Marketing Plan Group Project Description
This project is intended to give you exposure to the role and responsibility of the product/brand manager. The focal point of the class will be the development of a
marketing plan, including an environmental analysis, customer analysis, development of
product objectives and strategies, and operational details of execution. In particular, the
course is designed to give you “hands on” experience in developing a marketing plan for
a selected client organization.
You will complete this project in teams of 4-5 students. The project consists of a comprehensive marketing plan that will be researched, analyzed, written up and
presented to your client. This project is a real Marketing Plan prepared for a real "client"
and will require your highest level of professionalism. Teams will elect a leader who will
have direct contact with members of the organization. A significant amount of in-class
time will be devoted to this project (e.g., information sessions, in-class work on
assignment, question-and-answer sessions, and presentations to the client).
Administration of Groups
I will form your groups with no more than 5 people per group (4 is the preferred number). I recommend you elect a leader for your group and put that person in charge of
contacting me, the client, and coordinating the assignment for all members. Be sure this
person is dependable, always comes to class, etc. Be sure that you also communicate to
your group members what you want to get out of this project (e.g., grade, experience,
etc.). If what you want differs markedly from other members of the group, you might
want to look for a different group (I’ll help!). But, do this early in the semester!
Be sure to turn in the group member evaluation form (separately from the project on the date it is due). I reserve the right to adjust group members’ grades from that
assigned to the group project, if I deem it is the only fair thing to do.
Instructor. As I see it, my role has two aspects. The first is to be an important resource to students for advice and assistance; the second is to serve as evaluator of student
progress and the final product, the marketing plan. As an evaluator of a student’s
progress, I must apply academic standards to the work performed. As such, my
responsibility is to refuse poor work and shoddy methods and to demand rewrites so as to
protect the integrity of all involved. (Believe me, I take my part seriously!)
Client. The client is often the primary source of information available to the student group leaders in determining the long-run objectives, problem areas, and critical
decisions facing the business. Therefore, the client’s primary contact person should be
available to answer questions and express opinions regarding issues relating to the
business. He or she should recognize that the quality of work achieved by the team will
be directly related to the completeness and accuracy of the information available for
analysis. Therefore, the client is expected to make available to each team those records
that the team leader believes are necessary to complete the marketing plan. Students
incur minimal expenses in the collection of information and in presenting the client with
the finished product, so the client is expected to pay the expenses. At the end of the
semester, a thank you letter to the professor and her Department Chair, Dr. John Jackson,
is also appreciated.
Student. In interacting with the client, your team members, and the professor, students
should conduct themselves in a professional manner. Students are expected to do the best
job they can for their clients and their teammates. Students should prepare adequately for
team and client meetings. Information revealed by the client should be shared only with
team members, the instructor, and perhaps the class. In general, keep the following
points in mind:
? Be honest. You are the marketing experts. Tell the client (tactfully) what
you really think.
? Be dependable. Be on time for appointments and punctual with promised
? Communicate effectively. Be sure the client really understands your questions
and/or requests. I recommend you put your requests for information in a
memo to the client (one memo per group should suffice). You should include
your memo as an appendix in your final written report.
? Don’t expect to know all the answers. Seek help if problems arise in areas
where you lack expertise.
? Be considerate of the client. Respect his or her confidentiality, time,
experience, and opinions.
? Help the client become self-sufficient. Too much help, on the one hand, or
exaggerated goals which cannot possibly be reached on the other, are both
demoralizing. This project should also be a learning experience for the client in
analyzing problems and making decisions. When the semester ends and the team
leaves, the client should be able to carry on alone.
Written Plan (200 points)
In order to convey your analysis and recommendations to the product manager, the
marketing plan will be delivered in both written and oral formats. The written marketing
plan should generally follow (1) the plans prescribed in your text or (2) the outline
example provided in this syllabus. (You should develop an outline that you think is most
appropriate as a guide for a marketing plan that meets the particular needs of your client.
In so doing, you may actually decide to select pieces from each of thesources listed
The marketing plan should be thorough in its analysis and clear in its presentation
(major headings and sub-headings are mandatory throughout the report). In it you will
demonstrate your understanding of the product category in question, including not only
what it looks like today, but also what you expect it to look like in the future and, of
course, why. [This will require extensive secondary research, but some primary research
is also expected.] Given your expectations for the future, you will then present and
justify your recommended course of action to the client organization. Your goal should
be to provide sufficient detail so that the marketing manager can implement your
recommended plan of attack. This will require detail regarding specific actions to follow,
anticipated costs, and the expected outcomes, both financial and behavioral. Reasonable
marketing plans from past semesters have had the main portion of the text range from 40
to 60 pages, including texts, tables, graphs, and charts.
The Draft (30 points)
In order to avoid the usual last-minute rush to meet the deadline for submitting the
marketing plan, you will be required to turn in a complete draft of (1) the Situation
Analysis and (2) the Marketing Opportunity Analysis and an outline of (3) the revised
organizational mission and objectives and (4) Suggested Strategies (see the example
outline in this syllabus for the detail I am expecting). The due date for this draft is listed
on the tentative course schedule. The primary objective in doing this are to make sure
you start early in the semester, to ensure you are headed in the right direction, and to
leave you enough time to fill in the gaps as needed, so that you may prepare adequately
for the presentation. As some in the past have discovered, if you have to wait three
weeks for the necessary information and the completed marketing plan is due in two
weeks, your team is in big trouble!
You will be evaluated on whether the entire component is turned in on time and
contains all of the relevant material. The “on-time” score is essentially a pass/fail (all or
nothing) grade. Either the component is turned in when required or it is not. The
evaluation of whether the component contains all relevant material will be based on the
outline, table of contents, or the written discussion in the component. Thus, a sloppy or
half-done draft will not receive a good score for this portion of the grade. I expect you to
make an earnest attempt at doing a very thorough job in the initial draft; you should
expect to be penalized if you appear to be turning in a draft that you have not taken
seriously. As you will soon discover, I tend to make many comments on these
components. Do not take the comments personally, but use them to strengthen and
improve your work. Please, please, please??ask me about any comments/suggestions
that are not clear. I sincerely want you to have a good experience and do a good job on
You must turn in the draft on which I make comments with your final
Client Presentation (70 points)
An oral presentation will be made to an audience consisting of the instructor,
members of the client organization, and other students in the class. A limited time (about
20 minutes, followed by questions and answers) will be available for each group.
Although it is unlikely that everyone in the class will be presenting, every team member
will be expected to be present and to participate, when appropriate, in the fielding of
questions on various components of the marketing plan. Presentations should be
professional, meaning appropriate attire, sufficient preparation, coordination between
team members, effective use of visuals, and control of your voice and body language.
Since your presentation time is limited, it will not be possible to present every detail
contained in the written marketing plan. In your presentation you should try to avoid
spending much time discussing what the client organization already knows. The client
organization wants to hear about what you have learned and what you would
recommend??that is, information they do not already know! One thing to keep in mind
as you prepare both the written and oral versions of the marketing plan is that the
audience will demand justification for any and all recommendations. Your obligation
will be to present a thorough and defendable logic for each and every recommendation
championed by your team. Demonstrating significant effort along these lines will greatly
help to diffuse potentially threatening and/or embarrassing “why?” questions.
More detail will be provided later in the semester as to the exact specifications for
your presentation when we know how many groups there are and on what aspects of the
business different groups are focusing their attention. That is, all groups will be doing
marketing plans for the assigned client, but groups may focus their attention on different
aspects of the organization.
All members of the team will initially receive the same grade on the different
parts of the marketing plan project. Individual adjustments to the team grade will be
made based on what is reported on the peer evaluation forms. If an individual was
viewed by a majority of the team as carrying more than his/her weight in the project, that
individual’s grade may be raised according to the wishes of the team. If an individual is viewed by the team as a social loafer/free-rider, his/her grade will be lowered accordingly.
You will be provided with a copy of the peer evaluation form. Please take time to review
it and discuss it with your team members in order to achieve a consensus on expectations
for each group member’s participation and performance. The leader you “elect” may
wish to lead this discussion and you may even want to type up an agreement specifying
duties for each individual in the group.
- potential needs Marketing Plan Outline Example - demographic/psychographic profile - significant opportunities A. Executive Summary - major threats 1. Problem Identification - company resource match 2. Situation Analysis Summary 3. Highlight of Recommendations D. Revised Organizational Mission and Objectives 1. Suggested Organizational Mission Statement B. Situation Analysis 2. Suggested Goals 1. External Environment 3. Suggested Objectives a. Category Analysis a. Financial - market b. Management/Personnel (size, scope, market potential, sales, c. Production major trends) d. Marketing - opportunities, threats - product/service - category characteristics - sales (use patterns, purchase practices, - pricing service) - advertising - opportunities, threats - economic E. Suggested Strategies - opportunities, threats 1. Financial - socio-cultural issues - opportunities, threats 2. Management/Personnel - role of technology - opportunities, threats 3. Production - legal/political issues (regulatory, consumerism, 4. Marketing Mix environmental issues) a. Product/Service - opportunities, threats b. Place - category attractiveness c. Promotion - opportunities, threats d. Pricing b. Competitor Analysis e. People - 2-4 major competitors: f. Process - company resources g. Physical Environment (financial, personnel, management, marketing, F. Projections technical, information) 1. Anticipated Costs - strengths, weaknesses 2. Expected Results - current positioning strategy - strengths, weaknesses G. Conclusion/Summary - competitive advantage - other products H. Other Materials 2. Internal Analysis 1. Financial Documents a. Company Resources a. Budgets (financial, personnel, management, - advertising/promotion marketing, technical, information) - research - strengths, weaknesses - product development b. Current Marketing Strategy b. Pro forma statements (existing mission and objectives, - costs positioning strategy) - revenues c. Competitive Advantage - profits d. Other Products 2. Supporting Data a. Primary Data C. Marketing Opportunity Analysis b. Secondary Data 1. Customer Analysis 3. Contingency Plans a. Existing Customer Segment(s) a. Alternative Strategies - customer needs 4. Miscellaneous - demographic/psychographic profile a. Exhibits - existing marketing strategies b. Tables - significant opportunities c. Graphs - major threats 5. References - company resource match
b. Potential Customer Segment(s)