Prepare a marketing plan that will demonstrate your ability to apply marketing concepts to a real-world product or service

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Prepare a marketing plan that will demonstrate your ability to apply marketing concepts to a real-world product or service

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Over the course of the semester you will prepare a marketing plan that will demonstrate your ability to apply marketing concepts to a real-world product or service. This assessment is in lieu of a final examination and was designed to measure your performance on all course learning outcomes.

Your plan will follow the marketing plan outline illustrated in table 2.2 of your textbook and further described in Appendix 1: Sample Marketing Plan for Sonic, a fictional product. You will submit your Marketing Plan Term Project in two parts:

Part 1: Analysis of the current situation (30 percent of final grade)

Part 2: Marketing strategy, budgets, and controls (20 percent of final grade)
(Part 2 will also include an executive summary, all slides from Part 1, incorporation of feedback from your faculty member, all footnotes, and a bibliography.)

Your marketing plan will take the form of a PowerPoint Presentation. Tips for effective PowerPoint slide development can be found under Course Content in the online classroom. Be sure you have access to a recent version of PowerPoint or similar presentation software.

You will be graded on the following criteria (refer to grading rubrics for more detailed information):

  • the degree to which you demonstrate your ability to conduct relevant external research
  • the degree to which you demonstrate application of the marketing principles covered throughout the course
  • the degree to which you exhibit critical-thinking skills
  • the degree to which you present a professional final product

Marketing Plan Term Project Requirements

Step 1: Select a Product or Service.

Due: End of week 2 (check course schedule for specific due date)

You will select a company and one of its specific products or services, for which you will prepare a marketing plan. Submit your choice to your faculty member for approval no later than the end of week 1.

Your choice of a product or service is important. Here are some tips to help you select an appropriate product or service:

  • Select a consumer product or service that you or your family uses regularly. This will help give you insight into customer behaviors in the purchase decision and will also make it more interesting to work on because you like the product or service.
  • Do not select an industrial or business-to-business good or service.
  • Select a product or service that is large enough to have something written about it or its industry. This will help you find industry trends and competitive information via library research.
  • Select a publicly held company’s product or service. Again, there is more information available that will bring depth to your analysis. You will need revenue data, market-share data, or other measures to compare against competitive offerings.
  • Stay with nationally known brand names so that your faculty member has some knowledge of your choice and therefore can be more helpful to you.
  • Select a product or service that has some competition.
  • Do not select a new product or service idea. This must be a currently marketed product or service.
  • You may consider selecting your own company if it meets the requirements above. If not, do not attempt it.
  • Keep it simple. Do not try to tackle an entire conglomerate or company with multiple business units.

Here are some examples of products and services (or combination of product and service) that would be good choices for your Marketing Plan Term Project:

  • A soft drink or cola product (e.g., Coca-Cola Zero, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Evian bottled water, Gatorade)
  • A national restaurant chain (e.g., Applebee’s, Panera Bread)
  • Personal-care products (e.g., Colgate toothpaste, Clinique, Olay, Johnson & Johnson Baby Care)  Here you can choose the entire product line that is related. In other words, you would discuss all Colgate toothpaste product-line extensions, such as whiteners, cavity fighters, “total,” children’s toothpaste, etc.
  • High-tech consumer products (e.g., 3D televisions, notepads, cell phones [not smartphones])
  • A service (e.g., H&R Block, a credit card, an investment firm, an insurance company)
  • Specific automobile models (e.g., Ford Fiesta, Toyota Prius, BMW’s M3 series)

Before the end of Week 2 prepare a one-paragraph description of your choice, link the product’s website, and submit it to your faculty member in the Marketing Plan Term Project Discussionby by the end of Week 2. Your faculty member will approve your choice or make recommendations for you to consider.

Step 2: Research your product or service.

Try to complete most of your research by end of week 3.You will probably have to look for more sources as you begin to write. Your sources will be most useful in Part 1, where you are analyzing the current situation. Research will be incorporated throughout your presentation and need not be submitted separately.

Look for academic sources that use a review or editing process. This means that, although you will be using the company’s website, it should only provide background on the product; it should not be the primary source for your analysis. Most of your information will come from databases (e.g., Hoover’s), popular business publications (e.g., the Wall Street JournalBusiness Week, industry trade journals), and government data (e.g., census data and trends).

You can use the UMUC virtual library in your online classroom. If you need help finding information, be sure to contact a virtual librarian or ask your faculty member for help.

Step 3: Prepare Marketing Plan Term Project, Part 1 (worth 30% of final grade)

Due: End of week 5 (check course schedule for specific due date)

A.  Current Marketing Situation

1.  Market description

  1. Segmentation (describe target market using segmentation characteristics)
  2. Marketing targeting strategy
  3. Value proposition
  4. Factors influencing consumer behavior of the primary target market
  5. Buyer decision process of the primary target market

2. Product review

  1. Levels of product/service
  2. Type of product/service
  3. Product/service life cycle
  4. Benefits/features analysis
  5. Differentiation
  6. Branding strategy

3. Competitive review

  1. Competitive analysis
  2. Market share
  3. Competitive positions and roles
  4. Strategic sweet spot
  5. Positioning
  1. Distribution review
    1. Current supply chain members and roles
    2. Value-delivery network analysis
    3. Current type of distribution strategy

B.  Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats Analysis (SWOT)

  1. Microenvironments
  2. Macroenvironments

Step 4: Prepare Marketing Plan Term Project, Part 2 (worth 20% of final grade)

Due: End of week 8 (check course schedule for specific due date)

Incorporate all comments provided by your faculty member in Part 1; continue with your marketing plan by completing the following sections:

C.  Objectives and Issues

1.  Statement of marketing objective(s) (for first year only)

2.  Issues that may hinder marketing objectives

D.  Marketing Strategy Recommendations

1.  Positioning strategy

2.  Product/Branding strategy

3.  Pricing strategy

4.  Distribution strategy

5.  Marketing Communications objectives

6.  Marketing Research

E.  Action Programs

1.  IMC

2.  Message design, content, and structure

3.  Media choices

4.  Promotion mix tools

F.  Budgets

1.  Objective/task method

G.  Controls

1.  Metrics needed to monitor marketing plan progress

Finished product: Put it all together by incorporating changes to Part 1 as suggested by your faculty member’s feedback, and then add your title slide, an index slide, an executive summary slide, endnotes, and a bibliography.

Marketing Plan Term Project Submission Requirements for Parts 1 and 2

LengthMinimally, you should have at least one slide per topic, plus your title page and source page(s). General length guidelines are:

Part 1:  Approximately 25-30 slides

All information should be contained on the slide itself. Do not use the ‘notes’ section of the slide.

Reference numbers. Include the reference numbers noted in the outline for both Part 1 and Part 2 on your slides (e.g., A.1.a; A.1.b; A.1.c, and so forth).

Professionalism. Be sure to refer to the PowerPoint Presentation Tips under Course Content, Marketing Toolbox, to ensure that you submit a professional product. This will be part of your grade for both Part 1 and Part 2.

Citations and Bibliography. Use an acceptable style guide (e.g., APA or MLA) for citations. See UMUC’s library website for useful citation tools.

Submit for grading. Save your PowerPoint presentation file as a .ppt file and upload it to your Assignment Dropbox by the due date specified in the course schedule for Part 1 or submit your completed project in class on the meeting date noted in your course schedule.