1. Discuss three key concepts that you found to be the most beneficial.
SWOT analysis is a strategic management tool that helps companies to evaluate projects or entities by using internal and external perspectives. The analysis includes four categories: Strengths, Weaknesses, opportunities and Threats. The former two refer to the internal forces that drive the company, while the latter two address the environment the company operates in.
Market share is the fraction of the total market that an entity accounts for. Market share is usually expressed as a percentage and can be measured in terms of revenue or the number of units.
Segment targeting is the practice of subdividing the total market into distinct categories according to specific characteristics (e.g. geographic, behavioural etc.) and then developing targeted strategies that are most effective for a specific segment.
2. Discuss three marketing concepts you learned from the Marketplace Live simulation that you can apply to your current career and/or business.
Performance reports are reports that are usually generated on a regular basis and show the progress of an entity in achieving specific objectives. These reports are important tools as they help to understand how successful the company is executing its strategy. My current job requires me to develop performance reports and conduct business analysis. The content of the reports varies greatly depending on their audience and can include diverse performance indicators. One of the most common performance variables to include in such reports is revenue growth that shows how effectively the company is creating value.
Marketing research is the process of collecting information that may be helpful in identifying marketing opportunities and threats as well as in defining the strategy for future actions. Marketing research is particularly important in start-up companies, where resources are limited and it is crucial to develop products according to customer preferences and minimizing the chances of designing products or services that will not find their market. Thus, customer surveys and interview could give insights into demands and preferences of consumers, thus helping to enhance current and future products.
Advertising is a form of communication that aims to explain the benefits of a certain product or service to the audience and to persuade them to purchase the offered item. Although the cost of advertising is quite significant, it is an important tool for start-up companies that do not have loyal customers or a strong brand name to rely on. In this case the success of advertising (e.g. mass media advertising, online promotions etc.) will be directly reflected in the company’s market share and affect the success of the whole business venture.
3. Has the information changed your outlook as a consumer, business owner, and/or student?
The information learnt in the Marketplace Live simulation definitely changed my outlook in several different ways. As a consumer I have understood how important it is for the companies to understand customer preference and how deeply every piece of information about my purchases is being scrutinized in order to adapt the final offering to my preferences and to those of other clients. As a student I could comprehend better the theoretical background of business activities. It is critical to have a full understanding the key marketing concepts as well as strategic tools in order to drive the business in a structured and an effective way. Moreover, the simulation gave me a chance to link theoretical knowledge with practical application and to understand how the concept learnt in class could be used in the real-world environment. However, the most valuable lesson I have obtained as a potential business owner, as the simulation gave me unique perspective on managing a business. It helped me to understand how different variable can affect the success of a business venture and how important it is to continuously study customer preferences and measure performance in order to make sure that the business is developing in the right direction.