Marketing Plan: Product Identification And SWOT Analysis – 4 Week Long Assignment


  • Chapter 9: Managing the Marketing Effect, Sections 9.1 and 9.2 of the course text, Principles of Marketing


This week, you will be creating components of your capstone marketing plan assignment. You will then finish your plan in Week 5.

Using the company you selected for your marketing manager internship, you will complete a situation analysis with the goal of identifying a new product/service to develop your marketing plan against.


The Marketing Plan: Product Identification and SWOT Analysis paper

Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.

Idea Generation In NPD


After reviewing this week’s resources and your research, in your own words how would you explain idea generation and the role it plays in the new product development process? Share one method of idea generation and apply it to a product you personally use. (Do not reuse the examples provided in the video.) Remember that all new products are not truly new, but can be modified based on consumer feedback and/or moving towards a new market segment.


Discussion 3

Should a social network own our social data? Is it an invasion of privacy for social networks to collect and use the information we leave as we deposit digital footprints in a site and around the Web? Or do you consider this loss of privacy inevitable in a wired and wireless world, where the pros outweigh the cons?

Short response
min 1/2 a page
max full page

Global Social Media Advertising

Compare and contrast global social media advertising for two companies in the same industry

Select two global companies and perform Internet research on them to compare/ contrast their current social media posts on the same channel (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). The two companies that you select must be direct competitors in the same industry (e.g., Nike and Adidas, McDonald’s and Burger King, The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo, etc.).

Write a paragraph of at least 300 words, comparing/contrasting each company on the following components:

advertising appeal (e.g., rational appeal, emotional appeals: humor, fear, sex, etc.)

celebrity testimonials (if used) 3) selling proposition

use of language (content)

use of color and graphics (images)

hashtags used

social media metrics (e.g., likes, followers, comments, shares, re-tweets, etc.) Include screenshots of the social media posts, if possible. (PLEASE PASTE THE SCREENSHOTS IN THE WORD DOCUMENT)

Be sure to include electronic citations in APA format for your Internet sources (include the URLs) in your discussion post.

Personal Customer Service Experiences


Knowing what you have experienced as a customer will help you understand how to better communicate with customers you face. After reading the text and participating in the scenario, reflect on two communication experiences you’ve had as a customer.


Reflect one on positive communication experiences you have had as a customer, and one negative experience. Address the following in your initial response:

1. What was the situation?

2. Evaluate the methods of communication in the situation: Listening, writing, talking, reading, non-verbal expression.

3. What words were used by the customer service representative that impacted the effectiveness of the communication?

4. Reflect on the positive experience – why was it positive? What made a difference for you, as a customer, in what the representative did?

5. Reflect on the negative experience – why was it negative? What needed to be changed?

Challenging Customer Experiences


The readings describe ten characteristics of challenging customers. When dealing with customers, is should be expected that we will come across challenging customers who have one or more of the characteristics. The purpose of this discussion is to formulate a “best practice” plan in resolving the situation.


Challenging customers can be put in different categories, due to the characteristics they exhibit. Each type of customer may need to be supported in different ways, especially in the way they are communicated with. The categories identified in the readings include:

  • Older customers
  • Impatient customers
  • Angry customers
  • Analytical customers
  • Noncommittal customers
  • Superior customers
  • Immature customers
  • Talkative customers
  • Customers with special needs

Think of a time when you have dealt with or have witnessed a customer being challenging. Address the following in your initial response:

  1. Describe the situation.
  2. Identify the characteristic(s) displayed by the customer.
  3. Describe the response of the employee.
  4. Evaluate the effectiveness- was the situation resolved? Why or why not?
  5. Based on the readings of this module, what could the representative have done differently?

Effective Thinking

Respond to the following in a minimum of 175 words:

A) Explain the entrepreneurial mindset.

B) Explain entrepreneurial value creation processes.


Six Tips For Growing With An Entrepreneurial Mindset:

Value Creation:

Introduction To Management

Task 1 : Read Case in Point: Xerox Motivates Employees for Success and answer the 5 discussion questions in your own words.


Anne Mulcahy, Former Xerox Chairman of the Board (left), and Ursula Burns, Xerox CEO (right)

Source: Photo courtesy of Xerox Corporation.

As of 2010, Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) is a $22 billion, multinational company founded in 1906 and operating in 160 countries. Xerox is headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, and employs 130,000 people. How does a company of such size and magnitude effectively manage and motivate employees from diverse backgrounds and experiences? Such companies depend on the productivity and performance of their employees. The journey over the last 100 years has withstood many successes and failures. In 2000, Xerox was facing bankruptcy after years of mismanagement, piles of debt, and mounting questions about its accounting practices.

Anne Mulcahy turned Xerox around. Mulcahy joined Xerox as an employee in 1976 and moved up the corporate ladder, holding several management positions until she became CEO in 2001. In 2005, Mulcahy was named by Fortune magazine as the second most powerful woman in business. Based on a lifetime of experience with Xerox, she knew that the company had powerful employees who were not motivated when she took over. Mulcahy believed that among other key businesses changes, motivating employees at Xerox was a key way to pull the company back from the brink of failure. One of her guiding principles was a belief that in order to achieve customer satisfaction, employees must be treated as key stakeholders and become interested and motivated in their work. Mulcahy not only successfully saw the company through this difficult time but also was able to create a stronger and more focused company.

In 2009, Mulcahy became the chairman of Xerox’s board of directors and passed the torch to Ursula Burns, who became the new CEO of Xerox. Burns became not only the first African American woman CEO to head a Standard & Poor’s (S&P) company but also the first woman to succeed another woman as the head of an S&P 100 company. Burns is also a lifetime Xerox employee who has been with the company for over 30 years. She began as a graduate intern and was hired full time after graduation. Because of her tenure with Xerox, she has close relationships with many of the employees, which provides a level of comfort and teamwork. She describes Xerox as a nice family. She maintains that Mulcahy created a strong and successful business but encouraged individuals to speak their mind, to not worry about hurting one another’s feelings, and to be more critical.

Burns explains that she learned early on in her career, from her mentors at Xerox, the importance of managing individuals in different ways and not intentionally intimidating people but rather relating to them and their individual perspectives. As CEO, she wants to encourage people to get things done, take risks, and not be afraid of those risks. She motivates her teams by letting them know what her intentions and priorities are. The correlation between a manager’s leadership style and the productivity and motivation of employees is apparent at Xerox, where employees feel a sense of importance and a part of the process necessary to maintain a successful and profitable business. In 2010, Anne Mulcahy retired from her position on the board of directors to pursue new projects.

Case written by Carlene Reynolds, Talya Bauer, and Berrin Erdogan to accompany Carpenter, M., Bauer, T., & Erdogan, B. (2009). Principles of management (1st ed.). New York: Flat World Knowledge. Based on information from Tompkins, N. C. (1992, November 1). Employee satisfaction leads to customer service. AllBusiness. Retrieved April 5, 2010, from ; 50 most powerful women. (2006). Fortune. Retrieved April 5, 2010, from ; Profile: Anne M. Mulcahy. (2010). Forbes. Retrieved April 5, 2010, from ; Whitney, L. (2010, March 30). Anne Mulcahy to retire as Xerox chairman. CNET News. Retrieved April 5, 2010, from ; Bryant, A. (2010, February 20). Xerox’s new chief tries to redefine its culture. New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2010, from .

Discussion Questions

1. In terms of the P-O-L-C framework, what values do the promotion and retention of Mulcahy and Burns suggest are important at Xerox? How might these values be reflected in its vision and mission statements?

2. How do you think Xerox was able to motivate its employees through the crisis it faced in 2000?

3. How do CEOs with large numbers of employees communicate priorities to a worldwide workforce?

4. How might Ursula Burns motivate employees to take calculated risks?

5. Both Anne Mulcahy and Ursula Burns were lifetime employees of Xerox. How does an organization attract and keep individuals for such a long period of time?

Task 2 : Please write up your Key Learning points on the following article (1 Page)

Critical Success Factors: Identifying the things that really matter for success

So many important matters can compete for your attention in business that it’s often difficult to see the “wood for the trees”. What’s more, it can be extremely difficult to get everyone in the team pulling in the same direction and focusing on the true essentials.That’s where Critical Success Factors (CSFs) can help. CSFs are the essential areas of activity that must be performed well if you are to achieve the mission, objectives or goals for your business or project.

By identifying your Critical Success Factors, you can create a common point of reference to help you direct and measure the success of your business or project.As a common point of reference, CSFs help everyone in the team to know exactly what’s most important. And this helps people perform their own work in the right context and so pull together towards the same overall aims.

The idea of CSFs was first presented by D. Ronald Daniel in the 1960s. It was then built on and popularized a decade later by John F. Rockart, of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and has since been used extensively to help businesses implement their strategies and projects. Inevitably, the CSF concept has evolved, and you may have seen it implemented in different ways. This article provides a simple definition and approach based on Rockart’s original ideas.

Rockart defined CSFs as: “The limited number of areas in which results, if they are satisfactory, will ensure successful competitive performance for the organization. They are the few key areas where things must go right for the business to flourish. If results in these areas are not adequate, the organization’s efforts for the period will be less than desired.”

He also concluded that CSFs are “areas of activity that should receive constant and careful attention from management.

Critical Success Factors are strongly related to the mission and strategic goals of your business or project. Whereas the mission and goals focus on the aims and what is to be achieved, Critical Success Factors focus on the most important areas and get to the very heart of both what is to be achieved and how you will achieve it.

Using the Tool: An Example

CSFs are best understood by example. Consider a produce store “Farm Fresh Produce”, whose mission is: “To become the number one produce store in Main Street by selling the highest quality, freshest farm produce, from farm to customer in under 24 hours on 75% of our range and with 98% customer satisfaction.”

The strategic objectives of Farm Fresh are to:

· Gain market share locally of 25%.

· Achieve fresh supplies of “farm to customer” in 24 hours for 75% of products.

· Sustain a customer satisfaction rate of 98%.

· Expand product range to attract more customers.

· Have sufficient store space to accommodate the range of products that customers want.

In order to identify possible CSFs, we must examine the mission and objectives and see which areas of the business need attention so that they can be achieved. We can start by brainstorming what the Critical Success Factors might be (these are the “Candidate” CSFs.)

Objective Candidate Critical Success Factors
Gain market share locally of 25% Increase competitiveness versus other local stores Attract new customers
Achieve fresh supplies from “farm to customer” in 24 hours for 75% of products Sustain successful relationships with local suppliers
Sustain a customer satisfaction rate of 98% Retain staff and keep up customer-focused training
Expand product range to attract more customers Source new products locally
Extend store space to accommodate new products and customers Secure financing for expansion Manage building work and any disruption to the business

Once you have a list of Candidate CSFs, it’s time to consider what is absolutely essential and so identify the truly Critical Success Factors. And this is certainly the case for Farm Fresh Produce. One CSF that we identify from the candidate list is “Sustain successful relationships with local suppliers.” This is absolutely essential to ensure freshness and to source new products. Another CSF is to attract new customers. Without new customers, the store will be unable to expand to increase market share. A third CSF is financing for expansion. The store’s objectives cannot be met without the funds to invest in expanding the store space.

Tip: How Many CSFs? Whilst there is no hard and fast rule, it’s useful to limit the number of CSFs to five or fewer absolute essentials. This helps you maintain the impact of your CSFs, and so give good direction and prioritization to other elements of your business or project strategy.

Using the Tool: Summary Steps

In reality, identifying your CSFs is a very iterative process. Your mission, strategic goals and CSFs are intrinsically linked and each will be refined as you develop them.Here are the summary steps that, used iteratively, will help you identify the CSFs for your business or project: Step One: Establish your business’s or project’s mission and strategic goals (click here for help doing this.) Step Two: For each strategic goal, ask yourself “what area of business or project activity is essential to achieve this goal?” The answers to the question are your candidate CSFs.

Tip: How Many CSFs? To make sure you consider all types of possible CSFs, you can use Rockart’s CSF types as a checklist.

· Industry – these factors result from specific industry characteristics. These are the things that the organization must do to remain competitive.

· Environmental – these factors result from macro-environmental influences on an organization. Things like the business climate, the economy, competitors, and technological advancements are included in this category.

· Strategic – these factors result from the specific competitive strategy chosen by the organization. The way in which the company chooses to position themselves, market themselves, whether they are high volume low cost or low volume high cost producers, etc.

· Temporal – these factors result from the organization’s internal forces. Specific barriers, challenges, directions, and influences will determine these CSFs.

Step Three: Evaluate the list of candidate CSFs to find the absolute essential elements for achieving success – these are your Criticial Success Factors. As you identify and evaluate candidate CSFs, you may uncover some new strategic objectives or more detailed objectives. So you may need to define your mission, objectives and CSFs iteratively. Step Four: Identify how you will monitor and measure each of the CSFs. Step Five: Communicate your CSFs along with the other important elements of your business or project’s strategy. Step Six: Keep monitoring and reevaluating your CSFs to ensure you keep moving towards your aims. Indeed, whilst CSFs are sometimes less tangible than measurable goals, it is useful to identify as specifically as possible how you can measure or monitor each one.

Key Points

Critical Success Factors are the areas of your business or project that are absolutely essential to its success. By identifying and communicating these CSFs, you can help ensure your business or project is well-focused and avoid wasting effort and resources on less important areas. By making CSFs explicit, and communicating them with everyone involved, you can help keep the business and project on track towards common aims and goals.


Review the “Marketing Excellence:” case study on p. 523 of your textbook. Discuss why Amazon has been so successful when so many other companies have failed. Name a company that has provided or will provide Amazon with some level of competition. Include your rationale.

New Venture Creation

Discuss the importance of financial planning of your company and how it fits into your business model i.e. describe the operation model of your business.