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13-08-2018

Product code:-Report-writing-AW155

 

Background

Reflective writing is the evidence of reflective thinking and reflective thinking is part of the critical thinking process where people analyse, evaluate and make judgements from new information and knowledge to ultimately arrive at an informed perspective. The practice of reflective writing will be introduced in this first assessment task. In this assessment you will be asked to prepare information for a business audience about the concepts of the value proposition and exchange.

The Task

At the heart of every marketing act – large or small – is something that is referred to as an exchange. An exchange occurs when something of value is obtained for something else in return. Thus the buyer receives something that satisfies their needs and the seller receives something that they are satisfied is of equivalent value.

For an exchange to occur at least two entities (people or organisations) must be willing to make a trade, and each must have something the other values. Both parties need to agree on the value of the exchange and how it will be carried out. Each party must also be free to accept or reject the other’s terms for the exchange.

The concept of value refers to the sum of the tangible and intangible benefits perceived by the market. This is not to be confused with the term value proposition – which is what is communicated to customers about what they can expect to receive with the product or service offering. Therefore whilst the value proposition is what is being promised to the customer, the term value relates to the difference between a customer’s perception of the cost versus the anticipated benefits realised. These benefits may encompass not only the direct benefits of reaching a desired goal (whiter teeth), but also the indirect benefits (ease of use). For this assignment you are required to consider the term value.

You have been asked to prepare a short commentary (500 – 700 words or equivalent 5 - 10 minute presentation) for a business audience explaining the concepts of value and exchange in such a way that business owners, who may have never had any formal marketing education, could understand the concepts and see how they are the fundamental building blocks of marketing activity and strategy.

Your commentary can take any form that would be acceptable to this audience (for example a blog, an article, newsletter item, a wikki, a short video presentation or slide share presentation). In your submission you are to conclude your discussion with at least one example of how a business could now incorporate or use this information to help them develop a marketing plan or to incorporate this approach into their marketing thinking - a sort of marketing in practice section.

The Assignment – 2 options

Your first assessment task asked you to reflect on and write about the concept of the value proposition and exchange. This assignment now asks you to build on this by conducting a marketing audit and then from that information develop a marketing plan – assignment 2.

You have 2 choices for these next 2 assignments as follows:

1. You can choose to complete these assignment tasks using a company with which you are familiar,

 

or

2. You can base your assignments on the case information provided here.

Both options require the same tasks and information. Once you choose an option you are not able to change it between the two assignments as assignment 2 builds on assignment 1. You do not need to declare your intent to use either method until you submit your assignment.

Before you can develop your marketing plan and recommendations you need to know more about the product offering, possible competitors, market opportunities and other environmental factors that are likely to impact your strategy and implementation plan. This review and analysis is known as a Marketing Audit. In assignment 1 you are required to conduct a Marketing Audit that includes an analysis of the internal and external factors that will be relevant to the development of a marketing strategy for either a company or product of your choice or based on the case study information provided. This assignment should be 2500 words maximum – excluding references, refer to the Communications Skills Handbook1 for more information about what is and what is not included in a word count.

The Assignment Task

The assignment will have four sections as follows:

Section 1 – Organisational Overview

A marketing audit should always commence with an overview of the company, its vision, mission and brand value. This information provides the reader with sufficient context to then understand and evaluate your future recommendations and analysis. In this section you should also provide sufficient information about the company and the product/service you are focusing on so that the marker can appreciate the contextual issues you explore in later sections of the assignment. It is also important that you incorporate here some insights about the value proposition for this product/service.

Section 2 – Environmental Scan

In reviewing the organisation you are studying it is also important to consider and review the organisation in terms of its internal strengths and weaknesses and the external opportunities and threats it faces. SWOT, TOWS and PESTEL analyses are good tools to assist this stage of your analysis as are environmental scans and it is recommended that you use some of these tools in this section to summarise and highlight relevant information. You may also use any other additional analysis tools that you deem appropriate to provide you with the information for your audit. In this section you would use tables, graphs and other ways to summarise the information – don’t forget to discuss your analysis and findings don’t just present the information and hope that the marker will understand what you think is important here.

Section 3 – Customer, Competitor and Stakeholder analysis

Next you would consider the market in which the firm operates in terms of both competitors and customers and this is done in 4 parts as outlined next:

1) A Target Market Analysis - Who are the target markets for this company and product? It is likely that you will discover more than one possible target markets from the information you source, whilst you need to list them all in this part of your audit and to analyse their priority and relevant merits, when it comes to your second assignment and to the customer analysis (the next step) you are only required to focus on ONE (1) target market. This is important – at this stage of your assignment choose ONE target market, defend that choice (justify with information from the first two sections and other sources) and then only discuss and plan for that ONE target market.

2) A Customer Analysis - Once you have selected and justified the ONE target market you wish to focus on, outline any demographic and/or behavioural

 

characteristics of this segment. You would need to comment on:

i. Who is this market (demographics), where are they located, how do they spend their time and money (psychographics); what else defines them (interests, attitudes, values and/or lifestyles);

ii. the relative size of the segment;

iii. potential market share and opportunities for growth and development;

iv. any other information including their likely purchase behaviour and motivations purchasing this product as well as what the product offering would be for this segment (what are they buying and why); and

v. refer and reiterate how the value proposition discussed in section 1, relates to this segment with this product/service.

3) A Competitor Analysis - Given how you have defined the product offering and value proposition for your chosen target audience in terms of its benefits or features, this section would focus on how your product offering compares to alternative purchase choices. Remember this can be broader than just substitute brands – think more broadly here about substitute options for spending their money. So you need to also include an analysis of the products/services/substitutions that are likely to be competition for this product offering in this market segment. You are also required in this section to include an overview of the current positioning, value-chain structure, marketing channels used and relevant market drivers for this product/service.

4) A Stakeholder Analysis – You need to consider any other stakeholders who might have an interest in or be able to impact the marketing of this product offering in this segment.

Section 4 – Conclusions and recommendations for preliminary marketing strategy

Once you have completed these steps you are then required to summarise the main points and salient elements of this analysis to a concise statement of the overall strategic approach you will be recommending for your marketing and implementation plan – a preliminary marketing strategy (which is assignment 2).

You need to defend your final decisions using both theory and practice references and the content and learning activities presented in modules 1–4 will support this assessment task. You should try to have a good list of references showing where you have found your information and it is important to cite all work and websites you have visited. Check with a USQ reference librarian if you are having trouble finding appropriate information.

Report Writing

Guidelines on writing reports are provided in chapter 3 of the 4th edition of the Communication skills handbook which is a set text for this course.

For assignments 1 and 2 (not the marketing reflection) your reports should comprise:

1. An executive summary (no more than 1 page);

2. An introduction (approximately 200 words);

3. The body that includes all the analysis of the current marketing and internal and external firm environments, customer analysis, competitor analysis and any other analysis. (Approximately 2000 words); and

4. A conclusion. This includes the statement of the issues you have found, the gaps identified, overall strategic approach and future recommendations. (Approximately 200 - 300 words).

The report should present logical, sequential and persuasive arguments, justified or supported by secondary sources of evidence. The purpose of your audit is not to simply reword or describe the product or brand or to provide direct quotes from the literature, but to offer a thorough understanding of the marketing issues, challenges and opportunities facing your chosen organisation in their goal of growing their market share in this industry and with this product. Assignment 2 will then outline the proposed marketing plan to take the next step forward to market

In this assignment you will be assessed on:

1. The ability to locate, assess and research material related to current marketing planning process and environmental scanning requirements. You will need to use logic and read widely to identify issues and leads to where you should research for this firm. These are important skills for a marketer to develop;

2. The ability to demonstrate an understanding of the current marketing planningprocess and environmental scanning requirements;

3. The ability to identify and assess relevant theoretical and management issues in the environmental scan and audit (SWOT, PESTEL, TOWS, customer, competitor and stakeholder analysis);

4. How well you present logical arguments and gap analysis and how well you defend your recommendations and conclusions.

5. The ability to justify your position with use of supporting references; and

6. The communication style you adopt, including correct spelling, grammar and referencing. Your report should be in Times New Roman 12 point with one and a half line spacing.

Assignment information

Option 1 – Your own organisation case study.

You can elect to base these next two assignments on an organisation and product/service offering of your choice.

OR

Option 2 – Class case study – The future of video content

The vide

o and movie industry has changed radically over the last 5 years and now more than ever mobile video is where people are headed. Currently over 20% of all video viewing is happening on mobile devices with more than 77% of all tablet users watching video content (Trautman 2015) and digital video content becoming the way of the future.

Netflix is one such company that has reverse engineered Hollywood and has become a huge business success in this fickle and difficult market. Even the business model used by Netflix is unique and tailored to provide instant information and value to its customers (Madrigal 2014). Whilst there are other competitors to Netflix (Stan, Presto etc), it seems to have captured the hearts and minds of consumers with its business model and pricing strategy but the market is fierce and highly competitive (Morgan 2015).

It seems that young people are watching less TV but digital video consumption is growing, in spite of this Nielsen still shows that TV consumption is by far the dominant consumption source for video content (Nielsen 2015).

 

There is considerable information available from Nielsen and other trend companies about changes in viewing patterns and changes in customer preferences that you can use to understand this market and what is happening – some references have been provided to get you started here.

For this case study, you have been approached by a young entrepreneur friend of yours who believes there is a market opportunity to start up in a new venture in this live streaming video market possibly in opposition to Netflix and the like or maybe exploiting other niches. He has found out you are studying your MBA and wants you to help him validate his gut feeling and put together a marketing plan that he could then take to potential investors to support him in this venture.

You are to assume that ultimately sourcing appropriate funding and investment will not be an issue, but it is important to firstly identify if there is a market opportunity than can be exploited. You may determine that taking on these large video streaming giants head on is not smart and thus you may identify alternative and niche opportunities that your friend could exploit in this sector. You need to be creative and clever in your analysis and thinking around market opportunities and don’t forget that video streaming is not just about watching movies. This approach is more and more being used instead of mainstream marketing advertising and maybe there are opportunities for your friend in this part of the market?

General overview

 

This assignment leads on from assignment 1. Essentially you are required to establish a marketing plan to grow the market and sales for the organisation you have chosen in the target market you have focused on and given the situational analysis you have conducted in assignment 1.

This assignment should commence with an overall summary (about one page) of the context that you established in assignment 1. This will allow the marker to come up to speed on your analysis and thinking as the baseline for your recommendations in this assignment (it is unlikely that you will have the same marker for both pieces of assessment so consider this in what you present). You DO NOT need to include the full assignment 1 here but you may wish to replicate some of the analysis tables in appendices to this assignment if they are relevant – if you do this, make sure you refer to them in your summary and highlight the key features that a reader needs to note from these tables and analysis summaries. You may make adjustments to your original analysis and conclusions here based on the marking feedback you received in the first assignment.

 

This assignment should then commence with a specific statement of the marketing objective/s that will guide this plan based on the context you have set from assignment one. You will then show how each of the marketing mix elements (the 4 Ps) will contribute to the achievement of this objective in your plan. Each of the elements of the marketing mix are to be considered (product, place, price and promotion) and for each you will need to discuss the strategy you will adopt (with appropriate justification from theory and other sources), and the tactics you would recommend.

 

Finally, you will conclude with consideration of a timeline for this plan indicating the ordering of your tactical elements which will result in the achievement of the overall objectives of the plan. You also need to present a contingency plan which would consider any threats or potential reactions from competitors that you identified in assignment one as potentially having a negative impact on your plan and how you would propose these be dealt with if and when they arise. There is no requirement in this plan to focus on or prepare and defend a budget.

Be sure to attach all pertinent documents to your report such as any relevant tables and analysis from assignment one, to support your recommendations. Before submitting your plan, ask yourself the question, “Does this contain all of the information that would be needed for someone else to make a decision in my favour and adopt the recommendations I have made?” If not, revise your work.

 

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This assignment is written to do strategic marketing analysis for Allphone- a medium size mobile phone company in Australia

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