Marketing Concepts

Category: Objective Test
Type: Individual


60-minute test administered during the NLC.

Objective Test Competencies: Basic Marketing (Price, Product, Place, and Promotion); E-Marketing; International Marketing; Legal and Social Aspects; Marketing Concepts and Strategies; Marketing Research

Skills: Students demonstrate an understanding of the distribution of products and services to the consumer.


Objective Test

Objective Test Guidelines

  • No materials may be brought to the testing site.
  • Electronic devices must be turned off and out of sight.
  • Financial calculators may be used for accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events; calculators will be provided for all other events.

The general event guidelines below are applicable to all national competitive events. Please review and follow these guidelines when competing at the national level. When competing at the state level, check the state guidelines since they may differ.


  • Dues: Competitors must have paid PBL national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 15 of the current school year.
  • NLC Registration: Participants must be registered for the NLC and pay the national conference registration fee in order to participate in competitive events.
  • Deadlines: The state chair, or designee, must register each state competitor on the official online entry forms by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • Each state may submit three (3) individuals in all events requiring only objective tests and two (2) individuals or teams for all events that require a pre-judged or performance component.
  • Each competitor can compete in two (2) events.
  • Each competitor must compete in all parts of an event for award eligibility.
  • A team shall consist of two or three members. Exceptions are Parliamentary Procedure which must be a team of four or five members, and LifeSmarts which must be a team of two members.

Repeat Competitors

Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the national level unless one of the following circumstances applies:

  • Modified Events: A competitor may compete in the same event when the event is modified. Note, if the only modification is a name change, competitors may not compete in the renamed event.
  • Team Events: One (1) competitor of the team may have competed in the same event at one (1) previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice in the event at the national level.
  • Chapter Events: Competitors may compete in a chapter event more than once (Community Service Project).
  • Individual Entry: A competitor who competed as an individual entry in a team event at the national level may compete in the same event a second time as part of a team, but not a second time as an individual.
  • Parliamentary Procedure: Two (2) competitors of the team may have competed in this event at a previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice at the national level.
  • Pilot Event: Competition in a pilot event does not disqualify a competitor from competing in the same event if it becomes an official competitive event. The participant may compete in another event as well as a pilot event.

Breaking Ties

  • Objective Tests: Ties are broken by comparing the correct number of answers to the last 10 questions on the exam. If a tie remains, the competitor who completed the test in a shorter amount of time will place higher. If this does not break the tie, answers to the last 20 questions will be reviewed and determine the winner.
  • Objective and Production Tests: The production test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Objective Tests and Performances: The objective test score will be used to break a tie based on the tie-breaking criteria of objective tests.
  • Reports/Projects and Performances: The report/project scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Performances: Judges must break ties and all judges’ decisions are final.

National Deadlines

  • State chair/adviser must register all competitors for NLC competitive events online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged components (report PDFs, resume/letter of application PDFs, and project URLs) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All URLs and PDFs for prejudged projects and reports will be submitted by the state adviser via the competitive events registration form.
  • All production tests must be received at FBLA-PBL by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • Desktop Publishing—the finished product must be uploaded in PDF format by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May. Label all documents with the event title, competitor’s name, state, and school.
  • All production tests must be uploaded online.
  • State chair/adviser may make name changes only (no additional entries) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June. Competitor drops are the only changes allowed after this date and onsite.

National Awards

The number of competitors will determine the number of winners. The maximum number of winners for each competitive event is 10. Only one (1) award is given to the schools competing in chapter events (Community Service Project and Local Chapter Annual Business Report).

Additional Materials

  • Financial calculators may be brought to objective testing and used for any accounting, finance, or analysis & decision making events.
  • Certain events may allow the use of additional materials. Please refer to event guidelines.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

FBLA‑PBL meets the criteria specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act for all participants who submit a special needs form.

Recording of Presentations

No unauthorized audio or video recording devices will be allowed in any competitive event. Participants in the performance events should be aware the national association reserves the right to record any performance for use in study or training materials.

Graduate Students

Graduate students may compete in all PBL events.


General Competitive Events Tips
Event Tips
Format Guide

Website Resources
Basic Marketing (Price, Product, Place, and Promotion)
1. Explain the 4 P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
2. Describe the seven marketing functions: marketing information management, financing, pricing, promotion, product/service management, distribution, and selling.
3. Describe the difference between consumer and organizational markets.
4. Define market segmentation: target market, demographics, psychographics, geographic, and behavioral segmentation.
5. Explain the distinction between goods and services and their characteristics.
6. Define the role of distributors, retailers, and other intermediaries in delivering products, services, and information to customers.
7. Explain warranties and guarantees.
8. Name stages of product life cycle.
9. Acquire product knowledge and benefits/product features to assist customer with buying decision..
10. Explain the concept of product mix and utilize product mix strategies to meet customer expectations.
11. Identify reasons for selecting different types of promotion.
12. Explain the elements of the promotional mix: advertising, publicity, personal selling, sales promotion, and visual merchandising.
13. Describe the advertising planning process.
14. Explain types of advertising media and communication channels used in sales promotion.
15. Compare and evaluate advertising media.
16. Implement display techniques and other visual merchandising techniques to attract customers and increase sales.
17. Implement receiving processes to ensure accuracy and quality of incoming shipments.
18. Utilize warehousing procedures to store merchandise until needed.
19. Identify transportation processes to move products through the supply chain.
20. Evaluate different types of inventory systems.
21. Describe and apply pricing strategies to determine prices.
22. Develop a foundational knowledge of pricing to understand its role in marketing
23. Assess pricing strategies to identify needed changes and to improve profitability.
24. Identify the factors that influence the price of an item.
25. Set prices that demonstrate value to the customer and capture value for the business.
26. Determine the selling price of a product—calculate mark-up, mark-down; sales tax, and discounts.
27. Describe the steps of the personal selling process.
28. Discuss motivational theories that impact buying behavior.
29. Compare and contrast advantages and disadvantages of sales promotion
30. Discuss how customer behavior and retention drive marketing decisions and company profitability.
31. Use marketing information to determine and meet customer needs.
32. Describe factors used by businesses to position corporate brands
33. Discuss the importance and benefits of branding
34. List principle functions of product packaging.
1. Discuss role e-commerce will play in the marketing of goods and services.
2. Identify online shopping techniques for sales and purchasing.
3. Explain how a Web site presence can be used to promote a business/product
4. Develop a marketing plan for a company Web site.
5. Distinguish between positive and negative marketing options for companies with online presence.
6. Design and create a Web page for a target audience with graphics and online shopping cart.
7. Define ecommerce and distinguish between the types of ecommerce sites.
8. Discuss consumer fears in relation to e-commerce and suggest ways to effectively address these fears on a site.
9. Identify various global market strategies that can be used to meet market needs.
10. Evaluate the influence of social, political, legal, economic, global, and technological forces on marketing practices.
International Marketing
Legal and Social Aspects
1. Describe the impact of government on business activities—taxes, supply and demand, effect of fiscal, and monetary policies.
2. Describe the economic indicators that impact marketing activities, such as inflation, unemployment, and interest rate fluctuations.
3. Explain the concept of Gross Domestic Product.
4. Explain social responsibility as it applies to Marketing.
5. Provide examples of socially responsible behavior in marketing.
6. Explain the purpose of a code of ethics.
7. Apply ethical actions in obtaining and providing information to acquire the confidence of others.
8. Define conflict of interest.
9. Identify how the legal system works.
10. Define contracts and torts, and identify common business torts.
11. Identify types of intellectual property.
12. Describe the impact of specific marketing regulations/laws on both domestic and international business.
13. Describe the ways in which special interest groups (e.g., pressure from government and labor groups) and changing cultural characteristics (e.g., aging population, single-person households, and mobility) influence marketing.
14. Discuss the role of federal regulatory agencies (e.g., Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Environmental Protection Agency).
Marketing Concepts and Strategies
1. Develop merchandise plans (budgets) to guide selection of products.
2. Analyze vendor performance to choose vendors and merchandise.
3. Assess marketing information needs to develop a marketing information management system.
4. Manage channel activities to minimize costs and to determine distribution strategies.
5. Monitor sales activities to meet sales goals/objectives.
6. Implement organizational skills to improve efficiency and work flow.
7. Manage marketing information to predict/analyze consumer behavior and to facilitate product/service management decisions.
8. Manage staff growth and development to increase productivity and employee satisfaction.
9. Plan/manage product/brand lifecycle.
10. Evaluate alternative marketing techniques and procedures for achieving product development objectives
11. Define market saturation
Marketing Research
1. Describe the marketing research process.
2. Implement procedures to ensure confidentiality and security of respondents.
3. Establish the objectives and purpose of marketing research.
4. Design quantitative marketing research activities to ensure accuracy, appropriateness, and adequacy of data collection efforts.
5. Design qualitative marketing research study to ensure appropriateness of data-collection efforts.
6. Report findings to communicate research information to others.
7. Assess quality of marketing research activities to determine needed improvements.
8. Determine appropriate tool, statistical software, and modeling techniques to aid in data interpretation.
9. Explain the purpose of primary research and describe the methods to collect primary data: survey, observation, focus groups, and experimental.
10. Explain the purpose of secondary research and describe the methods to collect secondary data: internal company data, internet sources, federal and state government sources, and trade organizations.
11. Describe the methods to analyze and present research data: charts, graphs, and percentages.
12. Describe limitations of market research: cost, accuracy, time, and security


PBL Program of Study


States may submit up to 3 entries.
Competitors must be registered for NLC and pay registration fee.
Competitors must pay dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 15.


Test: 1 hour