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Just because a company produces a product or service doesn’t mean customers will line up to buy from them right away. This is where marketing and sales strategies come into the picture. Some buying decisions are easy, such as necessities we use on a regular basis at home or work, like toothpaste or your favorite cereal. Others are more difficult, such as products that have complex features or are more expensive. Successful businesses understand these differences and take steps to educate their customers with the hopes that eventually, customers will buy their products and services and then tell others to do the same.

For the next two weeks, we’re going to take a close look at how businesses design and implement marketing and sales strategies. We’ll start by learning from Elisa Padilla, an exceptional marketing leader for the Brooklyn Nets. You might wonder why marketing is necessary for a sports team. Don’t fans simply come to watch their local sports team? It’s not quite that simple. As you’ll learn, Elisa and her organization are selling more than just a sporting event. They are selling experiences to their fans. We’ll go behind the scenes and learn how Elisa taps into fan loyalty and provides meaningful experiences for them.

Let’s take a look at the Most Important Things that we’ll be focusing on this week.

· Marketing. Marketing is the process of understanding customers’ wants and needs in order to create interest in a business’s products and to nudge the customer to make a purchase.

· The Marketing Mix. Businesses rely on a simple, easy-to-remember framework to develop marketing strategies called the “4 P’s”. The 4 P’s are:


Product: What is the business selling? What are the distinctive features and advantages?

Place: Where is the business selling its product?

Price: How much does the business charge its customers?

Promotion: How does the business inform its customers about the product?

At the end of this week, you will be able to apply these insights to your own career and the world around you.

Why Is This Important?

Imagine a world in which companies didn’t advertise, prices were similar, and product features didn’t stand out. How would you be able to differentiate between products and make your buying decisions? You wouldn’t! Every day we encounter various ways in which companies work to stand out by marketing their products and services to their consumers. During the next two weeks, you’ll learn the basics of these marketing strategies and be able apply what you’ve learned to analyze and make recommendations for a marketing plan.


What was a really effective marketing strategy that persuaded you to make a personal buying decision? Why did it work so well? Do you work for a company that consistently implements effective marketing strategies? What companies stand out as exceptional marketers for their products and services?

From a personal standpoint, you can apply the same principles that successful companies use to market their products to your own career. Think about the skills and knowledge you can offer to others: your employer, your colleagues, and your friends. By the end of this week, you will be able to apply the elements of the Marketing Mix to promote your abilities more effectively.

How Does This Connect to the Other Parts of Business?

In the last two weeks, we learned how companies manage money in finance and accounting. But how do businesses keep money coming in the door? Now, we’re going to study how companies devise strategies to market their products and sell them to potential customers. Marketing and sales are the main ways that a business brings money into the cash registers. In a competitive economy like ours, we often have many product options from which we can choose. A successful business demonstrates to customers why its offering stands out among its competition and show how it provides value to customers.

Now, let’s get started with an Explore Activity to give you an opportunity to jump right into this week’s materials.

Real Business

For a large discount retail store like Target and Walmart, it can be difficult to get the marketing mix just right for a given product. There are so many products in the store fighting for the attention of customers. There is also the challenge of helping the suppliers of each product maximize their profits while making sure the store is making money. With so many things to consider, working in marketing for such a large business can be a challenge.

Your Role

This week, you’ll be acting as a Marketing Manager in the sporting goods section.


Marketing Managers are responsible for developing, implementing and executing marketing plans, either for an entire organization or for particular categories or products within the organization, in order to attract potential customers and keep existing ones.

Their day-to-day tasks include managing and coordinating marketing and creative staff, leading market research to improve existing products and services, working with advertising agencies, and determining the best way to get products in front of customers.

As a marketing manager for a discount retail store in Brooklyn, you have been asked to evaluate a marketing plan for basketballs to ensure that the 4 P’s of marketing are being applied well. Using your knowledge of the 4 P’s and the best approach to generating sales, you’ll take a look at a number of marketing recommendations and choose the approach that you believe will sell the most products.


Step 1: Product

In the Marketing Analysis Presentation provided by your marketing team, you’ll see three different basketballs that need to be included in the product display on Slide 2. Each product has unique features.

· Based on the information provided about the customers that shop at the store location on Slide 3, choose the basketball that you think will sell the most. Please explain the rationale for your decision.

Step 2: Place

On Slide 4 of the Marketing Analysis Presentation, you’ll see the results of a survey that asked potential buyers about where they are most likely to purchase these products.

· Use your knowledge about product placement to choose the best place to sell the products, deciding between traditional stores and online. Please explain the rationale for your decision.

Step 3: Promotion

Slide 5 of the Marketing Analysis Presentation shows three recommended advertisements, including a special deal promotion, for the product that is expected to sell the best.

· Based on the information provided about the customers that shop at this store location on Slide 3, determine which promotional activity will sell the most product at this particular store. Please explain the rationale for your decision.

Step 4: Price

Look at the pricing options available for each of the three products together on Slide 6.

· Based on your knowledge of Pricing Strategies, choose the option that has the best pricing mix for all three products. Refer to the customer information on Slide 2, if needed. Please explain the rationale for your decision.

Note: You should complete Step 5 after reading the material in Week 7.

Step 5: Brand & Sales Pitch

The company that makes one of the basketballs is looking to rebrand the product. They have asked for your input on possible brand ideas.

· First, read the Brand Vision statement which summarizes the goal for the new brand. Then, look at the logo, name, and tagline recommendations. Which of the two brand directions do you think best meets the goals of the brand vision? Please support your decisions.

· Second, write a sales pitch that you would use to try to convince someone to purchase this product.