The blog for the Fundamentals of Marketing & Advertising course

Revised course schedule – updated 03/10/10

Posted in Course schedule & syllabus by Jennifer McDowell on February 21, 2010

Here you go! Weeks 9 through 11 of winter quarter.

Deadline – Monday, March 15th

Due – Integrated Marketing Communications Section Draft. Remember, this section draft requires MLA in-text citations and a Works Cited page!

Due – weeks 8 and 9 scrapblog pages (or hand-rendered pages).

Deadline – Wednesday, March 17th

Due – A comprehensive draft for the entire marketing plan. Please follow the recommended outline for the final marketing plan document. Try to include all in-text citations and a complete Works Cited page.

Deadline – Wednesday, March 24th

Due – Final Marketing Plan document and completed scrapblog/personal course portfolio.


Final Marketing Plan requirements

Posted in Assignment materials by Jennifer McDowell on March 9, 2010

The marketing plan is a roadmap for the marketing activities of an organization for a specified period of time. In this class, the marketing plan is the main evidence that students have mastered important course competencies.

The outline for the marketing plan is thus based on three important course competencies:

  • Students will summarize the major components of marketing
  • Students will construct a simple marketing plan
  • Students will recognize the major internal and external influences on a company’s marketing efforts



A cover page containing the title of the document, the number and name of this course (AD2430 Fundamentals of Marketing & Advertising), the name of your instructor (Jennifer McDowell), the date, and the names of all project team members. (worth 2 points)

An Executive Summary. This two- or three-paragraph section contains highlights or key information from the other sections of the plan. An experienced business executive should be able to read this summary and understand the plan. You should write this section last, after drafting the rest of the document. (worth 3 points)

Section 1 – Market Analysis. This three-or four-page section should describe your market and how you segmented it. This section should identify the market segment that will be the focus for your marketing communications activities and explain why you chose this segment. This section should the consumer behavior of the targeted consumers or business buyers in your selected target market segment. (worth 10 points)

Section 2 – Situation Analysis. (worth 15 points)

Section 2.1 – SWOT Analysis. This section should include your SWOT chart and descriptions of the major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by your organization.

Section 2.2 – Competitive Analysis. This section should include your competitive analysis.

Section 2.3 – Points of Difference. This section should describe the five-stage purchase decision process for your target market. (What is their need or want? Who and what do they consult to find information about products and brands that could satisfy their needs? What are the most important criteria that they will use to evaluate your product or brand against competitors’? Where will the purchase transaction take place? When and where will post-purchase evaluation take place?) Include your perceptual positioning map and your positioning statement.

Section 3 – Product Analysis. Describe the product or service that you plan to sell. What are its unique features? How will it be priced and distributed? (worth 5 points)

Section 4 – Brand Analysis. Describe the stage of the product life cycle that your product or brand is in. Should your marketing budget be spent to generate primary or selective demand? What personality traits should be associated with your brand in your marketing communications? What is your brand message? (worth 5 points)

Section 5 – Integrated Marketing Communications. State your sales revenue forecast and explain how you developed it. Calculate your marketing budget and explain how you will spend that money. What mediums will you use to convey the brand message to your target market? Which promotional elements will you use to get your brand message to the target market? How will you split your marketing budget across these promotional elements? (worth 5 points)

Citations and a Works Cited page. All primary and secondary research should be cited using MLA-style in-text citations and a separate Works cited page. (worth 5 points)

The marketing plan is a professional document. As such, it should be double-spaced, 12-point type, with one-inch margins all around. One quarter point will be deducted for each spelling error. A maximum of five points will be deducted for poor grammar.

IMC part 2 – materials for 3/8/10

Posted in Integrated marketing communications by Jennifer McDowell on March 7, 2010

First, let’s review the promotional mix – communication tools that can be used in a coordinated effort to get a message in front of your target market.

Case Study – Nestle’s Alpo brand and the new Chop House in Gourmet Gravy product

In August 2009, Alpo launched the Tell It Like It Is Contest for dog owners who appreciate the ‘real dog’-ness of their pets.

“The contest, as well as the brand positioning, was born out of a survey conducted by Alpo that found only 2% of dog owners have ever taken their pooch to a dog spa, and only 1% have taken their dog for a professional massage,” according to a report by

This survey also found that “many dog owners treat their pets the old fashioned way: 79% said they give their dog treats, 73% give them belly rubs and 69% take them for walks.” No pampered pooches here.

Click through here for the full story.

Fallon developed the creative integrated marketing campaign that includes print, public relations, and a microsite. See the entire campaign here.

Case study questions –

  1. What is the message? (Hint: what’s the positioning for the Chop House product?)
  2. What are the brand touch points? (Hint: describe the targeted consumer’s experience as he/she “walks” through the purchase decision process)
  3. What magazines would you place the ads in? (Hint: see the media kit handouts)
  4. Where (in what Twin Cities’ neighborhoods) would you post the ‘Lost’ signs?

IMC presentation for 3/3/10

Posted in Assignment materials by Jennifer McDowell on March 2, 2010

Integrated Marketing Communications – presentation attached here

PLC & Brand presentation materials for 3/1/10

Posted in Assignment materials, General resources & presentations by Jennifer McDowell on February 28, 2010

Click through here to the powerpoint slides for March 1, 2010.

Packaging provides functional and communication benefits for consumers. Good package design also creates an impression of the brand’s competitive positioning in the category. (Remember the perceptual positioning map?)

Branding handouts for Monday, March 1st

Posted in General resources & presentations by Jennifer McDowell on February 24, 2010

Please review these handouts before class Monday, March 1st. Our in-class activity will be based on them.


Does Your Brand Tell a Powerful Story 102909

Product Life Cycle information for 2/24/10

Posted in General resources & presentations by Jennifer McDowell on February 23, 2010

Our in-class activity discussion for Wednesday February 24th focused on problem-solving for the sales forecast assignment. We also discussed the product life cycle and used it to help us decide how to spend our marketing communications budgets.


Marketing Research Overview

Posted in General resources & presentations, Research by Jennifer McDowell on February 21, 2010

Why do marketing research?

To be successful, products and marketing programs must meet the wants and needs of potential customers. So marketing research reduces risk by providing the vital information to help marketing managers understand those wants and needs and translate them into actions (the marketing program).

What are the four steps of the marketing research process?

  1. Step 1 – Define the problem.
  2. Step 2 – Developing the research plan. This involves identifying data needed and determining how to collect the data.
  3. Step 3 – Collect the relevant information. This includes considering pertinent secondary and primary data.
  4. Step 4 – Analyze the data and make recommendations.

What are the five common types of problems on questionnaires?

Leading questions, ambiguous question, unanswerable question, two questions in one, non-mutually exclusive answers.

Describe three approaches to developing a sales forecast for a company.

One approach uses subjective judgments of the decision maker, such as direct or lost-horse forecasts. Surveys of knowledgeable groups is a second method. It involves obtaining information such as the intentions of potential buyers or estimates of the salesforce. Statistical methods involving extending a pattern observed in past data into the future is a third example. The best-known statistical method is linear trend extrapolation.

Positioning Statement

Posted in Assignment materials by Jennifer McDowell on February 17, 2010

Due Monday, February 22nd:

Develop a positioning statement by filling in the blanks below.

For  (consumers/buyers) who want (needs and wants, both physical and psychological), our (brand/company) offers (products and/or services that are relevant to the consumer or buyer’s decision making process).

Process for Creating a Perceptual Positioning Map

Posted in positioning the brand by Jennifer McDowell on February 16, 2010
  1. Select a market segment, and really understand their consumer behavior.
  2. Review the five-step purchase decision process. “Think” through this process from the perspective of your targeted market segment.
  3. Remember that in stage 2, consumers and buyers identify the brands, products, and companies that might satisfy their needs and wants.
  4. Remember that in stage 3, consumers and buyers compare and contrast the competitors identified during stage 2. Competitors are compared on the basis of two or three evaluation criteria. Figure out what those criteria are for your market segment.
  5. Draw the 2×2 table. Label the axes with the most important evaluation criteria.
  6. Plot, or map, the location of your brand, product or company. Do the same for your competitors.