Session Long Project
Here is the brief overview of this cumulative Session Long Project (SLP). In this
research project, you would work as a marketing consultant to develop a feasible
marketing plan for your client. You would conduct both secondary research in
SLP1 and SLP2 to glean the necessary information for your marketing plan in
SLP3 and SLP4.
It is important to conduct quality market research on your focal product/company
in order to develop realistic and workable marketing plans. Generally speaking,
there are two types of research. One is secondary research, which refers to data
collection using existing sources, and the other is primary research, which is your
own data collection for the specific study at hand. The purpose of market
research is to collect usable information to make more informed decisions on the
business problem, thus increasing the chance of business success in the
Please check the outline of the marketing plan, which provides information on:
1. The final format for this cumulative session long project;
2. A list of topics for the whole project;
3. The continuity and connections among SLPs 1-4.
In this module SLP4, first develop action plans based on the marketing
strategies developed in SLP3 and then evaluate marketing budget for the
plans. This is the final step of this cumulative research project. Be sure to
incorporate all the work for this Session Long Project (SLPs 1-4) into a
complete marketing plan following the marketing plan outline provided
Marketing Implementation: Action Plans and Marketing Mix
The action plans and marketing mix are related. That is, the action plans contain
a complete description of a marketing program, including its goals and objectives
(as previously outlined in the section on Goals and Objectives), marketing mix
activities, program evaluation mechanisms and measurements, budget and timing
considerations, and quantitative assessments. (A complete description of these
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final dimensions follows. Follow the format below for action plan outlines.)
Before you begin working on the action plans, consider the total budget amount
for your charge. Make a realistic budget estimate for your marketing plan based
on the financial situation of the company and its past spending on marketing.
State for each action plan:
1. The goal(s) and objective(s) for the action plan.
2. The target market at which this action plan is aimed.
3. The marketing mix activities needed to implement the action plan.
Product strategy and programs require consideration of things such as brand
name, product features/benefits, differentiation from competition, relationship
to delivering value, logo, package design/labeling, complementary
products/services, elements of customer service strategy, and programs. Also,
this is where the service concept, tangibles, customer-contact employees, and
so on, need to be addressed. Depending on the charge of your marketing plan,
some of the above may not apply.
Price strategy and programs require consideration of things such as pricing
objectives and relationship to delivering value. Keep in mind that pricing is not
restricted to monetary concerns. Customers are likely to compare the
perceived benefits of the new brand to the perceived benefits of the existing
brand and other competitive brands. In other words, customers are likely to
perform a cost-benefit analysis, which means that customers must perceive
the new brand to have benefits that are equal to or exceed the perceived
costs. When considering pricing issues, also include costs customers are likely
to incur in terms of time, effort, and energy. Consider psychological costs (e.g.,
embarrassment, fear, rejection, etc.) and losses (e.g., aesthetics, familiarity,
etc.), and physical discomfort or loss of pleasure.
Place or distribution strategy and programs require consideration of things
such as the selection, motivation, and evaluation of channel partners (if
This is also the place to describe any direct marketing programs (mail,
telemarketing, catalogs, Internet, etc.) and other accessibility issues (e.g.,
number of local stores, etc.).
Advertising strategy and programs that require consideration of
things such as advertising message (what will be said, unique
selling points, benefits to be stressed, value story, points of
differentiation, etc.), creative style (settings, characterization,
humor or not, testimonials, etc.), media mix, media schedule,
and so on.
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Public relations/publicity strategy and programs that require
consideration of things such as how to get press coverage,
getting the company/brand name and story out to the public,
event-oriented marketing, and so forth.
Sales promotion strategy and programs that require
consideration of things such as contests, sweepstakes, event
tie-ins, coupons, premiums (T-shirts, hats, key chains, cup
holders, etc.), trade shows, consumer fairs, and so forth.
Sales force strategy and programs that require consideration of
things such as size of the sales force, sales force organization
(geographic territory; customer-type based, product based, or
some combination; salesperson characteristics and skills to
recruit and train toward; compensation; motivation), and so
forth. This section will describe selling strategy in terms of
sales call emphasis, selling strategy and tactics (what should
sales people be doing and saying).
Other marketing programs that require consideration of methods to
systematically listen to the customer, monitor customer satisfaction/loyalty,
monitor competition, and become aware of trends that might impact the
business. This requires some type of specific intelligence/information-gathering
Describe the evaluation and measurement procedures to be used to monitor
overall performance of the action plan, including quantitative measures and
allowable time frames.
Elaborate on the specifics of plan implementation and quantitative projections.
This includes people responsible for programs, budgets, other resources
needed, target completion dates, timetables, and so forth. This requires a
consideration of who does what, when, and for how much.
Quantitative assessment includes projections of sales dollars and volume, and
market share, costs, and so forth.
Format: Action Plan Outline (please use a table format, such as in the
example given below)
Title: The title of the action plan should describe the content.
Goal and Objective: What will this action plan accomplish? Which of the goals and objectives
does this plan support? Here you need to go back to your Goals and Objectives section and
make sure you develop at least one action plan for each of the goals and objectives you have
previously outlined. In other words, you do not need to have seven goals in your Goals and
Objectives section, a lesser number is acceptable if you develop more than one action plan for
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specific goals and objectives.
Target Market: At which market is this action plan aimed? Stick to your primary target market. Do
not include any ?new? target markets here.
Description of the Action Plan: What are the steps being taken to accomplish the objective?
This section refers to the marketing mix activities deemed best to accomplish the objective. A
rich, detailed description is required.
Who: Who is responsible for carrying out this program? (Name of person or job title)
Timing: When will the program take place? (Start and stop dates)
Budget and Estimated Profitability: How much will the program cost? Give details of the
budgetary items for this action plan. Also, you need to include estimated profits and/or expected
return on investment.
Measurement: How will the effectiveness of the action plan be measured? How will the
organization know that it was successful? Measurement of effectiveness is always quantitative,
and may include (depends on your objective) dollar sales, market share, expected customer
satisfaction, advertising effectiveness measures, etc., in addition to a time line (monthly, quarterly,
Use the objective and task method and rank the action plans in order of
importance. You also need to defend the budget request. The defense should be
a strong persuasive argument with a clear rationale. Make sure that you include
the profit potential as part of your justification. The defense should be for the total
budget amount requested, not for individual action plans.
What We Learned
What did the process of writing a marketing plan teach you? How would you apply
what you learned from this process to your current or future career?
SLP Assignment Expectations
Use the following outline to organize your paper. Note that the letters ?a, b, c??
and the numbers ?i, ii, iii, iv?? and ?1, 2, 3, 4?? below are used to show the major
issues you need to include in your paper, but should not be used to format your
VIII. Marketing Implementation (2-6 pages)
1. Follow the format provided above.
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Remember, suggest at least one action to be taken that can help achieve your
stated goals and that are consistent with your strategic statements.
3. What is the cost/budget of implementing the suggested actions?
IX. Marketing Budget (1 page)
You also need to write an Executive Summary and Table of Contents at the
beginning of this marketing research paper.
Note: This assignment has been chosen to evaluate students? writing
communication skills. In particular, you need to show how to present
quantitative data in tables/charts/diagrams with proper discussion in the
text. You would note the different grading rubric used for this paper. Be
sure to check the rubric before you write this final paper for the cumulative
project. Make sure to include previous sections into the final paper.
Use double-spaced, black Verdana or Times Roman font in 12 pt. type size.
Include a title page and references. Revise your previous SLPs based on the
professor?s feedback and your additional research. Follow the SLP outline to
prepare the final paper.
Explain clearly and logically the facts you find about your company and charge,
and use the required reading to support your positions on the issues. Do not
repeat or quote definitions. Your use of the required reading to support your
opinions (that is, contentions or positions) should demonstrate that you
understand the concepts presented.
Paraphrase the facts into your own words and ideas, employing quotes sparingly.
Quotes, if absolutely necessary, should rarely exceed five words.
Academic papers at the master?s level should include citations and references.
Look at different sources, especially credible and reputable resources such as
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, and The
Economist, to find the information for your paper. Also use Trident University?s
online library databases such as ProQuest and EBSCO to find the information for
your project. Your discussion on each topic should be a synthesis of the different
sources. Taking shortcuts on the number and quality of your sources will result in
a poor-quality marketing plan that will be of no use to your client.
Also, it is important that you reference your sources throughout the text of your
marketing plan. Take the following paragraph as an example:
?As a result, telephone interviewers often do not even get a chance to explain that
they are conducting a survey (Council for Marketing and Opinion Research,
2003), and response rates have steadily declined (Keeter et al., 2000) to reported
lows of 7% (Council for Marketing and Opinion Research, 2003). This decrease
presents a problem because not only does it increase the cost of conducting
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telephone surveys, but it also leads to questions concerning the generalizability of
the results (Struebbe, Kernan & Grogan, 1986; Tuckel & O?Neill, 2002).?
There are different citation and reference formats such as APA, MLA, or Chicago.
No matter which format you adopt for your marketing plan, make it consistent
throughout the plan.
Also note: The marketing plan should use third person business writing. Avoid
?we,? ?our,? and ?you.? Do not use contractions in business writing.
Here are some guidelines on how to conduct information search and build critical
Emerald Group Publishing. (n.d.). Searching for information. Retrieved from
Emerald Group Publishing. (n.d.). Developing critical thinking. Retrieved from
Guidelines for handling quoted and paraphrased material are found at:
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Academic writing. Retrieved from
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing.
Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/563/1/
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Is it plagiarism yet? Retrieved from
Your paper consists of arguments in favor of your opinions or positions on the
issues addressed by the guidelines; therefore, avoid the following logical fallacies:
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Logic in argumentative writing. Retrieved from
Your SLP should not simply be a list of facts. Take the facts you find about the
company, the charge, and the environments that the company faces, and explain
how you think those facts will affect the financial future of the product or brand in
your charge. The emphasis in grading your paper will be on the breadth and
depth of your discussion of each topic, critical thinking, the clarity of your
discussion, and the proper organization of the paper.
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Session Long Project