The Marketing Plan assignment gives you the opportunity to practice developing an integrated business and marketing strategy for a product or service of your choice. This activity will make the course come alive through the application of the principles from the textbook, course materials, and discussions. Assignments such as this also help you develop business-oriented communication skills.
The development of the marketing plan is an integral part of the course, and will require several weeks of research, critical analysis, critical thinking, and writing. Past students tell us the only way to do well on this project is to begin early and work on it consistently throughout the entire course.
You have several options when choosing a product or service for your marketing plan. Consider choosing a new product for a new company (your own) or creating a new product for an existing company. Perhaps you would want to do a product extension of an existing product. You might consider a different approach to marketing an existing service. You can target consumers or businesses. You may choose a product or service offered by your employer or your own business, or
one from another organization; however, you cannot simply report on how a current product is marketed—it must be a product or market extension as outlined above. The marketing plan must be original work. Ultimately, to maximize your learning experience, choose a product or service in which you have an interest and about which you would like to see your product or service come to the marketplace. However, keep in mind any idea must be realistic and reasonably able to come to market within 18 months. Make sure there is information available about the industry and target market of the product or service you choose.
Remember that this is a marketing plan and not a business plan; you are not creating a business, but you are creating the marketing plan for a product or service. Thus, your focus should not be on the company or its products, but on how to market the product or service that you have chosen. Provide enough background and history to put the marketing plan in perspective. Do a comprehensive SWOT analysis with an in-depth and candid look at your internal and external environments. Establish your goals and objectives. Analyze the information developed, and only then begin defining your target market and specifying the specific marketing strategies. Do not simply report on how a company markets its goods or services. Instead, you should explain what type of marketing you would propose. Your instructor must approve your plan idea, which is due in Week 1 on the Marketing Plan Topic Form provided in Doc Sharing.
In developing your content, try to demonstrate clarity of thinking, understanding, an application of basic marketing principles, and a creative, but realistic, use of marketing tools. Explorations of your options and choices are an important part of the demonstration of your mastery of marketing concepts. There is seldom only one potential course of action in developing a real marketing plan; demonstrate that you have considered options and alternatives at each step in your plan and have chosen the best.
Please download and review the Marketing Plan Guide in Doc Sharing prior to beginning your marketing plan. Also, see the Sonic Marketing Plan Example and Exercises in the Appendix of your Kotler textbook. The questions asked in the exercises may help you further develop your marketing plan.
Marketing Plan Outline
1.0 Executive Summary
2.0 Situation Analysis
2.1 Market Summary
2.2 SWOT Analysis
2.4 Product (Service) Offering
2.5 Keys to Success
2.6 Critical Issues
3.0 Marketing Strategy
3.2 Marketing Objectives
3.3 Financial Objectives
3.4 Target Markets
3.7 Marketing Mix
3.8 Marketing Research
4.2 Marketing Organization
4.3 Contingency Planning
• Every draft of the Marketing Plan assignment should be formatted per APA guidelines and include the following.
o Title page
o Page header and running head
o Table of contents (optional)
o Double-spaced text using Times New Roman, 12-point type font
o Headings and subheadings as listed above
o In-text citations
o Reference page
• The Final Marketing Plan should be 18–20 pages in length.
• The page count does not include the title page, table of contents, or reference page.
Milestones and Grading Rubrics
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It is recommended that you have one working draft of the marketing plan and add to it throughout the course. Remember to read the grade feedback and go back and revise your marketing plan prior to submitting your final draft.
Topic (Week 1)
Submit your marketing plan topic using the Marketing Plan Topic Form found in Doc Sharing.
MP First Draft
Your first draft must include 2.0 Situation Analysis and all of the supporting sections 2.1 through 2.6.
MP Second Draft
For your second draft, add 3.0 Marketing Strategy plus sections 3.1 through 3.4.
MP Third Draft
In your third draft, you need to complete the 3.0
Marketing Strategy section by adding sections 3.5
Plan (Week 7)
Your Final Marketing Plan must include the final version of all sections, including 1.0 Executive Summary, all sections in 4.0 Controls, and 5.0 Conclusion.
This includes all required sections, and it demonstrates clarity of thinking; understanding; the application of basic marketing principles; and a creative, but realistic, use of marketing tools.
Documentation and Formatting
The marketing plan follows APA guidelines and assignment format instructions. You are required to have a minimum of eight research references.
Organization and Cohesiveness
The marketing plan is well organized using headings, subheadings, and paragraph structure.
Your paper demonstrates graduate level writing, including proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and good sentence structure.
A quality paper will meet or exceed all of the above requirements.
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•Research is essential! As with any entrepreneur who is considering a venture into the world of business, one should not “blindly walk into minefields.” You are already aware that the business environment is highly competitive. Thus, the more you know about the market into which you are going, the more you know about the competition, the more you know about similar ventures (successful or not), the more you have explored the potential market for your product or service, the better prepared you are to create a plan that minimizes risk and maximizes the likelihood of success. Just as you would not blindly purchase stocks and would investigate such a purchase before plunking down your hard-earned money, it is the same thing with a marketing plan. Know what you are doing and where you are going.
• Remember that marketing exists to solve consumer/business problems with a solution.
• The marketing plan should be written in the third person.
• Tables, charts, graphs, and graphics that accurately illustrate your strategies are welcome.