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#3. Our primary topics of study for this week include understanding environmental conditions and marketing research.

1. For Part #1 of this week’s paper, Discuss those environmental factors that can be investigated through a SWOT analysis using the following template. Citation: http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/swot/ [Translate into tasks for the Project Plan] STRENGTHS Weaknesses Opportunities [How do I use these strengths to take advantage of these opportunities?] [How do I overcome the weaknesses that prevent me taking advantage of these opportunities?] Threats [How do I use these strengths to reduce the likelihood and impact of these threats?] [How do I address the weaknesses that will make these threats a reality?] Consider the Strengths and Weaknesses of the firm which are associated with the product you selected. What internal environmental factors are important to your product’s success and how might you measure their impact? Additionally, discuss the external environmental factors that can be individually examined through a PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental) analysis. Your PESTLE analysis should inform the Opportunities and Threats of your SWOT analysis. This should result in about a 4 page section. For further PESTLE see the information at the link below. http://www.oxlearn.com/arg_Marketing-Resources-PESTLE—Macro-Environmental-Analysis_11_31 Finally, briefly discuss how marketers can develop strategies for a number of Strategic Business Units and products under the umbrella of a corporation. The BCG, General Electric, or other matrix/business portfolio models can be helpful here.

2. Develop this part of this paper with the support of the research and quantitative data analysis discussions found in Millson, Murray R. Research in Business and Marketing (with SPSS and Excel Tutorials). San Diego: Cognella, 2011 and Chapter 4 of Kotler & Keller.

Part 2; Section 1 – Investigate and explain how you would go about answering a research question or expect someone in your employ would go about answering a research question through the use of quantitative analyses. Discuss the manner by which you would construct survey instruments to gather empirical data to answer important marketing or business questions with quantitative data, assess question/instrument validity and reliability, select appropriate samples, determine which customer contact method(s) to employ (mail, telephone, etc.), choose the appropriate analytical tool(s) to use, etc.

Part 2; Section 2 – detailed description – Your paper should address seven major research issues:

1. What problem are you trying to solve or lack of knowledge are you attempting to fill? Your problem needs to involve the comparison of measurements usually the means or averages of data.

2. What is your research question that stems from your problem definition?

3. What contextual knowledge do you know about the environment which led you to or supports the prior research question(s)?

4. What hypotheses would you need to test?

5. What techniques, approaches, or statistical techniques would you use to gather and analyze your data? What test statistics would you generate to test your hypotheses?

6. What would be the form of the findings or results of your analyses? Be sure to mention how you would display findings such as test statistics and their associated p-values.

7. What would your findings or results imply or suggest about actions that you should take? A couple of examples of important research questions might include:

1. Are customers’ intention to buy my product or a competitor’s product greater?

2. Is the awareness of my product or a competitor’s product greater? To perform this assignment, create a Research Question(s) (a relatively narrow question that represents an important issue in your selected company or industry-state it succinctly). Based on your research question(s), create null and alternate (research) hypotheses in BOTH symbols, as noted in your text, and words to address your research question. Suggest proper test statistic(s) that might be calculated to test your hypotheses. Data does not need to be gathered to perform this assignment and statistics do not need to be calculated. It is the detailed description of the process that is important in this paper.

Part 3-(About 2 pages) – Your paper should also explain how you would go about determining the demand for your product in addition to your discussion of the statistical issues noted above. Discuss how the marketers of your selected product attempt to forecast the demand for the product category in which their new or existing product(s) competes. In doing this, it is appropriate to consider various forecasting strategies and to compare various quantitative and qualitative methods with respect to their efficacy as they relate to your selected product.

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