Marketing Simulation Archives

Product Update in December from Smartsims

SMARTSIMS PRODUCT UPDATES: December 2018

New Animations when Saving Decisions

Previously, clicking the “Apply” button just reloads the screen, but with the new update it is now more evident that the decisions are being saved.

On-Screen Warning on Unsaved Decisions

Some students miss out on saving their decisions when they move onto a different screen or click away. So we have now added a new on-screen warning to notify students if a decision they have entered has been left unsaved.

On-screen warning on unsaved decisions

On-Screen Warnings on Decision Screens (MikesBikes Introduction)

Forecast Sales and Planned Production Warning

Students will now receive a warning when they have entered a high Sales Forecast, but their Production Quantity is lower.

MikesBikes Warning Message 1

MikesBikes Warning message 4

They will also receive a warning when their Planned Production Units is higher than their Sales Forecast.

MikesBikes Warning Message 2

MikesBikes Warning Message 3

Launching a Second Product in the Same Market Segment

This warning message should not discourage students from launching a second product if they wish, but it just informs them of what this decision entails.

Launching a second product warning message

Missed our previous Product Update articles? You can check these out here:

Music2Go Inventory Costs

Question of the Week: What are the Inventory Costs in Music2Go Marketing Simulation?

There are two types of inventory costs in Music2Go.

Inventory Holding Cost

Each year all firms are charged 3.5% of the value of their average closing inventory for inventory holding costs to cover the cost of warehousing etc.

For instance, if you have 1 million units of unsold stock at the end of the year at a cost of $40 per unit, then you have $40 million of inventory which will cost:

3.5% *$40 million = $1.4m in holding cost

Inventory Disposal Loss

If a firm updates a product with a new design or abandons it altogether then all existing inventory is dumped at 93.5% of what the firm paid for it.

Example:

$1 million of inventory would be dumped for $935K giving a loss of $65K.

You can gather some valuable market research from looking at the figures for your competitors. Firms that have no inventory holding costs have stocked out, because they are under forecasting demand for their products. Firms with large inventories are over forecasting demand. If you see any inventory disposal costs, then you know that your competitor has either updated an existing product’s design or abandoned one.

Related Articles:

How to Set Retailer Price and Retailer Margin in Music2Go

Improving Total Marketing Contribution

Need extra help?
  • You can receive an immediate answer to a number of commonly asked questions through our Support Center.
  • Contact us here.

Reference: 

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY

Music2Go Marketing Factory

Question of the Week: Why did I receive a different number of units from what I ordered? | Music2Go Marketing Business Simulation

In Music2Go you make decisions for an entire year, but your factory has a limited ability to adjust the number of units produced to try to meet actual demand during the year. This is called Demand Responsiveness.

Demand Responsiveness allows the actual number of units ordered to increase or decrease by up to 20% to meet the actual demand for your product.

For instance, if you ordered 1 million units of a product, then the actual number of units delivered could vary between 800,000 units and 1.2 million units depending on actual demand.

Product Contribution Report in Music2Go Marketing

In our example above, we ordered 1.9 million units of our Sonic product, but the Actual Units ordered was less than this at 1.5 million because the demand for our products was less than what we anticipated to sell.

Note: Most worlds have 20% Demand Responsiveness enabled, although your instructor may request this to be modified or disabled for your Multi-Player. 

Related Articles
Music2Go Sales Promotion Screen

Question of the Week: What is Sales Promotion? | Music2Go Marketing Simulation

Sales Promotion

Sales Promotion in Music2Go works by boosting your distribution coverage and distribution index. You should buy the Distribution Coverage and Sales Promotion Market Research report for detailed information on the Sales Promotion Rating and stage of Product Life Cycle for all firms in the Industry.

There are 6 types of sales promotion activities available to you to promote your
products and support your distributors:

  • Trade Shows
  • Salesforce Training
  • Premiums (Gifts)
  • Website / Social Media
  • Point of Purchase displays
  • Rebates

Each promotional activity has particular relevance to certain stages of the Product Life Cycle as outlined below. Note that the Distribution Coverage and Sales Promotion Market Research report will show the age and stage of product life cycle for every product on the market, as well as the Sales Promotion Rating and the Promotion Mix effectiveness.

Choosing a Sales Promotion Mix

Sales Promotion Mix in Music2Go Marketing

Remember that each of your products will progress through the Product Life Cycle starting in the Growth phase for new products, then gradually progressing through to the Decline stage over the next six rollovers.

Say we launch a new Sports product this period. This new product will start in the Growth phase of the Product Life Cycle. Then from looking at the Sales Promotion table (this can be found in the Player’s Manual and Market Information Report), we can see that our ideal Sales Promotion Mix for a new Sports product is:

  • Trade Shows: 20%
  • Sales Force Training: 30%
  • Premiums (Gifts): 20%
  • Website and Social Media: 15%
  • Point of Purchase Displays: 15%
  • Rebates: 0%

Total =100%

That was a simple example, but what happens in the second year that we sell this Sports product? The product will have moved from the “Growth” phase to “Growth – Starting to Mature.” So the optimal Sales Promotion mix will be 1/3 of the way between the ideal Growth and Mature in the Sales Promotion table. That would give us an optimal Sales Promotion mix something like:

  • Trade Shows: 15%

(Ideal Growth = 20%, Ideal Mature = 5%)

  • Sales Force Training: 27%

(Ideal Growth = 30%, Ideal Mature = 20%)

  • Premiums (Gifts): 26%

(Ideal Growth = 20%, Ideal Mature = 40%)

  • Website and Social Media: 13%

(Ideal Growth = 15%, Ideal Mature = 10%)

  • Point of Purchase Displays: 17%

(Ideal Growth =15%, Ideal Mature =20%)

  • Rebates: 2%

(Ideal Growth = 0%, Ideal Mature = 5%)

Total =100%

Tip: You should buy the Distribution Coverage and Sales Promotion Market Research
report for detailed information on the Sales Promotion Rating and stage of Product
Life Cycle for all firms in the Industry.

Related Articles
How to set retail price and margin in Music2Go Marketing Simulation

Question of the Week: How do I set the Retail Price and Retailer Margin for each product? | Music2Go Marketing Simulation

Setting your Retail Price

When setting the Retail Price, you should consider things like:

  • How much competition is there in this market segment?
  • How are my competitors pricing their products in this market segment?
  • How sensitive is this market segment to price? What are the minimum and maximum price levels for this market?

Note: We recommend staying away from the top 5%-10% of the price range for every market segment, even for price insensitive segments. The maximum price is the level beyond which NO consumers will buy your products. So even for price insensitive segments, a product that is priced at the maximum looks like poor value compared to a more reasonably priced product.

Similarly do not price too close to the minimum price level for a given market. The extra market share is unlikely to make up for your smaller margins. Start off somewhere in the upper-middle of the price range and work your way up or down from there.

  • What is my overall strategy?
    • High Price, Lower Volume
    • Medium Price, Medium Volume
    • Low Price, Higher Volume
  • What are my projected sales for a given pricing level and advertising mix?

Setting your Retail Margin

Once you set your price, consider your retailer margin, unit cost, unit margin and sales projections. Look carefully at your Forecast Results reports and your Forecast Net Marketing Contribution report.

  • If your sales projections are accurate, will you make sufficient gross margin to give you a positive Net Marketing Contribution?
  • Is it worth giving your Distributors more Retail Margin early in the simulation to encourage them to stock your products and gain market share?
  • Or do you already have sufficient market share and distribution that you can afford to cut your Retail Margins?
Need extra help?
  • You can receive an immediate answer to a number of commonly asked questions through our Support Center.
  • Contact us here.
Check out other Music2Go Marketing articles here: 

Music2Go Tip: Leftover Marketing Budget

Music2Go Tip: Improving Total Marketing Contribution

 

September 2018 Product Update header

Smartsims Product Updates: September 2018

Updated Product Development/Launch Screens (MikesBikes Introduction & Music2Go Marketing)

The decision screens which enable students to modify an existing product and launching new products now feature additional information to help students make more informed decisions.

Launching a new product

Previously students would need to navigate to the Market Information and Market Summary Report for this key information, but we have now placed it directly within the screen.

MikesBikes Intro New Development Screen (New Product)

Modifying an existing product

Students will now see a short description of each option with the corresponding cost and benefit.

Modifying an existing product in Mikesbikes Introduction new screen

Missed our previous Product Update articles? You can check these out here:

 

Smartsims Support Center header

Press Release: Smartsims Support Center Goes Live!

The Smartsims Support Center is our new simulation knowledge-base.

This live resource enables our simulation users to receive instant answers to their questions, as well as browse a wide range of help topics to guide them through their learning journey.

Video Overview

The Smartsims Support Center works on any device:

Support Center Screenshot on all devices

 

Browse decision areas such as Marketing, Operations, Finance; or specific decision periods:

Business Simulation Marketing Simulation Advertising Simulation  Business Simulation Marketing Simulation Advertising Simulation

 

And users can share their feedback on the help articles, enabling us to continue to improve content available through the knowledge-base:

Was this support article helpful?

 

Where?

You can find the Smartsims Support Center here: https://www.smartsims.com/support

Alternatively, click on new Support button at the top of any of our webpages:  Smartsims Support Center

 

Spread The Word!

We recommend placing a link to the Smartsims Support Center in your Course Syllabus and/or on your Course’s Webpage.

 

This proactive approach takes our current service offering to the next level in user experience.

Of course, our Helpdesk Team continues to be available every day of the year: Contact Us

 

Smartsims Product Updates for June 2018

Smartsims Product Updates: June 2018

We’re now halfway through the year and exciting developments are coming your way!

Improved Tablet and Mobile Experience

We understand that students have busy lives and are not always near their computer. So we have made it easier for them to check their results and update their decisions from their tablets and mobiles.

They can access all the same decisions and reports as they can on their desktop browser. However, we have adjusted the tablet/mobile screens to show the most relevant content, the reports and scrolling are better suited to smaller devices, and a ‘Hamburger’ style menu makes it easy to navigate.

Mobile Friendly Business Simulations

Key Reports within Decision Screens

When students are making decisions, they often need to review one or more reports which means they often have to leave the decision screen. So we have added a commonly-used reports tab to each of the decision screens.

Selecting a report from the “Reports” tab will display the report as a pop-up over the top of the decision screen. This way students can quickly review key information and make an informed decision without having to leave the decision screen.

MikesBikes Intro Reports Screen

New Historical Reports Menu (MikesBikes Only)

We often receive emails from students requesting access to previous years’ reports. To make this accessible for students, we have now made  historical reports available for them to access. This is available to them under the All Reports menu.

MBI Historical Report

Accessibility and Improved Compatibility with Screen Readers

A key requirement for many institutions is accessibility for students with disabilities. Our simulations work with JAWS and NVDA, two of the most common screen readers, to help vision impaired students navigate their way around. We also provide additional context information for the screen readers in the input fields.

For instance, when you enter the Retail Price input field, the screen reader would announce: “Retail Price. Decision last year was $1600. Minimum Price is $1000. Maximum price is $3000.”

Similarly when you enter the Production input field you would hear: “Production Units. Decision last year was 15,000 units. Maximum production is 18,700 units”

This is of great benefit to vision impaired students as they do not have to hunt around for the information they need to make their decisions.

Updated Report Names

Updated report names for the following reports in MikesBikes Introduction, MikesBikes Advanced and Music2Go Marketing:

  • The Product Summary – Sales, Margin, Production has been shortened to Product Summary.
  • The Market Summary (All Product Details) has been shortened to Market Summary.
  • MikesBikes Advanced only: Financial Results for All Firms is now called the Industry Benchmark Report.

MikesBikes Advanced Updates

There have been three important updates to the MikesBikes Advanced scenario which will apply to all new courses starting from July 2018. These changes are detailed here: https://www.smartsims.com/news/2018-product-update-for-mikesbikes-advanced/

The MikesBikes Dog Retires

Our MikesBikes users will know the little dog which has featured in the simulation over the years. It is with sadness we have retired “Cliks” and “Einstein” the dog. This older style feature simply does not gel with our current updated simulation interface, nor the upcoming new interface under development.

To bid farewell we published an article looking back at the history of “Cliks” and “Einstein” the dogs: https://www.smartsims.com/news/the-mikesbikes-dog-has-retired/

The MikesBikes Dogs have been replaced with a new Performance Star Rating.

Simulation Starting Year Update

Just a reminder that earlier in the year all simulation were updated to have a starting year / year ahead 2019 (reporting year 2018).

 

Our August product updates are now available here: https://www.smartsims.com/product-updates/august-2018/

 

If you have any comments or questions feel free to contact us.

Teaching with the Music2Go Marketing Simulation by Professor Mark Young

Professor Mark Young shares the benefits of using the Music2Go Marketing Simulation by Smartsims. He also explains how he has chosen to implement the simulation in his marketing course. Continue reading Teaching with the Music2Go Marketing Simulation by Professor Mark Young

Experiential Learning & Music2Go Marketing

Experiential Learning is a highly effective educational tool, and a key feature that sets our Simulations apart from other teaching methods.

Experiential Learning focuses on the learning process for the individual, through observation and interaction with the subject they are learning about rather than the traditional process of learning from a textbook.

Katie Matthew recently spoke at the Annual Conference of the Society for Marketing Advances in Memphis, Tennessee about her integration of ourMusic2Go Marketing Simulation in her Introductory Marketing Course, and how this has added value by bringing Experiential Learning to her classroom. Katie is a Major in the U.S. Army and Instructor at The United States Military Academy at West Point.

Some of the key benefits of Music2Go that she mentioned included the following:

  • Encouraged more student engagement/involvement;
  • Produced better learning outcomes;
  • Students indicated they preferred this style of learning;
  •  Better prepared students to make real-world decisions.

Katie fully embraced the Experiential Learning process by having Music2Go as the “Major Event” for her course. She notes that the “time tested and proven” nature of the Music2Go software, which included teaching resources and 24 hour support played a big part in adopting the Simulation. Another feature she mentions that is typical with Experiential Learning is the immediate feedback students receive on their decisions, which enables them to see what works and what doesn’t. Whether or not decisions are optimal, the results give students a clear and immediate insight into the linkages between functional decision areas – something not possible with traditional learning methods.

“It helped us apply what we learned in class; to see the how wrong or how right we were in making decisions. This experience can’t be replaced except by real life.”

From an educator’s point of view, Katie enjoys the flexibility that Music2Go gives her, with adjustable timelines that can change with course needs, and the ability to easily monitor student performance. She has adopted a “Consultant” role to students, giving teams the option of approaching her for guidance on certain decision areas, and is able to deduct a virtual “fee” from their Marketing Budget within the simulation. This further enhances the real-world feel that the Simulation brings to the classroom, while encouraging participation.

“I enjoyed it so much more because of the competitive aspect it offered. I also learned more because it is a nice change of pace to move away from the books and to see what we would be doing if we actually were in marketing as a profession.”

To be truly effective, Experiential Learning needs to incorporate the entire learning wheel – from goal setting, to experimenting and observing, to reviewing, and finally action planning. The complete process allows students to learn new skills, new attitudes and entirely new ways of thinking.

To see how you can bring Experiential Learning to your classroom via our Music2Go Marketing Simulation, or any of our other simulations, feel free to contact the Smartsims Sales Team at sales@smartsims.com

 

Credit to Katie Matthew, Bill Madway, and the Society for Marketing Advances – see below links for full SMA publications.

SMA Teacher-Friendly Experiential Learning Projects

Experiential Learning Projects Reference Guide for Marketing Educators

Presentation on Active Learning at the 2011 Marketing Management Association’s Fall Educators’ Conference

Teacher-Friendly Options for Incorporating Experiential Learning Projects in Marketing Courses

Strategic Approaches to Active Learning