Marketing Research Process For A Business Venture Free Sample

After conducting a future outlook and Legal Concerns for my Urban-ware and clothing line business venture, the next thing that I will embark on is conducting marketing research for the venture. By this, I intend to look at find the best marketing strategies to use in marketing my products fully to the customers. This involves identifying my market and since I already have my target market, the next and important thing to do is to formulate research on the marketing process to use. In my business plan, I will use Qualitative and Quantitative market research strategies.

Qualitative research involves the study of human behavior and how the attitudes, perceptions, and general feelings of a person affect their buying behavior. Qualitative research on the defined market will help me know what feelings my potential customers hold about my products and what areas they will want me to work on and perfect (Kennedy, 2006).

Quantitative research on the other hand refers to systematic and logical research based on facts and through this, I will research the disposable income that my potential customers have and how the products I am offering to the market will be of use to them, and whether it has value for their money. Through quantitative research, I will be able to determine and set the prices for my products. It will also assist me in determining the pricing strategy to use for my products.

Marketing research assists in knowing the marketing strategies to employ to remain relevant in the market and also be at par or better in comparison to one’s competitors.

Target Market for my products

My products will target majorly the people in the urban centers and those who are interested in urban products. People engraved into the urban culture are my main target because due to lifestyle, they are influenced to buy my products and are a ready market.

I will mainly be targeting children, teenagers and young adults, and that will determine the amounts by which I will be producing these products, and the highest percentage and production, from research, will by teenage wear, followed by kids-wear and finally clothes for the young adults. This is because research has shown that that is the degree of preference for the products in the market. This brings the conclusion that my products are preferred by customers depending on their age. I will therefore be targeting customers from 0-35 years.

Marketing mix

Product strategy

Product strategy will look at the positioning of the products about the competitors and customers. This will mean that I will have to consider products that I provide to the market in relation to the competitors. This will therefore mean that I will have to position the product in the consideration of price, brand and class. I will ensure that the brand is competitive in relation to the market’s competitors (Luther, 2001).

Pricing strategy

I intend to use the competitive pricing strategy and this will mean that I will set the products’ prices on the same level as my competitors. Some will be set higher while others are lower. Due to my plan to target the up-market customers, I will use the premium pricing strategy for some of the products, and this will make sure that I have customers and consequently products for people from all walks of life.

Distribution

I intend to set up five retail shops all around town, one in the central business district and the other four in the town’s outskirts. I will be transporting the products from the main store by van.

Promotion (market communication)

Promotion of products is very important because it introduces the product to potential customers. I intend to promote my products through advertising them in fashion magazines, exhibitions in fashion galas. This will help me to market my products especially to people who are interested in fashion.

Legal business structure and rationale

This will include the legal framework that I will have to follow before setting up my business. This will involve registration of my business, application for an operating license and a PIN Number for the payment of taxes. These are requirements in every state and every country in the world for any entrepreneur to carry out any business activities.

Organizational structure and rationale

The business will have one central store and this is where the head offices will be located, headed by a general manager. All the branches will have a branch manager, a cashier and two salespersons. As the entrepreneur, I will be collecting the funds from the cashiers after which I will liaise with the financial advisor who will help me define the way to divide the money, plan for the money to inject back into the business and the amount to save.

The rationale for this is to ensure that the business does not collapse, and there is a centralized form of governance and that there is the flow of order in the business.

References

Kennedy, D.S. (2006). The Ultimate Marketing Plan: Find Your Hook. North America: Adams Media.

Luther, W.M. (2001). The Marketing Plan: How to Prepare and Implement It. New York: AMACOM.

Global Health Issues, Tuberculosis

For a long time, tuberculosis (TB) has been a disease of concern for global health. Caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it spreads through aerosol droplets, meaning that people breathe in the bacteria from infected persons. Tuberculosis is often latent and reveals itself when the immune system is weak. Risk factors include overcrowded living quarters, HIV infection, undernutrition, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, diabetes, and others. Two billion people worldwide are infected with TB but do not have the active form (Skolnik, 2012). Tuberculosis can affect all organs of the body, but in 80 percent of cases, the lungs are infected. A chronic cough, weight loss, and fever are the main symptoms of TB.

The TB incidence rates in Southeast Asia and Africa remain the highest in the world (Skolnik, 2012). In 2010, there were 8.8 million new TB cases worldwide (Migliori & Lange, 2014). As for treatment measures, Directly Observed Therapy Short Course (DOTS) is the main strategy provided by local care professionals. The therapy consists of four drugs: “isoniazid, rifampin, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol for the first two months, and then isoniazid and rifampin for the following four months” (Skolnik, 2012, p. 255). In the long term, it is necessary to develop more effective vaccines and affordable diagnostic tools for all forms of TB. Since TB treatment is largely provided by the private sector, it should be linked with national TB control programs. In addition, more informational and educational initiatives about TB are vital to combat this significant public health issue.

Diabetes mellitus is subdivided into three main types: type I, type II, and gestational diabetes. The risk factors for these types differ. Type I normally begins before the age of 30 and is evident by a pancreas that does not make insulin. The exact cause is still unknown, but a family history of diabetes is important: if a person’s parents or siblings suffer from this type of disease, the risk increases. Other significant factors include the person’s environment, weight and height development, infections, and illnesses (Skolnik, 2012). With type II, insulin is either produced in deficient quantities or is used improperly by the body. The most common form of diabetes, type II is also connected with family history. Obesity, lack of physical activity, high blood pressure, insulin resistance (in which the pancreas must work more to produce the necessary amount of insulin), aging, and ethnic background constitute the risk factors for type II diabetes. Moreover, in wealthy countries, less-educated people with lower income levels have diabetes more frequently than better-educated and more prosperous individuals (Skolnik, 2012). The third type, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), is diagnosed during pregnancy and usually goes away after delivery. Still, the risk of developing type II diabetes increases. The risk factors for GDM are family health history, age, and being overweight and of a nonwhite race (Petry, 2014).

The human costs and consequences of tobacco use are alarming. An onerous social and economic burden is imposed worldwide as productivity decreases due to tobacco-related disease and death. Around 1.1 billion individuals all over the globe smoke, and tobacco use accounts for about 5 million deaths per annum (predominantly of men aged 35 to 69) (Skolnik, 2012). Moreover, those living with tobacco-related diseases caused by smoking or secondhand smoke (the process of inhaling tobacco smoke from someone else) have to seek medical attention including hospitalization, nursing, medication, healthcare services, transportation, and caregiving by non-professionals such as family members. Thus, the direct costs of treating tobacco-related cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases are huge. From 1997 to 2001, these costs were equivalent to 1.71% of the U.S. GDP—while the indirect costs were estimated to reach as high as 55.09% (Stuckler & Siegel, 2011).

Although there is no perfect measure that would prevent everyone from smoking, some measures have proven to be quite effective: higher cigarette taxes, warning labels on packaging, bans on smoking in public places, and help for those who would like to quit. For example, smoking has become less popular in Norway; in 2004, the government took the first step and introduced a smoking ban in public places (Stuckler & Siegel, 2011).

Sub-Saharan Africa is known as one of the most problematic regions in the world in terms of HIV/AIDS rates. The region has about 68% of all HIV infections in the world and 72% of all AIDS-related deaths. At the same time, it is one of the poorest areas (Skolnik, 2012). Under such circumstances, preventive measures should meet two requirements: be immediate and cost-effective. Focusing on the prevention of further infections in sub-Saharan Africa, it is necessary to prioritize the population most at risk for HIV/AIDS infection: young women, children, sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), and drug users.

HIV testing and counseling (HTC) and mobile HIV screening are two possible strategies that are easy to implement even in remote villages. When people are aware of their health, they are more likely to avoid high-risk sexual behavior and undergo treatment. Condom use and distribution, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC), and harm reduction (plans focusing on reducing harm caused by drugs) are suggested as key preventative measures (HIV and AIDS, 2016). However, there are several hindrances. Some test-positive people never enroll in treatment.

Moreover, relationships with family and partners, poverty, lack of HIV knowledge, and personal or traditional beliefs often limit condom use. Although progress is being made in antiretroviral treatment for pregnant women, there has been a decrease in the number of patients accessing it. In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS recommended VMMC as a component of HIV prevention, since it reduces the possibility of sexual transmission of HIV from women to men (HIV and AIDS, 2016). However, any preventative or treatment actions should be taken in accordance with each specific country. In South Asia, the approach will be slightly different because the key risk groups to focus on are MSM, transgender people, and drug users (HIV and AIDS, 2016). In other words, the preventative activities in Africa and South Asia will depend on their respective populations.

Millions of Americans inject drugs on a regular basis. Apart from the destructive power of drugs, drug use significantly increases the number of HIV-infected people. Because clean needles are not affordable for the overwhelming majority of the drug-addicted population, people often imperil their health by using the same needles as blood-borne infected people. About half of all new HIV infections occur among IV drug users; hepatitis C and hepatitis B are also transmitted via drug use (Pates & Riley, 2012).

As a means of harm reduction, needle exchange programs (NEPs) aim to minimize the risk of infection through the sharing of infected equipment. WHO recommends providing 200 sterile needles per drug user (HIV and AIDS, 2016). Many programs distribute not only clean needles but also a wide variety of equipment including mixing containers, filters, and sterile water. Although these programs are controversial, it would be wrong to prohibit them because they do not encourage drug use and may actually help those users who are unable to quit. The idea is to secure IV drug users who may contact persons living with HIV or hepatitis and prevent further contagion. Two advantages of this method are evident: it is cost-effective and powerful. Compared to the cost of treating HIV-infected persons, NEPs are less expensive; they are often combined with advice on reducing the harmful effects of drugs, managing overdoses, HIV testing, condom provision, and other services (HIV and AIDS, 2016). Therefore, the U.S. government should support needle exchange programs.

Solving health problems is one of the significant tasks that the world is facing today. The following global health organizations are largely considered to be the most important (Skolnik, 2012). The World Health Organization (WHO) is a United Nations intergovernmental agency. Its principle goal is to promote “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health” (WHO as cited in Skolnik, 2012, p. 338). In general, WHO engages in providing and advocating knowledge and plays an important role in setting various global norms and standards. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) addresses the sphere of children’s health and welfare. It tackles the issues of antenatal care, maternity, and childhood. In order to help children and mothers, UNICEF provides financing, generates and shares knowledge, and works to enhance nutrition and childhood development. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) pays attention to the improvement of reproductive health. UNFPA is widely known for its campaigns to end obstetric fistula and female circumcision. Finally, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is designed to help people all over the world, particularly in developing countries, eradicate poverty and build a good life. In this respect, the organization seeks to share experience, expertise, and resources. Sustainable development, democracy, peacebuilding, and climate and disaster resilience are of primary importance for the organization (UNDP, 2016).

Natural disasters occur frequently, as evidenced by the flooding and monsoon rains in India (2007), cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (2008), the 8.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Samoa and American Samoa (2009), and the earthquake in Haiti (2010) (Skolnik, 2012). The impact of natural disasters on global heath is devastating: natural disasters lead to increased death rates, diseases, and economic costs. Depending on the type of disaster, the health impact may vary, but there are some generally shared features.

Some deaths are directly caused by natural disasters; however, complex humanitarian emergencies—such as water and food shortages, unsanitary conditions, poor health services, and special health problems associated with camp life—result in more problems. For example, the rates of violence against women increase in camps and temporary housing. When people are displaced from the damaged region and become refugees, the most common causes of death are diarrheal diseases, respiratory infections, measles, and malaria (Skolnik, 2012). After emergency care, medical treatment focuses on recovery and rehabilitation. Violence-related injuries, TB, respiratory infections, sexually transmitted infections, and pediatric issues are of concern, as well as longer-term mental health issues, especially post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Moreover, it is often necessary to rebuild medical facilities after a natural disaster. All in all, the health effects of natural disasters range from inconvenient to disastrous, and plans must be put in place to effectively handle the potential problems.

References

Averting HIV and AIDS. (2016). Web.

Migliori, G. B., & Lange, C. (2014). Tuberculosis. Sheffield, UK: European Respiratory Society.

Pates, R., & Riley, D. (2012). Harm reduction in substance use and high-risk behaviour. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Petry, C. (2014). Gestational diabetes: Origins, complications, and treatment. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Skolnik, R. (2012). Global health 101. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett.

Stuckler, D., & Siegel, K. (2011). Sick societies: Responding to the global challenge of chronic disease. Oxford, NY: OUP Oxford.

United Nations Development Program. (2016). Web.

Cryptology And Data Protection-Cryptography Keys

This report examines two scenarios in which Alice, a high net worth customer, is a victim of two cryptographic attacks. She suffers the first attack when banking at Super Secure Bank (SSB) where she uses a 3DES cryptography system to conduct her transactions and the second attack at Modern Security Trust (MST) where she uses the RSA cryptographic system. In both attacks, the attackers claim that Alice asked them to transfer a sum of $ 1,000,000 from her account to their own as a token of esteem and appreciation. Alice denies these claims and in both cases files a suit against the attacker, her bank and the government of the country to which the funds were transferred. This report examines the facts presented, offers a plausible explanation and suggests what the banks in question and Alice would have done to avoid such controversies from arising.

Taking into account the first scenario this report concludes that SSB switches to an AES cryptography system, boosts its internet defenses and institutes a policy that allows and encourages online bankers to operate their accounts on a dual control and approval basis. Taking into account the second scenario this report concludes that MST couples its RST cryptographic system with a padding scheme and implements a policy that allows and encourages online bankers to operate their accounts on a dual control and approval basis.

Introduction

In online banking, bank customers conduct their bank transactions online, that is, via the internet (wiseGEEK, 2011, p.1). The article “Why do organizations need information systems?” equates information to an organization with blood to a human being stressing on the importance of its proper management and security (Answers Corporation, 2011, p.2).

One way of enhancing information security in banks is cryptography, which is mainly a defence against internet-based attacks. It is the encoding of messages in such a way that its contents are hidden from any unauthorized principals (Coulouris et al, 2005, p.275). To unhide the contents of an encrypted message one has to know the cryptography key used and its encryption algorithm. Thus, as a measure to boost information security the cryptography key is kept a secret. In the face of attackers, cryptography boosts internet security by ensuring the secrecy and integrity of information through encryption and decryption of messages by authorized principals who themselves are not a security threat (Coulouris et al, 2005, p.276). Cryptography also boosts information security as it supports the authentication of communication between the principals involved in the process though cryptographic-based signatures (Coulouris et al, 2005, p.276).

An example of a cryptographic system is the Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES), which is a variant and advancement of the Data Encryption Standard (Tropical Software, p.1). The large size of the 3DES facilitates the development of complex cryptography keys, which are arduous to crack and thus in effect discourage attacks. In this cryptography system, as the name suggests, when encrypting a message or a data block the data encryption standard (DES) is applied three times (Internet.com, 2011, p.3).

Another cryptography system is the advanced encryption standard (AES). According to Good, “AES is a Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) selected by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for its combination of resistance to attack, ease of implementation, efficiency, and scalable design” (p.1). AES performs better when compared to 3DES. Another cryptography system is the Rivest, Shamir and Adleman (RSA) system. “RSA gets its security from the difficulty of factoring large numbers” (Ryan, 2008, p.16).

Discussion

Scenario One

What can be determined from the facts present

From the facts that emerge in the case between Alice and SSB it can be determined that the secrecy of the cryptography key used in Alice’s online financial transactions with SSB has been compromised. Most likely Bob, SSB’s bank manager has knowledge of this key. Again from the facts, it can be deduced that a tampering attack was effected targeting Alice’s online financial transactions with SSB.

A likely explanation for this is an internet based attack called a man-in-the-middle attack (Coulouris et al, 2005, p.269). The man-in-the-middle attack is a three-phased attack system (Coulouris et al, 2005, p.269). The first phase is the attacker establishing a secure channel through interception of the first message transmitted in that channel, which carries the encryption keys of the channel (Coulouris et al, 2005, p.269). The second phase in the attack is the attacker’s submission of compromised keys that enable him/her to decrypt any subsequent messages sent through the channel (Coulouris et al, 2005, p.269). The third phase in the attack is the actual tampering of messages: the message is decrypted, altered to the attacker’s satisfaction, reassembled to fit the correct key and then submitted (Coulouris et al, 2005, p.269). The most likely man-in-the-middle attacker in this case is Bob.

What could have been done to avoid the controversy from arising

To prevent the controversy from arising, both Alice and SSB should have ensured that online bank transactions are carried out in a dual control and approval environment thus enabling Alice to approve any transaction before it is initiated (Bank of San Antonio, 2011, p.10).

AES versus 3DES

The controversy would have arisen even if SSB was using an AES cryptographic system. This is because SSB online defences are weak therefore allowing attackers to steal communication channels and use them for their own malicious interests.

Scenario two

What can be determined from the facts present

Closely examining scenario two reveals that the case describes a classic chosen ciphertext attack and as such, Alice did not intend to give Frank a gift of $1,000,000. In this type of attack, the attacker works to obtain the decryption (or plaintext) of a given ciphertext, which is at the center of his or her malicious scheme. This attack is possible when you consider that RSA algorithms are such that “the product of two ciphertexts is equal to the encryption of the product of the respective plaintexts” (Ryan, 2008, p.40).

This being the case Frank is the attacker and Alice is yet again the victim. The ciphertext at the heart of Frank’s scheme is g, which claims he has been awarded $1,000,000 by Alice as a token of esteem and appreciation. From the calculation as described in the scenario it has been established that g = (ceA mod nA)dF mod nF where c is the plaintext send by Alice to Frank when enquiring about current interest rates on Certificates of Deposit issued by MST, {eA, nA} is Alice’s public key and {dF, nF} is Frank’s private key. Frank’s goal as the attacker was to obtain the decryption, m1, from Alice that results in the ciphertext, g. By taking into account the property stated above we assume that Frank additionally tricked Alice into decrypting an unsuspicious-looking ciphertext of the form c’ = cre (mod n) where r is a value appropriately chosen by Frank. By the property stated above, m1r (mod n) is the decryption of c’. Thus, Frank gets m1 as the quotient of the modular inverse of r modulo n and r. After getting m1, the next step in Frank’s scheme was switching Alice’s original message m with m1, therefore making it look like Alice was asking Frank to transfer money from her account to his account instead of enquiring about current interest rates on Certificates of Deposit issued by MST.

What could have been done to avoid the controversy from arising

One thing that SSB could have done to avoid this controversy from arising is adopting a padding scheme. According to Ryan Padding schemes are one of the ways of preventing RSA against attacks (2008, p.39). To prevent the controversy from arising, both Alice and SSB should have demanded to operate her online bank account on a dual control and approval basis in which she would have to approve any transaction before it is initiated (Bank of San Antonio, 2011, p.10)

Conclusion

SSB should switch from a 3DES cryptography system to an AES cryptography system as this guarantees more security. However, it is important for the bank to boost its defences against internet-based attacks and institute a policy that ensures that online bankers operate their accounts on a strict dual control and approval basis. To improve the performance of its RAS cryptographic system MST should adopt a RAS padding scheme as this will frustrate RAS-against attacks. In addition to this MST should institute a policy that allows online bankers to operate their accounts on a dual control and approval basis.

References

Answers Corporation. ( 2011). Why do organizations need information systems?. Web.

Bank of San Antonio. (2011). Online banking best practises. Web.

Coulouris, G. Dollimore, J. And Kindberg, T. ( 2005). Distributed systems concepts and design. (4th ed.). Pearson Education Limited: England.

Good. Encryption: AES versus Triple-DES. Web.

Internet.com. (2011). Triple des. Web.

Ryan, M.D. (2008). Public-key cryptography. Web.

Tropical Software. Triple des encryption. Web.

wiseGEEK. (2011). What is online banking?. Web.

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