5.5 Discussion Questions and Activities
- Think about some of your friends and what you have discovered by visiting their homes. Do they buy different things than you do? If so, why? How might a company distinguish you from them in terms of its targeting?
- Staples and The Limited have attempted to thwart shoppers who abuse store return policies. When a customer returns items, store clerks swipe the customer’s driver’s license through electronic card readers that track buying and return patterns for any suspicious activity. What drawbacks do you think such a strategy could have?
- Is it always harder to find new customers than it is to retain old ones or does it depend on the business you’re in?
- Does one-to-one marketing have to be expensive? How can small organizations interact with their customers in a cost-effective way?
- Are large companies better off using multisegment strategies and small companies better off using niche strategies? Why or why not?
- How have companies such as JCPenney and Sears tried to change their position (reposition their stores)?
- Do you think hotel companies have segmented the market too much and confused customers?
- Visit http://aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf to see a video created by the American Civil Liberties Union in an effort to warn consumers about the information being collected about them. Do you think the video is far-fetched? Or do you think consumers should be alarmed? In your opinion, do the potential benefits of CRM databases exceed the potential downsides—or not?
- Form groups of three students. Think of a product or service that one of you purchased recently on campus. How might you go about developing a customer profile for the product? List the sources you would use.
- Describe a product you like that you believe more people should use. As a marketer, how would you reposition the product to increase its use? Outline your strategy.
- Look at the latest census data and identify at least two areas of the country that are growing. What type of businesses would you recommend enter the growing markets?
- Think of an idea for a new product or service. Who would be the target market(s) and how would you position your offering?