Discussion Topics

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Throughout this course, many Discussion opportunities come up in which you need to respond to other people’s opinions and comments. Address the Discussion topic after you have completed your reading.

Unit 6 Discussion Topic: Can This Restaurant Be Saved?

If there is any one industry in which word of mouth can do great damage in a hurry, that industry would be food service, especially restaurants. A single round of food poisoning can drive away customers for months. Any tale of contamination or unsanitary conditions that circulates in a local community creates a major crisis for a restaurant owner.

Juan and Bonita Gonzales knew the risks when they opened their new restaurant, The Mexican Villa, in a small shopping center in North Canton, Ohio. With the recent wave of Mexican immigrants to the area, two other successful Mexican restaurants had opened across town. The couple believed that if they provided high-quality food in a pleasant atmosphere, their restaurant could succeed.

The business opened in the fall of 2015. First-year sales were better than expected. A diverse mixture of Hispanic and Caucasian customers regularly dined at The Mexican Villa. The restaurant had two distinct serving areas: the dining room and the cantina. In the dining room, authentic Mexican music played softly in the background. There was plenty of room between tables. The floors were carpeted and clean. Servers were dressed in bright colored clothing and were carefully trained to be pleasant, efficient, and helpful. In the cantina, the music was louder. The floors were tile. Smoking was permitted in a bar-type atmosphere. Television sets were tuned to sports programs. In both areas, customers were quickly greeted and served salsa and chips at no charge. The menu was the same for both areas.

Both the cantina and the dining room had regular customers who ate at the Villa as often as once a week. The Villa also had a strong lunch business, where a lighter menu with lower prices was featured. The restaurant was near a business district and shopping center, which provided access to many potential lunch guests.

The crisis occurred after The Mexican Villa had been open for 15 months. In the spring of 2017, one of the Villa food preparers contracted an infectious case of hepatitis. Hepatitis is highly contagious and dangerous. The local health authorities discovered the problem and forced the Villa to close for 7 days. Word was sent out in the newspaper, on the radio, and on the local television news that anyone who had eaten at the Villa in the past 2 weeks should contact the government health authorities to be tested. Word spread quickly through North Canton about the episode, both in the Spanish-speaking community and to other groups.

Fortunately, no one was infected. The employee had worn protective gloves while preparing food. The safety precautions used at the restaurant had kept the disease from spreading to others.

Juan and Bonita had a limited budget for advertising. Once the news stories had run, the media quickly lost interest. It was impossible for the couple to capture the same audience to tell people that the health crisis had passed. The number of customers who returned after the weeklong closure dropped dramatically. Sales had been down for more than a month. The couple began to wonder if people would ever come back.

1. What kinds of public relations tactics should be used to help The Mexican Villa?

2. Is there any kind of cause-related or event marketing program that might bring people back to the restaurant? Explain your answer.

3. Do you believe The Mexican Villa can be saved, or is it a lost cause? Why?

Unit 7 Discussion Topic

Sales promotion strategies are used in both consumer promotions and trade promotions. Consumer promotions are incentives marketed directly to consumers and potential customers. Consumer promotions are targeted at those who actually use the product, or end users. Businesses that use products and do not resell them are also end users. Consumer promotions help pull products through the distribution channel.

Trade promotion strategies are only allotted for the distribution channel. Trade promotions are expenditures or incentives for channel members to purchase goods for eventual resale. Trade promotions help push products through to retailers and end users.

Sales promotion tactics are used all along the distribution channel, from manufacturer to final consumers. There are many business-to-business (B2B) tactics and business-to-consumer (B2C) tactics.

1. Discuss why companies use B2B and B2C sales promotion tactics and why a company might use both types of sales promotion tactics.

2. How do sales promotion strategies affect movement of goods through the distribution channel?


Jason David had recently been promoted to Director of Sales Promotions for Newman’s Own Organics. He was excited to find ways to expand product offerings into a wider variety of retail stores. His assignment was to fine-tune both the consumer and trade promotions that would be offered in various markets.

Newman’s Own Organics is a spin-off from the original Newman’s Own company. In the 1980s, celebrity actor Paul Newman and his friend, writer A. E. Hotchner, decided to concoct a batch of salad dressing to be given to their friends for the Christmas holiday season. The dressing became so popular that the two created the Newman’s Own company to sell the item. The two agreed that proceeds and profits would be given to charity.

Newman’s Own sold over 10,000 bottles of the salad dressing in its first 2 weeks on the market. In the first year, Newman’s Own made a profit. The company slowly expanded to a wider variety of salad dressings, and then to salsa, marinara, steak sauce, pizza, and even wine.

Among the more famous charities supported by Newman’s Own are the Hole in the Wall Camps, which bring together children with serious and terminal illnesses for a free summer-camp experience. The Newman’s Own Foundation had given over $250 million to various charities prior to Paul Newman’s death. The figure now approaches $300 million. The company’s mission statement reads “Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good.”

Newman’s Own Organics was founded by Nell Newman, Paul’s daughter, in 1993. She became the sole proprietor in 2001. The product line for Newman’s Own Organics includes pretzels, chocolate bars, “Fig Newmans,” Champion Chip Cookies, Chocolate Cups, Newman O’s, Pop’s Corn, Alphabet Cookies, coffee, dried fruit, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, pet food, mints, tea, and soy crisps.

The company’s products are certified to be genuinely organic by Oregon Tilth. This means that the ingredients are grown on farms that have not used artificial fertilizers or pesticides for 3 years or more. The farms and processors have been certified by an independent third party. Kosher certification is made by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations.

Newman’s Own Organics is described as the “second generation.” The company is for a profit, with a royalty paid to the Newman Foundation based on sales and profits. In this way, the organization is able to capitalize on the popularity of Paul Newman, the strong relationship to charitable giving, and the niche market of organic foods.

Jason’s responsibility was to find and develop retail outlets for Newman’s Own Organics products. Large retailers that sell food products, such as Target and Wal-Mart, constitute one major marketplace. Small grocery stores that are more upscale and feature organic foods are a second. Third would be any specialty stores that offer organic products.

Prospects might be developed by identifying the stores that carry Newman’s Own products. Further, the Internet offers the potential to sell products directly to consumers without a retail store but also to direct consumers to stores that carry the items. Various types of promotions for the products and various charities, including the Hole in the Wall Camps, could be promoted on the Newman’s Own Organics website.

Jason knew that he had the advantage of a strong brand, plus connections to the original company that would give him inroads into meeting with prospective retail customers. He also knew that it would take more than a name to persuade retailers to make room on the shelves for the products. Beyond simple placement, the ultimate goal was to develop bonds and relationships that would lead retailers to feature the products in advertisements and promotions over time.

Discuss the following questions about the case. Separate each of your answers by using the question number. (Do not rewrite the questions; just provide your discussion!)

1. What types of consumer promotions would be best suited to end users of Newman’s Own Organics products?

2. What types of trade promotions should Jason offer to retailers?

3. Would you expect Newman’s Own Organics products to sell at a higher price than competitors’, match competitor prices, or compete by lowering prices in various ways, including using sales promotions?


Unit 9 Discussion Topic

As outlined in Figure 2 on page 394 of “Direct Response” (Module 5 of your Reading) there are five basic steps in direct-response marketing:

1. the establishment of objectives and strategic decisions,

2. the communication of an offer by the seller through the appropriate medium,

3. response, or customer orders,

4. fulfillment, or filling orders and handling exchanges and returns, and

5. relationship building through maintenance of the company’s database and customer service.

All direct-marketing messages contain an offer, typically consisting of a description of the product; terms of sale; and payment, delivery, and warranty information. In its offer, a successful Direct Response campaign must communicate benefits to buyers by answering the enduring question: “What’s in it for me?” Also, many Direct Response offers include an incentive for responding quickly.

All of the variables that are intended to satisfy the needs of the consumer are considered part of the offer. These variables include the price, the cost of shipping and handling, optional features, future obligations, availability of credit, extra incentives, time and quality limits, and guarantees or warranties. The offer is supported by a message strategy, a media strategy, and the database.

Because Direct Response messages are tightly targeted, they are often longer and personalized containing sufficient information to help a consumer make a decision. They also try to reduce rick, usually with guarantees or warranties.

1. Discuss the differences between a 1-step offering and a 2-step offering.

2. Why would you use one or the other?


Moriarty, S., Mitchell, N., & Wells, W. (2015). Direct response. In Advertising and IMC: Principles and practice (10thed., Chapter 16). Pearson.


Giving Credit to Sources and Learning APA

When you engage in a team project, whether for work or school, you want to provide support for your teammates, acknowledge their contributions by pointing out strengths in their work, and offer original, thoughtful feedback that will benefit the entire team. The ability to collaborate effectively is a crucial professional skill, and this week’s discussion will help you to build those skills.

Prepare: Complete Unit 8 Reading and Activities practice. Review your Unit 6 Assignment and the feedback from your instructor on your Unit 6 Assignment.

Post: Complete your initial post to the Unit 8 Discussion Board.

Revise Unit 6 Assignment. Apply what you have learned about effective integration of research, APA signal phrases, and in-text citations to integrate research and give appropriate credit to those sources.

Post your revised Unit 6 Assignment, as well as a 6th Edition APA formatted references page for all the sources you are using in your academic document.

Remember, this is the draft of your Unit 8 Assignment. The more complete your post and revisions are, the more beneficial the feedback you receive from your classmates will be.

Include an open-ended question about any issue your initial post raises which your classmates can help you with.

Respond: Respond to classmates’ postings

Respond to at least two of your classmates’ initial Discussion Board posts. Offer constructive suggestions for strengthening your classmates’ essays. Consider their incorporation and citation of sources as well as paragraph development, strength of the thesis statement, use of topic sentences, etc. Determine if they have overused or underused source information. Verify their in-text and reference page citations using APA Style Central. Provide feedback related to the question they have asked.

Review a sample student Discussion Board post.

Discussion requirements

Initial post should:

  • demonstrate effectively developed paragraphs
  • be on topic
  • be original
  • contribute to the quality of the discussion
  • make frequent and informed references to the unit concepts

UNIT 9 CM107

Writing Skills that Work on the Job

Prepare: Complete the Reading and Activity for this unit. Review the Unit 9 Assignment instructions and theAssignment guidelines for help with generating topic ideas for your Unit 9 Assignment.

Post: Post your initial discussion to the Discussion Board.

Write a 1-page draft of the professional memo you will submit for your Unit 9 Assignment. Include a brief statement that indicates who your audience is for your memo and why you have chosen this audience.

Include an open-ended question about any issue your initial post raises which your classmates can help you with.

Respond: Respond to at least 2 classmates’ initial posts.

At work, collaboration is extremely important. Coworkers bounce ideas off each other, help each other with writing and research, and provide each other feedback and support. For this Discussion Board, review responses and offer your employee constructive advice that will help him or her to strengthen the effectiveness of the professional memo. What in the assignment is unclear? How could it be clearer? Is the analysis of the relevance of the information clear? What can be done to make it stronger? Etc.

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