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# After several years of declining product sales, the online

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After several years of declining product sales, the online  [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2013, 13:24
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After several years of declining product sales, the online nutrition site NutriShake revamped its marketing strategy. Before this change, NutriShake was focused on search engine optimization strategies to boost its rankings in search results on a big interet search engine. The new marketing strategy attempted to penetrate further into customers' referral networks by making use of Pay-per-Click ads on a business social network. After the marketing strategy shift, revenue from product sales increased.

In assessing whether the improvement in product sales can properly be attributed to the marketing strategy change, it would be most helpful to find out which of the following?.

(A) What proportion of the total revenue of NutriShake is generated by product sales?

(B) Has the number of unique visitors to the NutriShake online site increased substantially in the last two years?

(C) Among all the types of social networks that provide an opportunity for Nutrishake to advertise, which type accounts for the largest proportion of the nutrition company's product sales?

(D) Do any marketing partners of NutriShake have a standing order with the NutriShake for a fixed amount of advertising per month?

(E) Among the social networks that NutriShake is implementing its marketing strategy, are there more types of business social networks or more types of entertainment social networks?
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15 Jun 2013, 01:01
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IMO, B is correct.

ANALYZE THE STIMULUS:

Fact: product sales declined several years. ==> NutriShake changed the marketing strategy
Fact: Old Strategy: focus on search engine optimization ==> Purpose: customers will purchase products DIRECTLY on Nutrishake website after they use searching tools
Fact: New Strategy: focus on referral networks, such as business social network ==> Purpose: customers will purchase products INDIRECTLY via intermediate websites
Fact: Product sales increased
Conclusion: The marketing strategy change (new strategy) improved product sales

In order to evaluate this conclusion, we need to determine whether the number of customers who go directly to Nutrishake website increased? if the number increased ==> the search engine optimization strategy might help boost the product sales.

(A) What proportion of the total revenue of NutriShake is generated by product sales?
Wrong. We only compare old marketing strategy with new marketing strategy

(B) Has the number of unique visitors to the NutriShake online site increased substantially in the last two years?
Correct. As stated above.

(C) Among all the types of social networks that provide an opportunity for Nutrishake to advertise, which type accounts for the largest proportion of the nutrition company's product sales?
Wrong. Out of scope. We don't talk about which type of account.

(D) Do any marketing partners of NutriShake have a standing order with the NutriShake for a fixed amount of advertising per month?
Wrong. Out of scope. We just compare two strategies of Nutrishake (after vs before). Nothing about partners.

(E) Among the social networks that NutriShake is implementing its marketing strategy, are there more types of business social networks or more types of entertainment social networks?
Wrong. Out of scope. We don't talk about more types of business social networks

Hope it helps.
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15 Jun 2013, 01:10
pqhai wrote:
IMO, B is correct.

ANALYZE THE STIMULUS:

Fact: product sales declined several years. ==> NutriShake changed the marketing strategy
Fact: Old Strategy: focus on search engine optimization ==> Purpose: customers will purchase products DIRECTLY on Nutrishake website after they use searching tools
Fact: New Strategy: focus on referral networks, such as business social network ==> Purpose: customers will purchase products INDIRECTLY via intermediate websites
Fact: Product sales increased
Conclusion: The marketing strategy change (new strategy) improved product sales

How can you infer so much pqhai?

We are not able to connect the first strategy to the direct purchase of the product from the site; and the second strategy to the indirect purchase.

The text does not say anything about this difference, hence we cannot "make it up". The passage does not take into consideration the difference direct/indirect purchase, it does not mention it at all: both strategies could be based or not on it (we cannot say).
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15 Jun 2013, 04:15
It should be E.

1. In case answer to E option is Yes, then the improvement in product sales can properly be attributed to the marketing strategy change
2. In case answer to E option is No, then the improvement in product sales cannot properly be attributed to the marketing strategy change
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15 Jun 2013, 04:18
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how can we assume last 2 years? Please clarify

May be marketing shift happened only 1 month ago. Previous 1 year 11 months nutrishake was on old strategy.

Say for example on old marketing strategy: - Number of new visitors from Jan 2008- Jan 2010 is around 10000
Number of new visitors from Feb 2010 - Jan 2012 is around 19000.

Now on new marketing strategy, new visitors from Jan 2012 - Feb 2012 is just 100.

As B reads, new visitors increased in last 2 years and that is true but may not because of new marketing strategy.
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15 Jun 2013, 04:22
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how can we assume last 2 years? Please clarify

May be marketing shift happened only 1 month ago. Previous 1 year 11 months nutrishake was on old strategy.

Say for example on old marketing strategy: - Number of new visitors from Jan 2008- Jan 2010 is around 10000
Number of new visitors from Feb 2010 - Jan 2012 is around 19000.

Now on new marketing strategy, new visitors from Jan 2012 - Feb 2012 is just 100.

As B reads, new visitors increased in last 2 years and that is true but may not because of new marketing strategy.

I completely agree with you maaadhu.

(B) Has the number of unique visitors to the NutriShake online site increased substantially in the last two years?

The text has no time reference at all.

I would not eliminate D so easily

(D) Do any marketing partners of NutriShake have a standing order with the NutriShake for a fixed amount of advertising per month?

If someone else is advertising NutriShake, then we cannot be sure that the new strategy is responsable for the increase.
As a matter of fact, this partner could have done a better job lately as far as we know, and HIS campain could be responsable for the increase.
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15 Jun 2013, 08:37
Zarrolou wrote:
how can we assume last 2 years? Please clarify

May be marketing shift happened only 1 month ago. Previous 1 year 11 months nutrishake was on old strategy.

Say for example on old marketing strategy: - Number of new visitors from Jan 2008- Jan 2010 is around 10000
Number of new visitors from Feb 2010 - Jan 2012 is around 19000.

Now on new marketing strategy, new visitors from Jan 2012 - Feb 2012 is just 100.

As B reads, new visitors increased in last 2 years and that is true but may not because of new marketing strategy.

I completely agree with you maaadhu.

(B) Has the number of unique visitors to the NutriShake online site increased substantially in the last two years?

The text has no time reference at all.

I would not eliminate D so easily

(D) Do any marketing partners of NutriShake have a standing order with the NutriShake for a fixed amount of advertising per month?

If someone else is advertising NutriShake, then we cannot be sure that the new strategy is responsable for the increase.
As a matter of fact, this partner could have done a better job lately as far as we know, and HIS campain could be responsable for the increase.

But we care about of custormers on social networks (this is the strategy) : have single customer partner (or a few or a million, we do not know for sure) for a fixed amount doesn't help to evaluate if the strategy achives its goal or not.

Moreover, the reference time is not a disciminant in an absolute value because is reasonable to infer that from the previous one and this strategy a certain time-frame is passed......
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15 Jun 2013, 09:54
Zarrolou wrote:
pqhai wrote:
IMO, B is correct.

ANALYZE THE STIMULUS:

Fact: product sales declined several years. ==> NutriShake changed the marketing strategy
Fact: Old Strategy: focus on search engine optimization ==> Purpose: customers will purchase products DIRECTLY on Nutrishake website after they use searching tools
Fact: New Strategy: focus on referral networks, such as business social network ==> Purpose: customers will purchase products INDIRECTLY via intermediate websites
Fact: Product sales increased
Conclusion: The marketing strategy change (new strategy) improved product sales

How can you infer so much pqhai?

We are not able to connect the first strategy to the direct purchase of the product from the site; and the second strategy to the indirect purchase.

The text does not say anything about this difference, hence we cannot "make it up". The passage does not take into consideration the difference direct/indirect purchase, it does not mention it at all: both strategies could be based or not on it (we cannot say).

Hi Zarrolou

Thank you for asking. That's a great question.

Fist of all, my reasoning is: this is the online store ==> Technically, there are two ways of doing this kind of business (1) You sell directly to customers through your website (2) You sell through intermediate website / agent.

Amazon, for example, has a lot of other companies who are selling their products on Amazon's website. The prices on Amazon are almost identical to the prices on the sellers' own website. If you were a customers, should you buy products on Amazon or go to seller's website? I think "pay-as-click" on Amazon is more convenient and saves your time.

So I think the two strategies are different, and they cannot be interchangeable. Anyway, that's just my own opinion.

Last but not least, I love this question so much cause I have a similar business. I never want my customers to buy products on Amazon or Ebay. cause I cannot increase prices, but still have to pay commission for those websites.
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15 Jun 2013, 09:59
pqhai wrote:
Hi Zarrolou

Thank you for asking. That's a great question.

Fist of all, my reasoning is: this is the online store ==> Technically, there are two ways of doing this kind of business (1) You sell directly to customers through your website (2) You sell through intermediate website / agent.

Amazon, for example, has a lot of other companies who are selling their products on Amazon's website. The prices on Amazon are almost identical to the prices on the sellers' own website. If you were a customers, should you buy products on Amazon or go to seller's website? I think "pay-as-click" on Amazon is more convenient and saves your time.

So I think the two strategies are different, and they cannot be interchangeable. Anyway, that's just my own opinion.

Last but not least, I love this question so much cause I have a similar business. I never want my customers to buy products on Amazon or Ebay. cause I cannot increase prices, but still have to pay commission for those websites.

That's not what pay per click means pquai. I did run a website so I know what I am talking about.

Pay-per-click means that you pay for every consumer that clicks on your ad, and then is redirected to your website, so the purchase will take place on YOUR website anyway.
The old method is called also pay-per-View, and you pay for everytime your ad is displayed, redardless of weather a consumer clicks it or not.

And then last but not least, do you think that a GMAT question should be based on this knowledge?
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15 Jun 2013, 10:17
Zarrolou wrote:
pqhai wrote:
Hi Zarrolou

Thank you for asking. That's a great question.

Fist of all, my reasoning is: this is the online store ==> Technically, there are two ways of doing this kind of business (1) You sell directly to customers through your website (2) You sell through intermediate website / agent.

Amazon, for example, has a lot of other companies who are selling their products on Amazon's website. The prices on Amazon are almost identical to the prices on the sellers' own website. If you were a customers, should you buy products on Amazon or go to seller's website? I think "pay-as-click" on Amazon is more convenient and saves your time.

So I think the two strategies are different, and they cannot be interchangeable. Anyway, that's just my own opinion.

Last but not least, I love this question so much cause I have a similar business. I never want my customers to buy products on Amazon or Ebay. cause I cannot increase prices, but still have to pay commission for those websites.

That's not what pay per click means pquai. I did run a website so I know what I am talking about.

Pay-per-click means that you pay for every consumer that clicks on your ad, and then is redirected to your website, so the purchase will take place on YOUR website anyway.
The old method is called also pay-per-View, and you pay for everytime your ad is displayed, redardless of weather a consumer clicks it or not.

And then last but not least, do you think that a GMAT question should be based on this knowledge?

Zarrolou.

Wow, you're such an e-commerce expert. My knowledge about E-commerce is too small to explain clearly. However, I just feel B is closer to the right answer, so I chose it.

As you know, I don't think GMAT will test specific knowledge such as e-business, science, .... Gmat never asks us to understand what terminologies are. Gmat also advises not to use our own knowledge into the test. The logic is more important.

Best regards.
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Please +1 KUDO if my post helps. Thank you.

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15 Jun 2013, 10:58
Zarrolou wrote:
pqhai wrote:
Hi Zarrolou

Thank you for asking. That's a great question.

Fist of all, my reasoning is: this is the online store ==> Technically, there are two ways of doing this kind of business (1) You sell directly to customers through your website (2) You sell through intermediate website / agent.

Amazon, for example, has a lot of other companies who are selling their products on Amazon's website. The prices on Amazon are almost identical to the prices on the sellers' own website. If you were a customers, should you buy products on Amazon or go to seller's website? I think "pay-as-click" on Amazon is more convenient and saves your time.

So I think the two strategies are different, and they cannot be interchangeable. Anyway, that's just my own opinion.

Last but not least, I love this question so much cause I have a similar business. I never want my customers to buy products on Amazon or Ebay. cause I cannot increase prices, but still have to pay commission for those websites.

That's not what pay per click means pquai. I did run a website so I know what I am talking about.

Pay-per-click means that you pay for every consumer that clicks on your ad, and then is redirected to your website, so the purchase will take place on YOUR website anyway.
The old method is called also pay-per-View, and you pay for everytime your ad is displayed, redardless of weather a consumer clicks it or not.

And then last but not least, do you think that a GMAT question should be based on this knowledge?

@Zarrolou Exactly my point.
@GmatPill Could somebody please explain the Official Version. ??
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15 Jun 2013, 11:26
pqhai wrote:
Zarrolou wrote:
pqhai wrote:
Hi Zarrolou

Thank you for asking. That's a great question.

Fist of all, my reasoning is: this is the online store ==> Technically, there are two ways of doing this kind of business (1) You sell directly to customers through your website (2) You sell through intermediate website / agent.

Amazon, for example, has a lot of other companies who are selling their products on Amazon's website. The prices on Amazon are almost identical to the prices on the sellers' own website. If you were a customers, should you buy products on Amazon or go to seller's website? I think "pay-as-click" on Amazon is more convenient and saves your time.

So I think the two strategies are different, and they cannot be interchangeable. Anyway, that's just my own opinion.

Last but not least, I love this question so much cause I have a similar business. I never want my customers to buy products on Amazon or Ebay. cause I cannot increase prices, but still have to pay commission for those websites.

That's not what pay per click means pquai. I did run a website so I know what I am talking about.

Pay-per-click means that you pay for every consumer that clicks on your ad, and then is redirected to your website, so the purchase will take place on YOUR website anyway.
The old method is called also pay-per-View, and you pay for everytime your ad is displayed, redardless of weather a consumer clicks it or not.

And then last but not least, do you think that a GMAT question should be based on this knowledge?

Wow, you're such an e-commerce expert. My knowledge about E-commerce is too small to explain clearly. However, I just feel B is closer to the right answer, so I chose it.

As you know, I don't think GMAT will test specific knowledge such as e-business, science, .... Gmat never asks us to understand what terminologies are. Gmat also advises not to use our own knowledge into the test. The logic is more important.

Best regards.

Is not completely true, ther are rare cases when you can eliminate 1 or two answer choices based on you knowledge, in conjunction with what is stated in the stimulus or in the passage.

Especially in RC with tough passage in natural science or medicine this is true. Simply because the passages that you may encounter during the exam are excerpts from realialble sources in that field. So you can pick the right answer thanks to you knowledge.

So that statement is not true in an absolute sense. Just to point out.

But basically you must rely only on the given information
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19 Jun 2013, 21:57
(A) What proportion of the total revenue of NutriShake is generated by product sales? - Irrelevant, the argument talks about strategy

(B) Has the number of unique visitors to the NutriShake online site increased substantially in the last two years? - Relevant to the new model. If this number is not very high, then the new strategy might fall flat on its face.

(C) Among all the types of social networks that provide an opportunity for Nutrishake to advertise, which type accounts for the largest proportion of the nutrition company's product sales? - Talks about social networks. This is out of scope. We are interested in business social networks.

(D) Do any marketing partners of NutriShake have a standing order with the NutriShake for a fixed amount of advertising per month? - This focusses on marketing partners instead of the effect of advertising strategy on the consumers of this product.

(E) Among the social networks that NutriShake is implementing its marketing strategy, are there more types of business social networks or more types of entertainment social networks? - Out of scope.
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20 Jun 2013, 09:55
Quote:
@Zarrolou Exactly my point.
@GmatPill Could somebody please explain the Official Version. ??

Reference original question: http://www.gmatpill.com/gmat-practice-t ... stion/2577

So you should recognize this as a "BEFORE/AFTER" CR example. We call this Framework #1 - in which you have a scenario and then you introduce a variable and wonder whether that variable is responsible for a certain result.

In this case, we have a company operating as usual. Then they introduce a new variable - a marketing strategy change. And they experience a different result: increased sales.

The question they wonder about is: "Is the marketing strategy responsible for that increase in sales?"

In other words, which of the following would be most helpful to know in assessing whether marketing strategy was responsible for increase in sales?

Well, it would be most helpful to know what COULD have increased sales --- BESIDES the marketing strategy.

Alternatively, it would also be helpful to know if there was anything supremely unique about this marketing strategy that would demand that we assign the sole responsibility of the increased sales to the marketing strategy.

So in terms of prethinking - you need to ask yourself these 2 questions before looking at the answer choices.

1. Was there something super special about the marketing strategy?
2. Did nothing else change? Did everything else stay the same?

Look for keywords: DECREASE / INCREASE / SAME

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20 Jun 2013, 10:00
1
So as we go through the answer choices, we see that (B) suggests another metric that MAY have changed. Note the keyword: INCREASE

(B) "Has the number of unique visitors to the NutriShake online siteINCREASED substantially in the last two years?"

Also note that no other answer choice has this keyword "INCREASED"

So in assessing whether the marketing strategy was solely responsible for the increased in sales, it would be help to know whether the # of unique visitors changed.

Common sense tell us that if the # of unique visitors changed, that MAY have affected sales---in which case the marketing strategy may not have been solely responsible for the increase in sales.

If # of unique visitors did NOT change, then it would add to our confidence that the marketing strategy was responsible for the increase in sales.

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Re: After several years of declining product sales, the online  [#permalink]

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14 Mar 2015, 07:28
GMATPill wrote:
After several years of declining product sales, the online nutrition site NutriShake revamped its marketing strategy. Before this change, NutriShake was focused on search engine optimization strategies to boost its rankings in search results on a big interet search engine. The new marketing strategy attempted to penetrate further into customers' referral networks by making use of Pay-per-Click ads on a business social network. After the marketing strategy shift, revenue from product sales increased.

In assessing whether the improvement in product sales can properly be attributed to the marketing strategy change, it would be most helpful to find out which of the following?.

(A) What proportion of the total revenue of NutriShake is generated by product sales?

(B) Has the number of unique visitors to the NutriShake online site increased substantially in the last two years?

(C) Among all the types of social networks that provide an opportunity for Nutrishake to advertise, which type accounts for the largest proportion of the nutrition company's product sales?

(D) Do any marketing partners of NutriShake have a standing order with the NutriShake for a fixed amount of advertising per month?

(E) Among the social networks that NutriShake is implementing its marketing strategy, are there more types of business social networks or more types of entertainment social networks?

Pre-thinking

Assumption- The product sales increased due to addition of new customers!!!!

The new marketing strategy was to look for new customers because the new marketing strategy was all about finding new customers by penetrating further into customers' referral networks

(A) What proportion of the total revenue of NutriShake is generated by product sales?

Who knows? This is irrelevant to the discussion.The proportion may be 10 % or 99 % . All we are interested in why/how did the product sales increased???

(B) Has the number of unique visitors to the NutriShake online site increased substantially in the last two years?

Yes; That is what the whole new marketing strategy was all about. If the answer to the above question is NO ,then it is highly doubtful that the marketing strategy was responsible for the increase in the product sales. If the answer to the above question is YES,then it is highly likely that the strategy was responsible for the increase in the product sales.

(C) Among all the types of social networks that provide an opportunity for Nutrishake to advertise, which type accounts for the largest proportion of the nutrition company's product sales?

Irrelevant ; Ok even if we know which social network accounts for the largest proportion of product sales then how do we know that the marketing strategy worked or not? All the answer to the above question will tell is that a particular network accounts for high sales but not why ???

(D) Do any marketing partners of NutriShake have a standing order with the NutriShake for a fixed amount of advertising per month?

Irrelevant option; We have no information how many advertisements are required to generate sales.

(E) Among the social networks that NutriShake is implementing its marketing strategy, are there more types of business social networks or more types of entertainment social networks?

We are only interested in business social networks. The question has already been answered in the argument.

So , B it is !!!!

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After several years of declining product sales, the online  [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2015, 00:03
GMATPill wrote:
After several years of declining product sales, the online nutrition site NutriShake revamped its marketing strategy. Before this change, NutriShake was focused on search engine optimization strategies to boost its rankings in search results on a big interet search engine. The new marketing strategy attempted to penetrate further into customers' referral networks by making use of Pay-per-Click ads on a business social network. After the marketing strategy shift, revenue from product sales increased.

In assessing whether the improvement in product sales can properly be attributed to the marketing strategy change, it would be most helpful to find out which of the following?.

(A) What proportion of the total revenue of NutriShake is generated by product sales?

(B) Has the number of unique visitors to the NutriShake online site increased substantially in the last two years?

(C) Among all the types of social networks that provide an opportunity for Nutrishake to advertise, which type accounts for the largest proportion of the nutrition company's product sales?

(D) Do any marketing partners of NutriShake have a standing order with the NutriShake for a fixed amount of advertising per month?

(E) Among the social networks that NutriShake is implementing its marketing strategy, are there more types of business social networks or more types of entertainment social networks?

i am totally set backed with my CR understanding in general and i do not think i need to further work on my foundations as i am able to crack those questions in which answer choices have no ambiguity.
i would have never chosen B even after studying full time with a critical reasoning trainer or any online course.
As for this question i see option E as the best choice . i did not choose B, which is very strong candidate, because of highlighted reason ..
(B) Has the number of unique visitors to the NutriShake online site increased substantially in thelast two years?
as usual my reasoning for rejecting B is , is new marketing strategy implemented 2years back ? it maybe implemented 1year back or maybe just 6month back . who knows that , atleast the passage does speaks about 2year.
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Re: After several years of declining product sales, the online  [#permalink]

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23 Nov 2017, 12:57
this question is from Gmatppill that is a reliable source.
The pattern in this question is interesting and important. This pattern has been used by many well-known sources.
B directly links with the argument.
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Re: After several years of declining product sales, the online  [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2017, 00:06
After several years of declining product sales, the online nutrition site NutriShake revamped its marketing strategy. Before this change, NutriShake was focused on search engine optimization strategies to boost its rankings in search results on a big interet search engine. The new marketing strategy attempted to penetrate further into customers' referral networks by making use of Pay-per-Click ads on a business social network. After the marketing strategy shift, revenue from product sales increased.

In assessing whether the improvement in product sales can properly be attributed to the marketing strategy change, it would be most helpful to find out which of the following?.

(A) What proportion of the total revenue of NutriShake is generated by product sales?
Proportion is out of scope.

(B) Has the number of unique visitors to the NutriShake online site increased substantially in the last two years?
Correct. If the number of visitors have increased then marketing indeed helped, otherwise it didn't.

(C) Among all the types of social networks that provide an opportunity for Nutrishake to advertise, which type accounts for the largest proportion of the nutrition company's product sales?
We know that revenues increased. Type of account doesn't matter.

(D) Do any marketing partners of NutriShake have a standing order with the NutriShake for a fixed amount of advertising per month?
Standing orders don't help in the improvement of revenue in long run.

(E) Among the social networks that NutriShake is implementing its marketing strategy, are there more types of business social networks or more types of entertainment social networks?
Types of network don't impact our revenue.

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Posted from my mobile device
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Re: After several years of declining product sales, the online   [#permalink] 24 Nov 2017, 00:06
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