CLEP / Principles of Marketing

Free Practice Test: CLEP Principles of Marketing

Start free practice exam →
  • REA CLEP Principles of Marketing

REA CLEP Principles of Marketing

*At the time of publishing.


Thinking about getting in marketing as a career or just aiming to diversify your learning? Either way, Principles of Marketing is a fantastic choice, and our study guide plus practice test will help you get started.

There are 100 multiple choice questions to answer in 90 minutes. There will be some pre-test questions that won’t count toward your grade. It is crucial that you are ready for any scenario that the test makers may throw at you!

Fast Principles of Marketing Study Guide

The test is broken down as follows:

Role of Marketing in Society (10%)

• Ethics
• Nonprofit marketing
• International marketing

There are multiple ethical concerns when it comes to marketing. First is being aware of your target audience. Everyone knows that tobacco companies have been targeting children with their advertisements for decades. It is critical that you are marketing to your appropriate demographics to maintain your integrity and ethical standards.

When marketing for a nonprofit, you will be using multiple streams: social media, mass mailings, mass emails, radio and television, and print ads. Nonprofits tend to have very small marketing budgets, so it is essential that any marketing campaigns are handled with cost-efficiency in mind.

International Marketing used to be extremely expensive. Thanks to our more technologically based business world, companies can use social media, email, and other forms of technology to market to any country in the world. It’s amazing that foam roller manufacturers in China are able to market directly to US consumers through blogs and Instagram!

Role of Marketing in a Firm (21%)

• Marketing concept
• Marketing strategy
• Marketing environment
• Marketing decision system
• Marketing research
• Marketing information system

When deciding what your marketing concept will be, you must start with identifying you purpose and goals for the campaign. Is the goal to increase sales or to increase awareness of your product offerings? Also, who are you marketing to? Knowing your demographics is key to targeting the right audience for your marketing campaign.

The strategy you use will be based largely on your budget. If you are looking to reach as many consumers as possible with a little expenditure as possible, social media and mass emails are the best option. If you are looking to encourage repeat customers, a personal letter or postcard is more effective – it has the personal touch! If you are reaching for an international audience, web-based marketing through social media, blogs, and business websites will be your best bet.

The marketing environment is largely based on what your company offers for products and services. For example, if your company is competing with other companies for customers in the fashion industry, the marketing environment will be brutal! Fashion is a cut-throat industry and only the very best campaigns will produce return on investment. This will mean a very expensive campaign crossing multiple demographics and wide-ranging geographic areas.

Marketing decision systems help businesses explore different marketing strategies through the manipulation of existing data from the past campaigns. The best marketing campaigns are ones that take past successes and failures into consideration. It is vital to be aware of who is doing what in the market and how your company will take advantage of the strengths and weaknesses in the existing market.

Marketing research is all about identifying your demographics. Who is your target audience? Can it be identified by gender or race? Age or education? Work history or family size? Each of these factors are critical keys in creating a successful marketing strategy and campaign. It won’t do you any good to market high end cosmetics using a cartoon character 😊

Marketing research helps companies find out which products are selling and which are not – and why. Research helps with investigating the trends of the current market, what competitors are up to, what’s coming soon, and what products have reached the end of their marketable life-span. Every day, new products are born, while old products go six-feet under the mall 😉

The marketing information system is a system where marketing data is collected, stored, analyzed, and circulated to managers according to their daily information needs. Marketing managers and specialists must be aware of all trends in their industry, particularly those that can change on a daily basis. Some industries, like those in social media, are subject to daily fluctuations in their values. All it takes is one really good or one terribly bad Tweet to considerably influence the value of such commodities.

Target Marketing (25%)

• Consumer behavior
• Segmentation
• Positioning
• Business-to-business markets

Consumer behavior is a major part of strategizing for marketing campaigns. Consumers tend to follow trends in all forms of commerce. There are media firms that do nothing but collect data on consumers to direct their future decisions on production and marketing. The tools they use are as simple as surveys or as complex as reading your shopper’s reward card purchases to determine what you are most likely to buy during your next visit to the store!

Segmentation in marketing is the process of differentiating between the varied consumers who purchase your products or services. For example, with video games, the segment of the market most influenced by marketing would be young men between the ages of 12-22, living at home with their parents. That segmentation allows marketing specialists to create a very specific campaign to reach that segment of the market as efficiently as possible.

Position in marketing is knowing where best to put your advertising dollars to get the biggest return. In large cities, for example, ads on taxi cabs, buses, and subways are high in position value because they will be seen by literally thousands of people every day – if not every hour! In smaller locales, marketers have to focus more on the segmented groups of consumers to target their specific buying habits and needs. In a small town, a family-owned restaurant would be most successful by marketing with advertising in the local newspaper or on a nearby radio station.

Business to business markets are extremely important in maintaining your company’s success. While there are businesses out there that only target the main consumer market, there are others that will market their products not only to consumers, but to other businesses as well. Think about places like Office Depot. As an office supply store, they market to the individual consumer to purchase office supplies, home office needs, computers, or peripherals. Office Depot also has corporate contracts with nearby businesses – those businesses agree to purchase their everyday items from Office Depot.

Marketing Mix (45%)

• Product and service management
• Branding
• Pricing policies
• Distribution channels and logistics
• Integrated marketing communications/promotion
• Marketing application in e-commerce

Product and service management is the process whereby companies obtain, develop, maintain, or improve a viable service and product mix capable of responding to ever-changing market opportunities. This process requires savvy, long-term thinking about which products will continue to be profitable and which are likely to be seen as a fad and the demand will drop drastically within the first year.

Branding is the process of creating a name, design, or symbol that identifies and singles out one product from similar products. Without an effective brand strategy, success for new items on the market can be jeopardized. What is crucial when creating a brand is that it is unique – from the design, photos, and color schemes, to the music associated with the advertising and the potential for upgrades as the product goes to market.

Pricing policies require a significant amount of research. Once you have identified your target market, it is necessary to find out what the competition is charging for similar products. When introducing totally unique, new products, companies tend to charge a premium to help offset their costs for research and development of the product. Once a product has ample competition, the marketing staff must keep up to date with what every company is charging for their products, so they can keep their prices competitive. Would you pay $15 for a cell phone charging cord when you can pay $3?

When dealing with logistics and distribution channels, you are dealing with how the products get to the consumers. What does that have to do with marketing you ask? Well, if the marketing department decides to go big and offer huge discounts on their products, those products must be available in the market before the campaign kicks off. For example, in the early 2000s, a major pizza chain introduced a sale for a large pizza with unlimited toppings for only $8. The problem with the campaign was that local franchisees did not consider how that sale would affect their individual markets. Many stores simply ran out of food!

Integrated marketing communications/promotion is a process of planning that utilizes the roles of a variety of communication channels (ie: print advertising, direct response, sales promotion, and public relations) for a single campaign. This technique is most frequently used by large, multi-million-dollar corporations who operate on a nationwide or global scale. Because they are covering such a wide, geographic area, this is the only way to reach all of their customers.

The marketing applications in e-commerce are literally limitless. Companies have expanded their marketing efforts to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. They are also using sites like Overstock, Groupon, Ebates, and Wish to sell excess inventory. What is truly interesting is that platforms like Shopify or Etsy are hosting pages for entrepreneurs who buy from company wholesalers and sell on their own! This is great for a company because it meets the needs of consumers and offers another channel to distribute their products.

Principles of Marketing Free Practice Test

So, are you ready to test the waters? Take this practice quiz and judge your preparation level before diving into deeper study. All test questions are in a multiple-choice format, with one correct answer and four incorrect options. The following are samples of the types of questions that may appear on the exam.
Question 1: Which of the following is a good strategy for marketing school supplies?

  1. all of the above
  2. Advertising on social media
  3. Offering coupons online
  4. Advertising through traditional avenues

Correct Answer: A. all of the above

Explanation: Because children will need school supplies every year, and parents are part of that buying process, it is wise to reach out to both children and parents for marketing purposes. You will reach the kids on social media and you will reach the parents through more traditional avenues or through online coupon sites.

Question 2: Which store listed below could be an example of a company that does business to business marketing?

  1. All of the above
  2. Google
  3. Apple
  4. Best Buy

Correct Answer: A. All of the above

Explanation: Google can and does market its advertising services to thousands of businesses worldwide. Apple provides computers and technical support for thousands of businesses in the US market as well as globally. Best Buy, which carries software, laptops, and computer peripherals, is often a choice for small business owners in obtaining their office equipment.

Question 3: Where do you think the best place would be to put up a billboard advertising a local supermarket?

  1. Along the busiest street in town
  2. Near a school
  3. In the supermarket parking lot
  4. Along the highway outside of town

Correct Answer: A. Along the busiest street in town

Explanation: Because your customers will tend to be from the local area, the best place to position your advertising would be in the busiest area you can find. Advertising along the nearby highway outside of town would really be a waste of advertising dollars!

Question 4: Creating a visually appealing logo with lots of colors and a snappy design is known as what?

  1. Branding
  2. Coding
  3. Advertising
  4. Imprinting

Correct Answer: A. Branding

Explanation: Branding is about creating a way for consumers to recognize a new product instantly by just looking at a picture or logo, or hearing a jazzy, unforgettable original tune or tag line. We've all heard that duck say it: “AFLAC!” and most of us know exactly what product he is quacking about :)

Question 5: What is the newest and cheapest way to market products worldwide?

  1. Newspapers
  2. Word of mouth
  3. E-commerce
  4. Television ads

Correct Answer: C. E-commerce

Explanation: As e-commerce continues to grow and evolve, there will be even more opportunities for businesses to find cost effective ways to market their businesses. Think about it: when was the last time you purchased a product because of a print ad? Odds are, if you are young enough, the answer is never :)

Question 6: Which of the following would be a good list of demographic characteristics to consider in a marketing campaign?

  1. gender, age, education, work history, cultural identity, socioeconomic status
  2. age, sexual orientation, pet ownership, medical history
  3. gender, age, education
  4. gender, age, work history, education

Correct Answer: A. gender, age, education, work history, cultural identity, socioeconomic status

Explanation: Each of these characteristics will help marketers make decisions about how to frame a campaign. Each product on the market has a unique, target consumer, and demographics help in finding that person. Marketing shampoo to men and women is a good start, but socioeconomic status will be the difference between someone who buys Pantene ($4.99 a bottle) and someone who buys VO5 ($0.89 per bottle).

Question 7: A company starts a marketing campaign but doesn't take into account how much product they have available. What process are they guilty of ignoring?

  1. customer service
  2. human resources
  3. logistics and channel distribution
  4. manufacturing

Correct Answer: C. logistics and channel distribution

Explanation: A company cannot roll out a major campaign without considering current inventory levels, projected manufacturing levels, and how pricing will affect retailers. This strategy will lead to empty shelves and very angry customers!

Question 8: Which of the following is an example of unethical marketing practices?

  1. Marketing cigarettes to children
  2. Marketing chewing gum to tweens
  3. Marketing grocery stores to families
  4. Marketing Viagra to adults

Correct Answer: A. Marketing cigarettes to children

Explanation: It is very unethical to market dangerous products to young children. One might also argue that it is inappropriate to market dangerous products to anyone! However, there are always going to be legal, yet dangerous products available in the market.

Question 9: When in-acting pricing policies, what is the most important thing a company must consider?

  1. future sales
  2. projected manufacturing levels
  3. inventory levels
  4. the competition

Correct Answer: D. the competition

Explanation: The competition's prices will drive the prices a company puts on products during a marketing campaign. It is all well and good to have a great sales campaign, but it won't do any good if the competition is still undercutting your prices ??

Question 10: Alice uses her shopper's card every time she gets groceries. How does this help in marketing?

  1. The store sells her data to political organizations
  2. The store can track how many times she buys each product in her cart
  3. It doesn't because it doesn't do anything
  4. It tells the store she is present

Correct Answer: B. The store can track how many times she buys each product in her cart

Explanation: By tracking Alice's purchases, the store and manufacturers can target her with special offers and coupons. This also allows corporations to create specific campaigns based on the buying habits of regular customers. They cull all the data and strategize based on the data.

More CLEP Principles of Marketing Study Resources

Looking for a study guide to fill a couple gaps, or just want a full length practice exam? You can find a few of my favorite resources below. Note that some of the links are affiliate – meaning I’ll make a few dollars if you purchase, but I’m only sharing those resources that were genuinely helpful during my own CLEP journey.
Official CLEP Study Guide

While quite short on the study side of things, the official CLEP book is the go-to final practice test. Since this is the only official practice test available, I normally use it as my final spot check before taking the test.

REA CLEP Principles of Marketing

REA offers a great combination of CLEP study tips, exam study materials, and detailed practice tests. This book functions well as the central pillar of a strong CLEP prep strategy, with resources like the Official CLEP Study Guide (above) providing a great final practice test at the end.

InstantCert Academy

The website looks like it was made before the internet, but it’s legitimately the single most useful study guide I’ve found yet. Basically it’s a series of flashcards that help you study in a fast paced and fun way.

Plenty of other resources exist – just do a quick internet search – but these are the three that I’ve personally found the most helpful back when I did CLEP.