[SOLVED] Marketing Plan for a Small Business

  • Marketing Plan for a Small Business
    Marketing Plan Project
    The culminating project for this course is to create a marketing plan for a small business. A marketing plan summarizes and organizations marketing strategy, so this is an ideal opportunity to practically apply the course content. The MP project is broken into several sections, and you will be working on it and receiving feedback, throughout the course. The expectation is that you will be incorporating this feedback into your final submission of the Marketing Plan.
    There are 4 submissions:
    MP: Proposal (25 points) – due Week 1
    MP: SWOT and Mission Statement (25 points)– due week 2
    MP: Situation Analysis (50 points) – due week 5
    MP: Final Marketing Plan (100 Points) – due week 7
    See the Content area of the course for full guidelines for the Marketing Plan assignment.
    An organization’s marketing strategy functions as a core component of overall business strategy and is instrumental in helping develop key organizational goals and objectives. In addition, the strategic marketing function consistently communicates an organization’s value, including its image, brand, and products to targeted markets.
    Having a good marketing strategy can be the life or death of a business. The marketing concept of building an organization around the profitable satisfaction of customer needs has helped firms achieve success in diverse economic and competitive conditions. However, to be successful in all economic and competitive conditions, a well-developed marketing strategy requires monitoring to assure its effectiveness as markets change. A marketing plan is the tool to accomplish this.
    An effective way to learn the components related to market strategy development is to create a marketing plan for a business/ product/ service. Your major assignment in this course is to create a marketing plan on a small business/product/service of your choice. Your marketing plan will follow the broad format illustrated in this module. Please review each of the tabs above and familiarize yourself with the complete project. Use the Marketing Plan Report Template. [Chapter 2, pages 61-65, shows a Sample Marketing Plan: Pegasus Sports International.]
    The Marketing Plan Assignment (MP) is broken into sections. You will be working on different sections, and receiving feedback, throughout the course. Feedback and grades will be given on each section, including instructor comments for improvement. You are expected to incorporate feedback from your previous submissions into the final submission of your complete Marketing Plan.
    There are 4 submissions:
    MP: Proposal – due week 1 (25 points)
    MP: SWOT and Mission Statement – due week 2 (25 points)
    MP: Situation Analysis – due week 5 (50 points)
    MP: Complete Marketing Plan – due week 7 (100 points)
    General Formatting Requirements
    All MP submissions should conform to the following:
    Writing Style: First person (you are writing this marketing plan as though you will be presenting it to management in the organization)
    Font: Calibri, Arial, or Times New Roman; 12-point font size
    Margins: 1 inch left/right and top/bottom margins
    Single space the body of the report
    Double Space (1 blank) between paragraphs
    Triple Space (2 blank) between major headings and the first line of a new section
    Major Headings: Bolded, underlined 14pt type and left justified
    Secondary Headings: Bolded, underlined 12 pt type and left justified
    A minimum of three lines of copy at the bottom and top of pages
    Upper or lower right hand corner or center bottom, including landscaped pages
    Include page numbers of all appendices pages
    APA style citations
    Use the Marketing Plan Report Template.
    Choosing your Small Business/Product/Service
    Your company choice can be a new venture or existing business but should not be a large corporation. Company or product/service selections that are pertinent and meaningful to you make the best projects, so if appropriate, your own company or a small local business makes a good choice. Local small businesses often have minimal marketing budgets, so this could be a chance to help a business in your own community, while gaining practical experience. Also, for you future entrepreneurs, this is a great chance to put some strategy to paper, or to use your new knowledge to take your hobby to the next level. Or maybe you have a vision of some unmet need (product, service, or business), or feel a particular company is on the wrong path.  Your dissatisfaction can breed great ideas!  All information in your projects will be kept confidential unless you provide permission to use for examples in future classes.
    Thinking too small is never an issue when it comes to your business choice. Sometimes students bite off more than they can chew by choosing a company so large that they are dealing with many products and many target markets. In this regard, smaller is better, which is why large corporations are not appropriate for this project. You will need to do some forecasting and make financial projections. When we are starting a business from scratch, we use industry research, market/demographic research, competitive information, and benchmarks, and make informed assumptions.
    When using an existing company, you’ll need to examine where the company is starting from with market share data, etc. Be aware – It’s tempting to focus so much on the past and present that it becomes merely a report on what the company has done, instead of a forward-looking document about what new strategies they should employ. This project should not result in saying that the company should “just keep doing what they are doing”.
    The business does not have to be real; it can be an entrepreneurial dream. Choosing a new business (real or fictitious), or a struggling business where you can make recommendations, makes a good project. Keep in mind, this project is about marketing strategy. Yes, we do some financial analysis to make good decisions, but it isn’t a finance project or an entire business plan.
    So, think about companies where you can readily see opportunities for improvement (for instance, problems like few customers due to sub-par food and service; no distribution in a particular geographical area, growth, and expansion, etc.). Those are tangible, manageable problems that you can address, or voids you can fill, in a marketing plan. And please start your research early – the first part of the marketing plan, the Situation Analysis, is due week 5 and that approaches quickly!
    MP: Proposal (week 1)
    By the end of week 1, you will submit a two-page proposal for your marketing plan project. This proposal should introduce your choice of small business for your marketing plan project, and the industry in which it competes. Define your business from both a ‘product definition’ and ‘market definition’ perspective. Refer to Table 2.2 on page 40. Explain what your goal is for this business, what are you trying to accomplish? This will be the focus of your marketing plan.
    Table 2.2 Product-Oriented versus Market-Oriented Definitions of a Business
    Company Product Definition Market Definition
    Union Pacific Railroad We run a railroad. We are a people-and-goods mover.
    Xerox We make copying equipment. We help improve office productivity.
    Hess Corporation We sell gasoline. We supply energy.
    Paramount Pictures We make movies. We market entertainment.
    Encyclopaedia Britannica We sell encyclopedias online. We distribute information.
    Carrier We make air conditioners and furnaces. We provide climate control in the home.
    Research the industry and find 3 articles that speak to current trends in the industry; briefly summarize the main topic of each article and explain how it may impact your business. This assignment will get you started with the Situation Analysis of the marketing plan.
    Use the following format for your proposal:
    Identify and introduce small business and its industry for Marketing Plan Project
    Define business from both a ‘product definition’ and ‘market definition’ perspective
    What is your goal for your business?
    Find three articles that cover current trends in the industry; explain how that information affects your business.
    2 pages, single-spaced max
    Cite sources where necessary using APA style.
    Reference the Marketing Plan Report Template as necessary
    MP: Proposal Grading Criteria
    When I grade your proposal, I’m assessing whether your choice of small business conforms to criteria as defined in the project description and whether you have identified the industry and defined the business from the market and product perspectives. Make sure that your goal for the marketing plan is clearly articulated and your three articles are researched, integrated, and used to support points and illustrate trends that will impact the business.
    SWOT and Mission Statement (week 2)
    During Week 2, you will conduct a SWOT Analysis and craft a mission statement for your business. Think about capabilities and core competencies for internal strengths and weaknesses and consider all the factors in the broad macro-environment in your external analysis of opportunities and threats. A chart format is acceptable, however, be sure to indicate how changes in each external force will affect your business.  View the video on Porter’s Generic Strategies in Week 2 and include a discussion on how you intend to create a sustainable competitive advantage.
    Use the following format:
    Conduct a SWOT Analysis
    Discuss your competitive advantage for your small business
    Craft a mission statement for your business (refer to page 41 for guidance).
    Identify and explain the factors in the macroenvironment and give examples of how changes in each of those factors may affect your business. What might provide opportunities and what may pose threats?
    2 pages, single-spaced max
    Cite sources using APA style.
    MP: SWOT and Mission Statement Grading Criteria
    Make sure your SWOT includes internally driven strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats that examine all factors of the broad macroenvironment. I want you to explain how factors in the macroenvironment affect the business and identify competitive advantage. Your mission statement should be articulate and clearly defined.
    MP: Situation Analysis
    Your MP: Situation Analysis for your marketing plan is due Sunday of Week 5 at 11:59 pm CT.  Please refer to the Marketing Plan Report Template as necessary. This assignment is a checkpoint to ensure you are making progress on the project. You will find your previous discussions and written assignments helpful as you develop your Situation Analysis.
    Note: you may have more material and information in some sections than others, based on your business and industry. However, all sections in your situation analysis must have some content developed; no section should be left blank.
    Use the format in the Marketing Plan Report Template, Section 2.0 – 2.6. Cite sources using APA style.
    MP: Situation Analysis Grading Criteria
    Your analysis should include all parts of Section 2 and identify the geographic, demographic, and behavioral characteristics of your target market. All industry and market research should support your target market definition and document market trends and needs, and market growth. Your competition should be thoroughly researched and analyzed. Overall, you should have a realistic assessment of critical issues.
    Complete Marketing Plan
    Your Complete Plan is due Sunday of Week 7 by 11:59 pm CT.  It should include all sections of the Marketing Plan Report Template, including the appendices and references.
    Final Project Requirements
    Writing Style: First person; you are writing this marketing plan as though you will be presenting it to other managers in your organization
    12 pt. Font: Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman
    Margins: 1 inch left/right and top/bottom margins
    Single space the body of the report
    Double space (1 blank) between paragraphs
    Triple space (2 blanks) between major headings and the first line of a new section
    Major Headings: Bolded, underlined 14pt type and left justified
    Secondary Headings: Bolded, underlined 12 pt type and left justified
    A minimum of three lines of copy at the bottom and top of pages
    Upper or lower right-hand corner or center bottom, including landscaped pages
    Include page numbers of all appendices pages
    Cover page:  Must include the name of the business, your name, the course number, and date submitted
    Legal page:  Included in Detailed Downloadable Version
    Table of contents:  Must include complete listing of all report sections and appendices, and appropriately aligned page numbers.
    MP: Complete Marketing Plan Grading Criteria
    All parts of the marketing plan are included. Incorporates feedback and revisions from previous submissions. Marketing strategy and tactics are consistent with situation analysis. Executive summary is brief and to the point, highlights main points and provides insight into goals and keys to success. Objectives are clear and detailed. Target markets are defined with research. Positioning is clear and succinctly stated. Marketing tactics are identified using terminology and concepts from the course. Tactics are consistent with needs and characteristics of target market. Financial analysis and forecast are credible, and assumptions are stated regarding estimates. Shows the importance of the marketing plan to meeting corporate goals. Shows exceptional use of research and integrating of information in creating a realistic and in-depth marketing strategy. It is a clear, original, well-written document that provides a good business case to proceed and provides a roadmap for action.
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