Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do something completely different? Well here is an opportunity for you to combine your wondering with analysis and perhaps to put some flesh on those dreams.
Your SLP assignment in MKT301 is to develop a marketing strategy for a service business which you will (hypothetically) manage. That is to say, you are to assume that you will be free to start a one-person business and are to examine yourself, develop a service business concept (for profit or not – the choice is yours) which you will provide, and develop a marketing strategy for it. You can assume that this will be a one-person business consisting of you alone, or that you will employ others.
In doing this project your fundamental goal is to demonstrate your understanding of and learning about what is being taught in the course.
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Over the session you will conduct the necessary marketing analysis for your strategy and present this in your SLP. In each module you will complete a section of the marketing strategy, building on the sections previously completed in prior modules. What you are to submit in each module is as follows:
- MOD01:Title page, MOD01 section (see below), References & Appendices.
- MOD02:Title page, MOD01 + MOD02 sections, References & Appendices.
- MOD03:Title page, MOD01 + MOD02 + MOD03 sections, References & Appendices.
- MOD04:Title page, MOD01 + MOD02 + MOD03 + MOD04 sections, References & Appendices.
- MOD05:Title page, MOD01 + MOD02 + MOD03 + MOD04 + MOD05 sections, References & Appendices.
Thus in Module 01 the marketing strategy paper submitted only consists of the sections indicated below. For Module 02 the paper will consist of the sections you submitted for Module 01, plus those required for Module 02. For Module 03 it will consists of the prior sections for Modules 01 and 02 plus the new section for Module 03, and so on.
We expect your learning in this course to be cumulative and that this will be reflected in the SLP. Thus what you learn in later sections of the course will build on what has been learnt earlier, and as you progress through the course you should consider revising earlier sections of the SLP.
Note that graders are instructed to grade your work when first submitted, AND TO REVISE THE FINAL GRADE AWARDED IN THE LIGHT OF IMPROVEMENTS MADE TO THE ENTIRE SLP AS SUBMITTED IN MODULE 5. THESE GRADES CAN ONLY BE INCREASED, NOT DECREASED.
Thus graders will assign SLP grades for each module but when grading the complete SLP in MOD05, will also review the preceding sections and may adjust upwards the Final Course grade to take account of improvements in the sections for MOD01-04. Note that the final section of the project allows for you to indicate how your learning from the project has improved both through your own thinking and via the feedback provided.
Thus it is to your benefit to keep under review the earlier sections as your knowledge and understanding improves and to ensure that at least the final document submitted in MOD05 has been revised to fully reflect your learning. So that the grader can easily see where you have revised earlier sections you must draw his or her attention to these revisions e.g. by using the Track Changes feature of Word.
Excluding your title page and the prior sections (which you are required to include) each of the parts of your SLP is to be approximately three pages long. Thus the entire marketing strategy when completed will be about fifteen pages long, excluding title page, references and any appendices.
You should review the entire SLP by previewing the requirements of Modules 01 through 05 inclusive when you start the course. The entire SLP and a presentation providing detailed notes regarding each section are provided for you in the Background Info section. These required readings should be studied before starting the project
Provide the following information:
1. NAME, LOCATION & NATURE.
- The name of your prospective (hypothetical) service business and
- its probable location. Note that you’ll be asked to examine location in more detail in MOD03.
- A brief description of the nature of the business, (“body-guard service”, “bar”, “child-care”, etc.). You will expand on this in MOD02.
(Reminder: There are detailed notes on how to approach each section of the SLP in the Background Information page).
2. SELF-ANALYSIS. For this you should:
- assess your skills, abilities and competencies, (strengths as well as weaknesses) and
- compare these with the demands of potential markets, and
- the offerings of competitors.
Ensure that the self-analysis is relevant to the proposed service and that you make the comparisons.
3. CUSTOMER ANALYSIS.
- Identify potential customers you could serve.
- Identify the benefits they seek.
- Describe and label your market and any segments there are.
- Estimate the size and value of the potential market.
- Estimate thesize abnd value of the (to be) served market.
4. ANALYSIS OF PRIMARY COMPETITORS:
In a table identify the main competitors and provide a brief summary of how each competes. For example, does the competitor use low-price, reliability, reputation, high quality or some other basis for positioning itself in the market?
5. To complete sections 3 and 4 you should do some MARKET RESEARCH, i.e. talk to people and gather some data to get some relevant information for your business idea. Briefly explain what you did and indicate the sources you have used.
6. Analyze the MARKETING ENVIRONMENT. The Marketing Environment is covered in a Powerpoint presentation provided for MOD01. Excluding any factors which are not important or which are analyzed in other sections (e.g. competition), analyze the other major Marketing Environment factors which need to be taken into account in the development of your marketing strategy, e.g.:
- Political factors
- Economic factors
- Social and cultural factors
- Technological factors
- Legal or Governmental factors
- Non-marketing costs (supply purchases and manufacturing)
Note that though the sections above are to be presented individually the analysis which underlies them is inter-related and you will probably have to think about yourself, the possible market, and potential and actual competitors at the same time, and to revise your thinking about them as you progress. Thus for instance for MOD01 you should expect to spend some time researching and thinking about your skills, the market and the competition together, before you can come to a conclusion about what service you will offer.
A set of notes giving guidance on each section of the SLP, and a Word document listing all the sections of the SLP for all modules are provided on the Background Info page. PLEASE READ BOTH BEFORE STARTING YOUR PROJECT.
As far as style of writing is concerned do not write an essay, you will waste a lot of space that way. Three pages is not a lot so you’ll have to decide what you think is important to include. Use the text in CAPS above as section headings for each of the topics indicated and elsewhere use words in bold as sub-headings. What you write should be organized, succinct, and professional.
SLP Assignment Expectations
It is expected that you will explain the alternatives you considered and why you decided to make the recommendations you do. This is very important. Explaining the reasons for the decisions you have made and the analysis underlying them is a much more powerful way to demonstrate your learning than simply stating what those decisions are.
It is also expected that you will use information from the background readings as well as any good quality sources you can find to deepen your understanding of the project and cite all sources and provide a reference list at the end of the paper.
The following will be assessed in particular:
- Your demonstrated understanding of the concepts used in the project. Generally formal definitions are not required as understanding can usually be demonstrated by the way you apply or interpret the concepts.
- It is expected that you will select appropriate framework s for analysis from the teaching materials and demonstrate your understanding of them through your application of them to the project
- Your ability to conduct marketing analysis appropriate to the project. Some sections above require simple description, (e.g. name and location) while others require analysis (the rest). Graders will place more weight on analysis than description.
The criteria used for assessment will be those explained on the MOD01 Home page, namely:
- Critical thinking, including selections and application of relevant frameworks.
- Effective and appropriate communication skills.
Rev. March 7, 2013