Market Environment and Research Assignment | Online Assignment
Develop an organizational profile for a company’s marketing environment and a short analysis of the value of secondary sources. There is no page limit for this assessment. Understanding and tracking the marketing environment is a critical marketing function, focusing on the customer as the center of the organization’s attention. The organization can, and usually does, adjust its products, pricing, promotion, and place (distribution) to meet customer needs and to react to external forces. By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria: Competency 1: Examine the basic marketing models for a business or organization. Explain how characteristics of the U.S. economy affect a company’s retail operations. Explain how characteristics of the global economy affect a company’s retail operations. Explain how characteristics of the legal and regulatory environment that affect a company’s retail operations. Explain how characteristics of the technological forces affect a company’s retail operations. Competency 2: Relate the importance of an integrated marketing program to the economic impact of a business. Explain how secondary sources of information can be used in developing an integrated marketing plan. Analyze the value of secondary sources of information to business economic success. To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community. Based on your research of an organization: How does the organization’s positioning in the marketplace compare to its competitors? How are its product lines similar or different? If you consider a particular product category, such as outdoor apparel, how do the marketing strategies compare? How does this relate to the target market segments for these companies? Increasingly, social media sites are utilizing and sharing consumer information that many people consider private, such as their geographic location and their purchasing preferences. This has resulted in some controversy for organizations like Apple and Google. How can marketing departments utilize consumer information from social media to benefit their companies and their customers, while also taking into account privacy concerns? This research guide can be used as a starting point for investigating REI’s marketing practices. Explore the Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI) Web site for an overview of the company philosophy, products, and services. Check out the content of the About REI section of the Web site. Note: The following company background information was formerly presented on the Web site. REI’s thriving spirit was born in the 1930s when Pacific Northwest mountaineer Lloyd Anderson began his search for an ice axe. Lloyd wanted a reliable tool at a reasonable price but had no success in finding one locally. He eventually found a high-quality model in an Austrian alpine gear catalog for a mere $3.50, shipping included. Word about his find quickly spread among Seattle’s climbing community, which led Lloyd and his wife, Mary, to convene with 21 fellow climbers to establish an outdoor gear co-op in 1938 (REI, 2007). You might find it interesting to compare this historical outline with the content currently featured on the About REI page. In this course, you will also be required to use secondary research resources. Explore and review the marketing research resources of the organizations below: National Sporting Goods Association. Sports and Fitness Industry Association. Use the Internet Archive tool, the WayBack Machine, to search for REI.com and you will find historical versions of REI Web site pages. Select a few pages and compare REI’s former prices and product offerings with the current online catalog. Secondary research resources can also be found through organizations affiliated with REI. Entre Prises USA, Inc., the organization that built the first climbing wall in the REI flagship store, provided the following secondary research information about REI: “REI opened the doors to its flagship store in Seattle, in 1996. This large retail store is located adjacent to Interstate 5 in downtown Seattle. Up to 250,000 people drive by the store every day. It was important to REI to capture their attention. REI looked to Entre Prises to build a 65 ft. freestanding structure that would be the central focus of the store. After ten months of construction, 4 miles of rebar, and 120 tons of concrete, the ICON for REI was sculpted. REI has received unparalleled media response from the climbing wall. People wait hours to climb the Entre Prises Pinnacle and in the first year over 10,000 people climbed it, and the interest continues to grow!” (Entre Prises USA, Inc., 2007). References Entre Prises USA, Inc. (n.d.). REI flagship store: Entre prises creates a masterpiece! Retrieved from http://www.epusa.com/featured_project.php?otype=i&id=13 Entre Prises USA, Inc. (2013). Entre Prises: Climbing walls. Retrieved from http://www.epusa.com Internet Archive. (2013). Wayback machine. Retrieved from http://archive.org/web/web.php National Sporting Goods Association. (2013). NSGA. Retrieved from http://www.nsga.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1 REI, Inc. (2007). The REI story. Retrieved from http://www.rei.com/jobs/story.jsp REI. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.rei.com Sports and Fitness Industry Association. (2013). SFIA. Retrieved from http://www.sfia.org Case studies are a very effective way of applying business concepts to a real-world situation and that approach will be used for this activity. For this assessment, consider that you work as a marketing analyst for a consulting firm and that your manager asked you to develop a case study for the executive team of the organization in the case. That executive team will use your analysis and recommendations in their business planning. Preparation For this assessment, refer to the REI Case Study – Research Guide, linked in the Resources under the Required Resources heading. In addition, conduct independent research to develop a case study based on REI. Your research resources should include the REI organization’s Web site, but you are also expected to use information about REI that has been gathered by organizations that are devoted to marketing research. These organizations are referred to as secondary sources. A short list of secondary sources is provided for you in the REI Case Study – Research Guide. Use these sites to get your research started. You are encouraged to explore further secondary sources. Conduct your research on REI, focusing on the following topics: How does the current U.S. economy affect REI retail operations? Specify potential marketing changes needed based upon emerging trends in this environmental factor. How does the current global economy affect REI retail operations? Specify potential marketing changes needed based upon emerging trends in this environmental factor. What types of legal and regulatory forces affect REI in the United States? Specify potential marketing changes needed based upon emerging trends in this environmental factor. What types of social and culture trends affect REI? Specify potential marketing changes needed based upon emerging trends in this environmental factor. What types of technology changes affect REI? Specify potential marketing changes needed based upon emerging trends in this environmental factor. Organizational Profile Development Based on your research, develop an organizational profile for REI’s marketing environment, analyzing the key environmental factors of the U.S. economy, global economy, legal and regulatory environment, socio-cultural forces, and technological forces. Identify three or more of the secondary sources of information available for conducting market research on REI. Develop a short analysis of the value of these secondary sources, specifically in gathering information on REI. How might these secondary sources be used to develop an integrated marketing plan? What are the limitations of the identified sources? How valuable would their information be in developing a marketing plan that would contribute to the company’s economic success? What are potential limitations of these sources for this purpose? Based on your executive audience, your case study should be well organized and written in clear, succinct language. Follow APA rules for attributing sources that support your analysis and conclusions.