Topic 1 - Information for marketing decisions Organisations, if they are to succeed, must make informed decisions. In marketing, decision makers must keep abreast of developments in many areas including economic, technological, political, social and environmental developments and trends. It is clear that businesses spend much of their time being involved with activities in the present or day to day operations, that all employees are familiar with. But they are also involved in planning for the future, and this planning process requires strategic input from managers, predictions of future circumstances that will impact on the business, numerical data (such as budgets) and qualitative and quantitative data from a range of sources including the internal and external business environments. Analysing trends and market developments is an important component of this planning process. Predictions of key internal and external variables, such as sales and market share, input prices, demographic and psychographic shifts, interest rates and economic activity need to be incorporated with strategic input to develop forecasts for key performance indicators of the business. Concluding Notes One of the basic tasks of a Marketing Manager is to monitor the environment and follow the progress of their marketing strategies in the business performance over time. Some familiar examples are monthly sales, quarterly interest rates, and annual profits. To describe these statistics in a table, or visually such as in a graph, is to communicate just the bare facts. Interpreting statistics offers two complimentary contributions to the collection of data. First is a description of the pattern of data now recorded. For example, it may become very clear through analysis of a time series that a regular pattern of variation is present. Examples would be an annual jump in toy sales before Christmas or monthly sales of electricity over a year or weekly sales of packaged beer and its correlation to sales promotion campaigns. Understanding the regular jumps and dips in the long term pattern and those induced by marketing activity can provide insight into the overall behaviour of the series and help plan for the future. Planning involves the second contribution of statistics, projection of the series into the future, or business forecasting. As in other uses of statistics, projections are based on assumptions, i.e. conditions that generated past data will continue into the future. Quantitative methods can only provide support for guesses about the future. Qualitative methods of projecting into the future similarly provide educated guesses from data gathered in consumer research or from expert opinion. In either case it is clear that quantitative and qualitative support for guesses about the future are valuable contributions to keeping more intuitive projections from going too far afield.Helga Schmit has worked all her life in the motor vehicle industry. She has extensive
experience in all aspects of running dealerships. She has an impressive track record of
achieving solid growth in both sales and profits for the dealerships she has managed.
She has just been appointed as General Manager of the biggest BMW dealership in
Australia where you are employed as the Marketing Manager. In a lengthy meeting with
her senior staff, she tells them that she wants to totally re-think the direction of the
business and requests all her executives to collect and report on information that she will
need to make decisions.
Your task is to identify and collect the data she will need so that the two of you can set
marketing objectives and decide on marketing strategies.
Specify the data that you will need to collect. You must consider both internal and external,
secondary and primary sources. Be specific in the data that you want to collect (eg
population changes for the last five years in the relevant geographic area for the
dealership). You must specify at least five sets of different data.
Justify your choice of each set of data in Task 1 by indicating how it will be used to make
marketing decisions.4 LA012013 – Assignment 1 – BSBMKG507A Ed 1
© State of New South Wales, Department of Education and Training 2009, Version 1, October 2009
Use the information in Tasks 1 and 2 to prepare a research proposal (plan) for Helga.
Outline the required data, its sources, how it will be collected and how it will be used.
Provide a cost estimate and timeline for collecting and analysing the data.