A pretty straightforward article (“Europe Inc. Takes Aim at Price-Fixers,” BusinessWeek.com, October 22, 2009 ) that talks about price fixing probes in Europe. Good current examples to use when discussing pricing in class – or the legal environment in chapter 3.
This article (“Fertilizers on Wheels,” The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2009, no subscription? click here) and short video (2:39, see below) describe the marketing strategies for two different firms selling fertilizer to farmers in rural India. The video provides an interesting addition to class because it gives students a look at rural India. The topics covered include selling to businesses, integrated marketing communications, and distribution – all in the international context of a developing country. I showed this video in class after lecturing from our first promotion chapter. I asked students to think about why I thought this reflected IMC and to note the different types of Promotion they observed. A variety of different forms of promotion (even sales promotion) are demonstrated and can be tied to the AIDA model.
My last post talked about one article and interview from this issue of BusinessWeek. But the whole issue has a number of great marketing articles that deal with consumer behavior and how we may be witnessing a permanent shift. I encourage you to link through to the table of contents for the special section “How We Buy,” (BusinessWeek.com, October 26, 2009)
Retailers are trying many new strategies to deal with the economic downturn. Many are concerned that they are witnessing the beginning of a long-term shift in consumer behavior. This BusinessWeek combo includes an article (“’The Hard Sell,’ How retailers are fighting for the hearts and minds of the new consumer,” BusinessWeek.com, October 15, 2009 ) and video interview (“Retail’s New Normal,” BusinessWeek.com, October 15, 2009, 2:08 — see video below) with the story’s primary author. There are several related articles on specific retailers. The video is an interview with the story’s author primary Jena McGregor.
Consumer reviews are playing an increasingly important role in buying behavior. This means that traditional marketing communication vehicles are likely to be less influential. As a nice supplement to this article (“What Do You Think? Companies are learning to make the most out of customers’ online reviews of their products,” The Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2009), pair it with the results of a July 2009 Nielsen survey that asked consumers how much they trust various sources of information. As this survey makes clear, 70% of consumers trust online opinions from people they don’t know. I copied this table (right click on graphic, choose “copy image”) and pasted it into my PowerPoints (right click on the slide and choose “Paste”). Before showing the results, I asked students which sources of information they trusted the most and the least – choosing a set of five from this list. The article and survey can lead into discussions about what marketing managers can do with consumer reviews. For a related story, see “Amazon: Turning Consumer Opinions into Gold,” (BusinessWeek.com, October 15, 2009).