Monthly Archives: April 2016

Demographic Trends Shaping the World


For marketers, it is common to examine demographic trends of a changing society. Social forces are one of the key environmental forces impacting companies’ product and market development. By understanding what is evolving in society, companies are better suited to produce the products and services needed by consumers.

Pew Research Center recently released some of its demography-related findings that can help marketers determine how the U.S. and the world are changing. Here are few of the key findings:

  1. Americans are more racially and ethnically diverse than in the past, and the U.S. will be even more diverse in the next few decades.
  2. Asia has now replaced Latin American as the biggest source of new immigrants to the U.S.
  3. America’s demographic changes are shifting the electorate – and American politics.
  4. Millennials (born after 1980) are the new generation to watch.
  5. Women’s role in the labor forces and leadership positions has grown dramatically.
  6. The American family is changing.
  7. The share of Americans who live in middle class households is shrinking.
  8. Christians are declining as a share of the U.S. population, and the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion has grown.
  9. The world’s religious makeup will look a lot different by 2050.
  10. The world is aging.

What do these findings mean in marketing?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of demographic forces in describing a target market.
  2. Show the report from Pew:
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team examine a different finding.
  4. Have each team then explain the finding and how it could be used when marketing a product or service.

Source: Pew Research Center



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Reserve a Tesla Model 3


Like many car enthusiasts, we have been waiting for Tesla to launch a new model that costs less than the $100,000 price tag of the Tesla Model X. The wait is finally over and Tesla is now taking pre-orders for its new Model 3, priced at a more reasonable $35,000. At this price, the response was overwhelming, resulting in long lines at Tesla dealerships on March 31st to place a $1,000 deposit for the new car.

The Model 3 is not expected to be delivered until late in 2017, but nonetheless it already has an enthusiastic following. The new model is expected to have a range of about 215 miles when fully charged and be able to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds, giving it an advantage over competition from Nissan and BMW.

With the introduction of Model 3, the company also hopes to increase annual sales from 85,000 cars this year to 500,000 cars by 2020. Already, there are more than 115,000 orders for the car. If all the orders turn into final sales, revenue from Model 3 could exceed $4 billion.

All electric vehicles may soon become more routine. Ready to charge?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. View the car on Tesla’s Web site:
  3. Show a video of the car in action:

  1. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for this car. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  2. Based on the target market profile, what makes this product unique for these customers?
  3. Debrief the exercise.

Source: New York Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Verge, other news sources

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Don’t Drink Coffee – Chew it!


Tired of spilling coffee? Sick of trying to drink a cold cup of coffee? Then you’re in luck. Enter a new product, chewable coffee, called GO CUBES. According to the company, the cubes are chewable, gummy coffee bites that “offer enhanced cognitive performance without the anxiety often associated with coffee and energy drinks.”

The company started with a campaign on Indiegogo, hitting more than 300% of its original goal. Funding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo are a good venue for getting feedback from early adopters and starting the company with a solid customer base.

GO CUBES is comprised of a “nootropics” – a class of compounds that can be used for cognitive enhancement with low side effects. (Caffeine is a nootropic recognized for helping with alertness.) GO CUBE believes its customers are people who are in pursuit of some sort of physical or mental enhancement. And, those people only drink coffee for performance are candidates for its products.

How is your energy level today?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students about their coffee habits. Do they drink coffee? Why or why not?
  2. Show Go Cubes Web site:
  3. For more information on nootropics:

  1. Videos:

  1. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for launching a product.
  2. Divide students into groups to work on this exercise.
  3. For Go Cubes, have each team select five different tactics. For each tactic, explain why it was selected and how it will be used.
  4. Debrief by putting together the entire suggested lists on the white board. As a final step, have the entire class vote on the top three tactics to use.


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