Positioning Strategy

Homework Assignments and Final Project Students are responsible for one 8-page (double spaced) marketing plan that is due at the end of the course.  It is to be documented in the APA style. www.apastyle.org  The weekly assignments in Week 1-3 are part of the marketing plan.  Students are advised to make changes to their work based on instructor feedback before incorporating it into their final project in Week 4.  Each student will develop their marketing plan for a proposed business or for an existing small business.  Large, regional, and national chains and well-established businesses such as Nike, Home Depot, or Starbucks with NOT be approved for project topics.  A local business in your area will work well for this project, or maybe you have a business idea of your own. This is a perfect opportunity to flesh out your ideas and write a marketing plan for your own proposed business.    Assignment 1:  By the end of Week1, submit a one-page (double-spaced) introduction to your marketing plan.  The introduction should briefly describe the company including the location(s), product/service offered, key information, and a very brief background.  Avoid using first-person voice if writing about your own proposed business.  This will be the first page of your marketing plan, so make it good! Assignment 2:  By the end of Week 2, turn in the following portions of your marketing plan (these should be in a single document with four different section headings): Mission Statement (1-3 sentences long) TOWS Analysis (This is a table.  Refer to the example given in the assignment instructions.) Marketing Objectives (Three to five S.M.A.R.T. marketing objectives.  Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound.) Target Market (Fully describe the target market(s) in terms of geographic, demographic, behavioral, and psychographic variables. This should be one paragraph in length for each of the target segments.) Also by the end of Week 2, make an appointment with the Writing Center for the last half of Week 4.  Include the date and time of your appointment on the title page of your Week 2 homework assignment.   Assignment 3:  By the end of Week 3, submit the following sections of your marketing plan:   Positioning Strategy (How does/will the company attempt to position itself in the minds of the target market as distinct from, and better than, what competitors have to offer?) Product/Service Tactics (Refer to Chapters 10-12 for what to discuss in this section.) Place (distribution) Tactics (Refer to Chapters 13 and 14 for what to discuss in this section.) Final Project:  By the end of week 4, submit your complete marketing plan. You have composed parts of the plan through your weekly assignments. Now it’s time to complete the remaining sections of the marketing mix and add a conclusion, title page, and References page.  The body of your document (not counting the title page, references, and appendix) may not exceed eight double-spaced pages.  The title page should include the name of the reviewer from the Writing Center and the time/date that your meeting took place. The components required to be in your plan are shown below. Marketing Plan Components Title Page Introduction (brief intro to the company – no more than one page) Mission Statement (1-3 sentences long) TOWS Analysis (This is an internal and external situation analysis presented with corresponding strategy options in a table as shown in the example.)  Marketing Objectives (These need to be ‘S.M.A.R.T. objectives’ with each objective meeting the five elements of the SMART acronym. Google this term if you don’t know what it means.) Target Market (Write a one-paragraph descriptive profile of each target segment). Positioning Strategy (How does the company want to position itself in the minds of the target market as distinct from, and better than, what competitors have to offer?) Marketing Mix:  ·         Product/Service Mix (see topics in Chapters 10-12) ·         Place Mix (see chapters 13-14) ·         Promotion Mix (see chapters 15-18) ·         Price Mix (see Chapter 19) Conclusion (one paragraph wrap-up and call to action) References (APA format. Remember to cite any interviews you conduct with company owners or staff.)  Remember that in-text (parenthetical) citations are required in the body of your paper if you use sourced information or quotes!

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