Case: Inquiring Minds Want to Know—Now!

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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 11/30/2012 09:01 AM

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A.The management dilemma is a declining number of

reader service card

s returned which iscausing a smaller number of inquiries and thus a smaller number of sales leads for Pentonadvertisers. Students won't have too much difficulty in identifying the management dilemma, but you might use this opportunity to discuss that research can be proactive—actually preceding the development of a problem. If Penton saw this as a value enhancing service for advertisers, shouldn't they have been tracking the change in rate of response card return at thevery least? Penton also should have been tracking advertisers' continued interest in the

reader service card

program--after all, the

reader service card

program has a cost associated with each issue (card printing, return postage, and card handling and forwarding) that needs to be offset by perceived value on the part of the advertiser. Students are usually quick to point out that advertisers don't always track the success of their advertising (not as true an observation for business-to-business advertising as it is for consumer advertising) because not all advertising asks for a specific action. But in the case of advertising designed to generate leads, Penton clearly had the ability to track

reader service card

activity (a research activity in its own right).

B. Management question: What should be done to ensure that advertisers and readers alike aregetting the information they need and want?

C.Research Question: Should thereader service card

program be maintained, discontinued or modified? Rather than three alternatives, Penton may have only looked at maintaining or discontinuing the reader service card. Nothing in the questionnaire indicates that they were exploring other unspecified options.

D.Investigative questions: What means do advertisers offer to obtain information aboutadvertisers' products and services? What influences a trade magazine reader in their choice of response method? What types of...