Product innovation and marketing are the only enduring competitive advantages that companies can use to survive and thrive in the marketplace Custom Essay

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Product innovation and marketing are the only enduring competitive advantages that companies can use to survive and thrive in the marketplace. In the next 7 weeks, you are going to participate in designing and writing a marketing plan for a business, product, or service of your choosing. Your active participation in this project, first, is essential to building your understanding of marketing;

secondly, you can use a well-written marketing plan to show prospective employers a sample of your work.

A marketing plan is a guide for the marketing activities of an organization for a specified period of time, typically about 5 years.

The plan can be used internally to guide the marketing activities or it can be used to communicate with external audiences to raise capital. There are important questions to keep in mind as you design your plan.

Is the marketing idea valid?
What is unique or distinctive about the product or service that separates it from substitutes and competitors?
Does a viable market exist for the product or service?
Are the financial projections sound?
Is the management team competent?
How will the investors get their money back with a return on their investments?
In order to help you answer these questions and many others, the course provides the following items.

"Building an Effective Marketing Plan" as Appendix A on page 48 of your textbook (it includes an example of a marketing plan)
"Financial Aspects of Marketing" as Appendix B on page 368 of your textbook
A marketing plan outline located in Doc Sharing
A grading rubric for the marketing plan

Week 1: Topic Proposal (10 points)

You will select a topic for the Week 1 assignment, and thereafter, all related assignments (the draft in Week 4, the breakeven analysis

in Week 5, and the final marketing plan in Week 7) MUST be on the same topic. You may not change your marketing plan topic without

approval from your instructor. Your topic should be for a business, product, or service that you would like to start (no multilevel

marketing structures, please). Because this is an applied project and not a research paper, please do not select a corporation such as

Starbucks or Coca-Cola as your topic. You are to apply the course concepts to this project. If you are interested in coffee

restaurants, for example, you may wish to select your own cappuccino bar as your topic and then use information from companies like

Starbucks or Seattle’s Best Coffee for ideas and competitive research as you work on your project. If you have questions about your

topic, don’t hesitate to post them in the Q & A Forum this week.

For Week 1, please write a two-page description of your company, product, or service. It should be a new business, product, or service.

Discuss ownership and company structure. Describe the business, product, or service. Write your mission statement and include your

marketing goals.

Week 4: Draft Marketing Plan (100 points)

At the end of Week 4, you will submit a substantial draft to your instructor for grading and feedback. Read Appendix A in the text. Be

sure to download the Marketing Plan outline from Doc Sharing. It is recommended that you start work on your draft in Week 2 after your

instructor has approved your topic. Use the Marketing Plan outline as a guide to the required content for your marketing plan. Complete

as much as you are able in order to get a good start and an initial draft ready to submit at the end of Week 4.

Week 5: Price Strategy/Breakeven Analysis (50 points)

One of the most challenging decisions faced by marketers is setting the price for their products and services. In order to select the

right price, you need to ensure that you’ll be able to cover your costs and meet customers’ needs at a price that they are willing to

pay. You will need to perform a breakeven analysis to determine the best price. Chapters 13 and 14 outline six steps that organizations

follow to set price. Follow these six steps (as listed on page 322 in the text) to set prices for your product or service and perform a

breakeven analysis. Submit your price strategy/breakeven analysis via the Week 5 Dropbox for grading and feedback. Be sure to

incorporate any feedback provided by your instructor into your final Week 7 Course Project.

Complete the analysis using the six steps in the pricing process, which you can follow in the text starting on page 323 with step

1….and following through Chapters 13 and 14 to page 360. These pages will walk you through the steps and calculations for this


Week 7: Final Marketing Plan (230 points)

Submit your completed Marketing Plan. It should include all sections listed in the marketing plan outline, which is in Doc Sharing. It

should include headings for the various sections of the marketing plan. APA format should be used, and a bibliography is required. Be

sure to list all references that you consult (both print media and online).

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