Aim: The primary aim of this assignment is to explore your capacity to analyse the marketing strategies and marketing processes of real organisations and determine their effectiveness. It also aims to determine your ability to analyse such practical matters using early concepts (such as marketing intelligence, market segmentation and target marketing to name a few examples) covered in the formative weeks of the unit.
Basing your arguments on the academic literature that you have studied in the first four topics of this unit, write a report on the ways two different organisations have been able to compete in their markets.
Your report should discuss the following points about each of the two organisations:
1. Evidence that the organisation has a gain a competitive advantage from their marketing processes.
2. Theoretical analysis of the reasons for the achievement of this advantage.
Your discussion is to be based on two suitable published case studies. This means case studies published in the academic literature – for example, the series of case studies in a textbook, or published in journals etc. Case studies and short articles in newspapers, magazines, website opinion pages and the like are definitely not acceptable, although such materials may be used to supplement the published case study and your analysis. All sources must be properly referenced. If in any doubt about the suitability of a case study, seek an early ruling from your local lecturer/tutor.
This is a substantial piece of scholarly work and will require extensive engagement with both unit theory and at least two detailed case studies.
1. Choose your two cases. They all need to be published cases in academic sources (e.g. textbooks, journal articles). It is obviously important that each case represents an instance of a company achieving a clear success in terms of their marketing function.
2. Analyse and locate evidence. Begin to analyse each case in terms of the two questions – particularly question one listed previous. It is vital that you respond to both questions, but the evidence successful marketing practice is more likely to be in the case material itself. It is in this part of the process that you might bring in supplemental material from company documents/websites, media analysis and so on. Be sure to reference all sources properly. You need to try and show clear and where possible objective evidence of sustained competitive
3. Analyse and explain. You need to move from the presentation of evidence to explaining how the company/organisation was able to achieve its success through its strategies. This part of the assignment requires you to consider any aspect of the marketing strategy process and/or any aspect of the organisations’ marketing-based strategising that you think has enabled them to sustain their competitive advantage. You will need to show that you understand relevant theories and concepts from the course and that you can apply them to an analysis and assessment of different companies’ marketing actions and performance. Consider using relevant models and theoretical perspectives to make your analysis. For example, you might find that one successful organisation has executed its marketing strategy by applying Ansoff’s Matrix in a disciplined manner, whereas another successful organisation has executed a successful marketing strategy by consistently exploiting some interesting form of customer segmentation. You may find an opportunity to critique various concepts and theoretical positions through seeing how they apply or don’t apply to your case organisations. Evidence that you understand and can use tools discussed in the early topics of the unit will add value.
4. Write up. On completing your analysis, you obviously need to write it up. You should respond to this task in report format, with headings and subheadings used to help readers understand the structure of your paper. A possible structure might be:
a. An introduction which both sets up the task and the rest of the paper, and introduces the core concepts that the task is designed to deal with. You might also take this chance to scope the work – for example the time frame that will be used to assess the marketing success for the case organisations.
b. Description of the two cases. Describe each case, each organisation and the sources of your information.
c. Evidence of Marketing-related success (leading through to a competitive advantage for the firm). Marshal all the evidence that you can that you think reveals that each organisation has well and truly found success in the marketing realm.
d. Analysis and Explanation. Provide a detailed analysis of how each organisation achieved its success in marketing terms.
e. Conclusion. Summarise the key points and what can be learnt from the overall analysis.
5. Submission. Once you have completed the report and are satisfied that you have done your best, submit it via Turnitin on Blackboard. Submission needs to be made before 11.00pm on Monday 5th August. Please be reminded of the plagiarism rules which apply.
The marking criteria for the assignment are on the next page. They are published to give you detailed guidelines about the way in which your mark will be calculated. Please read them carefully. Note that they are a guide, not a definitive formula for allocating marks. No set of criteria can accurately describe every possible assignment and so your final mark will reflect the application of academic judgement by your marker to your whole assignment.