Schedule of topic-related contemporary issues in marketing
for Assessment 1 – Oral presentation to critically analyse a contemporary issue in marketing
Choose one (1) of the following 18 MKT00075 topic-related contemporary issues in marketing and follow the instructions in the UIG.
An issue is something that causes debate, divides people and cannot be easily solved. People may hold different views. Your Ass1 task is to develop a clear view/standpoint on your chosen issue. Draw on your critical reasoning skills to do so – see end of this document for a recap of critical thinking. You may argue for either or for both sides of the issue. This depends on your skill and the strength of your arguments. Either way, be sure to articulate your position clearly in your presentation and to present a suitable, recent example.
Note: Due date/time vary:
- On-campus students present in their regular tutorial in the ‘Week of presentation’
- Online students undertake and submit their presentation anytime until Sunday midnight in the ‘Week of presentation’.
Unit topic no. Week of Presenta-tion* Unit topic Contemporary marketing issue related to unit topic
(Choose 1 issue only)
(First week of presenta-tions) Foun-dations Is marketing to blame for our society’s unsustainable addiction to overconsumption, or are others forces to blame?
2 Environ-ment & Strategic planning Is marketing planning worth the effort, especially in the current rapidly changing external/macro environment?
3 CPS in marketing Are marketers doing enough to direct their target markets toward sustainable consumption, or should they be more proactive?
4 Marketing research Is marketing research beneficial from a customer’s perspective or does it merely give marketers new insights into how to convince consumers to buy something they don’t really want or need?
5 W6 Consumer behaviour (a) Are consumers really behaving more sustainably or still consuming as though there’s no tomorrow?
(b) Is what’s ‘cool’ determined by marketers or consumers? (In other words, do marketers direct consumer needs or are they directed by consumers’ needs?)
Target market selection (a) For ‘green’ products/services, is it more important to segment the market or to position the product?
(b) Is mass-customisation worth the effort? (In other words, is a business better off if mass-customises or if it standardises a marketing mix to target broader audiences?)
Marketing plan objectives and metrics (a) Should marketers focus more on metrics and demonstrating results and less on creative design?
(b) Can a business really pay equal attention to marketing, financial and sustainability objectives?
Product (a) Do most businesses’ product design strategies follow a ‘cradle to grave’ philosophy, rather than a ‘cradle to cradle’ intelligent design model?
(b) Do customers really know what they want when it comes to new products? (In other words, do customers or businesses drive new product development direction?)
Price (a) Are consumers willing to pay more for ‘green’ products and services?
(b) Will consumers keep paying more for original brands versus generic/copy brands?
10 W12 Place (a) Will electronic distribution (the transfer of products from producer to consumer using digital channels) become more important than traditional distribution?
(b) Is implementing sustainability in marketing logistics (e.g. creating aftermarket, after-use and reverse channels) worth the time and financial investment?
11 W13 Promotion (a) Are the eco-promises that companies communicate about their products and services helpful (e.g. consumers can make better decisions) or unhelpful (e.g. confusing, greenwashing)?
(b) Do businesses really know how to integrate digital marketing tools (e.g. online advertising, mobile advertising, social media) into their marketing communications?
A brief recap of critical thinking adapted from Epstein (2003)
Critical thinking is evaluating whether we should be convinced that some claim is true or some argument is good, as well as formulating good arguments. Critical thinking is something we need to do every day – while reading, watching television, talking to friends, working at our jobs, etc. It sharpens our reasoning and helps us make better decisions. We should be able to distinguish a good argument from a bad one. Use the critical abilities you are developing to read your own work. Learn to stand aside outside your work and judge it as you would judge an argument made by someone else.
Reasoning well begins with being able to recognise and make both claims and definitions.
A claim is a declarative sentence used in such a way that it is either true or false. A claim can be
• objective – uses impersonal standards, e.g. ‘It’s 38 degrees centigrade today’
• subjective – uses personal standards based on what someone thinks, feels or believes, e.g. ‘It’s hot today.’
Either is acceptable, as long as there is only one way to understand it. If it is not clear which standard is being invoked, it is a vague sentence, not a claim.
A definition is an explanation or stipulation of how to use a word or phrase within your claim. Definitions are not claims. A definition is good (clearly understood, used interchangeably) or bad. Often getting a good definition and showing how it works is a major piece of research.
An argument is a collection of claims, comprising premises and the conclusion:
• Most claims are called premises. These are supposed to lead to, support or convince that the conclusion is true. Premises are indicated by words such as ‘since’, ‘because’, ‘due to’.
• The conclusion is a claim whose truth the argument is intending to establish. The conclusion is your decision (judgement) on the issue that is being debated. Conclusion indicators include ‘hence’, ‘therefore’, ‘thus’, ‘we can then show that’, ‘it follows that’.
• For an argument to be good, it must pass two independent tests:
o There should be good reason to believe the premises. Your premises must be highly plausible. This means that they have passed your evaluation.
o The premises lead to or support or establish the conclusions. An argument is no better than its least plausible premise.
Your argument should be able to withstand the obvious counterarguments or questions ‘So?’ or ‘Why?’. It is wise to consider these in your work.
For further reading on critical thinking, please refer to the following sources:
• your study of EDU10235 (Learning and Communication) or COM00207 (Communication in Organisations)
• your Communications Skills Handbook by Summers and Smith (2010)
• the Centre for Teaching and Learning’s Academic Skills resources available at http://scu.edu.au/teachinglearning/index.php/5, in particular ‘Writing analytically and persuasively’ and ‘How to demonstrate critical judgement’.