business meeting

Meeting A - Formal


Alex: On behalf of Vision

Corporation, I’d liketo call this meeting

to order. This is a meeting of some of thekey playersin ourcompany: our top managers. Ourpurposethis morning is to hear apresentation about anewinitiativeforoutreachandmarketing, and to discuss this plan withallof you.

This is a presentation that all of us havelooked forward to.This initiativemarksa newmilestonein theevolutionofour company. First, it servesas anassessmentof where ourcompany is nowin terms ofcommunicating its message to its customersdomestically and abroad.Furthermore, this plan has the potentialto

drive our company forwardbytransformingour corporate outreach andmarketing strategies.

We are delighted that all of the major

contributors to this initiative are heretoday. They will use theiruniqueperspectivesto talk about thecurrent state of affairsin

terms of outreach and marketing, give details about thenew proposedinitiative, andoutlinethe path for implementation.

Meeting B -

Informal Meeting

Alex: Okay, everybody. Pleasetake

a seat. Let’s get started. I’ve called this meeting of our top salespeople so thatall of you get a chance to hearabout thenew planto get our company out therein order to reach moreofourpotential market. First, we’ll hear a

presentation from the team that has been working on this. Then, we’ll discuss it to get yourfeedbackandput

our heads togetherto see if there are any other ideas.

While the team is getting set up, let mesay a few words. Whatdoes thisnew plan mean for our company?

First, it’s areality checkon where we are right now in terms of gettingour message to our customers. Second,this plan has the potential to move the companyforward. One of our main challenges, as you all know, is stayingrelevantinthis changing market.Today’spresentation has some reallyinnovativeideas about how we cando this.

Meeting A–Formal Meeting

Alex:Before we begin, Iwould liketo take a momentto introduce the

participants who havegraciouslyagreed to share their time withus today. I believe that all of you already know me, Alex Aurora, theCEOofVision Corporation.

On myimmediateright is Ms.Hannah Graff, the accountrepresentative from our marketing consulting

firm. She has been avisionaryleader in coordinating thefocus groupsandhelping usidentify ourtarget market.

On myfarright, thegentlemaninthe gray suit is Mr. Chris Banda,who is the Senior Vice

President of Product Development. Over thepast fewmonths, he has shown greatflexibilityandwillingnesstoadapt his productfeaturesto better meet our customers’needs.

Andlast but not least, I’d like

to introduce our Senior Vice Presidentof Marketing, Mr. ShawnEdwards. He has beencoordinatingour marketing efforts for the pastseven years, and his hard work isculminatingin today’s presentation.

With that, I’llturn it overtoour Senior Vice President of Marketing,ShawnEdwards, who willlead the proceedingstoday. Thank you toall ofyou for being here, and welcome.

Meeting B–Informal Meeting

Alex:Before wedive intothepresentation, I should probably start by saying that I’mAlex Aurora, the CEO of Vision Corporation,just in casethere’s anyone here who hasn’tmet me in personbefore today. Could I please get our key team membersto introduce themselves? Hannah,why dont westart with you?

Hannah: Sure. I’m Hannah Graff, anaccount

representativefrom the

marketing firm that has been doing the focus groups.

Today I’ll be talking about your target market. It’s my pleasure to join all of youtoday.

Chris:I’m Christopher Hanson, the Senior V.P. ofProduct

Development. I’ve beentweakingourproduct so that it’s a better fit for what our

customers are looking for.

Shawn: Hi, everybody. I’m Shawn Edwards,

Senior V.P. of Marketing. I’vespent the past few months tryingto keep up

withall the great workthat Hannah and Chris have been doing.

Alex:Great, thanks. Now I’m going to turn it over to Shawn who’ll berunning the showtoday.

Meeting A - Formal


Shawn: Thank you, Alex. And

thank you to everyone who is here today. As you know, today’s presentationis designed topresent ourrecommendationsabout how Vision Corporation can increase itsmarket sharebyreaching more of its potential market.

You should each have a copy of ourhandoutsin front of you thatcorrespondto theslidesup here on thescreen. This first slideshowsouragendafor the day.

First, I willbegin with anoverviewof how our market share has beendecliningduring the pasttwelve months, and the reasons for thatdecline.Then, Ms. Graff will present thedatathat shegatheredfromthe focus groups and her ideas forclarifyingour target market.Shewill be followed byMr. Hanson, who will discuss adapting our productto meet market needs, and he’llconcludewithour main recommendations.

Since we have limited time today, pleasehold

your questionsuntil theend of the presentation.

Meeting B -

Informal Meeting


All right, let me start by saying thanks to all of you for your interest in


Does everyone have the printed handouts? Great. Let’s

start by taking a look at what we’re goingto


As you can see in this outline here, we’llstart offby talking about how our market share has been falling overthe past year, and the reasons why.After that, Hannah’s going to tell you about the focus groups sheconductedand what we can learn from them. She’llalsoshare her ideasabout who our target market really should be. We’llfinish offwith Chris talking about how histeam has been able to change our productsothat it has moreappealto our customers. Then he’llwrap

things upwith our team’s recommendations.

Any questions so far? If you have questions

later on during thepresentation,please feel free to interruptme at any time.

Meeting A - Formal


Shawn:As I mentioned, our market share hasbeen sliding for the past year.Naturally,Vision Corporation isalarmedby these changes and wants to understandtheunderlyingreasons. The truth is, we’re not entirelysure why we’re losing market share, but we have identified threefactors that maycontributeto thecause: a growing number ofcompetitors,our product’s features, and pooradvertising.

First, the number of competitors in our industry hasdoubledinthe past year.To counterthis, we must learnto differentiateVisionCorporation from the other companies. Second, our productlackssome ofthe features that customers arelooking for. We need toimprove our product and make it the bestmarket

offering. Third, ouradvertisinghas beenineffectivein reaching our potential customers.We needto rethinkourmarketing campaignsand make sure that we’retargetingthe right market.

Now I’m going to turn things over to Ms. Graff, who will

discuss thefindingsof her focus groups.

Meeting B -

Informal Meeting

Shawn:As I said a moment ago, our marketshare has taken anosedivein the last year. Why? We think it’s a combination of three things: (one) there’s a lot more competition now than there was a year

ago, (two) our product isn’tmeeting the

needsof the market, and (three) our advertising is speaking to the wrongcustomers. These are somepretty serious butnotinsurmountableproblems, so let’s take a look atthesolutionswe’vecome up with.

First, we’re facing twice as many

competitors as we were a year ago, so we need to make sure that customers know

that Vision Corp. is thebest in the business. Second, we

need to make sure that our producthas all thebells and whistlesthat ourcustomers have come toexpect. And third, wehaveto revampour marketing efforts and makesure that our adsappeal to the right group of customers.

Hannah, can you pleasetake overnow andtell us what you learnedfrom the focus groups?

Meeting A - Formal


Hannah: Thank you, Mr.Edwards. We conducted eight focus groups, each with 10 to 12 people whocurrently use the product. In thispie chart,theyellow-shaded arearepresentsthose participants who buy the product from Vision Corporation, and theycompriseonly 13% of the people we spoke with. That’sconsistentwith Vision Corporation’smarket sharesegment.

We asked the participants what features they

wanted when purchasingthe product and thistableshows their answersindescending orderof importance.As you can see across thisrowand down thiscolumn,VisionCorporation’s current product offering

includes only one of the top three most desired features.

Finally, we asked the participantsto ranktheproduct offered by VisionCorporation against those of the top four competitors,and the results are shown in thisbar chart. Vision Corporation receivedthe best rankings for“affordability,”butsufferedin all the othercategories.Thisline graphshows that these figures haveheld steadyoverthe four months we’ve conducted these focusgroups. We believe this means that your company would bejustifiedinraising the price of its product and using the additionalrevenuetoimprove the product’s features.

Meeting B -

Informal Meeting

Hannah: Thanks, Shawn. Each ofthe eight focus groups we spoke with had 10 to 12 participants who are users ofthe product, although notnecessarily the

one offered by Vision Corp. In this table, you can seethat theproportionof people who use your company’s product comparedto the total market is fairly small, at only 13%. This, ofcourse, means your competitors have a bigleg

upon the market withover 85%.

We asked participants what kinds of things they

look for when decidingwhich product to buy. Let mewalk you throughthischartwith mylaser pointer. You can see that the most important features

are listedalphabeticallyunder theheader,“Important

Features.”Unfortunately, your current product has only one of three mostsought-afterfeatures.

That may be one important reason why more

customers aren’t



Finally, take a look at this bar chart, which shows how your product’s featuresstack up againstthose of yourcompetitors. Your producthas good“affordability,”but the

truth is that your customers aren’t that concerned about price. You could easily raise

your prices and use theextra money from sales to better match your product

with what customers are looking for.

Meeting A - Formal


Chris:Using all of the information that Ms. Graffhas just presented as astarting point, my product development team hasbeen trying to enhance our product to include more of customer’s desired features. Our specificproposalsweredescribed in detail in thememothat wascirculatedlast week, so Isee no reason to cover themin depth at thispoint in time. However, we do needto open a dialogueabout whichchangeswe’re goingto implement, and atimelinefordoing so.

So, as our presentation concludes, I want to repeat thekey points.First, our market share is showing a downwardtrend. Second, ourmarketing campaign isn’t appropriate forour target audience. Third,many key

features are missing from our product. Our recommendationsare to revampour marketing campaign and redesign our product. Wearefacingsome serious problems, and we need yourinputinordertodeal withthem as quickly as possible.

Without further ado, I’d liketo open the floorfor discussion. Shawnwill be ourmoderator.

Meeting B -

Informal Meeting

Chris:Our product development team has been busytryingto synthesizeall the data that Hannah has just presented inorder to create a better product for our customers. We sent out a memo lastweek that described our specific ideas, and based on all the signatures on therouting

slip, it looks like most of you have already seen it, so I won’t repeat everything.In a minute, we’re going to ask you to help usbrainstormevenmore ideas.

Before youget your creative juices flowing,let’s justbrieflyrecapthe main points of this presentation. Our market share hastaken a beatingand we’remissing the

markwith our marketing and our product.To tacklethese problems,we recommend creating a better marketing campaign and creating a new version ofour product. We’re asking foryour best ideas during the discussion. Shawn,will youtake the helm?

Meeting A - Formal


Shawn:When you have a question, pleaseraise

your hand. This will allowmeto call

onpeople one at a time and avoid having peopletalk overeach other. Also pleasemake surethat your questions areon topic.Who would like to begin?

Chris:I needto voice my concernabouthow the focus groups were not asked about color or design. I think this wouldhave….

Hannah: Pleasepardon my

interruption, butwith all due respect, Mr. Hanson, Icompletely

disagree withyou. Iunderstand yourconcern,

butin our experience thoseproduct characteristicspale incomparisonnext to“affordability”and“ease of use.”I don’t have timeto addressyour concern fully, butmost customers aren’t interested in design as


Alex:If I mayoffer my

opinion, I believe Mr. Hanson has alegitimate


glad he asked that question, but Ms. Graff may beright about the importance of listening to our customers. However, thistopic isoutside

the scope of my expertise.

Meeting B -

Informal Meeting

Shawn:Lets get this show on the road. This is an open discussion, so who wants to

start off?

Chris:Hannah, even though I’vebeen knee-deep inyour data for months,there’s something I haveto get off

my chest. Why didn’t you ask thefocus groups about our product’s color and design?

Hannah: I cansee your point, Chris, but based on pastexperience, we knowthat customers mostly

consider“affordability”and“ease of

use”whendeciding which product to buy. I can’tgo into this in detailnow,butmostcustomers just want reliability, and the design issecondary.

Alex:Chris, you’vebrought upan interesting point, but I think Hannah is right. Don’ttake this the wrong way,Chris, but theinterests ofengineers and our customers

aren’t the same. But of course, I’m not amarketing expertby any means.

Meeting A - Formal


Shawn:Mr. Hanson, was Ms. Graff ableto allayyourconcern? Good. Now we have time for only two more questions. Ms. Graff?

Hannah: My question is for Mr.Hanson.I was wonderingwhether you couldexpand onthe sectionregarding product design.Am I correct in assuming thatyou want tooffer the product in more colors?

Chris:Let me see if I can shed better light

on that. Although colors maynot be asimportant to consumers,we are of the opinion thathavingmorevariety will increase sales….

Hannah: Is that the only


Chris:Please let mefinish my thought.Another reason, which may be

beyond the scope ofyour

question, is that the increase in our costswill be small. Have I answered

your question?

Shawn:Yes,certainly, Chris. You’ve made it clear for all of us. And now for our final

question. Mr. Aurora?

Alex:Giventhe growing competition,is

it possiblefor usto dropthisproductand move into a different market?Can you speak totheimplicationsthis would have on our strategy?

Shawn:We did consider thatoption, but wequicklydismissedit. We believe that we shouldstick toourcore

competenciesand improve the product we currently have.

Meeting B -

Informal Meeting

Shawn:I’m afraid we’rerunning out of time. Let’staketwo more questions.

Hannah: Let mejump inwitha question for Chris. Chris, I think your memohit the nail on the head.But let me playdevils advocatefor a


focus groups weren’t very interested in design.

Why are you suggesting that we offer the product in more colors?

Chris:I can see your

point, butwe think that having more colors will raise sales at least alittle bit. And we can do it very inexpensively.

Hannah: Oh, I see. Thatclears

things upfor me. Thanks.

Shawn:Alex, did youhave your hand up?

Alex:I did. Thanks, Shawn.What Id like to know iswhether your teamhas thought about developing an entirely new

product and entering adifferent market.

Shawn:Yes, we have, but we’veruled it outfor now. We think it’sbest to useour company’s

strengths and improve our current product, rather thancreating something new.

Meeting A - Formal


Shawn:Unfortunately, our time together isdrawing

to a closeand we won’tbe able to take any more questions today. I havebeen veryfavorablyimpressedby today’sdiscussion, buta great dealof workremainstobe done.

I propose that weformtwocommitteesto focus on themajoroutstandingissues. Ms. Graff, I would like you toheadthefirst committee, which ischarged withdeveloping a new marketingcampaign that will help us reach our target

market. Mr. Hanson, youwill be thechairpersonof the second committee,which will begin making the proposed product changesASAP.

I would also liketo establisha regularmeeting schedule so that wecanconveneand have the committeesreport

backto the larger group about their progress. If thistime slotisconvenientforeveryone, I propose that we meet at

this time every Tuesday for thenexttwo months. At that point, we canreevaluateour situation anddeterminewhether we would like to continue with the meetings.

Meeting B -

Informal Meeting

Shawn:We’re almost out oftime, so we need to end ourquestion-and-answersession. I think we’reheading

down the right pathwithtoday’s discussion, butwe still have a lot of workahead of us.

For usto move ahead withthese changes, we’ll need to create two committees: one for our newmarketing campaign, and one forimproving

our product. Hannah and Chris, I’d like youto be in chargeofeach of these


It will be important for everyone to get

together regularly so that we canmonitorthe committees’progress. Let’splan onmeetingonce a week. Does this time on Tuesdaywork

foreveryone? Let’s try it for two

months and then we can make a decision as to whether we’d

like to continue meeting so frequently.

Meeting A - Formal


Alex:Shawn,on behalf ofall theattendees, I want to thank you for leadingsuchan interesting andproductivemeeting. I think we have all learnedsomethinghere today and we have a clearaction planfor thenext steps.

Our secretary will type up theminutesfor today’s meeting and we’lldistribute themviaemail forcomments. She will alsoreserveaconference roomfor next Tuesday’s meeting and you’ll beapprisedofthe

location as soon as we know it.

Pleasesignyour names on thissheetofpaper before leaving today, sothat we’ll have arecordof who was at today’s meeting. Oursecretarywilltype upa list withyourcontact information, and we’lldisseminatetheparticipant

listto all of you.

For now, I’madjourningthismeeting. We will see each other againnext Tuesday. Thank you to all of you for your


Meeting B -

Informal Meeting

Alex:Shawn, thank you for organizing this meeting.We allappreciateyoutelling us

about the work that your team has done. The new committeeshave a lot

on their plateover thecomingweeks and months.

Our secretary will send an email with the minutes for today’s meeting. Please read them and let us know if youhave anycorrectionsoradditions. She’ll

also try to find us a meeting space for next Tuesday and she’ll send areminderwith that info a few daysbefore the meeting.

Before you leave, I’m passing around this list with

contact information forall of you. Pleasecheck offyour name once you’ve double-checked that it’s

correct. You’ll get a copy of this listwithin a few days so that we can allkeep in touchbetween meetings.

Okay, everybody.Thats a wrap. Thanks for your

attention. See you on Tuesday.