Marketing Research/Plan

The purpose  of this project is to give you practice in thinking strategically about marketing and creating a marketing plan. The purpose is also to help you gain experience incorporating the results of SWOT and STP analyses and applying the principles of the marketing mix’s four Ps (product, price, place, and promotion), using an example of a real organization. You will also employ skills in the functions of the two Ps of the retailing world (presentation and personnel). Process Before starting your marketing plan, review the section “The Marketing Plan” in your textbook. Study the five steps in the process and take note of the provided examples. You’ll get great insight into what’s included in a marketing plan, and you’ll study an example of one that features callouts highlighting important, must-know information.  Once you’ve done your research, select one of the following businesses and product lines on which to base your marketing plan:  1. Apple Inc., focusing on the iPhone series  2. Nike Inc., focusing on men’s shoes and sneakers  3. Starbucks Corporation, focusing on coffee products (no food) Research Once you’ve chosen the business for which you want to build a marketing plan, you’ll need to research the company to complete the different parts of the marketing plan. You should start by looking at the company’s website to note the products it offers and their prices, current advertising and public relations efforts, mission statements, and any other useful information. After viewing the company’s website, you’ll need to find additional articles and expert analyses of the company’s previous and current marketing efforts, as well as any competitors’ marketing efforts. These will help you as you form the strategic objectives, SWOT analysis, and STP analysis outlined in the next section. These materials may not come from a traditional scholarly source, especially if they’re very recent, but the sources should be reputable, such as marketing journals, magazines, or news outlets. Most of the resources will have their materials available online for free. The research you find should be incorporated into your marketing plan in the form of MLA in-text citations, and you must list your sources with full MLA bibliographic citation on a separate Works Cited page. Three to five sources are required.  Your marketing plan should be a Microsoft Word document that includes 1-inch margins, 12-pt Times New Roman font, and is double-spaced. Add the following header information on the first page: Your marketing plan will begin two lines below the header information. Each of the following represents a section that must be clearly identified in your plan.  Executive Summary  Write two paragraphs about the business as if describing it to someone who knows nothing about it. For example, what type of business is it? What need or want does it hope to fulfill for consumers? What prime benefit does it offer? What products or services does the business provide? Where is it located? Who are the employees? When does it receive most of its customers? What’s its marketing budget? Review the examples in Chapter 2 in your textbook. Strategic Objectives  In this section, you’ll write a broad description in one to two paragraphs of the business’s marketing objectives and the scope of the activities it plans to undertake. What’s the business’s mission? What goals does the business hope to achieve via marketing? What does the business intend to do to accomplish those goals? Review the examples and case studies in Chapter 2 in your textbook.   SWOT Analysis Identify the business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. List three things the business does well, three areas it could improve in, three things working in the its favor or to its advantage, and three ways the external environment negatively impacts or may impact the business. Review the examples in Chapter 2 in your textbook.  STP Analysis  Identify the business’s consumer base in three paragraphs. Who are its potential customers? What are their ages, genders, and interests? What do they each want and need in regard to the business’s products or services? Decide which customers you intend to target and how the business wants to be positioned within the targeted segments. How will you reach those targeted customers? What’s the message you want them to receive about the business’s products or services? Review the examples and case studies in Chapters 2 and 3 in your textbook.  Marketing Mix  You’ll address the six Ps—product, price, place, and promotion—of the marketing mix in this section. You’ll also account for the two additional Ps in the retailing world—presentation and personnel. Review Sections 4–7 in your textbook for examples. Then, in six paragraphs, address each of the following:  1. Products/services offered: What products or services need to be developed so that the target audience will perceive them as valuable enough to buy?  2. Price: How will the business price these goods so that customers believe they received a fair deal?  3. Place or distribution: Where will the products/services be sold, and what methods will be used when selling them?  4. Promotion: How does the business plan to get word out about these products or services? What allocated resources are needed for marketing efforts to be put in place and successful?  5. Presentation: Does the business plan to develop a unique image? How can this unique image and atmospherics be achieved?  6: Personnel: How will the personnel influence sales? What kind of sales techniques can the personnel be trained in? Performance Evaluation Metrics  In the final section, you’ll explain, in one to two paragraphs, how and when the business will know that it has achieved its marketing objectives. What marketing metrics will be used? Review the examples and case studies in Chapter 2 in your textbook.

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