*Please see textbook page 626: “The Country Notebook—A Guide for Developing a Marketing Plan” for more detailed discussion of each of the parts of this project.
The Country Project is designed to provide the students with experience in analyzing a country’s cultural and economic environment and experience in developing a marketing program for a specific product. The project requires that the student select a country and submit a series of five reports. The first report is determining the country and the product/service to be exported. The second report is a general survey of the country’s culture. The third report covers the economy of the country including a thorough analysis of the distribution and marketing systems. The fourth report is a market audit and competitive analysis of a country market for a specific product. The fifth report students develop a preliminary marketing plan for a product under consideration for marketing in the country they have selected.
Students should view the project from the perspective as if they represent a large multinational company planning to expand operations to a new country. The task is to analyze and tentatively propose a marketing program for the company’s product in a foreign country. After a complete analysis the student will determine to market the product or not to market the product. Under these circumstances, the value of a decision not to market the product in the country is as important as a decision to market. Normally 20 percent of students elect not to market their products. The only word of caution given to students who might elect not to market the product is to be certain that their market analysis is adequate and that they can justify their decision based on the data collected.
The reports include a heading on each page (i.e. date, student name, name of report), page numbers (bottom middle) single spaced paragraphs and double spaced between paragraphs written in style Times Roman 12” pitch. Citations and References are APA guidelines. The length of the reports are as follows: Part 1 is one page; Parts 2-5 are between three to four papers. Reports have a page limit since most students find enough information to write substantially more than 15 pages. This forces the student to organize, analyze and then present only the most important material from a marketing perspective.
NOTE: The outline is a checklist of what you could include in your report. If you want you may use bullet points. However, you must write in complete sentences. Section headings are encouraged as this helps me easily identify the focus of individual sections of your report. At the conclusion of this outline you are asked to write an executive summary. The length of the report is as follows: Answers to Outline Questions (found in your textbook p. 625 see “The Country Notebook): 3-4 pages not including references; followed by a executive summary of 1 page; conclude with references. While researching your country project you will obtain a large amount of information from a variety of sources. Your job is to condense and only keep what is important as I stop reading after 4 pages!
How does your instructor grade the reports?
Grades will be determined in terms of the report analysis adequacy and coverage. Of major importance is how well information gathered in the cultural and economic reports are applied in developing a marketing program. In addition, the application of marketing concepts through instructor lectures and text assignments as well as concepts learned in other marketing and business courses is considered in grading. See grading rubric.
Guideline for a Market Audit and Competitive Analysis and Marketing Plan – Part 4
Of the guidelines presented, this is the most product or brand specific. Information in the other guidelines is general in nature focusing on product categories, whereas the data in this one is brand specific and are used to determine competitive market conditions and market potential.
Two different components of the planning process are reflected in this guideline. Information in earlier researched parts serves as the basis for an evaluation of the product/brand in a specific market country. Information in this guideline provides an estimate of market potential and an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of competitive marketing effort. The data generated in this step are used to determine the extent of adaptation of the company’s marketing mix necessary for successful market entry and to develop the final step, the action plan.
The detailed information needed to complete this guideline will not necessarily be available without conducting a thorough marketing research investigation. Thus, another purpose of this part of the country notebook is to identify the correct questions to ask in a formal market study.
After completing the culture, economics and market audit papers, the emphasis of the project shifts to the second learning objective, that of preparing a marketing feasibility study or marketing plan for a specific product.
In any study of the domestic market, it is essential that a thorough understanding of the situation confronting the firm be developed. The situation analysis usually is defined as consisting of the following topics: general information about the industry, competition and governmental controls along with information about the firm and the market. The information required varies in the amount of detail depending on the time and resources available for the situation analysis.
Marketing managers and researchers involved in the collection of information for situation analyses are well aware of the problems associated with identifying needed information. The availability of needed information is a substantial problem in the domestic market, and the problems intensify when trying to identify needed information for a foreign market. Since the sources of information available to students are primarily secondary, it is typically necessary to modify the requirements of the situation analysis for students trying to identify such information about a foreign market.
The structure of the project is such that the students are asked to prepare an analysis of the feasibility of marketing a product in the country they have selected and determine if it is a profitable opportunity to market the product in a foreign country. Second, the students are asked to specify an organizational form consistent with the countries’ laws, but further background information about the firm is kept to a minimum so that the students can focus their attention on the marketing opportunity and problems associated with marketing the product in the country they have selected.
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