Reflection on Simulation
The important part of the simulation assignment is what you have learned from it. As such you will be required to reflect on the decisions you made and the outcomes.
Some questions to help you structure and undertake this task are listed below, this is not an exhaustive list as they may be something in your experience that you feel is more important.
You must provide rational for your decisions with reference to theory and explain what you would do differently next time.
Some questions to guide your reflection
- How did you develop your overall strategy?
- What were your objectives?
- Did you focus on any particular segment or ignore any?
- How did you position your product?
- What was the link between your actions and MM’s short-term and long-term performance?
- How did you manage competitive forces?
- How did your pricing strategy work?
- Did you have issues with budgetary restrictions and how did you overcome them?
- Was the market research useful for your decision making?
- How did you manage channel conflict?
The reflective assignment must be submitted via Canvas (Turnitin)
- Presentation, communication & style (written)
- Use of literature/ Knowledge of theory
- Critical reasoning / critical thinking
- Self-criticism (include. reflection on practice)
Welcome to Marketing Simulation: Managing Segments and Customers
Marker Motion, Inc. (MM) manufactures inertial motion capture sensors. Customers utilizing MM’s solutions are typically analyzing human movement for applications which include improving manual work processes in order to improve employee safety and/or efficiency, designing automation on production floors, and various types of ergonomic product development.
With 45 employees, MM’s revenues grew at an average rate of 5.5% over the prior three-year period; however, the most recent quarterly financial data showed a decline in revenue. Although senior management was pleased that MM had just turned a modest profit after several years of losses, there was concern about recent potential market share loss.
The inertial motion capture sensors in which MM specialized offered several advantages over optical systems, which use two tracking cameras and match-moving software to track movement visually. Both methods are commonly used to create character movement in the movie and video game industries. Non-optical systems, like that of MM, provide a capture rate up to 70 times faster than that of the optical method and, after running a calibration protocol to measure study subjects’ body dimensions, can accurately measure joint angles, reach distances, and other body kinematics with high precision.
The most critical sensor package purchasing criteria include the following:
Size and weight. Since sensors need to be able to send data about both large position changes and tiny micromovements, it is essential that they be positioned securely during a study. Bulky sensors can feel awkward to the subject, resulting in unnaturally affected data. If a sensor is poorly affixed or loose, the data is corrupted by its own micromovements. Ideally, you need smaller, lighter sensors.
Battery life. When researchers need to capture motion over long periods of time, battery life is an important strength in non-optical sensors. Stopping to replace sensors or charge batteries results in wasted time and resources. Furthermore, the motion being captured would be interrupted as well, affecting the integrity of the data.
Cost. Because inertial motion sensors contain accelerometers, a battery, and a complex electronic controller, they cost more up front than passive optical sensors. However, inertial motion sensors could often be a less expensive than optical packages, as they don’t require an extensive camera setup.
Approximately 70% of Marker Motion’s revenue comes from customers that place large-volume orders. The balance is generated from customers that ordered in smaller volumes from distributors. Customers placing large-volume orders were roughly divided into four subsegments (A–D), distinguishable by their purchasing behavior and the relative importance they assigned to specific product features.
Segment A places a premium on the sensors’ battery life and generally requires a high level of sales support due to the requirement for customization.
Segment B places a premium on small and light sensors, and also values the market and technical knowledge of a manufacturer’s sales representatives.
Segment C, the least price-sensitive of large-volume customers, requires superior battery life as well as small, easy-to-affix sensors. These customers conduct sophisticated research for highly technical applications, therefore their technical standards are stringent.
Segment D is price-sensitive. They buy sensors in bulk for large scale studies.
Finally, small customers who purchase through distributors are also quite price-sensitive. Since small-volume purchasers generally have to buy off-the-shelf sensor packages from a distributor’s catalog, they are concerned that the product would be easy to integrate into their software and that the vendor’s product literature would be comprehensive.
As the newly appointed chief executive officer of Marker Motion, Inc., you are now responsible for designing the company’s marketing strategy. This includes determining all aspects of the company’s go-to-market approach (including sales-force deployment and distribution-channel strategy) and associated elements of product policy, including pricing and market positioning of the company’s inertial motion sensor line. You will need to make critical decisions regarding how marketing resources such as sales-force time and market-research funds should be allocated. You will also need to determine how MM will meet the needs of the market and its intended customer base. In doing so, you should understand how market segments value MM’s product offering, and you will need to decide whether and how MM’s positioning relative to segment needs and behaviors should change.