MKT 3410

INTERNET EXERCISES 1-6

 

The purpose of the Internet Exercises is to explore and learn about the Internet as a vehicle for marketing information, activities, and processes.  While these exercises are assignments, I am hoping that each of you and your team members will experience the marvelous awe and wonder of what the Internet is, how it can be effectively and creatively used, and the joy and excitement of discovering new possibilities, particularly for marketing.

 

I have provided you with sample links on most pieces of each Internet Exercise.  However, you are not limited to these suggested links.  Please explore as many as you would like to understand more about online marketing.  If some links change during the semester, then google an equivalent link and use that instead.  It is up to you to make this as enjoyable and learning-rich as it can be.

 

We will not meet in our formal classroom on the days that Internet Exercises are scheduled.  Instead, each of you will meet in your groups of four or work independently as required by the assignment.  I will be in my office during these times if you want to interact with me, or we can meet online, by phone, whatever.  At the end of the semester, each individual will hand in one overall peer evaluation of the group members’ behavior and contributions to the Internet Exercises as a whole.   Grades will be adjusted based on these peer evaluations.

 

Internet Exercise 1:  Group Communication (August 25 for the Monday Class; August 26 for the Tuesday Class)

 

1.     Create a group communication system via website, social media, phone apps, Skype, conference calls, Google, etc., or any combination thereof, where the 4 of you can meet online as a study group, that is, where you can be signed in and live/real time with each other so that you do not have to meet physically if you choose. Here are some websites to consider:

·       http://www.schools.com/articles/create-your-own-community-online-study-group.html

·       http://groups.google.com/

·       http://www.google.com/drive/about.html

·       http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/homepage

·       http://www.onlinecollege.org/2011/03/04/forming-a-study-group-with-your-online-classmates/

·       http://community.pennfoster.edu/thread/1171

·       http://www.educationandtech.com/2012/09/tips-for-forming-successful-online.html

·       http://news.everestonline.edu/post/2010/10/online-study-group/?dmredirect=IFLSC001

·       http://www.unisa.ac.za/default.asp?Cmd=ViewContent&ContentID=15151

·       http://www.onlinecollege.org/2011/10/11/starting-a-virtual-study-group/

·       http://infed.org/mobi/what-is-a-group/

2.     Turn in an approximately 3-5 page, typed paper explaining your group communication system – what possibilities are available, what you set up, how you did it, any problems you had, how you worked out the bugs, is it up and running fully at this time, are you already using it, why you set it up as you did, what contingency plan is available, how did the members participate as a group, journal of activities, and what you learned overall as a group from doing this exercise.

3.     I want you also to answer the question:  what do we need to do and not do to create a very efficient and effective group?

 

Due: September 22 for the Monday Class; September 16 for the Tuesday Class (10 points).  This is a group exercise.  Hand in an approximately 3-5 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns as well as a journal of activities and a paragraph evaluating how the group is working.

 

Internet Exercise 2:  MTV (September 15 for the Monday Class; September 9 for the Tuesday Class; No In-Class Meeting)

 

MTV, the pioneer of music video, has changed dramatically in the past few years.  It is now developing more original programming material such as Jackass and the Real World documentaries, rather than focusing simply on playing music videos, 24/7.  In addition, MTV U.S. and MTV Europe have launched several new digital channels – MTV 2, MTV Hits, MTV Base, and MTV Dance.  Visit www.mtv.com and www.mtv.co.uk to explore these new channels.

 

Social networking is a popular method of communication for individuals, businesses, and organizations of all kinds.  Conduct some research online and identify how companies are utilizing some of the most popular social networking sites in their marketing strategies.  Consider the target markets that MTV’s businesses are trying to reach and whether you think they have been successful in reaching those markets via social networking sites.  Be sure and examine what other companies are doing (particularly their competition).  Are some companies doing really creative things to get customers’ attention?  What are they doing, and how successful have they been?  What has MTV done with regard to social networking?  Has it been successful?  What could or should they be doing?

 

In addition, blogs are big business and a powerful tool for marketers.  Whether businesses like it or not, bloggers have tremendous power.  A positive review on a popular blog can mean exponential increases in sales.  The opposite situation could be true for a negative review.  Regardless of whether or not most bloggers are qualified to give advice about products, their readers pay attention and so, therefore, must marketers.  Many companies now send out samples, free trips, stays in hotels, etc., to bloggers in the hopes of garnering praise on popular (and moderately popular) blogs.  With literally millions of blogs already in existence, and new ones popping up all the time, this can amount to an overwhelming task for marketers.  However, blogs can be a great way for companies to generate some low-cost publicity.  This is why so many firms have resorted to appealing to bloggers.  Examine various Internet sites in terms of their blogs and blogging process.  What makes a good blog set-up?   What does MTV use?  Is it effective?  How could it be improved?

 

The term app is short for the word application which refers to any piece of software that works on a software system of sorts.  For example, Word is a desktop application as are Outlook Express, Calculator, Skype, etc.  There are also a whole world of web applications out there that you run directly from the computers that host the Internet and you do that through your Internet browser which is itself a desktop application.  Mobile phone applications run on a less powerful system than those on your computer, they're smaller and lighter and require fewer resources to run them.  As a result, often you will find that they are stripped down versions of the very same ones you might use on your home machine.  In 2007, Apple launched an online store where you buy all sorts of these mobile phone applications specifically designed to run on the iPhone.  They sexed it up a bit by referring to them as "apps" and the rest is history.  So now, common parlance essentially has it that when people are talking about apps, 95% of the time, they are talking about small programs specifically made for mobile phones.  Since 2008, everyone seems to have an app store of their own.  The Android Market sells them for Android phones, the Windows Marketplace sells them for Windows Mobile phones, Symbian still has its huge support of apps out there as well as Palm, BlackBerry, and a few manufacturers and even networks are in on the act as well.  Phones also come with their own apps pre-installed too.  The reason they have come to light of late is because our mobile devices have become more and more sophisticated meaning that the apps can get more sophisticated as well.   As a result, smartphones have become the customizable tool we need and want them to be.  (http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/31462/what-the-hell-are-apps)   Explore MTV’s apps – what do you notice about them?

 

In answering the above questions and the following questions, please visit:

·       www.mtv.com

·       www.mtv.co.uk

·       http://prwriting.wikispaces.com/file/view/MTV+Global+Fact+Sheet.pdf

·       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTV_Networks

·       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTV

·       MTV’s social networking sites

·       http://www.webtrafficroi.com/what-makes-a-great-blog/

·       Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites

·       http://comprehension.prsa.org/?p=2660

·       How to Create Your Own Social Networking Site

·       http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/01/24/reid-hoffman-linkedin-startup-you/

·       http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Social-Network

·       http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223776

·       http://succeedasyourownboss.com/05/2012/how-to-build-a-social-media-brand-2/

·       As well as the various competitors of MTV

 

Then, please address these questions:

1.     In your opinion, why has MTV added additional digital channels to its brand portfolio?

2.     Describe the market segmentation and targeting strategies being adopted by each of the new MTV channels.

3.     Discuss the dangers of brand stretching.

4.     Can market segmentation be taken too far?

5.     What is the likely impact of these new MTV spin off digital channels on the core MTV channel in the forthcoming years?

6.     What works and what does not work about MTV’s websites, social networking sites, and apps?

 

Due:  October 20 for the Monday Class; October 14 for the Tuesday Class (30 points).  This is a group exercise.  Hand in an approximately 5-7 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns as well as a journal of activities and a paragraph evaluating how the group is working.

 

Internet Exercise 3:  Marketing’s Impact in the World (October 13 for the Monday Class; October 7 for the Tuesday Class; No In-Class Meeting)

 

Here are some major happenings in the world:

·       http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304475004579276751433735152

·       http://www.endmemo.com/events/2013.php

·       http://www.slideshare.net/BrandNetworks/marketing-trends-slideshare

·       http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/35606.asp#multiview

·       http://blog.euromonitor.com/2014/01/the-top-10-global-consumer-trends-for-2014.html

·       http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/12/future-according-ford-2014-trends-report-revealed/

·       http://www.forbes.com/sites/avidan/2012/05/10/the-10-most-important-marketing-trends-according-to-sir-martin-sorrell/

·       http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2013/09/17/the-top-7-online-marketing-trends-that-will-dominate-2014/2/

·       https://www.boundless.com/marketing/the-marketing-environment/external-factors/trends/

·       http://http-download.intuit.com/http.intuit/CMO/intuit/futureofsmallbusiness/intuit_2020_report.pdf

·       http://www.dni.gov/index.php/about/organization/national-intelligence-council-global-trends

·       http://global-influences.com/social/communication-nation/technology-trends-2020/

·       http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2012/09/10/10-businesses-that-will-boom-in-2020

·       http://memeburn.com/2013/10/10-massive-tech-trends-that-will-hit-us-by-2020/

·       http://www.slideshare.net/KyleLacy/disruption-the-five-trends-that-will-change-the-world-by-2020

·       http://www.cmo.com/content/cmo-com/home/slide-shows/slide-show-the-cmos-world-in-2020.html

·       http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/docs/energy/foresight_2020.pdf

·       http://www.bain.com/Images/BAIN_BRIEF_8MacroTrends.pdf

·       http://www.pwc.se/sv_SE/se/detaljhandel/assets/retailing-2020-winning-in-a-polarized-world.pdf

·       http://frost-apac.com/download/megatrends.pdf

 

How do these trends impact marketing?  How does marketing impact these and other trends?  What do you think are the top marketing trends for 2014 and beyond?  Why?  How do you think these trends will impact marketing?  Importantly, how will these trends impact people’s lives?

 

What do you think are some new important trends around the world? 

 

Due: November 17 for the Monday Class; November 18 for the Tuesday Class (30 points).  This is a group exercise.  Hand in an approximately 5-7 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns as well as a journal of activities and a paragraph evaluating how the group is working.

 

 “Don’t try to manufacture coolness or try to be hip; consumers can see through that.  Just be true to who you are, understand your DNA and make it relevant to people today.” – Lynn Power

 

Internet Exercise 4:  New Retail Business (October 27 for the Monday Class; October 21 for the Tuesday Class; No In-Class Meeting)

 

You have just received a sizable inheritance.  After giving part of it to charity, you have $500,000 remaining to begin a new retail operation in your local area.  What kind of operation will you open?

1.     What market or segment of a market exists in your area with unfulfilled needs or wants?

2.     Briefly describe the nature of the operation and the type of retail store you would open to meet the needs of a specific market segment(s).

a.     Target market(s)?

b.     4 p’s?

c.     Product?  Product assortment – depth, width, and quality?

-       Which products will be the most important to consumers?

-       Will consumers want other complementary products when they shop?

d.     Service level?

e.     Price range?

3.     Will you use a concentrated or a differentiated targeting strategy?  Why?

4.     What segmentation variables will be useful in describing your target market(s)?

5.     Where will you locate?  Why?  Pay particular attention here given the importance of location.

a.     Be sure to consider

-       Ease of movement in, around, and out of the location

-       Size and shape of the building

-       Likely terms of rent or lease

-       Surrounding stores

b.     Choose whether to locate in a free-standing store or in a

-       Traditional business district

-       Neighborhood shopping center

-       Community shopping center

-       Regional shopping center

-       Superregional shopping center

-       Lifestyle shopping center

-       Power shopping center

6.     What are some things that you would be sure to do in setting up the store’s website?

7.     Also, you may want to include your own research plan or ideas for your local area as cities all differ.  That is, you may want to consider checking with your local business council about planning and applications for retail stores and then what it would take to write a business plan and approach a bank if investment is required.

 

Websites you may want to examine include: 

·       http://www.ehow.com/how_5101109_set-up-retail-business.html

·       Starting a Business

·       http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-goodsie-2011-5

·       http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_7512682_start-own-retail-store-online.html

·       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWszdPS1t4U

·       http://www.ehow.com/how_6765091_plan-retail-business.html

·       http://www.top10ecommercesitebuilders.com/index.php?kw=how%20to%20build%20an%20online%20store&c=21575827743&t=search&p=&m=e&adpos=1t1&a=500

·       http://www.bplans.com/retail_and_online_store_business_plan_templates.php

·       http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/63985-5-Niches-for-a-New-Ecommerce-Business

·       http://www.vendhq.com/retail-trends-and-predictions

·       http://www.retail.about.com/od/startingaretailbusiness/tp/checklist.htm

·       http://www.forbes.com/sites/prospernow/2014/02/03/year-of-reckoning-for-brick-and-mortar-retailers/

·       http://retailindustry.about.com/od/USRetailStoreClosingInfoFAQs/fl/All-2014-Store-Closings-US-Retail-Industry-Chains-to-Close-Stores.htm

·       http://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2014/industry/retail

·       http://compass.ups.com/2014-retail-trends-for-business/

·       and appropriate social networking sites.

 

Due:  December 8 for the Monday Class; December 9 for the Tuesday Class (30 points).  This is a group exercise.  Hand in an approximately 5-7 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns as well as a journal of activities and a paragraph evaluating how the group is working.

 

Internet Exercise 5:  Social Media Plan for Your Retail Business (November 10 for the Monday Class; November 4 for the Tuesday Class; No In-Class Meeting)

 

Social media is a type of online media that facilitates interactive conversations between buyers and sellers.  Traditional media can deliver content but does not allow readers/viewers/listeners to participate in the creation or development of the content.  Social media can help you grow your retail business.  That is, a social media plan has many benefits including driving more unique traffic to your business, expanding the reach of thought leadership content, measuring the value of social media strategies, and better identifying, understanding, and engaging potential customers.  However, your social media endeavors need to be well planned and well implemented.  If the social media plan is done well, it can directly impact the bottom line. 

 

For this Internet Exercise, you and your team will be designing a social media plan for the retail business you just created in #4 above.  Here are some links that may prove useful:

·       http://www.startupsmart.com.au/sales-and-marketing/marketing/creating-your-first-social-media-strategy/201302128887.html

·       http://socialmediatoday.com/mikethimmesch/475146/how-write-your-social-media-plan-8-steps

·       http://purelybranded.com/insights/social-media-marketing-strategy-for-small-businesses/

·       http://outspokenmedia.com/social-media/social-media-planning/

·       http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/26-tips-to-create-a-strong-social-media-content-strategy/

·       https://www.networksolutions.com/blog/2010/12/how-to-put-together-a-basic-social-media-strategy-in-4-steps/

·       http://nataliegovender.com/2012/02/03/how-to-put-together-a-social-media-strategy-in-eight-easy-steps/

·       http://mashable.com/2008/07/10/how-to-develop-a-social-media-plan/

·       https://www.udemy.com/blog/social-media-marketing-plan/

·       http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-strategy/social-media-strategy-in-8-steps/

·       http://sisarina.com/blog/how-to-write-a-social-media-plan-in-4-steps

·       http://blog.kissmetrics.com/longterm-social-media-plan/

·       http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2012/12/03/planning-your-social-media-strategy-take-a-cue-from-ge/

·       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyM4ORg452g

·       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko2wD_yAjmI

·       http://www.marketo.com/_assets/uploads/Sample-Social-Media-Tactical-Plan.pdf

·       http://www.exacttarget.com/sites/exacttarget/files/MarketingCloud_Ebook_40IdeasSMPlan.pdf

·       http://www.business2community.com/social-media/13-social-media-marketing-trends-2014-experts-0805157#!zucd4

·       http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/03/08/3981853/11-signs-your-small-business-social.html

 

Due:  December 8 for the Monday Class; December 9 for the Tuesday Class (30 points).  This is a group exercise.  Hand in an approximately 5-7 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns as well as a journal of activities and a paragraph evaluating how the group is working.

 

Internet Exercise 6:  Positioning of a New Soda (December 1 for the Monday Class; December 2 for the Tuesday Class; No In-Class Meeting)

 

Develop a new soft drink and discuss how you would position it in the marketplace.  Sites to visit might include:

·       http://www.cokeconsolidated.com/

·       http://www.adbrands.net/sectors/sector_softdrinks.htm

·       http://www.coca-cola.com/en/index.html

·       http://www.pepsico.com/

·       http://www.drpeppersnapplegroup.com/

·       And their social networking sites

·       http://www.marieforleo.com/2013/05/sell-more/

·       http://www.marsdd.com/articles/positioning/

·       http://www.brainmates.com.au/how-to/%E2%80%9Chow-to%E2%80%A6-%E2%80%9D-position-a-product

·       http://www.slideshare.net/fhuertamty/positioning-a-new-product

·       http://www.otmmarketing.com/Portals/42226/docs/product_positioning.pdf

 

Then, please consider the following:

1.     In what ways do Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr Pepper/Snapple use different products to reach different segments?

2.     How would you describe the different segments they are targeting?

3.     Describe the brands’ relative positioning in their product categories.

4.     Discuss the strategies which soda manufacturers and retailers are adopting in the market.

5.     What are the competitive advantages and disadvantages of the three big players, i.e., Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr Pepper/Snapple?

6.     Discuss how Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr Pepper/Snapple are using the web as part of their global marketing strategy.

7.     Why do these soda brands have an Internet site?  What works about each of these Internet sites?

8.     What elements have contributed to the success of the brands, e.g., packaging, responding to consumer tastes and needs, etc.?

 

Due:  December 8 for the Monday Class; December 9 for the Tuesday Class (30 points).  This is an individual exercise.  Hand in an approximately 5-7 page, double-spaced typed paper addressing the above concerns.

 

 “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” - Woody Allen

 

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