Exam Answers

Marketing Exam Answers

Each marketing exam answer will be in outline form and cover the stages of the ‘Magic Formula’.
Customer Relationship Management Exam Question

Examine the importance of customer relationship management for a hotel. Show how loyalty can be developed and how it will improve competitive advantage for the hotel

Concept/ Application

Show what CRM is and why it is of any value to a business. Outline the stage of building a relationship programme. This should include the stages of the pre sale, sale and post sale stages that a customer experiences.

Pre sale-The customer will examine a whole range of options before they book the hotel. So any type of relationship need to begin at that time. Understanding your customer is key. Here you need to show that you are offering a service and your business customer who may book a hotel for one or maybe two nights mid week for a business trip. Is a very different customer to a couple looking for a romantic break, from a family wanting a week to sight see. So the basic understanding of the need is key., From here you are moving to provide the solution not just the hotel room. So the business customer is looking for speed, access to business facilities, easy access to airport. The family is looking for activities and ways to enjoy the hotel such as leisure facilities and also access to entertainment. 

During -Move onto the way in which the customer buys, is it on line, by phone do they want to see the facilities via web views. Currently comparison sites where travellers post comments are really popular. They have a great deal of influence of the buying process so the business needs to make sure that it is able to offer a good experience. Every contact the customer makes with the business is critical. The term that everyone in the business is in marketing is key. This requires all of the hotel staff to be really well trained and that requires investment. The hotel industry is all about service from the start of the experience to the end. The topic is that it does not end- hopefully. From here it is all about the actual stay. The service that is offered in the hotel is key to the success of the relationship.

After- This begins with gathering the information and building the relationship. From here the stages of communication will be carefully targeted and include specific and carefully composed communication. Relevant information and special offers could be included. This would be totally different for the business customer to the family holiday customer. Building regular contact with the buyer in the business is key and ensuring that the hotel becomes a preferred supplier. For the family is it all about recommending the hotel and encouraging repeat business.

Evaluation- This then leads to the final stage of the question and show how it builds competitive advantage. So building the the stages of the CRM programme the loyalty will develop and as such a structured programme is key. The loyalty creates  a virtuous circle and as such it reduces marketing costs, as the customers become the advocates for the business.  This is very powerful and with the development of social media and people posting happy holiday images on Facebook, Flickr etc it will help to spread positive images of the business

Segmentation Exam Question

Examine the role of segmentation for mobile phones. Advise a mobile phone company of your choice on future marketing segmentation policy.

Outline Exam Answer

Concept-What is it ?

Begin your answer by showing that you know the basics. The first few lines in an exam are often the hardest. Start your answer with a succint definition. It does not have to be word perfect quote, although that is useful. Just show at the start of the exam that you know the key issues. What is segmentation and why do businesses use it. Begin here by showing what it is with a well chosen definition. That will illustrate that you understand importance of segmentation. The process of segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP). You might include the ability to target, to use resources more effectively, how segmentation helps you to match the needs of the customer with the best product or service for them. The secret of successful segmentation is to decide who is your customer and build everything from there. The better you understand their needs the greater the chance of success. Chose what you want to do and do it really well. Don’t try to do too many things and fail dismally

Features of a ‘good’ segment. Such as SMART, sustainable, measurable, achieveable, realistic and timed. A segment needs to be big enough to be profitable yet different from other segments. You also need to be able to reach the segment using the communication tools.

Segmentation methods, demographic, psychographic, lifestyle and lifestage need to be outlined to show the options

Application- How does it work?

The mobile phone market is competitive and in the UK there are main players for the phones and then the separate network providers such as O2, Orange etc. Phone companies are the likes of Nokia, Samsung and iPhone to name but a few.

Work through each stage of the concepts you have outlined above with examples. You may prefer to do this as two separate parts of the answer. Or you can cover the application as you write each part of the concept.

If you think about the mobile market there are so many different phones available. The very techie, expensive iPhone to the cheaper end of the market that makes calls but none of the add ons. Here show the difference between a company that covers a wide range of phones and one who targets a more specific market. Show that there are ways of segmenting, such as age etc. The secret here is to look more at the motives of the customer, who are they and why do they buy? If you target the  phone user by age, build that profile and show that you need to develop understanding of the use of that phone. If you segment by use it could be music, internet etc or the user might just want to make calls and  text.

Evaluation– What does this tell me?

You now have to offer advice to the company and this is where the higher marks are usually to be found. Of course if the previous stages of concept and application are completed well, this section is easier to write.

Chose the company you wish to advise, that will make it more real. Show that there are various different possible target customers. You might even build the profile of Techie Tim, Music Mad Marie or My Mum and Dad etc. Who will the company target. Outline that they chose how many customers to target. That choice will depend on their brand, their level of innovation, their resources. Also the ability to deliver business objectives and mention the attitude to risk. Are they the type of company what wishes to push forward and be leader of the pack or to follow others? There are merits for both approaches, the secret is to be clear and make sure that everything you do reflects that choice.

If they chose to target Music Mad Marie that is a very different customer to the Mum and Dad. They will need to be building interactive websites, downloads and sharing of information. Just to add the final touches show examples of current articles in the marketing press to add weight to your answer. You are really expected to show that you understand what STP is, how it works and the options it offers a business.

So, if you are studying for a marketing exam. This could be a marketing diploma, marketing certificate or marketing degree. The Tools and Tools mini course will help you to revise.

Hope this is useful for your marketing exam. It shows the stages of the exam answer and also good marketing practice. Post up a comment and let me know if you want more

Be Sociable, Share!