Strategic Marketing Process - WK 2 -Discovering Marketing Opportunities - Lanier-Gholston

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MKTG-200-40A - Strategic Marketing ProcessWK2 – Discovering Marketing OpportunitiesWhat opportunities in the marketing environment did Gannett seize in launching USA Today? How did the company learn about and respond to these opportunities? Answer the same questions for USAToday.com.By conducting research and analysis Gannett determined that there were two trends/opportunities that he could take advantage of; one was that an increasingly short attention span among a generation nurtured on television and the other was that there was a growing hunger for more information. With this information Gannet made the newspaper’s primary mission to provide more news in less time. Research suggested that this paper should target achievement-oriented men in professional and management positions who were heavy newspaper readers and frequent travelers. Unlike the other companies/competitors who targeted upper America, Gannett’s company would target middle America- young, well-educated Americans who were on the move and cared about the news and current events. Gannett listened to what the readers wanted and ensured that USA Today would market just that.With this information in hand, Gannett capitalized on it by putting together a team of news, advertising, and production personnel staff from his daily news who developed, edited, published and tested different prototypes. From those prototypes three 40-page versions were sent out to about 5,000 professional people along with a response card for feedback. Marketplace feedback showed that readers liked the prototypes so the Board of Directors voted unanimously to launch the paper starting in the Washington and Baltimore areas.In September 1982, 155,000 copies of USA Today’sfirst edition hit the newsstand. In the first issue there was a summary of USA Today’smission which was to make the paper enlightening and enjoyable to the public, informative to national leaders, and attractive to advertisers. It sold out and in a little over a month following its debut, its circulation hit 350,000 plus-double the original year-end
projection. Just seven months after its introduction, circulation topped the 1 million mark and statistics showed that the typical reader turned out to be a professional usually a manager, about 40 years old, well educated, with an income of about $60,000 a year and typically a news or sports junkie. The readers spoke and USA Todaylistened. The paper was designed for the TV generation, it was laid out for easy access and quick comprehension by time-pressed readers. They were also the first color newspaperand captured readers by communicating on a personal level very quickly, clearly, and directly, in an upbeat and positive way. The color is riveting and gives the paper a contemporary look. Gannett’s

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