The major assessment for the course is a marketing plan for a product or service of your choice. This
allows you to select something which interests you and then apply the concepts discussed in class and in
your textbook. A concise, well-written marketing plan allows the firm to invest in the right projects and
helps ensure the product, and the way it is taken to market, is consistent with the firm’s strategy and
objectives, demonstrating the Saint Leo University core value of integrity.
Other than the weekly discussions and the two exams, this marketing plan will determine your grade. If
you wish to do well in the course, it is imperative that you submit each component in a complete fashion
and on time. Read and follow the instructions and refer to the Project Guide for examples.
Selecting your Product or Service:
1. Avoid products that require complex engineering or manufacturing. This adds unnecessary
difficulty to the project.
2. The product or service you select must be realistic and technologically feasible using current
standards and have true market potential.
3. Services often work better than physical products. However, your service may not be home
based and must be appropriate for our class.
4. Your product may NOT be non-profit although the company may be a non-profit organization.
For example, you might market a series of training manuals from the American Marketing
Association, which is a non-profit professional association; however, the manuals are priced
at $2500 per set. Conversely, you might select your favorite charity and develop a marketing
plan for raising funds and recruiting volunteers. However, you may NOT develop a plan for
the services that the charity provides free of charge.
1. There will be a component of the plan due on four of the Sundays of the eight-week course,
as detailed in the Course Schedule below.
2. You will be provided with instructions for each component. Be sure to read them carefully as
the requirements will vary from component to component.
3. Each component will be individually graded, which means if you make a mistake on one part
you will have ample opportunity to improve your grade on other components.
4. All four components will use the same product or service you selected during the first week of
1. All submissions, except the promotion plan for which you will use a format I will provide, will
be double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font with 1” margins. Please make sure your
NAME is at the top of each submission.
2. All assignments must be in the appropriate Dropbox by Sunday evening at midnight.
3. All assignments must be in Word format .
4. All document names must be exactly as follows:
first name_last name_assignment (Example: john_smith_swot)
If the student’s name is missing, the assignment will NOT be accepted.
Component Module Due Points
Product selection One None
Full product description with feature and benefits Two 50
SWOT Analysis Three 50
Segmentation Six 50
Promotional Action Plan Seven 100
You must have five promotional action items as described below. Each of these must be a different media
or type of promotion. For example, you cannot have two television ads or three direct mailers. None of the
five can be flyers or brochures unless the printed piece is being used in conjunction with a broader action
item. While you can print a brochure and use it in a direct mail campaign or at a trade show, you may
NOT use the brochure itself as one of your action items. There will be a 50 percent reduction in your
grade for not following this prohibition.
Each of the FIVE required action items is worth up to 20 points, allocated as follows:
Module 1 Discussion Board
Greetings and welcome to our first group discussion.
Pricilla’s and the Four Ps
You are the Marketing Director for a new chain of grocery stores, Pricilla’s Pretentious Provisions, specializing in uncommon upscale foods, primarily imports. Your stores are very frou-frou and your staff is better paid than the industry average. Your product line consists of food and wine items that are not generally available at the average grocery and are considered to be high end. In keeping with the upscale image of the stores, senior management insists on superior customer service; however, they have not explained exactly what that means.
Your team has been assigned to write a report for the executives of the company summarizing your marketing plans. You decide to do this using the 4 P’s of marketing.
In your report you plan to list each of the 4 P’s and provide a specific example of each from the company’s marketing plan. Remember that your executives may know nothing about the 4 P’s, so be very precise in your report. They also have enormous egos and will not spend much time reading a report, even if you do know a lot more than they do. Consequently, your report must be concise, specific, and free from “fluff.”
Remember, your year-end bonus (and that new Beamer) depends on the success of this plan.
For each of the four P’s, as listed below, you must develop part of the marketing plan. Each of the four parts should be described in about a paragraph, although you may use more as needed. The use of bullets and other formatting tools is encouraged where appropriate. Remember, this is intended for the senior managers of the firm so grammar, spelling, and punctuation are important (a minimum of 1 point will be deducted for each error). As noted,
Just as an FYI – a complete paragraph is at least four sentences:
· an introductory sentence that states the topic of the paragraph;
· two (or more) sentences that support your topic statement;
· a closing or transition sentence.
In many cases, it will be longer than four sentences and may include bullets or other stylistic tools.
Product: The executives already know the general nature of your line, but you need to describe some specifics. What products might you include that will support the upscale image of the store? Be sure to consider your target audience, profitability, and what products complement one another.
Price: The senior staff is not interested in the details about any specific prices, so do not waste their time with that minutia. Rather, they want to know how you will use price to support the objectives of the firm. Consider issues such as using price to drive traffic to the store, the gross margins for upscale products, the wisdom (or lack thereof) of discounting, and the image of the store.
People: Since we are a service business (we sell groceries but service is what drives our image and brand loyalty) you have decided to use people as a “P” rather than Place. Consider how you will use your staff to build customer satisfaction, a service-based culture, and repeat business. Be very specific – “we will provide great service” is NOT a plan.
Promotion: Select two of the four types of Integrated Marketing Communications (for example, advertising and personal selling) discussed in our opening article and describe a specific activity for each one. Be very exact in your description – do not make the executives guess about your intent. They also have decided that brochures and flyers are not up to their standards, so these are specifically prohibited as one of your activities. The only exception to this is using a brochure in conjunction with another activity. For example, you can use a brochure at a Home Show or as part of a direct mail campaign, but not as a standalone activity. There will be a significant loss of points for not following this restriction.
Module 2 – Module 2 Discussion Board
Product management offers a host of dilemmas and challenges to marketers. What products will give us a competitive advantage? Are the new products we are considering in keeping with our core competencies and the culture of the firm? What is the danger of cannibalization? How will consumers perceive our products, and is there a risk that our best and most faithful customers will be turned off by the new products? Often there are more questions than clear answers.
Your job as a marketing director is to determine what products to keep or add to your firm’s line. The decisions you make will impact not only revenues and profits (remembering that these are not the same thing) but also brand image, loyalty, and your competitive position.
For our discussion this week, we will be playing the role of a marketing consulting firm hired by Burger King to recommend new products for their menu. Some members of our team are arguing for healthy options and riding the wave of consumer interest in these products. These advocates claim the firm will not only increase revenues and profits but also enhance their ethical image.
Others are taking a more traditional fast food approach and considering new types of burgers and sandwiches. Their contention is that it is not BK’s job to be the health conscience of America, but rather to drive sales and store traffic.
Yet others are reminding these two groups that there may be other alternatives, and we should approach this with a creative and open mind.
Your job is to make a recommendation for a menu strategy that will put BK in the best competitive position, taking into consideration revenues, profits, brand image, traffic, existing customers, new customers, and ethics just to name some of the many factors. Be specific and precise in your recommendation and support it with both facts and reason. Keep in mind this is NOT about your preference—BK is not interested in what you feed your kids but what America feeds theirs.
We have a lot of consultants working on this project, so the marketing director needs you to be concise, yet detailed and specific. Your opening post must be between 300 and 400 words, free from spelling and grammatical errors, and well organized. You must use at least one outside source (excluding your text and the materials posted in the class—No Wikipedia) and cite that source at the end of your post. No more than 10% of your post can be quoted from the source.
Module 3 Discussion Board
For our discussion this week you will be playing the role of a journalist writing a feature story about HOG customers for a popular business magazine. Your editor has allowed you to select the topic that most interests you, however, you may not know enough about the firm to know exactly what that topic might be; thus your research is critical. Consider topics such as the factors that influence a Harley buyer’s decision process and the behaviors that define a loyal HOG, among others. Don’t forget the events in which the riders participate and the role of the dealer network.
Your initial post should be your draft of your article. Be very precise in describing your topic and be sure to support it with information from the class and your research. Make sure to link your topic and discussion to the consumer behavior concepts discussed in this week’s material.
Your responses to your classmates should address their articles and offer suggestions and additional ideas.
Have some fun exploring why we consumers do what we do… and go HOG Wild!
Module 4 – Module 4 Discussion Board
KITTENS AND PUPPIES AND BUNNIES, OH MY!
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Our discussion this week places us in the role of a consulting firm hired to design a unique and differentiated small chain of boutique pet supply stores. Our client has made it clear that we aren’t the shabby strip center puppy store and neither are we a big box discount store. Beyond that, they have given us little in the way of constraints or restrictions, beyond being profitable and ethical.
Your job is to design your image of the perfect pet and pet supply store. What products do we carry and what services do we offer? What do we look like? How do we market the store and build repeat business? You should also consider what type of customers we will target (and no, pet owners is not an adequate answer) and what that suggests about our products and services.
Your opening post should describe your recommendation to our clients in some, but not necessarily all, of these areas. Be clear, concise, and convincing; your bonus check depends on them accepting your ideas. Your collaboration (aka, your classmate responses) should expand on or question your classmates’ store design.
Have some fun and be sure to take home a new friend.
Module 5 – Module 5 Discussion Board
Just howdidthat new top happen to be in Gap just when you wanted it? How about fruit from South America in the middle of winter conveniently available in your local store? How these products and thousands more that we take for granted are impacted by supply chain management will be the topic for this week’s discussion.
Begin by reading the material in Chapter 12 and reviewing the module. You will also need to search the Internet and Saint Leo’s online library for additional information since a qualified reference is required for this week’s discussion.
For your opening post start by selecting a company that interests you and researching their logistics and supply chain.You may NOT use Walmart or Target. Any one firm may only be used ONCE.Please begin your post by listing your firm inBOLD CAPITALSso it is easy to see. Duplicating a firm will result in a significant loss of points.
Your post should include, among other issues:
A description of the firm’s supply chain
What practices and techniques they use
How effective you believe them to be and why
What unique issues, if any, they face
How their SCM compares to that of their competition
What you might do differently were you in charge
You must include at least one qualified reference and cite it according to APA standards. You may not use the text, the firm’s Web site, or any materials provided on this site.
Your responses to your classmates should address their observations and extend the concepts they discuss. While you are welcome to post observations about the firm, comments regarding your personal preferences about the firm will not count towards the word count requirement.
This discussion opens itself to a number of topics, including trucking, shipping, warehousing, and IT—don’t be afraid to explore these as they are all legitimate parts of SCM.
Module 6 – Module 6 Discussion Board
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
To prepare for our discussion this week read Chapter 7, review the supplemental slides, and visit the introduction regarding the differences between segmentation and targeting. You’ll also find some useful websites listed in the Webliography.
Once you are familiar with the concepts of segmentation and targeting, begin our discussion by selecting a website that interests you. DO NOT select any of the “biggies” such as Amazon, Ebay, Yahoo, Facebook, and YouTube. Your site must be an e-commerce retailer such as Newegg or Harry and David’s. To make your post more interesting to your classmates, try to select a site that is less well known or a bit off-beat, however, make sure it is appropriate for a family audience.
Once you have selected your site, please address the following:
How do you think the site is segmenting its customers? You should identify at least two segments and define each of them using no less than two traits from psychographics and two from demographics. You may find it easier to do this using a combination of descriptive text and bullets.
Then, look for the targeting messages. What promotional or advertising messages are they using to target the segments you identified?
Finally, evaluate both the segmentation choice and the messages. Are they appropriate to the product line and nature of the site? Why or why not? What might you do differently if you were in charge of marketing for the site?
In your responses to your classmates discuss your observations of the site’s segmentation and the student’s evaluation. Be sure to support your opinions with both facts and reason.
Module 7 – Module 7 Discussion Board
My Favorite Charity
For our discussion this week you’ll apply your new IMC skills and develop a promotional plan for your favorite charity. Non-profit marketing is unique in many ways and often requires more creativity and unconventional thinking than a regular product or service. You may have several objectives, including generating donations, recruiting volunteers, and encouraging specific types of behavior such as healthy living or nature conservation.
Making this more difficult, you may be operating on a very limited budget and working largely with an unpaid volunteer staff that must be motivated to carry out your plan rather than doing so because the boss “says so.” Finally, the people with whom you are working are often more committed and passionate about the organization for which they volunteer than they are for their real jobs, even though they don’t get paid by the charity.
Our scenario for this discussion:
NOTE: Your charity MUST be real and local. You may NOT use a national charity unless you have a local branch which operates its own marketing plan. For example, you may not use the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) but you may use your local SPCA organization. In my area, the local branch works largely independently of the national organization and has their own in-house marketing staff and plan.
You are the volunteer marketing manager for your charity. The board of directors has asked you to write an Executive Summary of the marketing plan for the next year. The audience is the board itself and a volunteer oversight committee made up of a handful of community leaders. You should expect that they are not marketing experts, but they are knowledgeable regarding business management.
For your opening post, start by describing the organization. A few sentences will be adequate and be sure to include their website address.
Then, include the following in your Executive Summary. All of these can be in brief narrative or bullet format, concise and high level. Remember, the individuals reading this are not the ones executing the plan, they simply need to understand what will be done and how the organization’s money will be spent. Be concise, yet specific. For example, an objective should not be “recruit volunteers” but rather “recruit 10 volunteers with child care experience.”
1. The objectives for the coming year (2-3)
2. The target audience(s) for the plan (remember the ways in which we describe target markets). Be detailed and specific! “Teenagers” is NOT a segment. However, “teenagers living in urban Tampa with a history of behavioral and academic problems” IS a segment. In most cases you should use at least two of the four types of variables (if you do not remember these now is a good time to look them up as they may be on the Final Exam).
3. The action items that you will use to accomplish the objectives. You do NOT need to describe these in detail but you do need to be specific about the media and message.For Example: a direct mail campaign to 20,000 homes to raise funds for our holiday drive with the theme “Bring Hope To Kids For The Holidays.”
Your entire post should consist of about 300-350 words and be professional in content and appearance – the Board for your charity will be reading, and acting on, your plan.
Module 8 Discussion Board
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly…
As we have already learned in this module, firms can build and sustain a competitive advantage in a number of ways, many of which we take for granted. We can be a Walmart, a firm noted for great big boxes with a staggering variety of inexpensive stuff, which competes on convenience and price. Perhaps we favor the Nordstrom model, a firm that empowers its sales force to make decisions as if the business were their own, resulting in an extraordinary commitment to customer service. Consider Harley Davidson, which has built one of the amazing brand loyalty stories in American business through a combination of dealer involvement and a product image that turns middle-aged orthodontists into weekend warriors.
However, few marketers have considered the influence of ethics on a firm’s competitive advantage. As consumers watch their retirement accounts shrink and the growing blanket of raw crude in the Gulf, this lack of attention to the value of sound ethics is changing. Firms recognize many of us want to do business with the good guys—that, contrary to popular opinion, to many American consumers doing the right thing really DOES matter.
For our final discussion together we’ll explore the intersection of marketing ethics and competitive advantage.
To begin, access the American Marketing Association’s Statement of Ethics, found in the Webliography. Pay particular attention to the six Ethical Values in the Statement. Do you see any similarities between those and Saint Leo’s ownCore Values, found in the syllabus?
Once you are familiar with the AMA’s code of ethics, select a firm that you believe either exemplifies the code by practicing superior ethical marketing practices or, conversely, exhibits notably questionable practices. Note that any given firm may be used ONCE and only once—you will lose points for replicating a given firm.
Begin your post with the name of the firm in all CAPITALS so that it will be easy for your classmates to identify your selection, as in the following example:
JOHN’S BARBEQUE BARN
Describe what activities you believe demonstrate the firm’s ethical practices, or lack thereof, and WHY you believe them to be so. Support your position with both specific examples and sound reasoning. Be sure to consider the stakeholders involved and how they are impacted. Finally, if you selected a firm with good practices, describe how other firms might emulate them. If you selected a firm with poor practices, discuss how the shortcomings should be improved.
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