3 Case Analysis For Marketing Strategy

Case Analysis For Marketing Strategy

INTRODUCTION

You will be completing two team cases for this class. Information below outlines the approach you will use for the cases. You instructor will assign you to a team by the end of Unit 1. All teams should start working on the cases prior to the week they are due.

A case is a summary of a business situation. Just as in an actual business environment, cases do not focus on a single problem, rather they describe a business situation at a particular point in time. Your case analysis must be centered on your use of the course marketing strategy concepts and terms used to analyze complex marketing problems faced by businesses.

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For this course, your case analysis will focus on complex problem solving methods through:

  1. Updating the case.
  2. Use the relevant unit concepts and terms to conduct an analysis.
    • Relevant concepts should include using the concepts outlined in the unit assignments as appropriate.
  3. Critical Analysis
    • Identifying problems and/or opportunities
    • Surface alternatives to address the problems and/or opportunities
    • Evaluating the pros and cons of the alternatives
  4. Make recommendation based on the above analysis.
    • Develop a tactical GANTT Chart

The ability to solve complex problems is a highly sought skill. The following sources provide background on this complex problem solving process.

This case methodology is not writing intensive, but it is thinking intensive. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE CASE IS DUE TO START unless you don’t mind staying awake at night. Most of your time should be spend in brainstorming and developing outlines.

After the case is assigned, read the case. Then reread the case and make notes using the analysis framework outlined above. Your team should brainstorm opportunities and problems you see in the case. In your team list all of the problems/opportunities, determine which are clustered, what is relevant, and actionable.

CASES

Click each case for the submission page.

Each case is available in your textbook.

Case 1Case 2
Zappos: Delivering Happiness

Due by 11:59 p.m., Sunday, CT end of Unit 3

 Netflix Fights to Stay Ahead of a Rapidly Changing Market

Due by 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, CT of Unit 8

GRADING

Please refer to the Schedule page for rubrics and the Course Overview page for point distribution.

DIRECTIONS AND FORMAT

Below you will find the format your team should use for case analysis. Keep in mind that your research and analysis should be linked to the unit content and terms and come from credible sources. You should use APA formatting within the case citations and in your references. You should use the headings below to help focus your approach to the case write-up. Students often ask how long assignments should be. Suggestions are given below, but this can be adjusted based on the size of your team. An example of a previous case can be seen in this file:  Download Group_4_Case_3_MBA_630.docx

Case #1 is found in Unit 4. You should not wait to start on this case. For Case #1, there are three components. The first will be your case analysis. For your instructor, will be a written case following the case format like the Group 4 Case 3 MBA 630.docx above. The second will be your team’s recorded Zoom PowerPoint presentation of the case (record this to the cloud so you can obtain the link to the video). Your team leader will post this recording (only one Zoom link is needed) into the Unit 5 Discussion for your assigned team to review and post questions. Your team members will then need to respond to the discussion posts. The goal of this process is to expand your team’s understanding of other team’s perspectives on the case. This should help you improve your team’s submission for the final case.

one.png CASE UPDATE (1-2 PAGES)

Cases are always a snapshot in time. Your first task will be to provide a brief update of the current situation given the major changes (identified and justified by your team). Relevant material should be cited. For example, if you were doing a case on USA Today, this would need to be updated to reflect current trends in media consumption through electronic media and the overall general decline in newspaper circulation. Do not just give a summary of the case.

two.png UNIT CONCEPTS FOR CASE ANALYSIS (THIS WILL VARY BY CASE)

Case analysis can take you in many directions, but remember that you are focusing on the unit concepts as outlined in the textbook chapters, Unit Learning Outcomes (ULOs), and the topics covered in your discussions and unit assignments. Be sure to conduct research and cite credible sources using an APA format.

Each case should conduct an analysis based on the relevant units as indicated below:

  • Case #1 will focus on the concepts and terms in Units 1-3.
  • Case #2 will focus on the concepts and terms in Units 4-6.
  • Case #3 will focus on the concepts and terms in Units 1-8.

For example, in Case #1 you will focus on the concepts and terms in Units 1-4. One such example is in Unit 1, ULO 3: Evaluate business models to understand how businesses create value for customers. Your case may require an analysis of alternative business models. This should include and analysis of the current business model as well as other feasible business models used by competitors, in other industries, or emerging trends. Each business model alternative will have pros and cons. Other relevant concepts should include using the concepts outlined in the unit assignments as appropriate.

three.png CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Under this section, you will:

  1. Identifying problems and/or opportunities,
  2. Surface alternatives to address the problems and/or opportunities, and
  3. Evaluating the Pros and Cons of the Alternatives.

Each of these will be explained below followed by the format you should use for this section.

DO NOT PREDETERMINE THE RECOMMENDATIONS YOU THINK FIT THE CASE! This will bias your analysis. It is best to develop your recommendations after completion of the case analysis. The cases can be fun because they make you think, but this can also be a great struggle. By the end of the semester the process should become second nature, but only if you practice your abilities to analyze.

  1. Identifying problems and/or opportunities
    After you have updated the business case, you must develop a framework from which to look at developing strategic alternatives. The first step is to brainstorm problems and/or opportunities and then turn these into problem/opportunity statements. You should not focus on alternatives to these statements at this point because this can limit your brainstorming analysis.

    A problem/opportunity statement is a two sided coin. In example above Unit 1, ULO 3: Evaluate business models to understand how businesses create value for customers. You may have analyzed alternative business models. If in your team’s brainstorming process, you feel that the business should evaluate alternative business models, you could frame this as:

    Problem #1: Business X needs to consider alternate business models. (This should be used to if the business’ current model is no longer viable.) You should include a brief justification of this problem related to your case analysis.

    Opportunity #1: Business has an opportunity to consider alternate business models. (This should be used to if the business wants to shift or add to its current model.) You should include a brief justification of this problem as stated in your case analysis.

    You can brainstorm a series of problem and opportunity statements. For your Case #1 and Case #2 you should limit your problem and opportunity statements to four. These should be what your team considers to be the most important issues to be addressed. If you have more than four, you can list additional statements at the end of your case, but do not conduct alternative analysis or include in your recommendations. For Case #3, since this covers all units (and is worth almost twice the points), you should have no more than eight problem/opportunity statements.

  2. Surface alternatives to address the problems and/or opportunities
    After identifying each problem or opportunity, your next step is to determine alternatives to solve the problem. When surfacing alternative strategies to a problem, you must identify more than one alternative. If you limit yourself to one alternative you limit the choices you can make and limit your thinking proces­ses. If a problem has only one solution, it isn’t really a problem it is just something that has not been acted upon.

    The approach you should use to identify alternatives is to brainstorm all of the possible alternatives you or your group can surface and then determine what alternatives are relevant. Use course and unit concepts and your knowledge base for suggestions. This requires looking at the problem and finding out how marketing strategy principles would provide a solution. Alternatives should be statements. They don’t need to be justified, they are evaluated in the Pros and Cons.

  3. Evaluating the Pros and Cons of the Alternatives
    Each alternative will have its own pros and cons. These are strengths and weaknesses associated with the alternatives. The pros and cons provide the information that will be used by you to decide which of the alternatives will be recommended.

    Pros and cons should be fact based and ideally linked to cited research (using APA 7th edition). Note that in this class there is no expectation of primary research so your focus should be on secondary research. In your actual business’ environment, you may need to conduct or use primary research to justify action.

    For example, assume that an opportunity exists to change the business model outlined above and Alternative #1 is: Reposition the company’s product image to be higher quality than competitors.

      • Pros can include (these are generic because they are not linked to research sources):
        • Differentiates your products from competition (could require your team using positioning maps).
        • Allows for higher prices increasing your margins (could require an analysis of competitive prices and break even points).
        • Will allow for higher quality products with higher quality materials (you may want to link this to the consumer decision process).
      • Cons can include:
        • May require an increase in promotional budget to reposition products (use case related details if provided).
        • Higher quality products could require a new sales approach for distributors (use case related details if provided).
        • This may require targeting new market segments resulting in increased costs (use case related details if provided).

Critical Analysis Section Format

(Each problem/or opportunity with alternatives plus pros and cons should result in 1-2 pages of content. Four problems or opportunity is a max of 8 pages.)

The write-up should outlined as follows:

  • Problem/Opportunity #1 Statement: Short paragraph with statement and justification.
    • Alternative Solution #1 (Statement)
    • Pros:
      • #1) Short Sentence or sentences justifying as a pro with citations as needed.
      • #2) Short Sentence or sentences justifying as a pro with citations as needed.
      • #3) etc.
    • Cons:
      • #1) Short Sentence or sentences justifying as a con with citations as needed.
      • #2) Short Sentence or sentences justifying as a con with citations as needed.
      • #3) etc.
    • Alternative Solution #2 (Statement)
    • Pros: As above
    • Cons: As above
    • Alternative Solution #X.
  • Problem #2 Statement:
    • Alternative Solution #1 (Statement)
    • Pros: As above
    • Cons: As above
    • Alternative Solution #X…
  • Opportunity #X Statement:
    • Alternative Solution #1 (Statement)
    • Pros: As above
    • Cons: As above
    • Alternative Solution #X…

      four.png RECOMMENDATIONS (MAX 2-3 PAGES WITH GANTT CHART)

      You must give a recommendation for the case based on the above analysis. This will most likely be a combination of various alternatives to solve the identified problems and/or opportunities. You do not need to restate the reasons for recommending individual alternatives; their strengths and weaknesses are outlined in the case analysis pros and cons. If you state a problem, be sure you recommend a solution to that problem in your recommendation.You do however, need to justify the combination of alternatives you recommend and the order of your approach. This could be justified in terms of the synergies created or value creation for customers.For example, from the analysis above, your recommendation could be:

      • Problem #1 will be addressed first for the following reasons… We are commending Alternative #1 (describe) followed by Alternative #3 (describe).
      • For Problem #X we are recommending Alternative #X (describe)
      • For Opportunity #X we are recommending Alternative #X (describe) and Alternative #X (describe).
      • Etc.
      • We are justifying this recommendation because this….

      GANTT ChartA GANTT Chart allows for organizing a series of stages to achieve a strategic goal. While a GANTT Chart can be used for the entire strategy you have outlined above, for this exercise your will move to tactical planning for one set of tactical sub-steps to a strategic alternative.For example, since your team may have recommended the strategic alternative #1, you would develop the following GANTT Chart.GANTT CHART EXAMPLEAlternative #1 is: Reposition the company’s product image to be higher quality than competitors.

      Key:In ProcessHard Deadlines
      DATE:(Use Month, Quarter, Year)Month 1Month 2Month 3Month 4Month 5Month 6Month 7Month 6
      Primary Research
      Competitive Analysis
      Internal Analysis
      Determine Positioning
      Advertise to Trade
      Advertise to End Users

      Justification: Finally, justify the tactical steps you have outlined and the order of approach.

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