A Marketing Assignment to Nail Them All

A marketing assignment requires the student to take what he/she has learnt in marketing theory and to apply it in practice. It presents information and analysis in a way that helps the management make decisions. Since it has to look at the larger picture for a particular product or industry, it has to consider the various components of the market:

  • Consumers
  • Competitors
  • Intermediaries
  • External factors (political, economic, legal etc.)

Let us consider how to collect information about each component:

  • Consumer

Such assignments generally expect the student to collect data on consumer preferences through a first-hand survey i.e. primary data. Thus, it’s advisable to run your questionnaire by your professor or conduct a pilot survey, to verify if it can accurately collect the data you need. Also, asking the right questions is as important as asking the right people. Find out who makes the purchase decisions. For instance, while company executives sign the bills for purchasing machinery, tools etc, it is often the engineers who decide whom to purchase them from.

Alternatively, if you are allowed to use other sources, go to authoritative sources of information which have a sample that meets the demographic requirements of your marketing assignments.

  • Competitors

Annual reports of rivals are good sources of information on them. Also see articles in business newspapers, journals and industry-specific publications. A product or service has to be positioned in a way that targets the competitor’s weaknesses and attempts to match it strengths or carves a niche of its own

  • Intermediaries

Figure out how important they are and how they can influence the customer. They can provide valuable information about what customers need and whom they are getting it from. For example, auto manufacturers often survey owners of car dealerships in order to find ways of gaining market share.

  • External factors

These are important because they determine how much leeway your marketing strategy has. For instance, tobacco advertisements are banned in many countries and one must adapt to this.

Having got the data you need, move on to analysis, the crucial part of the marketing assignment. This is where you draw certain results/recommendations regarding the marketing strategy which have to be presented convincingly to the management. The simple rule is: the results should be consistent with your data which should be consistent with your research. You can see articles in leading business publications like the Wall Street Journal to get an idea of the kind of analysis that is expected. The idea is to that chart out a particular course of action over specific time horizons. Since this is a report, the data has to be presented with the help of attractive graphs, pie charts etc accompanied by a brief explanation. You can weigh the pros and cons of various options such as direct selling vs. organized retailing or company-owned stores vs. franchises,

Then the executive summary is the easiest part. It should essentially be a summary of the ideas put forth in your best essay assignment on marketing, clearly mentioning important data and emphasizing the main result.

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