Inquiring Minds Want to Know—Now!

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Date Submitted: 04/24/2012 08:42 AM

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The “Inquiring Minds Want to Know—Now!” case describes the business research steps taken by Penton Media, to determine the long-term viability of reader service cards, a post-card size device used by readers to request additional information from an advertiser, given the increase use by the subscriber base of information technology (i.e. email, internet, toll-free numbers, and facsimile) to initiate contact with advertisers.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know—Now! Case Study

1. Build the management-research question hierarchy?

1. Management Dilemma: Will Penton Media encounter lower advertising revenue if alternative methods of inquiry stimulation went untracked due to the usage decline of reader service cards?

2. Management Question: Are business publication advertisements generating fewer leads than in the past?

3. Research Questions: Do we continue to include reader service cards in the magazines as a value-enhancing service to the readers as well as the advertisers? What alternative methods using information technology can be implemented to enhance adverting revenues as reader service card usage declines?

4. Investigative Questions: What are the percentages of subscribers using reader service cards in the present compared to the past two years? If there is a decline in usage, what are the alternatives the customers are using? Can we implement strategies to streamline those alternatives in information technology to sustain and enhance our advertising revenue?

5. Management Questions: Will Penton Media experience a decline in profits due to alternative methods in information technology of customer inquiry stimulation from advertisements?

6. Management Decision: Discontinue the use of reader service cards and it will be replaced with alternative methods by use of emerging information technology, which will integrate the customer with the advertiser on a real-time, customizable basis.

2. What ethical...