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Assessment background and aims:
Students must achieve a pass in the following element to pass the module. Coursework accounts for 100% of the module marks. The assignment will take the form of a 3,500 word individual International Marketing Plan for the international expansion of a company (80% marks) and a 500 word report on a popular and respected marketing model (20% marks)
Thus there are two tasks that need to be completed as part of the summative brief:
Background to the brief:
You should assume that you are undertaking this work to be submitted to the Board of Directors as part of the justification process for international expansion. This International Marketing Plan will be in the form of a written report for the Board of Directors.
Timed Case Study Release:
You will be advised of both the client, and the country they have chosen, in week 9 of the module, which will provide you with sufficient time to write the plan. The plan needs to be tactical in nature and not strategic i.e. it needs to be based around the Marketing Mix and to cover the first 12 month period, as the tactical activity will be reviewed at the end of that period.
Typical contents of the marketing plan:
The contents of the plan will provide details of the following vis:
Task 1.1: The Audit (10 marks) - you should provide a thorough, logically structured analysis of the marketing environment, using a variety of information sources to support your analysis. You will need to consider internal and external influences (including competition) and use facts and figures, where appropriate, to provide evidence to support your analysis. The analysis should use at least three different audit tools for example TOWS, PESTLE, STP analysis, Five Forces Analysis. The detail of the audit should be placed within the Appendices (to avoid compromising word count), only the key findings, challenges and opportunities should be contained within the main body of the report.
Task 1.2: Key findings, challenges and opportunities (6 marks) - based on your audit, you should identify the key challenges and opportunities facing the organisation, including the key issues surrounding its approach to STP, which should be supported by credible and up-to-date sources.
Task 1.3.: Set and justify Marketing Objectives (10 marks)
A key issue when setting objectives is to remember that they are relevant to achieving the corporate vision, vision and corporate objectives. Objectives should cascade down through an organisational structure, effectively forming a framework around which detailed planning can take place. You will be given the organisation`s corporate objectives and vision upon release of the case study – your task is to provide detailed marketing objectives, which are SMART, are consistent with the organisations corporate objectives, and which are fully justified.
Task 1.4: Identify and justify your Target Audience (10 marks)
Once an organisation has decided where and how to compete in broad terms, there needs to be a focus on the market and submarkets that they are going to serve. Markets can be segmented in a variety of different ways and a clear explanation, and reasoning, of your chosen target market needs to be provided, along with a conceptual justification.
As part of this explanation, you are also expected to advise on a Targeting Strategy, as targeting strategy involves segmenting the market, choosing which segments of the market are appropriate and then determining the products that will be offered in each segment.
Task 1.5: Positioning Strategy (6 marks)
Positioning can be defined as designing an organisation`s offering and image in order to occupy a distinctive place in the minds of the target audience (Trout 1983). Your next task is therefore to look at how to Position the organisation in order to compete in your designated target markets, techniques such as perceptual mapping can help with this task – your positioning strategy will be achieved by appropriate use of your marketing mix.
Task 1.6: Marketing Tactics, both Traditional and Digital (15 marks)
Tactics are the operational marketing mix activities that companies use to achieve their strategic objectives. The traditional 4P’s marketing mix has been supplemented by the additional 3P’s and more recently with Partnerships, making 8Ps in total. Note that the marketing mix concept has been criticised for not being customer centric, with other authors suggesting the 4 Cs framework (Lautenborn 1990). The task is to provide detailed tactics, to an appropriate depth, which clearly explain exactly how the marketing strategy will be implemented.
Digital media and technology provides many new opportunities for the marketer to vary the application of the marketing mix, develop new routes to deliver competitive advantage, to build and to service relationships in increasingly innovative ways, so the expectation is that a digital mix will also be provided, but note that the digital mix needs to be integrated within overall marketing tactics.
Task 1.7: Action Plan (4 marks)
This should include all activities required to implement the marketing strategy and tactics, and should be presented in a timeline, normally in a Gantt chart format.
Task 1.8: Ethics and Sustainability: (4 marks)
All marketing planners face the challenge of managing their business in a way that is ethical and sustainable. Marketing ethics refers to the principles and standards that define acceptable conduct in marketing as determined by various stakeholders, including the public, government regulators, private-interest groups, industry and the organisation itself.
As part of your plan you are required to critically assess the potential ethical challenges facing the organisation as part of their expansion and make recommendations for dealing with those challenges.
Task 1.9: Controls, Measurement and Review (6 marks)
Monitoring and control is essential if the marketing plan is to be successfully executed, with the need to monitor to ensure things go according to plan. Marketers are increasingly under pressure by senior management to become more accountable for their activities for their activities and expenditure, expected to monitor, control and evaluate activities. Monitoring and control has five elements:
The requirement is for you to put in place appropriate Controls, Measurement Criteria and an appropriate review process.
Task Two: The 500 word report on the Uppsala marketing model (20%)
The Uppsala model is related to behavioural theory of the firm. This theory explains how companies gradually increase their activities in foreign markets. (Like POM model). The points of this theory are that first company gains experience from the domestic market before they enter and start to foreign markets and then the company starts their relationship with foreign operations with culturally and geographically close countries and then slowly moves to culturally and geographically distant countries.
Companies begin their foreign operations by using traditional exports and then move to using more intensive and demanding operation modes both at the firm and target country level. It describes the internationalization of the company as a process in which the firms gradually increase its international involvement.
You are asked to critically assess the validity of the model and to consider its application in the context of the client organisation
Presentation and formatting (9 marks)
The report should include professional presentation and tone-of-voice and a clear structure, including correct application of the Harvard Referencing System. The report should be expressed with clarity and precision. Recommended structure:
Assessment Marking Scheme for students.
Task One: The Marketing Plan
1.1. Marketing audit (10 marks)
Have appropriate frameworks (e.g. PESTEL) for analysis of the business environment?
Have a variety of information sources been used to support your analysis?
1.2. Key Findings (6 marks)
Key challenges and opportunities identified?
Supported by credible and up-to-date sources?
1.3. Marketing Objectives (10 marks)
Marketing objectives need to be related to corporate objectives, written in SMART language and be fully rationalised/justified.
1.4. Identified and justified Target Audience (10 marks)
Target Audience Student should demonstrate a clear understanding of the segmentation concept, be able to justify the selection of an appropriate target audience, with a clear targeting strategy.
1.5. Product Positioning (6 marks)
Students should clearly identify how they want to position the product to target the most valuable customer segments, as a prelude to selecting the marketing mix that will be most effective for each of them. Students should identify their unique selling proposition and explain the value proposition that clearly explains how their offering will meet this requirement better than any of the competitors` products.
1.6. Marketing Tactics, both Traditional and Digital (15 marks)
The next step it to develop a marketing campaign that presents this value proposition in a way that your audience will appreciate. The marketing plan should include recommendations on how both traditional (Advertising, Direct Mail etc) and digital marketing (website, online advertising, email, database marketing etc.) can deliver the consumer value proposition.
1.7. Action plan (4 marks)
Action Plans are useful, because they give you a framework for thinking about how you`ll complete a project efficiently. They help you finish activities in a sensible order, and they help you ensure that you don`t miss any key steps. Also, because you can see each task laid out, you can quickly decide which tasks you`ll delegate or outsource, and which tasks you may be able to ignore.
1.8. Ethics and sustainability (4 marks)
Marketing ethics refers to the principles and standards that define acceptable conduct in marketing as determined by various stakeholders, including the public, government regulators, private-interest groups, industry and the organisation itself.
1.9.Controls, Measurement, Review, Risks and Contingencies (6 marks)
Monitoring and control is essential if the marketing plan is to be successfully executed, as it needs to be monitored to ensure events are taking place according to plan and enabling corrective action to be taken in a timely fashion.
Presentation (9 marks)
Task Two: The UPPSALA model
The UPPSALA model
You are asked to critically assess the validity of the model and to consider its application in the context of the client’s organisation: