The blog for the Fundamentals of Marketing & Advertising course

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