Stand-Alone Project: The Marketing Plan
You should begin working on the Stand-Alone Project early in the course. Each assignment provides a benchmark for completing the Stand-Alone Project in a timely manner while working through the course. You will find this information in the “Stand-Alone Project Benchmark” section of each assignment.
The Stand-Alone Project requires you to assume the role of the director of marketing for an organization. You have been tasked with developing a marketing plan for the promotion of your organization’s newest product or service. Your deliverable is to create a marketing plan that includes the following parts. Your Stand-Alone Project responses should be both grammatically and mechanically correct, and formatted in the same fashion as the project itself. If there is a Part A, your response should identify a Part A, etc. In addition, you must appropriately cite all resources used in your response and document in a bibliography using APA style. (A 22-page, double-spaced response is required for the combination of Parts A through E.)
Executive Summary: After completing your marketing plan, write a brief summary that concisely captures the essence of the plan, including your rationale. Place it on its own page as the first element of your Stand-Alone Project. Your executive summary can be a couple of paragraphs to a page in length.
Product Description: Determine the product or service that you will promote. The product may be for either the consumer or the business-to-business markets. Provide a general background and description of your proposed product or service and its associated industry. Include in your discussion, the product’s key characteristics, features and options, and benefits. This part of your project will be approximately one (1) page long.
Situation Analysis: Conduct a situation analysis, including a SWOT analysis. Your situation analysis should include the following components. (138 points)
SWOT Analysis: Based on your research findings, conduct your SWOT analysis. Include three (3) internal strengths and three (3) internal weaknesses, as well as three (3) external opportunities and three (3) external threats. Your external analysis must include identification and discussion of your competitors, including any brands, forms, and generics. Research how competitors’ offerings compare with one another in terms of strengths, weaknesses, and other characteristics, determining how they would impact the sale and distribution of your product. The SWOT analysis should also address market potential, consumer behaviors, and environmental impact. Your SWOT analysis will comprise approximately five (5) pages of your project.
Marketing Strategy: This is your game plan for introducing your product, based on your research and analysis thus far. In this part, you will complete the following components. You will need approximately six (6) pages for this discussion.
Objectives: You must define your marketing and financial objectives: that is, what you hope to achieve with your marketing program. Objectives must be specific, measurable, and quantifiable. List at least five (5) objectives.
Target Markets: Here you will identify and describe those market segments to which you will direct your marketing program. The more you know about your target markets, the greater your chances of success. Use any of the tools discussed in the course to define and describe them with as much demographic and psychographic detail as possible. You should target at least two (2) market segments.
Positioning: Here you will establish your product’s competitive position relative to your competition in the market. Your product position should be based on and discussed relative to your five (5) objectives.
Marketing Mix: Discuss how you will price, promote, and distribute your product or service. Include two (2) promotion options and two (2) possible distribution channels.
Controls: Describe your controls. Include your start-up costs, monthly budget, and expected return on investment (ROI). You will need approximately two (2) pages for this discussion.
NOTE: Specific supporting information is available from many secondary research sources, including the following.
Company Web sites and literature
Industry trade show observations and contacts
Ashworth’s online library, ProQuest
Online databases, including DIALOG, Lexis-Nexis, EBSCO, First Source, PROMPT, Trade & Industry, and Investext
Investment houses and brokers