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Purpose of the Assessment

This assignment has been designed to allow students the opportunity to explore the underlying importance of marketing and a marketing philosophy within organisations, and to society as a whole.

Assessment Task

“Most organisations offer more than one product or service…..The advantage here is that the various products – the product portfolio – can be managed so that they are not all in the same phase in their life cycles” (Hollensen, 2015 p257).

Having a balanced portfolio allows for the most efficient use of both cash and human resources (Hollensen, 2015 p257).

* Hollensen, S. (2015) Marketing Management: A relationship approach. 3rd ed. Harlow Pearson.

To demonstrate your learning and application with reference to academic literature, explore the concept of product portfolio management, using appropriate marketing models applied to products from two companies of your choice, in a country of your choice. You may choose two companies from this list, or two companies of your own choosing:


Apple Inc                                Kelloggs

Unilever                                  Proctor & Gamble

Nestle                                      Sony   

Indicate how any company could apply the concepts around portfolio management, making generic recommendations.

You are required to produce an essay that demonstrates your understanding of key aspects of Strategic Marketing.

The essay should have:

  • a sound theoretical and conceptual perspective, containing evidence of critical debate within an appropriate academic literature.
  • an effective practical foundation, which makes generic management recommendations.

Assessment Submission

Online submission only. To submit your work, please go to the ‘Submit your work’ area of the Module NILE site. It is important that you submit your work to the correct module NILE site, and that your work is submitted on time.

The work will be submitted in essay format and should be 3000 words, +/- 10%.  University policy regarding the presentation of references must be followed. 

Any assignment that exceeds the given word count will be penalised.

Academic Practice

This is an individual assignment. The University of Northampton policy will apply in all cases of copying, plagiarism, academic misrepresentation, or any other methods by which students have obtained (or attempted to obtain) an unfair advantage.

Support and guidance on assessments and academic integrity can be found from the following resources

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes being addressed through this assignment are:

Knowledge and Understanding

a)         Justify, using robust practical and theoretical evidence, the application of marketing across a variety of orgainisational contexts

b)         Critically select and apply relevant marketing theories, conceptual models and frameworks in the development of marketing strategies within a dynamic business environment to produce superior marketplace performance

c)         Demonstrate knowledge applied to evaluate marketing practice in relation to the cross-functional aspects of  business & management with the goal of enhancing long-term shareholder value

Subject Specific skills

d)        Synthesise complex organisational based information, together with dynamic external data into effective marketing lead strategies

e)         Demonstrate an ability to work effectively in a leadership role in order to carry out marketing tasks linking theory to practice

Key Skills

f)         Make discriminating use of a range of learning resources in order to solve organisational marketing related problems

g)         Communicate the solutions arrived at, and the thinking underlying them, in verbal and written form.

Assessment criteria

Please consult the Assessment Matters section of the Common Academic Framework - Student Guide for information on the general grading criteria.

In order to gain a good pass for this assignment at this level students are expected to pay attention to the following:

Structure and clarity of expression

The fundamental features of well-structured work are expected as the norm at this level with students often involved in developing a suitable conceptual framework in order to evaluate and analyse the issue or question set.  There will be proper attention to the type and style of the assignment – in this case academic essay - and the work should remain clearly focused, follow a logical sequence and clear sense of direction even though more complex issues are addressed.

Reading/Research and Referencing

Reading should extend beyond general marketing texts and encompass specialist texts as well as the extensive use of journal articles, periodicals including professional/industry publications.  Students should also demonstrate a more selective approach to their reading in order to improve the quality of their work through varied, appropriate sources to logically develop and support their argument.  The proper, accurate presentation of quotations and references is expected and inaccuracies will be penalised, as will the over-reliance on a single source or limited sources of information.

Content and understanding

Knowledge itself is not necessarily rewarded at this level. While extensive knowledge and understanding is expected, it is how this is used in analysis which is more important.  Capable students will demonstrate an awareness of contemporary issues and importance of adopting an organisation wide marketing philosophy to contribute to greater stakeholder engagement, customer satisfaction and value creation. Capable students may realise that a definitive answer to particular concerns posed by the essay question may prove elusive. 


Students should demonstrate an ability to identify the key issues which are most relevant to the given area of marketing strategy, philosophy and application - centred on its overall purpose, usage and effectiveness.  The ability to appraise and evaluate marketing concepts, theories and frameworks and their application for gaining understanding and insights regarding their chosen example is expected and students should be able to demonstrate skills of critical evaluation of theory during their work.

Application to industry

Students should demonstrate the ability to integrate theory into practice and increasing abilities to evaluate the embedded marketing philosophy and its resulting outcomes for relevant businesses and organisations.

Grading / feedback guidance

The table on the following pages serves as a general grading guide to assist you in preparing, structuring, presenting and evaluating your own work. Lecturer feedback will also include specific remarks on strengths and aspects for improvement as well as overall comments on the assignment as a whole.

Product code: Marketing-QA210



Download Questions

Strategic management of marketing could be considered as the concentration of core principles regarding a successful and well-established marketing procedure. Strategic marketing of any company is basically customer centred and therefore, the marketing strategies are more customers centric which are acquired and vital for capturing the competitive advantage as well as sustaining the success of the business (Chernev, 2014).

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