Marketing Report on chosen company.
Business Report (50% of module weighting):
You are required to undertake a 2,000-word analytical business report of your chosen organisation.
This is an individual task, and you should adhere to university regulations regarding avoidance of plagiarism and collusion.
This must be submitted by the deadline, which will be advised via Blackboard announcement.
Section 1 (40% of the Business Report marks): Critical evaluation of an organisation in one or more established markets
Section 1 accounts for 40% of the Business Report marks, and therefore the recommended word count is around 800 words, but at your discretion as long as the total word count for the report is observed.
- Identify an organisation which is strong and established in one or more markets.
- Analyse why it is currently strong, referring to its brand, products and/or services, marketing communications mix, use of media, Relationship Marketing strategies, and any other elements of its identity or operations which you feel relevant to its success.
- In particular, refer to its meaning towards, and relationships with, its customers.
- When analysing the organisation, use theories and academic sources critically.
- Provide commercial context underpinned by industrial sources (i.e. – information which is already in the public domain).
- Do not undertake any primary research.
Section 2 (60% of the Business Report marks): Proposal of strategies to enter a new market
Section 2 accounts for 60% of the Business Report marks, and therefore the recommended word count is around 1,200 words, but at your discretion as long as the total word count for the report is observed.
- Propose strategies for your chosen organisation to use when entering one specific country for the first time.
- Consider the needs and characteristics of the target market – in particular its consumers.
- Explain how these might differ from the needs and characteristics of the consumers it is currently selling to in its established territories.
- Use theory and academic sources critically to underpin your recommendations.
- Wherever possible, compare alternative strategies which you chose to discard with those which you chose to adopt, explaining their relative merits in the context of your organisation.
- When explaining your rationale, say what effects the recommended strategies might have upon the organisation, its brand, its performance, and its commercial sustainability – but also the effects upon the targeted consumers in the new market.
Choice of brand
Please ask a member of the module team to agree your choice of organisation before you start work upon it. Please do not use any of the following organisations, which will be used by lecturers throughout the module to contextualise theory:
- Northumbria University
Advice on undertaking the Business Report
As this is a report, it should not be presented in essay format. You should use full sentences and paragraphs, and be fluent, grammatically correct, balanced and critical. In-text citations should be used to substantiate ideas and show sources, and a reference list should be provided at the end of the document. Include relevant tables, graphs, diagrams, photos and screenshots to illustrate what you are writing, and to evidence what the brand is doing – please place these in the main body of the report, not as an appendix.
To undertake a critical evaluation, it is advisable to do the following:
- Say what the organisation does
- But do not just describe
- Analyse, compare and contrast
- Say why it does those things
- Say what works well and what works less well – judge quality
- Say why – give commercial and especially theoretical reasons for your judgments
- Be balanced. Criticise gently and tentatively. Few things are black and white – most are shades of grey
- Suggest possible organisational solutions and responses
- Explore relationships between themes, actions and strategies
- Try to assess situations / problems / the brand from multiple standpoints
- Assess the organisation and its actions in the context of its customers and stakeholders – how do the organisation’s choices / strategies / actions affect those entities?
- Consider how the strategy is contributing to the organisation through its performance
- How does the organisation fare in an ethical and societal context?
- Consider the sustainability of the organisation – not just how it competes now, but how it will survive and prosper in the future
- Draw conclusions and make recommendations
Sources should be used to substantiate statements, underpin rationale or analysis, and demonstrate commercial or theoretical awareness, rather than being added arbitrarily. A strong report might typically use 20-25 sources, although no exact minimum or maximum is stipulated. The following would be considered credible sources:
- Peer-reviewed academic journals
- Academic textbooks – but very sparingly, and not “Marketing for Dummies”, etc.
- The brand’s website
- Industry-specific organisations (e.g. – SMMT for the UK motor industry)
- ‘Prestigious’ industry-specific publications (e.g. – The Grocer for FMCG)
- Central government / civil service reports (e.g. – www.gov.uk) / Office for National Statistics
- MINTEL – recognised statistical sources
- The BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Al-Jazeera
- The Financial Times
However, the following would not be considered credible sources:
- Other newspapers (e.g. – The Sun, The Daily Mail)
- Sky, MSN
- Non-academic textbooks – especially the “Market your Business in 30 Days” variety
- Blogs and posts such as “Build an International Business in 30 Days”
- Consultant websites (e.g. – www.brand-doctor.com)
- Online tutorial sites (e.g. – www.quickmba.com, www.marketingteacher.co.uk, etc.)
- Also: lecturers’ materials are credible, but not acceptable as sources – use original sources instead
Detail on requirements:
- Individual task
- No collusion or plagiarism – please refer to ARTA regulations on the Northumbria University website if unsure
- May be submitted on Word or pdf file
- 2,000 word limit (+ 10%)
- Use 11 point Times New Roman, 1.5 line spaced, standard margin width, with both margins justified (i.e. – squared off)
- Be creative and critical. Be original in your brand choice
- Deadlines and submission process will be communicated by Blackboard announcement, which will generate an email to you
- Any academic judgments not stipulated in the brief, the ARTA regulations, or the mark scheme are at your discretion. All necessary advice is provided in this document, and discussed at length in specific lectures and seminars. To ensure fairness and consistency of advice across the cohort, module staff will not be able to respond to any individual emails about the assessment – instead, please bring any queries to the above sessions so that all students can benefit equally from any advice given.
After submission, the university targets 20 working days for the work to be marked, internally and externally moderated, and the provisional marks communicated to students. The module marking team will record marks and feedback on Blackboard. (NB: staff sickness or other unforeseeable events may delay this in an extremely small number of cases. Reports submitted late with authorisation are also subject to the 20 working day target, and may therefore be marked later than other reports.) These marks are provisional until they have been taken through the academic boards to be confirmed/changed, after which point the university will communicate mark profiles to students via MyNorthumbria. If at that point you have failed the module, you should refer to the university’s written instructions to ascertain whether or not you are permitted/required to resit the assessment or part thereof. If in any doubt on this, you should refer to your Programme Leader. If you need reassessment, this is non-synoptic (i.e. – you can resubmit one of the assessed components rather than both if required).
Late submission of work
Where coursework is submitted without approval, after the published hand-in deadline, the following penalties will apply.
For coursework submitted up to 1 working day (24 hours) after the published hand-in deadline without approval, 10% of the total marks available for the assessment (i.e.100%) shall be deducted from the assessment mark.
For clarity: a late piece of work that would have scored 65%, 55% or 45% had it been handed in on time will be awarded 55%, 45% or 35% respectively as 10% of the total available marks will have been deducted.
Coursework submitted more than 1 working day (24 hours) after the published hand-in deadline without approval will be regarded as not having been completed and a mark of zero will be awarded for that assessment task.
For clarity: if the original hand-in time on working day A is 12noon the 24 hour late submission allowance will end at 12noon on working day B.
These provisions apply to all assessments, including those assessed on a Pass/Fail basis.
Word limits and penalties
If the assignment is within +10% of the stated word limit no penalty will apply.
The word count is to be declared on the front page of your assignment and the assignment cover sheet. The word count does not include:
|· Title and Contents page||· Reference list||· Appendices||· Appropriate tables, figures and illustrations|
|· Glossary||· Bibliography||· Quotes from interviews and focus groups.|
Please note, in text citations [e.g. (Smith, 2011)] and direct secondary quotations [e.g. “dib-dab nonsense analysis” (Smith, 2011 p.123)] are INCLUDED in the word count.
If this word count is falsified, students are reminded that under ARTA this will be regarded as academic misconduct.
If the word limit of the full assignment exceeds the +10% limit, 10% of the mark provisionally awarded to the assignment will be deducted. For example: if the assignment is worth 70 marks but is above the word limit by more than 10%, a penalty of 7 marks will be imposed, giving a final mark of 63.
Students must retain an electronic copy of this assignment (including ALL appendices) and it must be made available within 24hours of them requesting it be submitted.
The Assessment Regulations for Taught Awards (ARTA) contain the Regulations and procedures applying to cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct.
The full policy is available at: http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/central/ar/qualitysupport/asspolicies/
You are reminded that plagiarism, collusion and other forms of academic misconduct as referred to in the Academic Misconduct procedure of the assessment regulations are taken very seriously by Newcastle Business School. Assignments in which evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct is found may receive a mark of zero.
Module Specific Assessment/Marking Criteria for the Business Report
|Criteria||Mark Awarded||Marked out of…|
|Critical analysis of the organisation’s strengths||10|
|Analysis of the organisation’s meaning towards, and relationships with, its customers||10|
|Use of theory to underpin answer||10|
|Analysis of the organisation’s commercial context using publicly available sources||10|
|Analysis of the needs and characteristics of the target market||15|
|Analysis of how these needs and characteristics differ from those in the organisation’s existing markets||15|
|Critical use of theory and sources to underpin recommended strategies||15|
|Explanation of the likely impact of the recommended strategies upon the targeted consumers in the new market||15|
How to calculate your final module mark:
- Multiply your mark for component oneby 0.3
- Multiply your mark for component two (part i) by 0.2
- Multiply your mark for component two(part ii) by 0.5
- Add all three figures together and round to the nearest whole number to calculate your overall percentage
For example, if you scored 72% for component 1, 46% for component 2(part i), and 64% for component 2 (part 2):
- 72 x 0.3 = 21.6
- 46 x 0.2 = 9.2
- 64 x 0.5 = 32
- TOTAL = 62.8
Rounded to the nearest whole number, the overall module mark in this example would be 63%.
Final advice and encouragement:
Please remember, there are no hidden traps or trick questions in this assessment brief. We are not trying to trip you up or lead you astray. We want you to feel confident so that you can be bold, inventive and individual in your work. Remember: if something is not stipulated in the assessment brief or in the university regulations, it is open to your interpretation and discretion – this work is about your ideas and your knowledge. Enjoy it and express yourself.