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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.

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?



You can find the Smartsims Support Center here:

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:

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:

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:


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

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


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

Smartsims Feature at the Annual SMA Conference

The Society for Marketing Advances (SMA) held their annual conference during the first week of November 2011, bringing together marketing educators from throughout the United States and abroad.

Lecturer William M. Madway of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania co-chaired the Marketing Education track, putting together a discussion panel called “Teacher Friendly Options for Incorporating Experiential Learning Projects in Marketing Courses”. Bill brings over 20 years of experience in the marketing profession to the classroom. He has used various experiential learning projects in his marketing classes, including our Music2Go Marketing Simulation and the National Student Advertising Competition.

He was joined by Professor Katie Matthew, a Major in the U.S. Army and Instructor at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Katie teaches courses in marketing and military leadership for the Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership and also uses our Music2Go Marketing Simulation.

Other educators who shared their experience on the panel include Leslie Kendrick from John Hopkins University & Whiting School of Engineering’s Center for Leadership Education; Marilyn Lavin from University of Wisconsin – Whitewater; and Sandy Utt from University of Memphis.

The session was designed to familiarize marketing educators with effective experiential learning projects that are relatively easy to implement. The session recognized that while educators identified the advantages of experiential learning, and even students tend to prefer active, real-world teching techniques, challenges exist that hinder greater use of these methods.

Below is an excerpt from the Conference Guide regarding this issue:

One major impediment is the amount of time involved in designing and carrying out experiential learning activities, especially real-world class projects. Instructors often must find a company willing to serve as a “client,” and must then manage this relationship. These projects also require instructors to provide a great deal of support for students outside the classroom. What’s more, it can be difficult to assess individual student learning and performance, as many of these projects are carried out by teams. Online simulations eliminate the need to find clients, but still require considerable advising time, not to mention the time needed to address the inevitable technical problems.”

Fortunately, a number of experiential learning options that overcome these challenges are now available for use in a wide variety of marketing courses, ranging from Introduction to Marketing to capstone courses such as Marketing Strategy and Advertising Campaigns. Many of these options involve “live” cases, developed in cooperation with major multinational companies, in which students conduct primary research, develop recommendations, and present their findings to the client company. Multiple universities can simultaneously utilize the cases, which usually include a competitive aspect, i.e., teams at participating schools compete against one another for recognition, and in some cases, prizes. Some of these projects allow students to actually implement their recommendations, with funding provided by the sponsoring company”.

The SMA session focused on four experential learning projects which panelists identified as being among the best available and providing a benchmark against which other options could and should be measured:

The Music2Go Marketing Simulation. A highly realistic,  comprehensive online marketing simulation developed by Smartsims. Students take over the MP3 player division of a large consumer electronics company, and formulate segmentation, positioning, sales, distribution, pricing, new product development, and promotion strategies, as they attempt to build their firm into the leading player in the market. Student teams compete against other teams within their course.

The Marketing Internship Program (MI), one of two types of industry-education collaborative programs created by EdVenture Partners. In the MI program, students taking a for-credit, marketing or advertising class research the target audience; create a marketing campaign, which they pitch to their client for approval; and implement their plan using funds provided by their client. Students also analyze their results and present their findings to their client. Organizations participating in the MI program in recent years include Chevrolet,
Nissan, Sapphire Mobile Systems the FBI, and the U.S. Navy.

The Google Online Marketing Challenge. Student teams receive $200 of Google advertising, and work with local companies or NGOs to create online marketing campaigns. The challenge is open to colleges around the world. Regional winners and their professor receive a trip to a regional Google office; the global winners and their professor receive a trip to Google’s world headquarters.

 The American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition. Student teams develop an integrated communications campaign to address a real-world marketing problem facing the sponsoring company or non-profit, and “pitch” it to a panel of judges in regional competitions. The top team in each region advances to the national finals. Recent NSAC sponsors include AOL, Coca-Cola, Florida Tourism, J.C. Penney, and State Farm Insurance.

The panel also discussed the integration of the above projects into syllabi, the instructors’ roles, the provision of resources and assistance in overcoming likely challenges. Performance evaluation, participant reflection and the impact of competitive elements in the projects were also discussed.

Below are some publications courtesy of William M. Madway:

Presentation at 2011 Society for Marketing Advances Conference on Teacher-Friendly Experiential Learning Projects

Teacher-Friendly Experiential Learning Projects Reference Guide for Marketing Educators

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

Smartsims are proud to be recognised at the SMA, which discussed the Segmentation Options of the simulation in great detail covering Market Demographics, Products, Pricing, Distribution and Promotion. Panelists discussed how one of the simulation’s greatest value adding feature was recognizing and catering to Consumer Preferences across various unique and emerging market segments. We hope to continue contributing positively to the Marketing Educational System throughout the world.

– Danny Master

Logo/crest for wharton university

Wharton Joins Smartsims

We are pleased to welcome The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Professor William Madway into the Smartsims family.

Professor Madway teaches the Introduction to Marketing Course (MKTG 101) at Wharton. Professor Madway first experienced our Simulations at Villanova University in 2009, while teaching Business Dynamics using our MikesBikes Intro Business Simulation.

After the success at Villanova, Professor Madway introduced our Music2Go Marketing Simulation to Wharton. As the MKTG 101 course is condensed over Summer, Music2Go was used over a five day period with decisions being processed daily. Team ‘The Sonic Hedgehogs’ emerged victorious with a Cumulative Net Marketing Contribution of $170,546,758.

“I appreciate how proactive and supportive you and everyone else at Smartsims are. As a teacher, it’s good to know your organization has my back! It’s like you all are part of the teaching staff!” – William Madway

The Wharton School is consistently ranked as one of the top business schools in the world.