Focus: Two colleagues discussing the progress of a marketing campaign
1.1 Information transfer
Listen to the dialogue in which two colleagues discuss the progress of a marketing campaign. As you listen, complete the key for the project planner below.
In the listening extract, the speakers had a clearly defined relationship-boss/subordinate. What made this so clear?
In the dialogue, the speakers used a range of tenses to talk about different events:
l The Past Simple
l The Present Perfect
l The Present Simple
l The Present Continuous
l Future forms with ‘will’ and ‘going to’.
We can position the tense usage on a time continuum:
Look in detail at how these tenses are used:
2.1 The Past Simple
This tense can be used to describe a state, or an event or a series of events which took place clearly in the past.
We ran the market test for 2 months, until the middle of November.
What were the results like?... sales reached their target.
2.2 The Present Perfect
This tense is used when we refer to an event or time period which is unfinished. It is not used when a past time (e.g. last week/last year/when we started/at the beginning) is stated.
So what has gone wrong? (e.g. since then/in the meantime/recently)
Basically we ’ve had problems... scaling up for the national launch has been much more difficult... e.g. until now)
2.3 The Present Simple
This tense is commonly used when we refer to states, events or activities which are characteristic of the present but which do not take place in any defined time period. Here, it is often used with verbs of perception (e.g. to think, to feel, to look, etc.).
(Note that verbs of perception are rarely expressed using the Present Continuous.)
It seems that they’ve run into difficulties...
2.4 The Present Continuous
This tense is used when we refer to an event which is current or temporary.
At the moment, we’re working on some new promotion literature,...
We’ve having to update it.
2.5 Future forms
There are several verb forms which are used when we refer to future events.
We’re going to hold both national and local press...
... promotion literature, which will be used in...
A: OK, let’s go back to the original plan and see where we have got to. The preliminary market test was due to start last September, is that right?
B: Yes, that’s right. We set up a small-scale trial in the North. We ran the market test for 2 months, until the middle of November.
A: And what were the results like?
B: Very encouraging. Sales reached their target and generally consumer reaction was good.
A: So what was the next step?
B: Well, as you know, the plan was to move to a national launch fairly quickly. We had planned January this year for a major TV advertising campaign.
A: So what’s gone wrong?
B: Basically, we’ve had problems in production. It seems that scaling up production for a national launch has been much more difficult than expected.
A: That’s ridiculous. We had no problems with production during the test market phase.
B: I know, but that was on a much smaller scale. It seems that they’ve run into difficulties with the tooling for the machines-you’ll have to talk to Brian about that.
A: I don’t want to talk to Brian. I want you to tell me where we stand.
B: Of course. We now have a launch date for early next month-May 5th. The TV advertising will start the weekend before on 2nd May. At the moment, we’re working on some new promotion literature, which will be used in the shops.
A: I thought you finished that ages ago.
B: Yes, that’s true. But because of the delay on the launch date, we’re having to update it.
A: I see.
B: So, besides the launch advertising and promotion campaign, we are going to hold both national and local press conferences so that we maximise the media coverage during the launch phase.
A: When are they due to take place?
B: Next week actually, on 15th and 16th April.
A: Right, I must go now, but keep me up-to-date with developments.
B: I certainly will.[/color]
3. Controlled practice
Complete the following dialogue by putting the verbs in brackets in the right tense.
A: When _____________ the project ____________ (start)?
B: It ___________ (begin) at the end of last year.
A: What _______ the results _______ (be) like so far?
B: Rather disappointing. We _________ (hope) to reach our targets before now.
A: How ___________ you ________ (account) for these results?
B: It ________ (be) difficult to say. The retailers ___________ (think) the product is over-priced.
B: Yes. As you ______ (know), this product ______ (target) at the 30-40 age group. I ______ not ______ (think) it _______ (reach) them.
A: So what ___________ you _________ (do) about it?
B: We ______ just _________ (commission) some new research into our target consumer group.
A: Surely we _________ not _________ (need) more research!
B: I’m afraid so. We _______ simply not _____ (reach) our target and we _______ (need) to know how to get to them.
A: Of course, but we _____ (carry out) pretty exhaustive research before the project ____ (begin).
B: True, but we obviously _____ (reach) the wrong conclusions, so it _______ (mean) we ________ (have to) go back to square one.
4. Word study
Match the words on the left with their closest equivalents (synonyms) on the right.
2. to run (a test)
3. to reach (a target)
4. to scale up (production)
5. to work on (something)
6. a phase
7. on a small scale
8. (keep me up to date
9. to hold (a press conference)
10. (tell me) where we stand
a. to prepare…
b. in limited quantities
c. to have…
e. a stage
g. to increase…
h. to carry out
i. to achieve
j. … what the position is
[color=blue]Key to 3[/color]
A: When did the project start?(When was the project started?)
B: It began at the end of last year.
A: What have the results been like so far? (What are the results like so far?)
B: Rather disappointing. We (had) hoped to reach our targets before now.
A: How do you account for these results?
B: It is difficult to say. The retailers think the product is over-priced.
B: Yes. As you know, this product targeted at the 30-40 age group. I do not think it reaching/has reached them.
A: So what are you do about it?
B: We have justcommissioned some new research into our target consumer group.
A: Surely we do not need more research!
B: I’m afraid so. We are simply not reaching our target and we need to know how to get to them.
A: Of course, but we carried out pretty exhaustive research before the project began.
B: True, but we obviously reachedthe wrong conclusions, so it means we ________ (have to) go back to square one.
Key to 4