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Professor: In an effort to combat stagnating revenues, an apparel comp

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Professor: In an effort to combat stagnating revenues, an apparel comp [#permalink]

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Professor: In an effort to combat stagnating revenues, an apparel company launched a special six-month advertising campaign, purchasing fifty percent of the poster space on the subway trains of ten major cities. The tactic was risky due to the large outlay of funds required, but the results demonstrate that the campaign was a resounding success. During the months of the campaign, sales climbed to record levels, and the company had the number one ranking in market share.

The answer to which of the following would be most useful in evaluating the professor's argument?

(A) What percent of subway riders were aware of the apparel company prior to the campaign?

(B) How profitable was the company during the months of the campaign?

(C) Were revenues throughout the apparel industry stagnant in the months prior to the campaign?

(D) Did any of the company’s divisions experience a significant reduction in sales?

(E) At the time of the campaign, did the company significantly increase spending on other forms of marketing?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Professor: In an effort to combat stagnating revenues, an apparel comp [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2015, 08:53
E.

If we have significant increase in marketing expenses in something else then it is possible that this new idea could lead to the whopping increase in sales and not the advertising in trains.

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Dom.

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Re: Professor: In an effort to combat stagnating revenues, an apparel comp [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2016, 06:37
(A) What percent of subway riders were aware of the apparel company prior to the campaign? Even if the riders were aware or unaware , it does't mean that they would necessarily buy the product. Hence we cannot tell whether the adv campaign was responsible for the rise in sales.

(B) How profitable was the company during the months of the campaign? Out of scope

(C) Were revenues throughout the apparel industry stagnant in the months prior to the campaign? Tricky!! however note that even if the revenues were const or not we don't know anything about the sales this year. If the option would have been whether the revenues throughout the apparel industry increased this year then I might have chosen it as the ans.

(D) Did any of the company’s divisions experience a significant reduction in sales? Out of scope

(E) At the time of the campaign, did the company significantly increase spending on other forms of marketing? Correct...because the rise in sales might have been due to any other marketing strategy.
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Professor: In an effort to combat stagnating revenues, an apparel comp [#permalink]

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ash99 wrote:
Professor: In an effort to combat stagnating revenues, an apparel company launched a special six-month advertising campaign, purchasing fifty percent of the poster space on the subway trains of ten major cities. The tactic was risky due to the large outlay of funds required, but the results demonstrate that the campaign was a resounding success. During the months of the campaign, sales climbed to record levels, and the company had the number one ranking in market share.

The answer to which of the following would be most useful in evaluating the professor's argument?

(A) What percent of subway riders were aware of the apparel company prior to the campaign?

(B) How profitable was the company during the months of the campaign?

(C) Were revenues throughout the apparel industry stagnant in the months prior to the campaign?

(D) Did any of the company’s divisions experience a significant reduction in sales?

(E) At the time of the campaign, did the company significantly increase spending on other forms of marketing?


OFFICIAL EXPLANATION


(1) Identify the Question Type

The question stem asks what would be most useful in evaluating the argument, so this is an Evaluate the Argument question.

(2) Deconstruct the Argument

The professor argues that the advertising campaign was a resounding success. Why? Because during the campaign, sales climbed to record levels and the company grabbed the top spot in market share. This certainly sounds like a desirable outcome, but the professor assumes that this outcome is a result of the advertising campaign. If something else was responsible for these results, then maybe the campaign itself was not a success.

Additionally, even if the advertising campaign was responsible for those results, does this mean the campaign was a success? If the gains were not enough to counter the high cost of the campaign, or if the campaign brought about some other unfortunate result (higher operating costs, lawsuits, etc.), then perhaps it was not a success. The author is assuming that the benefits here outweigh the costs.

(3) State the Goal

In an Evaluate the Argument question, the goal is to choose a question or piece of information that would make it easier to determine if the conclusion is valid. What would test the author’s assumptions here? Maybe something that asked what other factors may have contributed to the company’s success during the period of the ad campaign, or something that compared the costs and benefits of the campaign. When considering each choice, it can help to consider what kind of answer you would get to each question: yes/no, a number, a percent? How would that answer help you to assess the author’s assumptions?

(4) Work from Wrong to Right

(A) The answer to this question would come in the form of a percentage. By itself, this percentage would not be useful in evaluating the argument, because it wouldn’t provide any information about how this measurement changed in response to the advertising campaign.

(B) The answer to this question would be some sort of profit measurement, such as “Very profitable” or “The company made $150 million in profits.” This would not make it an easier to assess the cost vs. benefit of the campaign, or to determine whether something else contributed to the company’s success.

(C) This question would have a yes or no answer. At first, this might appear to address an assumption. If the whole industry had stagnating revenue prior to the campaign, maybe the boom the company experienced had nothing to do with the campaign. Maybe it was just part of an industry-wide recovery! However, this would not explain why the company’s sales hit record levels, or why it had the number one ranking in market share. That success would remain unexplained, and the argument would not be any weaker or stronger than before.

(D) This is another yes/no question. It would certainly be bad if some divisions saw a dip in sales, but it would be hard to say whether this was a result of the campaign. In any case, if one division saw a dip, others must have increased by quite a bit to produce the results described in the premise. This doesn’t address the causal assumption or the cost/benefit assumption.

(E) CORRECT. This yes/no question has significant consequences for the argument. If the company increased spending on other forms of marketing, then perhaps the subway advertising campaign was not the cause of the sales success described in the argument. If the company didn’t make any other marketing pushes, the author’s causal assumption looks more reasonable.
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Professor: In an effort to combat stagnating revenues, an apparel comp   [#permalink] 21 Oct 2017, 06:35
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