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This project is intended to be the major culminating written project of the semester and encompasses the entire semester’s course content and learning objectives. You are to develop a marketing strategy profile for an existing product or service brand or one for hypothetical product you propose (essentially write a marketing plan for it). You will be graded on content, organization, research and attribution (meaning you need to use in-text citations and provide a detailed bibliography page), and clarity (grammar, neatness, using page numbers). Even though the assignment spans the last two weeks of the course, you may want to start it earlier than that. It is worth a big block of points (100).
Purpose of Assignment: To provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate the depth and richness of their knowledge of marketing strategies using the “4Ps” framework from the textbook and class notes, along with the environmental framework presented in class. Your performance will be assessed based on your demonstrated mastery of marketing principles covered in the course.
Nature of Assignment: Using the outline provided below, develop a marketing strategy for a real (already established) or hypothetical product/service concept. Please try to balance brevity with depth and specificity. Use an outline form and make use of the headings given. Be imaginative and thorough. Limit your work to ten typed-pages. You will be graded on your ability to effectively apply theory to a particular product/service concept (show off your understanding of marketing principles in this assignment).
Product/service concept: succinctly describe the nature of your product/service idea. Is it real or hypothetical? Describe the product/service strategy by analyzing the benefits and features of the product/service, package design, branding, trademarks, warranties, product life cycles, and new-product development. You should do the following:
Apply the Buyer Utility Map to your product and analyze it (see part one of the course for it on Blackboard)
Determine the product’s classification (for Consumer Products, see pp. 175 – 177, for Business Products or Industrial Products, see pages 128 – 130.
List product/service features and benefits
Determine the stage in the product life cycle, with supporting rationale (pp.202 – – 206) and see Exhibit 11.2 on pg. 203.
Describe product mix (pp.177 – 178) and Exhibit 10.1 on pg 177.
Target Market(s): Briefly, but descriptively describe the characteristics and needs of the potential group(s) of customers. Are there different segments of customer? Apply Kotler’s 7Os conceptual framework to identify the buyer’s characteristics. If so, describe the target market in terms of their needs, demographics, and psychographics. Identify and describe some or all potential market segments. Be as specific and detailed as possible.
Place: Discuss ways that you will reach the customer; channels of distribution; degree of market exposure (intensive, selective, or exclusive); types of distributors. Provide brief rationale for the strategy (ies) selected.
Include the following:
Type of distribution strategy, see pp. 246- 253, including rationale (specifically review factors that affect distribution channel strategy) (Choices: 1. Direct 2. Indirect — 2a. Traditional, 2b. Administered VMS, 2c. Contractual VMS, 2d. Corporate VMS, & 2e. Combination).
Degree of market exposure or coverage desired (intensive, selective, & exclusive, see pg. 250.
Promotion: Discuss the ways that you will “tell and sell” the customer about your product/service concept. This is where personal selling and advertising “plug-into” the marketing strategy framework; also, do not forget about possibly including publicity and sales promotion. Include the following analysis:
Promotional Objective(s) [they are: to provide information, increase demand, differentiate the product, accentuate a product’s value, and stabilize sales, OR refer to the objectives listed on pg.282, which include Informing, Persuading, Reminding, and Connecting].
Discuss Promotional Mix or Integrated Marketing Communications Strategy, pp. 283 – 287.
* Mass selling — advertising & publicity
* Personal selling — expensive, but yields direct feedback.
* Sales promotion — sparks immediate interest, trial, or purchase,
* Direct marketing — customized and produces an immediate response; suffers from image problems.
* Public Relations — creates a positive image toward the firm, but hard to measure effectiveness.
* Social media – are promotional tools used to facilitate conversations and other interactions among people.
See how to develop the optimal promotional mix, pp. 283-287, What will the emphasis be placed on, advertising or personal selling and why? Pulling or Pushing Strategy? (See pp. 293-294) and Exhibit 16.7 on pg. 294.
Media selection for advertising, Exhibit 17.3 on pg.305.
Price: Briefly discuss your pricing policy and objectives. See Chapter 21 for reference, e.g., Penetration vs. Skimming pricing, pp. 378-379; Value-based pricing (price-quality associations), pp 383 – 385, and odd-even pricing, pg..388; Loss leader, pg. 387.
Describe and discuss the Competitive Environment including,
Type of competitive situation (i.e., monopolistic competition, pure competition, oligopoly) from our course notes.
Five forces of competition analysis (Michael Porter) from our course notes.
Type of competitive positioning strategy being pursued or that should be pursued (draw from Michael Porter (pp. 23 – 26) and/or Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema’s (course notes) theories of competitive positioning).
Provide a lucid example or two of each of the other environmental factors, showing its potential impact on the marketing strategy (try to identify opportunities and threats). Also provide some recommendations for improving marketing performance.
(Hint: Maybe organize and present a brief SWOT analysis here or provide a pluses and minus analysis using two example of each of the four external factors)
Finally, discuss your product/service concept in relationship to the social/ethical frameworks discussed in class and the readings, especially the four ethical justification theories (i.e., Economic, legal, ethic, and philanthropic). Also, look for any micro-macro dilemmas and/or possible violations of the AMA’s Code of Ethics. Finally, please conclude your assignment with a list of suggestions or recommendations for improving the company’s marketing program or strategy. Assignment is due: Sunday, March 6 by midnight.
Important Note: Make sure you clearly provide appropriate attribution for all quoted or paraphrased material. Do not present work previously submitted by other students (automatic course failure will be the penalty). Provide a reference list too. Consider using ProQuest and Hoovers online through the SFU Library.
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