Final Project Assignment
As the semester has progressed, we have been studying both the media marketplace as it is currently constituted, and the various methods used to market goods and services in that marketplace.
Your task for this final project is to research the marketing plan for an existing media property. It can be a video game, album, television show, radio program, cell phone, or other peripheral device—the choice is up to you. I am most interested in products or services that are being sold to the public in an ongoing or at least medium-term basis, so I do NOT want to see papers on the marketing plan behind a particular film (the marketing plan for a film is usually only a short-term plan).
Choosing the best product to discuss will be a crucial element of this assignment. You will want to choose something that is currently in the marketplace, so that all the various marketing strategies we’ve discussed this term might apply. You will need to discover the possible outlets for marketing the product or service, and how the firm is utilizing those outlets.
You might choose something on the local level (like a local talk show or radio morning drive program), or something national like the marketing of the Apple iPhone 4S or the TV program “The Walking Dead.” You might look at the latest iteration of a popular video game series. You might analyze the local cable company’s strategy in trying to gain subscribers. Any of these would work.
You may not work in groups, but I will not require that every person select a unique product: there can be duplicates. I expect these to look professional and complete, with good grammar, spelling, and style. Cite your sources and reference them on the reference list at the end of the project.
The outline below provides you with a template for this plan. Find out as much as you can about the thinking and strategy behind the marketing of your selected product or service. Who is the audience being targeted? What is the overarching goal—long-term success or a huge launch, or both? What different strategies are being utilized? Are they using social media—if so, is the plan making effective use of those media platforms? Are there product tie-ins? Find out all you can.
Once you have a good background on the plan, assess the plan for its strengths and weaknesses, using the SWOT analysis discussed in the modules.
The final drafts are due on Friday, June 21st by 5:00pm. These will probably be about 5-6 pages long, double-spaced (with subheads, they might run longer, but the text will still be 5-6 pages or so). I expect you to find out all you can about the product you’re discussing, by doing research through all the usual academic and trade press avenues.
Essentially, the paper out line should look like this—if you’re smart, you will have subheadings to make it easy for the reader to follow your analysis through each section of the assignment:
Marketing Plan/SWOT Analysis Outline
Adapted from http://www.quickmba.com/marketing/plan/
I. Introductory paragraph
A normal academic paper introduction, with a solid preview of what comes next.
II. The Challenge
Brief description of product to be marketed and associated goals, such as sales figures and strategic goals.
III. Situation Analysis
Company Introduction (this section should be brief; I’m not as interested in your knowledge of the entire firm producing this product/service…more interested in the specifics of this particular marketing plan)
Customer Analysis (One paragraph on who are the most highly targeted customers/audiences for this product/service)
SWOT Analysis (should be a paragraph each on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by the firm)
A SWOT analysis of the business environment can be performed by organizing the environmental factors as follows:
• The firm's internal attributes can be classed as strengths and weaknesses.
• The external environment presents opportunities and threats.
V. Marketing Strategy
Discuss why the strategy was selected, then the marketing mix decisions (4 P's) of product, price, place (distribution), and promotion.
Product (one short paragraph, provide a simple, clear discussion of product/service)
Price (in many instances, price to the consumer is not involved in this analysis [e.g.: a TV program does not involve a direct cash outlay by the consumer]; if you choose a TV program or radio show, then this step can essentially be skipped)
Discuss pricing strategy and expected volume of sales for product
Distribution (Place) (this is where the windowing of a TV show should be discussed; other products/services need to consider the proper distribution channels, but limit your discussion to the outlets—logistics, etc., is not necessary to cover)
Promotion (how is the firm marketing this product? Provide a description of the various strategies used to reach out to consumers. Do not concern yourself with the budget—too difficult to get accurate information on that element. Just do your best to provide a comprehensive picture of the marketing strategies used to sell this product or service)
Provide an analysis of the plan that is currently being used to market this product or service. In your view, is the firm placing emphasis in the right areas? Have they targeted the right audience? Do you have other creative ideas that the firm should implement in order to more successfully market this product or service? Show me that you fully understand the big picture, and have creative ideas for how to best market the product you’re discussing. This is a key portion of the piece. I’m looking to see an intelligent, thoughtful critique here.
Summarize all of the above.
Provide a list of references, in APA style, to all cited and referenced sources in this plan.