Marketing Strategy and Research Select Three Companies Term Paper

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Marketing Strategy and Research

Select three companies that make products that consumers want but run contrary to society's best interests. Factoring in the companies profit goals, discuss the ways in which they might resolve the conflicts that arise between satisfying individual wants and guarding society's welfare.

Perhaps the most obvious example of a company that manufactures a product that consumers desire, although the mass consumption of such a product runs against society's best interests is that of Big Tobacco, specifically RJR Reynolds Tobacco. The more people smoke, and specifically, the more people start smoking, the higher the profit margins of the RJR Reynolds company -- so long as the people who start smoking are not on the RJR Reynolds health care plan. The addiction of smoking does not merely hurt the individual, but costs society millions in health care, lost wages due to medical infirmities, orphans children earlier than expected, and impacts the quality of the air. The RJR Reynolds Company's attempts to resolve the conflict, between profitability, generating demand, and protecting society and consumers by creating 'lite' cigarettes, supposedly discouraging children from smoking, and targeting consumers overseas, has proved unsatisfactory in the eyes of most Americans. Perhaps the only tenuous compromise would be to support indoor smoking bans to protect nonsmoking consumers, and encouraging parents to smoke outdoors, and not in front of their children.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Marketing Strategy and Research Select Three Companies Assignment

McDonald's has a similar problem -- the more consumers eat its fattening foods, the higher the company's profit margins. The company attempts to stress physical activity as well as consumption of its product, but only a marathon runner could burn off the calories in a super sized meal. To atone for the cost to society in the form of health care costs, McDonald's supports community endeavors such as the Ronald McDonald House. But it would be even more socially responsible to encourage eating less caloric foods in smaller portions, but still eating at McDonald's on a frequent basis -- although making the traditional burger and fry meals smaller and less caloric, consumers may feel they are getting less value, and the company's traditional market base may reject healthy options if provided at a higher cost.

Subway, another purveyor like McDonalds, has attempted the most creative use of its 'bad' effects of fast food by encouraging consumers to eat fast food alongside offering more healthy alternatives of the same product, rather than different products like McDonald's. By using the potentially healthy calorie-cutting options it offers as a way of losing weight, while still eating frequently at Subway, even if the mass consumption of fast food still has negative effects, such as encouraging consumers to eat together as a family less frequently, and eating on the run.

As we are all aware, utilizing competitive marketing strategies is best for companies that depend on its industry position for their success. Which of the marketing strategies, (e.g. Market positioning, market segmentation, target marketing, etc.) would you recommend each of the following firms to use over the next 12 months: American airlines, AOL Time Warner, Martha Stewart Omnimedia Inc. Campbell Soup Company

American Airlines has been in financial difficulties because of the increased cost of fuel as well as its labor problems. This is true of much of the airline industry in general. However, though able market positioning, by distinguishing itself as either safer, more efficient, or more customer friendly than its competitors -- and if financially feasible cheaper -- American Airlines could potentially draw business and revenue from its competitors.

AOL Timer Warner, a media conglomerate, would be best served not in advertising its brand specifically, but instead deploying use of target marketing, to find untapped segments of the populace to purvey its new media products, stressing advertising of specific programs to specific targets, along with niche marketing of its special entertainment services, rather than changing its prices as it sells unique rather than interchangeable goods.

Martha Stewart Omnimedia, given the difficulties of its central figure, would be best advised to make use of market segmentation. It could avoid some of the bad press generated by Martha's incarceration and the uncertain future of her television shows by focusing instead on house owners who wish a quality and inexpensive product for their home. Then it could continue in its efforts to rehabilitate Martha's name amongst younger consumers, who may later in their consuming lives become Martha Steward Living product fans, even if their focus instead is on television.

Campbell Soup Company perhaps has the least bad press to contend with, but rather faces an overly saturated market of competitor convenience soups -- but again, by stressing through clever, strategic market positioning of a similar product its uniqueness amongst all consumers, such as its traditional, homemade associations because of the brand's longevity, could become a strong competitor against rivals such as Healthy Choice.

Consumers are becoming more and more concerned about the natural environment as it relates to the marketing of product. Discuss, with three examples per, how this trend affects a company that markets the following: tires, magazines, consumer electronics, and writing pens.

Tires are a product made of rubber that are disposable, and often fill up landfills quite quickly. However, they can be reused in a variety of ways. A tire company such as Goodyear could combat this problem by admitting this fact, but offering to recycle the product, if consumers give back their old tires at select areas in exchange, perhaps for a future discount. It could also publicize how tires can be reused in other products, like sneakers. Finally, it could stress how filling one's tires and using newer tires uses less gas, thus generating positive publicity for its product and consumer and environmental 'savings.'

Magazines generate paper, but a magazine company such as Time Warner can always combat this by stressing the company's promotion of community recycling efforts. Also, Time Warner could stress the positive qualities of reading good materials that outweighed such potentially negative effects of the mass use of paper. Lastly, it could also publicize the ability to read magazines online for environmentally concerned, which still generates revenue for the company (and additional revenue if an added fee is charged for premium online materials).

An electronics company such as Sony could also incorporate recycling efforts into its advertising, in exchange for consumer discounts upon the return of obsolete products. It could donate still working but obsolete electronics to schools and to poorer individuals who could not otherwise afford them. Lastly, it could use the electronics in other components of its newer merchandise and advertise this fact, as well as promote environmentally saving electronic devices, such as air filters.

The educational aspect of the materials, a positive societal benefit that outweighs negative costs is even possible for a company that manufactures pens. Additionally, schools could collect disposable pens to be recycled, in exchange for school supply 'credits' from a company such as Bic, and perhaps work to accumulate a computer if enough disposable pens were saved by students for recycling. Or the company could manufacture old-fashioned, environmentally friendly pens with replaceable ink fillers. Conversely, Bic could create new electronic note taking devises such as PDAs that were advertised as not generating waste.

Discuss the type(s) of researches (exploratory research, descriptive research, causal research) that should be used for the following situations and how should it be used. (E.g. focus groups, price testing, packaging, etc.): 1 Kellogg's needs to find out how their new cereal aimed at mature adults (65+) is doing after a year on the shelves; 2 NYU wants to find out how the 2005 "enjoyed their "stay at the school for the past 4 years"; 3 Reebok wants to test the feasibility of bringing back a past footwear success -- Weeboks, a sneaker aimed at infants; 4 McDonalds needs to find out… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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