The first step In systematically analyzing an organization’s marketing problems Is to conduct a situation analysis. This Is not part of the written case brief but It Is needed before you can begin the problem solving process. Step 2. Define the Problem/lulus. Once you have conducted a thorough situation analysis, you can identify the problem(s) facing the organization. Be careful not to assume that the characters in the case are objective or accurate in identifying the problem or make a rush to judgment about the problem. Step 3. Identify plausible alternatives.
What are reasonable options for solving the Identified problem? While you should at least initially consider the options discussed In the case, do not assume that these are the est. or even appropriate alternatives, especially if these options are not consistent with the problem. Alternatives should be plausible, not “straw men” that are Just knocked aside in order to make a bee line for some obvious solution. Step 4. Identify reasonable, common criteria to test the alternatives. In order to objectively consider the alternatives, you need to identify common criteria that can be used to sort out the best choice.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
These criteria should Include both quantitative and qualitative factors. For example. You might compare two different potential target markets In terms of arrest growth (quantitative) and competitive threat (qualitative though it may be based on quantitative elements such as number of competitors). Step 5. Apply criteria to the alternatives. In a systematic and consistent fashion, each alternative should be compared on the same, common criteria to clearly illustrate what the best choice would be for the organization. Step 6. Develop a complete set of recommendations around the selected alternative.
Once the alternative has been determined, the full set of recommendations (objectives, strategies, tactics, budget, financial impact, etc. Must be developed. This is an opportunity to elaborate, demonstrate some creativity in your recommended plan. Tips on Case Analysis 1 . Plan ahead. Give yourself plenty of time, especially for your first case presentation. The process can be very time consuming. Students who have done well on their first case say that they put 10-20 hours into It. Less time will be needed once you have the process down and the process will get easier.
I suggest skimming the case once to get a sense of the issues and players. Next time read the case in-depth from start to finish. The third time you read the case. Cake notes and start pulling out the relevant information. 2. Avoid the “rush document”. What seems initially to be the problem or an alternative may not be. Let the facts show you, not the characters in the case or the temptation to get closure and hurry the process. 3. Beware of falling into the “what did they actually do” trap. Don’t Invest a lot of time (any time! Trying to find out Many of the companies in the cases are based on actual companies but the name(s) may have been disguised. In some instances you may feel as though you are in a “time warp” as the case may be set as many as 5 to 10 years ago. However, you need to look at the situation at that point in time with the conditions that existed at that time. 4. Do not ignore important information in the case. This can occur for a number of reasons. Sometimes this happens because students don’t understand something, don’t know how to analyze it or don’t want to deal with a particular issue.
Please ask questions if you need some assistance. A related issue is using new information and ignoring the case information. For example, instead of using the industry standard for costs and the information given in the case you come up with figures from an outside source that you use to calculate costs. It’s great to be creative and look at different angles but be sure to include the information and analyses suggested in the case as a starting point for comparison. Team Case Presentation 1 . An oral presentation is different than a written analysis.
The background analysis process is the same but the presentation format is different. You have a diverse audience. Organization and presentation of your ideas has to be effective for a larger group. For example, it does not work well to present a case by reading your case analysis to the class. This becomes tedious and is not appropriate for presentation. Each team is, however, urged to prepare appropriate written handout material to accompany their oral presentations in order to maximize the effective use of class time. These handouts may be graphs, calculations, diagrams, outside data, outlines, etc. . Each team will have approximately 30-35 minutes of class time to present its case. Criteria used by the instructor to evaluate your presentations are described below. 3. Each team member must evaluate the other members of his/her presentation team and these peer evaluations must be turned in no later than noon n Thursday, May 1. These will be used in determining final grades and can significantly alter the individual grade given to a particular student from the team grade. Forms for this purpose can be found on the web, linked within the class syllabus document. 4.
Any team members who because of absence or failure to participate fully in his/her team’s activities or causes a hardship on that team will be given a failing grade after consultation with the other members of the team. 0 Evaluation of Team Case Presentation A brief outline of your case presentation should be given to the instructor Just before our presentation begins. Please identify team members by name and their parts in the presentation on this outline. Please make copies of your slides for the instructor as this is very helpful in taking notes from your presentation.
My comments on your presentation will be sent to you by email. You should introduce yourselves to the rest of the class before starting the presentation. The following will be used to evaluate your oral presentation and feedback on these points will be provided you a few days after your presentation. Please consider that since this is a collective effort and that o are not constrained by page limits, this analysis and presentation should demonstrate greater depth and detail than an individual case brief. 1 . Problem(s) clearly stated and supported. O Defining the problem is the starting point for case analysis.
Be careful to separate the primary problem(s) from surface problems or justified why the problem presented is THE problem? 2. Appropriate use of information and application of analysis techniques. What information did you use in analyzing the case situation and in coming to a conclusion? You must use some type of evidence and Judgment (logic). Consider information in the case as well as simple steps such as shopping the product category, visiting retailers to see how the product is displayed and priced, supplemental information that helps you estimate costs, etc.
Don’t be afraid to make assumptions if they are reasonable and if you believe you can defend them. Remember that nearly all data can be criticized as being imperfect. The key is to get value from information, not to discard it because it is imperfect. USE INFORMATION GIVEN TO YOU IN THE CASE!!! However, you should assess the impact of the imperfections in the data on your decision. In addition, you need to determine what sorts of analyses and tools are necessary to understand the nature of the problem, the financial impact of the alternatives and on recommendations and then correctly executing those analyses.
For example, if you are considering introducing a new product into an existing product line, you should be calculating the impact of centralization on existing product sales and profits. If you are considering which target market to enter, you should be utilizing market-product grid to quantify the size of each segment. 3. Thoroughness of the analysis and recommendations. Think through all of the relevant areas and issues that should be addressed in the case. (Did you consider all APS? Did you thoroughly consider environmental issues? One of the key skills you should develop as part of the case analysis method is the ability to identify those elements that require depth in analysis and recommendations–those that are most critical and important –and those that have lower priority and for which less elaboration is necessary. A format for case analysis is given below. This is a time-tested “problem solving” framework. I will evaluate your presentation on each f these elements. Case Analysis Formats A. Problem identification. Identification of the underlying problems facing the organization. Separation of relatively important and unimportant problems.
This may be preceded or followed by an environmental analysis incorporating the major environmental, market, consumer, organizational factors, trends, and implications. You will want to focus on the “key” problem and the most strategic problem facing the organization. If there is no strategic problem, then you can focus on a tactical problem. B. Situation analysis (pertains to oral presentations only). Provide an in- depth analysis utilizing the framework for situation analysis to give context to the case. C. Alternative identification. Identification of feasible or plausible alternatives.
These alternatives should fit the key problem that you have identified. For example, if you have identified the problem as “the company needs to identify the most appropriate target market”, then your alternatives should be specific target markets, not promotional tactics or pricing strategies, etc. D. Evaluative criteria. What are the criteria that can be applied to reach a decision among the identified alternatives? These may depend on the particular circumstances facing the organization including organizational goals (e. G. , 20% increase in sales) or be generally sound criteria for making a decision such as profitability.
E. Alternative evaluation. Comparison and evaluation of each alternative on common, defined evaluative criteria that are disadvantages of each alternative. That is not sufficient and does not ensure that each alternative is compared on the same basis. Distinguish between relatively important and unimportant criteria used to evaluate and compare alternatives. Analysis should include both quantitative and qualitative elements. Market and financial analyses are critical to successful evaluation of alternatives. This includes projections of profitability, sales, market share, costs, etc. F. Recommendations.
Presentation of unambiguous, clear, logical and persuasive argument for the recommendations along with the specifics for implementing and evaluating your recommendations. The format for recommendations should include: Recommended target market(s) Overall objectives, overall marketing strategy, positioning Product/service objectives, strategy and tactics Pricing objectives, strategy and tactics Channel objectives, strategy and tactics Promotion objectives, strategy and tactics Budget, financial implications of the recommendation Plan for evaluating performance of the recommendations against objectives 4.
Usefulness and comprehensiveness of the results. These cases should not appear as academic exercises only. They should be carried through to some logical, comprehensive conclusion. For instance, if some statistical measures are to be made, make them! Don’t Just say, “Research is needed on this problem. ” Set up the research (design, sample, budget, questionnaires, etc. And show how you will use the resulting data. Every presentation should relate to the problem you identified and the objectives your organization is seeking. Never end a presentation by passing the buck to someone else to come to a conclusion.
Make sure that your recommendations are consistent with one another and well Justified. Be very specific about your recommendations. Be realistic about the constraints and the individual characteristics of the persons in the case. A suggestion is to adopt roles of persons in the case, or of persons who would be directly relevant to the case situation. You will have better success if you try to “live” the case, rather than to observe it from afar. 5. Well-organized presentation. There must be evidence of good preparation. A “dry run” prior to your presentation will pay off.
Use the 30-35 minute period effectively. 6. Use of visual aids. Use the board, prepare charts, graphs, etc. Never read a series of figures (e. G. , “Sales for the past 10 years have been .. .” Without having them in written form somewhere for the audience to see. Not only must you have good visuals but also you must use them well. The biggest fault in the use of visuals in ongoing over them too fast and not drawing out their implications clearly. A dry run will help here. Hand-outs may be more effective for showing the audience certain types of calculations that cannot easily be read on a Power Point slide.
Do not attempt to overload a slide with too much information or in a hard to read font. 7. Creativity and Class Participation. This is your chance to try out some creative ideas in presentations or in generating class reaction (on a professional level, of course). Try to involve the class in some deliberate way in your presentation. You may want to distributors, etc. ). Make it interesting and fun. Written Case Briefs The elements outlined above with respect to oral team case presentations are relevant to individual written case analysis as well.
The general outline for presentations works well for a written analysis. Written case briefs need to cover the problem, alternatives, analysis of alternatives and recommendations as outlined above. A situation analysis is necessary to complete a successful case brief but it is not part of the written case brief itself. The primary difference between the two is that the brief is Just that–a three page memo, written to your boss (me). Depending on the case, you can make me one of the primary characters or the head of a consulting group called in on to work for the company in the case.
You must be ruthless in editing and getting down to the essential and most important issues. The brief should also help prepare you to appreciate the content and analysis of the presented case and also prompt you with ideas and comments for the presenting team and case discussion. Format. The page limit is 3 typed pages (may be single spaced as long as it is readable), exclusive of tables, exhibits, or appendices. This means that you will need to refine write-up and concentrate on the key elements, you cannot waste space on background or review of the case. Jump right into the problem definition.
Use subheadings or bullets but not at the expense of enough detail to adequately explain your analysis and recommendations. Quantitative analysis. You will need to include tables or appendices to each written analysis that includes your calculations for such things as share of market, projected profitability, break-even. You will not receive credit for simply putting numbers into the body of the written report without a typed schedule of calculations. Depth. There’s a big difference between simply touching on a subject (“we recommend print advertising) and developing a meaningful analysis and recommendations.
One of the key skills you should develop as part of the case analysis method is the ability to identify those elements that require depth in analysis and recommendations–those that are most critical and important–and those that have lower priority and for which less elaboration is necessary. Writing style. Poor grammar and spelling errors will lower your score and detract from getting your ideas across. The same is true of a poorly organized paper. If you need help on this, please see me. Written Case Brief Formats A. Problem identification and Justification. B.
Alternative identification. Identification of feasible or plausible alternatives. Separate alternatives into ‘strategic’ and tactical’ alternatives. The consideration and choice of strategic alternatives should precede that of the tactical alternatives. C. Evaluative criteria. What are the criteria that can be applied to reach a decision among the identified alternatives? These may depend on the particular circumstances facing the organization including organizational goals (e. . , 20% increase in sales) or be generally sound criteria for making a decision such as profitability.
D. Alternative evaluation. Comparison and evaluation of each alternative on common, defined evaluative criteria. Distinguish between relatively important and unimportant criteria used to evaluate and compare alternatives. Analysis should critical to successful evaluation of alternatives. This includes projections of profitability, sales, market share, costs, etc. E. Recommendations. Presentation of unambiguous, clear, logical and persuasive argument for the recommendations along tit the specifics for implementing and evaluating your recommendations.
The format for these presentations should include: Recommended target market(s) L. Rockford 2014 Nature of the Course The Marketing Management and Strategy course is the capstone marketing course and a key problem solving course for the marketing major. This course has the following objectives: To apply marketing concepts and philosophy in a problem solving framework. To understand the strategic marketing planning process and marketing strategy development. To appreciate how marketing decisions effect the organization and the organization’s performance.
To develop and utilize analytical, problem solving, decision making, and communication skills. The course will rely upon the case method of analysis. Cases include consumer and business-to-business products and services covering a number of marketing problems and issues. Case analysis is a great way to practice analytical and decision making methods. Team Case Presentation. Each individual will participate in one oral team case presentation. Plan on using your own laptop computer for your presentation and check out compatibility and connectivity issues at least one day before your presentation.
If your computer is in for repairs or you are experiencing other hardware problems, you may be able to check out a computer from the ELSE Technology Office on the first floor. Make sure that you have back up in case of a technology failure. Your power point presentation slides should also be uploaded to Turbulent. Com. For information on case content, please see A Framework for Case Analysis. In-Class Exercises and Class Participation. Get involved! It will be much easier to learn and more fun to participate, ask questions and contribute. We will be doing a number of in-class exercises to anchor concepts and ideas from the text.
Expect to be called on if you don’t volunteer. You must use a name card to identify yourself and you will be asked to sign an attendance sheet at the end of the class period. I will be prepared to share your work using the document camera or white board. This means that you should have done the work before you get up to the board. Contribution and comments. Adding value to the conversation and useful comments makes the class environment more interesting. What can you add to the presentation from your analysis that would add to a better understanding of the case or would elf the presenting group to analyze the case more effectively?
For example, perhaps the presenting team did not develop a thorough (or any) promotional recommendations and you feel that this is a critical part of solving the problems in the case. Talk about some of the promotional strategies, objectives, tactics, and budget ideas you have as a way of illustrating a new perspective for the case as well as providing an example of how to thoroughly present promotional recommendations. Other potential topics for adding value might be in-depth financial analysis, pricing formula and models, buyer behavior, evaluation and intro, or legitimate alternative interpretations of case information.
You might ask why some other approach, analysis or idea was not used, based on your analysis and interpretation of the case. Constructive orientation. Make comments that will help highlight important issues and that can improve understanding of the case or future presentations. Address the issues, not individuals who make the presentation. Be tactful and professional. Case Briefs. You will conduct a written situation analysis for a case with one partner. In addition, you will individually write two cases briefs. You will not write up a case rife for the case you present orally as a team.
For a schedule of what cases you are responsible for, please see Case Briefs Write Up Schedule. The case brief should be written as a memo to your boss (me). The body of the case brief should not exceed three single spaced pages though you can use additional pages for appendices, tables, calculations or supplemental material. Use subheadings to separate the sections of the brief. See A Framework for Case Analysis for more details. You may refer to your brief during case discussion following the case presentation but it must be turned in immediately after this discussion. All cases will be submitted to Turbulent. Mom and a hard copy presented to the instructor by the due date in class. You must include your name, case title, date and Turbulent receipt number on your case assignments. Late briefs or briefs without the Turbulent. Com receipt number, or untapped briefs will earn zero credit. To upload your case assignments and presentation slides to Turbulent. Com, you need to do the following: Go to wry. Turning. Com/ Click on “create a user profile” and indicate that you are a student if you have not used Turbulent before. Our class is Marketing Management and Strategy Spring 014 and is identified as class ID 7536438.
Our password is “Northern (case sensitive). Register for our class. Do this no later than January 31. Upload your assignment up to 48 hours before and no later than 1 1 p. M. On the day that the case is due using your user profile number and our class ID. You will click on the case to Turbulent by midnight on the date it is due, there is no opportunity to send it in later. You must submit both a hard copy of the case assignment with the required cover sheet listing the Turbulent receipt number, case title, section number, your name, and date in class.