This assignment is to explore your capacity to analyze the marketing strategies and marketing processes of real organizations and determine their effectiveness. It also aims to determine your ability to analyze 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 organizations have been able to compete in their markets. Your report should discuss the following points about each of the two organizations:
1. Evidence that the organization has gained 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 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). Each case must represent an instance of a company achieving a clear success in terms of their marketing function.
2. Analyze and locate evidence. Begin to analyze each case in terms of the two questions – particularly question one listed previous. You must 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 advantage.
3. Analyze and explain. You need to move from the presentation of evidence to explain how the company/organization 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 organizations’ marketing-based strategizing 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 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 organization has executed its marketing strategy by applying Ansoff’s Matrix in a disciplined manner, whereas another successful organization 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 by seeing how they apply or don’t apply to your case organizations. 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 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: