It is essential that all members of the team co-operate and that no member is a ‘passenger’. During the final Tutorial, members of each team will be required to provide the lecturer with confidential ‘peer group evaluations’ on other members of the team. These will be taken into account in awarding the mark for the project to each team member. Students should maintain close communications with other project team members throughout the semester. It is imperative that students collect team member contact details in the first lecture, as the lecturer may not able to provide this information to students.
A major problem can occur with project team dynamics if students choose to withdraw from the subject once teams are settled and tasks have been distributed. Students intending to withdraw from the subject must immediately inform their project team members and the tutor/lecturer. The written report must be equivalent in quality to a report a consultant would typically submit to a client. The report must be perfect in terms of spelling, punctuation, grammar, page numbering, referencing, footnoting and appropriate use of appendices.
Imperfections will count against marks awarded for the project. The body of the report should contain the group’s major findings and conclusions from their research of the market, the competitors and the company’s capabilities (Situation Analysis), followed by a detailed SWOT Analysis, Evaluation of Alternative Strategies and final recommended Marketing Strategy expressed in detail. It is recognised that research about the target market will largely consist of secondary data gathered from published sources.
The mechanism to overcome any information difficulties is to make ‘planning assumptions’, and note in a Market Research brief the market research that will be required to provide the information. The detailed research material supporting the major findings in the Situation Analysis, and any Market Research briefs, should be included in an Appendix to the report. Reports will be assessed on the quality of the research and conclusions drawn, and the understanding of marketing strategy and planning demonstrated in the preparation of the plan.
The Marketing Project is essentially the development of a marketing plan for a Chinese company. Project teams will be expected to find and work with a Chinese company to develop this plan. Generally high quality interaction and co-operation between the company and the project team should lead to a higher quality final report. However, students should be aware that many of the contacts in their chosen companies will have very limited time. This means that the project team must demonstrate that their project will add value to the company and that the contact’s expenditure of time with the team will be worthwhile.
Interviews with contacts in companies may have to be supplemented with clearly written faxes, letters or e-mails to request further information and clarification. 4. PROJECT DEADLINES This section outlines the key project deadlines and deliverables. The overall Marketing Plan Format is outlined in Section 6. Elements of the Marketing Plan to be completed for the Progress Report are described in more detail in Section 5. The Final Report details are covered in Section 7. Key deadlines for the project are: i) One page Project Proposal to be submitted in class in 2th week for approval by the tutor (ii) Progress Report to be submitted in class in 5th week. (iii) Final Project Report to be submitted in class in 8th week. (i) Project Proposal The Proposal must contain the following: • Company name • Product or Service description • Target market to which product or service will be marketed, and the opportunity for the company as you see it at this early stage • Company contacts • Team members, with co-ordinator nominated. Teams should only go ahead with the project after approval.
They should immediately notify their tutor if there are any alterations to their proposal once the project is underway. Should there be a change in the company involved, a new Project Proposal must be submitted to the tutor. Undertaking an assignment where the project is not approved will result in failure of this component of the subject. (ii) Progress Report Undertaking a complete Progress Report is a critical factor in producing a successful Final Report. The Progress Report should be of a high standard and must include the following: • Copy of Project Proposal Situation Analysis • SWOT Analysis • Evaluation of Alternative Marketing Strategies • Summary of preferred strategy and preliminary financial outcome • Progress record of contacts and activities • A project planning chart with timeline forecasts for activities to be completed as part of the project. NOTE: The Situation Analysis, SWOT Analysis and Evaluation of Alternative Marketing Strategies sections of the Progress Report will be included in the Final Report after review and revisions. (iii) Final Report (dueTutorial 8)
The Final Report must be of ‘consultant’ quality, at the highest standard in terms of spellchecking, grammar, paging and referencing. As a guide the report should around 25 pages (exclusive of appendices), and should follow the format shown in Section 5. For assessment, students must submit one written copy of the Final Report in class in week 8. Reports must also be submitted electronically, and students should note that these may be subjected to a plagiarism check using plagiarism-detecting software (see Section 6 of the Subject Outline: ‘Statement On Plagiarism’ for an explanation of plagiarism). Situation Analysis i. Business Environment This section is concerned with external environment factors that are likely to impact on your company and its marketing strategy for the product or service selected. You will need to identify and discuss the changes, trends, developments and key uncertainties in the business environment that are likely to affect the company. Factors that you should examine in this section include: economic conditions in the target market selected, and likely future trends • social and cultural factors and any changes or trends emerging that could affect your product or service • technological factors and likely innovations that could affect your product or service • political or legal factors affecting, or likely to affect, the company, the industry/product/service, marketing activities or customers • infrastructure eg ports, rail and road network, telecommunications, media and information technology environment etc • demographic trends
The above list is not exhaustive. The textbook should be consulted for other areas you should consider. Most of the information required should be able to be obtained by ‘desk’ research (using secondary data sources). It is recognised that in some instances you will be unable to obtain the necessary information (but you should identify where further market research is required). Tables or graphs should be used eg to show key economic indicators, demographic statistics etc. All information sources must be disclosed and referenced in this section. See Section 11 of the Subject Outline for an explanation of plagiarism). This section should NOT be a compilation of every fact that you can find out about the business environment in the market. The objective is identify the key forces and trends likely to impact on your company and the marketing opportunity you have identified. Conclusions must be drawn to show the relevance of the information to the marketing plan. It is from this analysis of the external business environment that the Opportunities and Threats should emerge when subsequently carrying out the SWOT Analysis. ii.
Market Analysis In this section you need to demonstrate an understanding of the target country market, and consumer and customer needs in that market. As a guide, you should at least discuss: • • Definition of the market in which you will be competing • • Market size and outlook for the product/service in the target market (ie current size of market [units and values] and likely future trends) • • Market characteristics, including: – distribution channels for the product or service category – prices and pricing practices affecting the category • • Target market behaviour, including: market segmentation (ie how the market is typically segmented) – potential target market segment(s) for the product/service – consumer/customer characteristics (eg demographics, geographic, preferences) – consumer/customer purchasing behaviour. Generally the best final reports will have detailed market analyses and forecasts (either through research or through estimation) and comprehensive sections on market characteristics, trends and target market behaviour. Some market research (especially of customers and distributors) required to complete this section may be difficult to obtain.
If this information is not readily available then your team may note that further research may be required, and attach a Market Research brief as an Appendix. iii. Competitor Analysis • The purpose of this section is to develop an understanding of the competitive environment in which the organisation will operate in the foreign market.. • The ideal competitor analysis section should take the accurate market size (in terms of units and values) and further break it down by competitor market shares, with a commentary on each of the key existing and potential competitors.
You should attempt to make a profile of each of the major competitors, so as to assess their products, market share and coverage, as well as their strategy. In looking at competitors you should be trying to identify whether their current skills and assets provide them with some sustainable competitive advantage that you will need to try to neutralise, or opportunities on which you may be able to capitalise, in developing your marketing strategy.
The competitor analysis should provide a major input to the Strengths and Weaknesses component of the SWOT Analysis (which assesses your company’s assets and skills relative to your competitors). iv. Organisation Assets and Skills Analysis of the company’s skills and assets are vital to the SWOT analysis, marketing plan and development of a SCA (sustainable competitive advantage). You should critically look at the company’s skills and assets and consider how appropriate they are for the target market you plan to enter.
The analysis should consider and discuss the following, where relevant: • • technical/production capabilities, production capacity and resources (including research and development capabilities and facilities, especially where continuing technology development is critical to maintain SCA), • • relationships with distributors (including channels typically used and margins) • • existing supplier or key customer relationships • • market shares, profit margins, cost structures for domestic and other existing export country markets • • company profile and financial capability • company business philosophy and culture. The objective is to understand what the firm is good at, and what shortcomings or limitations might require skills or capabilities to be developed in order to enter the target market chosen. This section must include an Organisation Chart. 5. 2 SWOT Analysis You will need to undertake a Strengths and Weaknesses analysis of the company (in comparison to competitors or its ability to compete), and a separate analysis of Opportunities and Threats in the marketplace.
This analysis should be a culmination of the analysis you have undertaken in the Situation, Market, Competitor and Organisation Assets and Skills Sections, and should be drawn from these sections. You should not introduce significant new information or facts in a SWOT analysis that has not been evaluated earlier in the report. New information introduced into the SWOT without explanation will be contradictory or confusing when viewed against your earlier analysis. After you have completed the SWOT analysis, there is a need to come to conclusions about where the firm’s situation lies in the spectrum of .
These conclusions must be written up in an ‘Implications of SWOT Analysis’ summary at the end of the SWOT, and should focus on the positive aspects ie the opportunity for the company, or remedial action required to create the opportunity, that arises out of the analysis. 5. 3 Evaluation of Alternative Marketing Strategies This is the section in the Progress Report and Final Report that will clearly demonstrate your team’s knowledge of marketing concepts and ability to apply them in a marketing context.
You must complete a brief but effective evaluation of alternative marketing strategies open to the company in the following areas: • • Target market selection, positioning and marketing mix options The Marketing textbook provides a useful guide to this evaluation process. i. Alternative Target Market, Positioning and Marketing Mix Strategies it is necessary to identify several potential market segments (target markets) in the market and consider how they might be serviced with appropriate marketing mix strategies.
This does not require a lot of detail, but you must show your team’s understanding of the concepts involved and your ability to think through and express marketing strategy options. You should reduce the options down to a number that would be realistically implementable by your firm. As a guide you should consider at least or two or three alternative target markets (including your preferred option). In examining these alternative strategies, you must: 1. Identify potential target market segments in the market. 2.
Outline possible positioning strategies for each of these target markets, and link them to brief alternative marketing mix strategies, covering product, price, distribution and promotion 3. Indicate your preferred strategy, and why. This section should NOT be merely a write-up of the company’s preferred marketing strategy without reference to alternative marketing strategies. ii. Preferred Strategy In about one half to one page (maximum) you should now ‘pull together’ and write up a summary of your recommended marketing strategy (ie target market, positioning and marketing mix) for the market..
A preliminary financial outcome for the preferred strategy MUST also be included here, showing sales, profit margin and market share that you believe might be achievable in the launch year of your strategy, subject to a much more rigorous and detailed analysis that you will provide later in the Final Report under Section 8, Economic Evaluation. This summary will be the ‘springboard’ for writing the detailed Strategy section of your Final Report.