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Focus on marketing

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Why did I stand in line for over three hours for the Michigan lottery? Why did only 1,500 people show up to see David Spade? Although the questions differ, the answer is the same: lack of effective marketing research. The Student Union Board is falling into the same trap as many other business organizations not devoting enough time and money to effective marketing research. Do not be ashamed SUB – even Fortune 500 companies fall into this trap. Remember Clear Pepsi?

The Michigan ticket debacle is inexcusable from a research standpoint. Ten simple questions may not have prevented, but at least foretold the pending disaster. Are you traveling to the Michigan game? How many friends are you traveling with? Will you enter the student lottery for tickets? Okay, about three questions could have identified the student demand for tickets. These figures multiplied by the time it takes to give someone a lottery ticket equal the amount of time ticket distribution will take. It is not exactly that simple, but that is the basic process.

Secondly, the lack of turnout for David Spade should not come as a surprise had a little research been done. Marketing research is not having each member of SUB ask three friends, “Would you see David Spade if he came to campus?” and then calculating the results. Take the time, spend the money and make a survey. Identify the perception David Spade has amongst the student body. List potential comedians and asked students to rank them. Determine what factors influence the decision to go to Student Union Board events. Identify the price points of your product. Personally, I know I was not going to pay $20 when I can buy Tommy Boy for $9.99. Ten hours of work could have saved about $25,000.

I wish the members of SUB the best of luck in their future marketing research endeavors. Go out and buy Basic Marketing Research from the bookstore. Talk to a marketing major. Talk to a marketing professor. It will only help you in the future.

Eric BilinskiseniorDillon HallOct. 14