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 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?)

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).

SWOT assignment materials

Posted in Assignment materials by Jennifer McDowell on February 3, 2010

1. Introductory paragraph – Summarize your business and your market. Use all of the tools that we’ve worked with so far, including VALS, Maslow’s, Personality Traits, Family Life Cycle influences, cultural influences, PRIZM (geographically-based segmentation).

2. SWOT chart/diagram – all 4 sections include content that is specific to your business.

3. Strengths (paragraph elaborating on the strengths listed in the SWOT chart)

4. Weaknesses (paragraph elaborating on the weaknesses listed in the SWOT chart)

5. Opportunities (paragraph elaborating on the opportunities listed in the SWOT chart)

6. Threats (paragraph elaborating on the threats listed in the SWOT chart)

Please include the names of all project team members on your work. Don’t worry about citations for this assignment, but stay organized with your research materials. (Your final marketing plan project will require MLA-style in-text citations and Works Cited page.)

Remember that the difference between internal and external factors is all about decisions that your company either controls (internal), or conditions in the marketplace that your company must respond to (external).

Please print out and bring your SWOT Analysis work to class next Monday, February 8th. I will collect them at the end of class.

Mind Maps and Market Segments

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

Instructions were to give mind mapping, or concept mapping, a try! For this exercise, effort counts. There are no right or wrong answers exactly, but Tony Buzan offers a few guidelines:

  1. Connect associated ideas with ‘curvilinear lines’.
  2. Include images, not just words, in the map.
  3. Don’t be afraid to use color.
  4. Label each connection line with a single word. (Keep it simple)

Apply these guidelines to develop a map of the market segments for your marketing plan project. I realize this involves integrating a new skill set (mapping) with new content (market segmentation), so it may be challenging. Give it a try anyway, so that you can get feedback in class.

Another look at Strengths and Weaknesses

Posted in Assignment materials, Consumer behavior, SWOT by Jennifer McDowell on January 31, 2010

Every marketing decision is tied back to the information in the SWOT.

The SWOT is probably the most important part of the entire Marketing Plan.

So, let’s take another look at how to identify relevant Strengths and Weaknesses. (Hint: consumer behavior!)


Posted in Assignment materials by Jennifer McDowell on January 30, 2010

The SWOT analysis assignment is due Monday, February 8th!!

(not the 1st as reported in class)

Situation Analysis presentation for January 25th

Posted in Assignment materials, General resources & presentations by Jennifer McDowell on January 24, 2010

The class presentation is attached here – Situation Analysis presentation for January 25th.

The competitive analysis template is attached here – Competitive Analysis template