Development of a B2B Marketing Plan

 

 

SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, FINANCE

& MARKETING

 

MKTG1209

Business & Network Marketing

 

 

Assignment 3 – Development of a B2B Marketing Plan (50%)

 

This is a group assignment where we develop a B2B marketing plan for an organization. It is designed to help develop knowledge and critical analysis skills in a live environment. It is also an opportunity to develop effective business report writing skills.

 

This assignment continues from assignment 2.

 

In this assignment we continue our situation analysis of your client company and then go on to developing objectives, strategies and implementation plans.

 

Submission

 

  • An electronic copy of the report (in Microsoft Word) is to be submitted on Blackboard / TurnItIn.
  • Please do not include a coversheet.
  • Late submissions may be penalized by up to 10% per day. Submissions will not be accepted after 7 days past the due date.

 

The Turnitin Similarity Score.

 

  • Please note that Turnitin automatically scans assignments for plagiarism.
  • Any report with a Turnitin similarity index of over 15% will be reviewed by the course coordinator and appropriate action will be taken.
  • Please see the RMIT guidelines on plagiarism, which can be found under ‘Learning Resources’ in Blackboard.

 

Use of Images

 

  • No images of text or analysis tables are permitted. Diagrams can be inserted as an image.

 

Assignment Requirements

 

  • This is a business report, so it should be clear and precise.
  • The report is to be submitted in Microsoft Word.
  • Please use a clear sans-serif font like Arial, or Calibri, a 10-point font (outside tables); and single line spacing.
  • All pages are to be numbered.

 

Tables and Diagrams

  • We recommend using tables to present the detail of your analysis and implementation plans. Tables are a professional way of presenting data.
  • Please introduce each table with 1-2 sentences; explain what each table is used for.
  • After the table, write a short paragraph explaining the key findings from the table.
  • Please use 8-point font in tables.
  • For tables that are more than a page in length, please repeat the headings of the table on each page.
  • Tables and diagrams must be in the body of the report.

 

 

 

Appendices

Please do not include analysis tables in the appendices: they belong in the main body of the report. Only include back-up information in the appendices.

 

Report Length

  • 3000 words (+/– 10%) not including the analysis tables, implementation tables or appendices.
  • Please note that reports that do not meet the word limit may be penalised by up to 10% per 500 words.

 

References

  • All sources of information must be clearly cited and referenced.

 

The Use of Models

 

In some parts of this report it is important to fill in a whole model.

In other parts of this report you just need to use the relevant parts from a model.

 

When using a model, the key thing is to use the headings from within it. You do not need to use the shape that the textbook uses to describe the model. You can just put the headings into a table.

 

Sources of data

Sources of data for your analysis can include:

  • Any valid on-line source, including relevant overseas sites.
  • Trade press.
  • Interviews with companies.
  • Readings from the list.
  • The lecture material.

 

 

The Use of Assumptions

 

When preparing a marketing report in industry we endeavor to obtain appropriate data to base our insights and decisions on. There are times when the marketers experience and industry knowledge enable them to make educated assumptions in their analysis.  These assumptions are notated as such.

 

Similarly, when doing your report, if there is no data for use in part of a model, please make an educated assumption, based on your understanding of the industry. Please notate where you have made these assumptions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               

 

Report Requirements

 

The report must include a title page showing:

  • The course code.
  • The report title.
  • Your name and student number.

 

1. Executive Summary (10%) (approximately ½ page)

 

An executive summary is often read by management first. It should clearly and precisely tell the reader:

  • What the report is about – An overview why you did this marketing plan.
  • The key findings – The key Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that your analysis has uncovered.
  • The key recommendations or solutions – A summary of the Objectives, Strategies and Tactics (using the business marketing mix) that you recommended.
  • Why your Strategy and Tactics will achieve the Objectives.

 

Note that an executive summary is written in post-tense.

 

2. Index

 

Clear, easy to read and with page numbers. It must list all sections of the report by heading including the appendices. It tells the reader the areas you have covered in a quick and easy to find manner.

 

  1. Introduction (2.5%): (Aim for 150 to 200 words maximum).

 

  • Introduce the report and what you intend to achieve.
  • Briefly describe the methodology you will use and how the report will be presented.

 

Note that an introduction is written in pre-tense.

 

4. Company and Competitor Analysis (40%)

 

In this section you need to analyse your client and how they compare to their two main competitors, using the requested models.

 

For each aspect being analysed, please structure your report as follows:

 

 

Company analysis

 

Here you are using the model(s) to analyse this part of the company

 

 

 

Competitor 1 comments

This needs to be a number of dot-points giving the key points about this competitor.

You need to use the key terms from the models in your description.

 

 

Competitor 2 comments

This needs to be a number of dot-points giving the key points about this competitor.

You need to use the key terms from the models in your description.

 

 

This allows easy comparison by the reader.

 

               

4.1  Marketing activities using the Business Marketing Mix

 

Please analyse the business marketing mix components your client uses to market to their customers.

 

Products and Services

 

Does your client offer primarily physical products or services? The models you use will depends on this.

 

Product offering

If your client primarily offers physical products, please use the Product Attributes model and the Product Lifecycle model to analyse their key current (physical) product portfolio.  How well do they meet customer needs?

 

Service offering

If your client primarily offers services, please use the Dimensions of Service, the Flower of Service models, along with the Product Lifecycle model to analyse their key service offerings portfolio.  How well do they meet customer needs?

 

Please describe any key product/service bundles that they offer.

 

Please provide a summary of the key aspects of the 2 competitors’ offering. Focus on the aspects that appear to lead to an Opportunity for, or Threat to, your client.

 

Communications performance

 

Analyse your client’s communications performance. To do this, please fill out the Multi-Channel Integration Map and use the Marketing in Communications Channels’ model to describe this.

Do they appear to be using a push or a pull communications approach?

Is there evidence of a reputation communications approach?

What appears to be their Content Strategy?

Do they appear to have an IMC approach?

 

Please provide a summary of the key aspects of the 2 competitors’ communications. Focus on the aspects that appear to lead to an Opportunity for, or Threat to, your client.

 

Supply Chain performance

 

To analyse how your client manages their suppliers, please fill out the following models:

  • SCM Goals model.
  • Porter’s Value Chain (first stage & Procurement).

Please also refer to the Network Map to describe their supply network.

 

Distribution Channel performance

 

To analyse how your client manages their distribution channels, please fill out the following models:

 

  • Distribution Channel Tasks model.
  • Porter’s Value Chain (last 2 or 3 stages and the supporting conditions).
  • The Multi-Channel Integration Map (add distribution channels to the Multi-Channel Integration Map you used in the communications analysis).

Please also refer to the Network Map to describe their distribution network.

 

Please provide a summary of the key aspects of the 2 competitors’ offering. Focus on the aspects that appear to lead to an Opportunity for, or Threat to, your client.

 

 

 

Pricing offering

 

Fill out the Factors in Setting Prices model to analyse what influences your client’s price setting?

Which options from the Pricing Strategy model do they appear to be using? Is there a blend of more than one strategy?

 

Please provide a summary of the key aspects of the 2 competitors’ offering. Focus on the aspects that appear to lead to an Opportunity for, or Threat to, your client.

 

Sales Management.

 

How does your client currently manage their personal sales efforts? Use options from each of the following models to describe this.

  • Typical tasks of Sales Representatives model.
  • Organising the Sales Force.
  • Options for Structuring the Sales Force.
  • The 5 C’s of customer benefits derived from KAM model.

 

Please provide a summary of the key aspects of the 2 competitors’ offering. Focus on the aspects that appear to lead to an Opportunity for, or Threat to, your client.

 

4.2 Strategy and Value Proposition

 

Now that you have analysed your client’s business marketing mix, you are in a position to evaluate their strategic approach. To do this:

 

Current Strategy

What is their current strategy to achieve competitiveness?

Choose options from the Generic Strategies model in your analysis of how they attempt to achieve competitiveness. Companies often have a blend of the Generic Strategies. If so, this needs to be described. Is the blend that they have in place making them more competitive, or less?

 

In addition, please describe their competitiveness by filling out Kanter’s Core competencies.

 

Choose options from the Product/Market Decision model in your analysis of how they attempt to achieve growth. Companies often have a blend of the Product/Market Decisions. If so, this needs to be described. Is the blend that they have in place making them more competitive, or less?

 

Current Value Proposition What is their current VP?

Choose options from the Generic Value Propositions model and describe why you have chosen these.

Companies often have a blend of the Generic VPs. If so, this needs to be described. Is the blend that they have in place making them more competitive, or less?

 

 

Please provide a summary of the key aspects of the 2 competitors’ Strategy approach and Value Proposition.

 

Insights from the Marketing Mix and Strategy Analysis

 

Following your analysis of your client’s, and their competitors’, business marketing mix and strategic approach, what insights can you draw from this? Please describe this in terms of:

  • Opportunities for your client, and Threats to your client.
  • Your client’s Strengths and Weaknesses.

 

 

               

5. SWOT Summary (5%)

 

From your industry and customer analysis:

What are the top 3 Opportunities that you have identified?  What are the top 3 Threats that you have identified?

 

From your internal analysis:

What are the top 3 Strengths have you identified?

What are the top 3 Weaknesses have you identified?

 

Please clearly link the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to your analysis: how did you identify these insights?

 

6. Marketing Objectives and Strategy (5%)

 

Please pick one segment to develop your marketing plan for.

 

Present your proposed objectives (meeting the SMART criteria)

This need to be based on, and clearly linked to, the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats you have identified.

 

How should you client adjust their strategy to meet these objectives. When describing this, please refer to the models used in your analysis.

 

7. Implementation plans (30%)

 

How will you implement your strategy using a Business Marketing Mix?

 

Please use a Balanced Score Card approach to show your recommended changes to tactics and the associated changes to the organisation. (2 pages). When describing your changes, please refer to the models used in your analysis.

 

Please include your recommended changes to your client’s:

 

• • • •

Value Proposition

Kanter’s Competitiveness Elements

Network

Product and/or Service offering

Communications approach

• • • •

Supply Chain management

Distribution Channel management

Personal Sales Management approach

CRM Approach

Pricing offering

 

When describing your changes, please refer to the models used in your analysis.

 

Project Management

In your implementation plans, please include:

  • The proposed timeline showing the priority and order of actions (Gantt Chart).
  • A detailed financial budget.
  • Your recommendations for evaluating performance (benchmarks).

 

8. Conclusion (2.5%) (1/4 page)

Here you need to remind the reader of the reason for the report, what you have found in the analysis, your recommendations and why they will work.

 

  1. Report Writing and Quality (5%).

The information needs to be presented in a professional and business-like manner, using business language, clear headings and layout, good citations and referencing, and effective use of tables and diagrams.

 

Marking guide.

Please see the rubric in Canvas for the marking guide.

 

Group work: 

 

The default expectation is that each group member will obtain the same amount of marks. This is based on the assumption that everyone has contributed the same amount of effort. To manage this, a peer review of effort will be implemented, with detail available on Canvas. This will include an assessment of effort, signed off by group members, plus required supporting documentation should one or more group members disagree on contribution.