, is really happy to be a part of this program and comments on this topic by stating, “By partnering with the athletics department, we are able to promote recycling awareness to city residents, businesses, and university partners. The systems developed by Oregon Athletics are becoming standard for other UO events and venues, which Sanipac serves throughout the region. Autzen Stadium presents an opportunity like none other to communicate with more than 58,000 people each Saturday during football season”.

A final tactic that the Ducks use to promote their brand to fans is through their alumni. The mission statement of Oregon’s alumni relations program is as follows, “The UOAA community makes the UO stronger by fostering lifelong relationships, helping Ducks become champions and cheerleaders, ambassadors and advocates, for the university”. This really helps create awareness for Oregon by having the alumni reach out to people and they create relationships with them to influence their opinion about the program.

In my opinion, I believe that University of Oregon is extremely effective at branding themselves and getting their image out there. Many people might think that their program is all hype, but I think they are the real deal.  They market themselves in such a smart way that allows them to connect with countless of people. They also are so smart in the tactics that they use, creating great brand recognition that almost promotes itself in a way.

Here are the references used for the quotes:

-Katlyn Hoge

Clarion University

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This week for my Sport Marketing class we had to look at an NCAA D-II college sport organization’s use of social media. The college that I chose was Clarion University which is located in northern Pennsylvania. If you go to their athletic website, you can see all of the different platforms they use for social media. These platforms include: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For their Facebook page, they have various posts about all of the different sport teams and how they did in their game. If you click on the post, the link will take you to their athletic page and you can read the article about the game. Their Facebook page appears to be kept fairly up to date with posts after every game.

For their Twitter, it appears to be very similar to their Facebook page where they post the different articles about all of the sport teams. In addition, their Twitter also has more information by providing almost play by play updates. For example, they regularly tweet the scores after so many innings for softball/baseball to keep fans up to date if they are unable to attend the game.

For their Instagram, they post pictures of different athletes competing at events or videos of them at practices. For example, there a lot of pictures of the wrestlers on the podiums after they won or pictures of swimmers receiving an award after a race. Their Instagram mostly promotes the success of Clarion’s athletic program.

I feel that Clarion does a pretty good job at using their social media, but they can improve on a few things. One thing they can improve on is getting their message to more people. They have a decent amount of followers for each of the platforms, but they should strive to get more people to follow them. They could achieve this by getting the students involved. Clarion could start a hashtag and encourage their followers to use this hashtag as well. That way the student’s followers would see this hashtag and possibly become interested enough to follow Clarion.

If you would like to check out Clarion’s different social media platforms, you can click on this link http://www.clariongoldeneagles.com/sports/2014/6/20/GEN_0620144838.aspx

-Katlyn Hoge

Monkey Drug Trials

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This week in my Marketing Research and Strategy class, we covered the topic of ethical and unethical practices. As a result, the purpose of this week’s blog post is to find an ethical or unethical research study. I read some interesting articles and the study that I finally chose was the Monkey Drug Trials. The point of this experiment was to understand the effects of drug use and addiction. There were a large group of monkeys selected for this study and they were trained to inject themselves with drugs. Some of the drugs used in the experiment were morphine, alcohol, codeine, cocaine, and amphetamines. Once the monkeys were addicted to the drugs, they were given a large supply of the drugs to take as much as they wanted to. The results of the experiment were horrifying. Some of the monkeys tried to escape and broke their arms in the process, while others tore off their fingers from possible hallucinations. It was also reported that one monkey taking amphetamines tore all of the fur off on its arm and abdomen. Monkeys that used a combination of morphine and cocaine sadly died.

It is obvious that there were unethical practices in this study. The treatment of the animals was inhumane. The monkeys were forced to take drugs and soon became addicted. This is no way to treat an animal, even if the research could help us learn more about the topic of drug abuse. The monkeys were put into serious danger by participating in this study because many of them harmed themselves and some even died from the experiment. This whole thing could have been avoided if the people conducting the experiment did not use any animals. Instead of using animals, they could have possibly used people that were already addicts. That way the experimenters could give people the choice of participating in the experiment, compared to forcing the monkeys to take the drugs. The most beneficial thing that can be learned from the experiment is that animals should never be used as test subjects. They have no choice in the matter and it is cruel to put them through something like this.

Here is the link if you would like to read more about the experiment and other experiments like it http://listverse.com/2008/09/07/top-10-unethical-psychological-experiments/

-Katlyn Hoge

Boundaries and Limitations of Marketing Research

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This week in my marketing research and strategies class we took some time to work on our final project. Our group was assigned the MBA program at Wesleyan and the goal is to increase nontraditional students to attend the MBA program. However, while conducting market research for our final project we have found there some boundaries and limitations. Edward McQuarrie states that the first boundary is “market research is not effective in situations where the decision maker has to predict the future with some precision; the more precise the needed prediction, and more the distant future, the less the effectiveness”. This simply means that you cannot predict the future and even if you attempt to, you will have very little accuracy in doing so. This limitation applies to our final project because we are giving our surveys to current students at Wesleyan and asking them to put themselves into a future situation where there are working and trying to get their MBA. They must predict how they will behave in the future and this hard to do. We would get better results if we had people taking our survey that were currently working and looking into getting their MBA.

There is a second boundary that Edward McQuarrie discusses in his book and this is the benefit of the marketing research. It is stated that this idea occurs “when the cost of information, in dollars or time, outweighs the benefit received or when the precision of the information that can be gained for reasonable cost is inadequate”.  This is not a problem for our final assignment because the market research we are conducting is cost free. Creating the survey will not cost anything and administering the survey will also be free.

Another factor that we will have to take into consideration when reviewing our results is that there will be different perspectives. Students and professors will be taking our survey so they could have different preferences for teaching style. For example, students today thrive on technology and often prefer to have online classes. Whereas, professors might be a little more old-school and prefer face to face classes because they didn’t grow up with the same technology that students today did.

Even with all of these limitations and boundaries, our groups feels that we can conduct effective quantitative/qualitative research. Like I mentioned before, we will just have to  take into consideration the differences of preference by each group.

 

-Katlyn Hoge

McQuarrie, E. F. (2016). The Market Research Toolbox (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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This week for my Sports Marketing class we had to pick a professional sports team and look at the partnerships or sponsorships it has with other organizations. The professional team that I chose was the the Pittsburgh Steelers. One partnership that the Pittsburgh Steelers have is with UPMC. Together, the Pittsburgh Steelers and UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program offer steps that football coaches and players can take to help prevent concussions. The Steelers and UPMC concussion experts stress the importance of seeking the right treatment for head injuries. One safe tackling method to prevent head injuries that the Steelers use is the phrase, “Don’t hit the head. Don’t use the head.” Also by teaming up with the UPMC Concussion Program, the Steelers are sharing this safe tackling message to help players at all levels prevent injuries. They send concussion posters and other learning materials to western Pennsylvania high schools, middle schools, and youth football leagues. They also stress the importance of training coaches on concussion awareness and heads up tackling. By training coaches in this area, they also inform them on how important it is to have proper equipment and that it fits correctly.

The Pittsburgh Steelers also hosts a cancer awareness event that is sponsored by UPMC Cancer Center, Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC, and Ford. The event for 2016 took place on Sunday, October 9, 2016.  This was a big effort to raise awareness and ask for donations for breast cancer screenings. The Pittsburgh Steelers invited breast cancer survivors and their loved ones to take part in this event. The Steelers also passed out pink-hued Terrible Towels to all of the fans. Attendees were then able to wave the towels in unison with the thousands of women and men touched by breast cancer each year. The American Cancer Society estimates that 246,660 American women and 2,600 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2016. UPMC Cancer Center, part of University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and Magee-Women’s Cancer Program, in partnership with Ford, presented a $10,000 check to Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh in a special on-field presentation.

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-Katlyn Hoge

Sample Size

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This week in my Marketing Research and Strategy class we learned a little bit more about samples and how to calculate a sample size. In Edward McQuarrie’s book, The Market Research Toolbox, he gives an explanation with detailed steps on how to compute a sample size. The process is fairly easy and only involves three steps. The first step is to square the Z value associated with the desired confidence interval. The next step is to multiply it by the population variance. And finally the last step is to divide by the square of the desired precision. So know that you know the steps to calculate a sample size, it is time to look at a problem and actually calculate the sample size.

One of the questions in Edward McQuarrie’s book is as follows: “A firm wishes to track satisfaction on a quarterly basis using a 10-point scale. They’d like a precision of plus or minus 0.05 – that is, to be able to interpret a change in average satisfaction from 8.90 to 8.95 as a true increase in customer satisfaction (95 percent confidence). What sample size will they need?” We know that the problem requires a confidence interval of 95% so this means the Z value is 2.0. This Z value was found on page 294 because there are determined Z values for each confidence interval. Now that we have our Z value we can square it to get 4. Then we are going to multiply this by the population variance. In order to get the population variance look at page 298 since this problem is dealing with scale points. According to table 13.1, the variance will be 3 instead of 7 because the problem is a normal distribution. Finally we will divide by the square of the desired precision, which is 0.0025, since the precision listed in the problem is 0.05. You can look at the math below that calculates the sample size.

[22  X 3]/(.05)2    = 4800 customers

For the assigned problem above, I believe that the precision required was somewhat reasonable. Personally I would have liked the precision to have been a little looser just to allow for more wiggle room. However this precision will work in this case. Edward McQuarrie comments on this subjects and states, “As a practical matter, commercial studies of proportions should rarely seek a precision any tighter than plus or minus 5 percentage points”. So as long as the precision does not drop below 5 percentage points, then this number is acceptable. Having a tighter precision than 5 percentage points is basically unrealistic. Having more precision will not eliminate all the uncertainty when conducting market research. With more precision you can decrease the uncertainty, but there is no way to completely get rid of it all. Even if you have a really tight precision.

McQuarrie, E. F. (2016). The Market Research Toolbox (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

 

-Katlyn Hoge

Surveys

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For Marketing Research and Strategies class this week, we learned about surveys and the importance of them. The two types covered were evaluative and descriptive surveys.  Evaluative surveys describe a customer’s stance toward the brand, or positive and negative experiences with product ownership. Descriptive surveys describe the customer’s behaviors and characteristics.

According to Edward McQuarrie, he believes that evaluative surveys are more useful compared to descriptive surveys. First off, evaluative surveys offer you a greater claim than descriptive surveys. Also, your customer satisfaction may be decreasing and it is important to know why this is occurring. Through evaluative surveys, you can identify what is causing this drop and then you can fix the problem. Or in another case, your brand awareness might be falling behind a competitor’s, so an evaluative survey can help determine why. As you can see, the purpose of evaluative survey is to determine why something is happening. (McQuarrie, 2016)

One personal experience I have with surveys are the course evaluations at the end of each semester. These evaluations are anonymous and let students give feedback about what the professor did well and what areas they could improve on. The survey is set up with approximately 20 questions and takes very little time to complete. It lists different statements about the professor and then there is a scale given for you to check where the professor falls. The scale is set up from strongly agree to strongly disagree.

From looking at the perspective of a student, surveys are important because they can give great feedback. They are able to inform the professor the things they are doing well so that they can keep that up. The student could also let the professor know what they aren’t doing well. This allows the teacher to see that they need to modify their teaching.

From looking at the perspective of the marketer conducting the research, surveys are also important because it provides vital information to the professor. They get to see all of the feedback that the students had and they are able to take this information to improve the class. They may not realize that their teaching style doesn’t work for a certain class or that they aren’t delivering the information in a good way.

 

-Katlyn Hoge

 

McQuarrie, E. F. (2016). The Market Research Toolbox (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.