An underlying assumption of the introduction to marketing course is that students learn best and retain more when they actively apply and work with the concepts presented in the course materials rather than simply read about them. Therefore, the purpose of this assignment is to apply concepts and knowledge learned in class to real situations to enhance your understanding.
A marketing environment analysis is an examination of the major external forces and trends that have impacted or may impact a market and thus present opportunities and threats for marketers. It involves an assessment of the key components of a company’s task (micro) environment and macroenvironment (please see Chapter 3). This information is necessary input into the development of a strategic plan for companies who are involved or plan to become involved in the industry.
Your short paper should contain the following two parts.
Examine the current market micro and macro environmental situation for an industry of your choice (for example, please see the list on page. 5). That is, explore the market, customer, competitive, distribution, demographic, economic, ecological, technological, political/legal, and cultural situations for the industry with particular emphasis on those changing environmental factors that may provide opportunities and threats for companies in the industry (see Chapter 3 for more details; This is primarily sections II and III below).
Demonstrate your understanding of core marketing concepts we learned in this class that you have not incorporated into Part 1. A partial list of the concepts that should be addressed is provided below (Section IV). You are not limited to this list. Examples, both real (preferable) and conjectural (i.e., things that you think are likely), should be provided to demonstrate your understanding. Most of these concepts should be addressed in your industry analysis (i.e., Part 1). You do not need to repeat any of the core concepts that are covered in Part 1.
While all parts of this project are important, the demonstration of your understanding and ability to use core marketing concepts is very important. Regardless of the section (Part 1 or Part 2) in which you discuss the core concepts, please use bold type to highlight the concepts.
Please note that this assignment will be completed individually. Your written report should conform (more or less) to the format listed below. The body of the analysis should not exceed six-seven double-spaced typed (12-point type) pages. However, extensive use of appendices (such as charts, tables, industry-related ads etc.) is acceptable. The page count begins with the “Task (micro) Environment Description” (point II. in the format given below) and not with the summary or table of contents. Each item in the appendix must be individually referenced in the body. References (i.e., sources of information) must be cited in the main text (include author’s name, year) and listed in a reference section (section VI).
As with all written assignments, your analysis will be evaluated on its professional appearance, readability, and apparent effort, as well as on its content.
Cover Page (Your Name, Your Industry)
Table of Contents
This is a summary of the key points found in the marketing environment analysis.
II. Task (micro) Environment Description
This section addresses the competitive conditions of firms doing business for the product category. The questions provided are examples of the items that should be covered; they are not exhaustive.
What is the current market size, the growth potential for the immediate future (next five years), and geographical distribution in this product category?
What buying behavior patterns impact this product category? How is the market segmented and what are the most effective vehicles to reach the segments? How do consumers rate the competitors on reputation, product quality, service, sales force, price, etc.?
Who are the major competitors? Describe them in terms of their size, market share, product positioning strategies, or any other characteristics that are appropriate to understanding competitive intentions and behavior. What trends will affect future competition and substitutes for this product?
What are the different ways that products in this category are distributed and promoted? Are there any potential changes in the importance of the varying distribution and promotional approaches?
III. Macroenvironment Description
This section describes broad macroenvironmental trends. It concerns the demographic, economic, ecological, technological, political/legal, and cultural factors which are of relevance to an understanding of the market.
What major demographic developments and trends pose opportunities or threats to firms doing business in this product category?
What major macroeconomic (national, international) developments in income, prices, savings, and credit may affect firms doing business in this product category?
What is the outlook for the cost and availability of natural resources and energy needed by firms doing business in this product category? What environmental legislation or negative publicity is of issue?
What major technological changes are occurring that would affect business in this product category?
What laws or regulations are being considered that could affect marketing strategy and tactics?
What broad cultural or subcultural patterns affect the public’s attitude towards the firms and/or products of the firms doing business in this product category?
IV. Additional Application of Core Marketing Concepts
This section should address (if not addressed above), but not be limited to the following concepts. You are encouraged to explore how any other concept from the text or class discussions applies (or could be applied) to your industry. You are encouraged to document your discussion with real-life examples, as well as such things as product advertisements that demonstrate application of the concepts. You may also provide creative examples.
Core Concepts (examples—i.e., partial list)
- Consumer Needs and Wants
- Customer satisfaction
- Differentiated, Undifferentiated, and Concentrated Marketing
- Competitive advantage and differentiation strategies
Reference Group Influence/Appeals
Total Product Concept
Product Line and Mix decisions
Product Life Cycle
Distribution Channel Functions
Vertical Marketing Systems
Advertising/Sales Promotion/and Public Relations Strategy and Approaches
Global Product/Promotion Strategies
–e.g., Charts, Graphs, Tables Perceptual Maps, Advertisements that illustrate concepts, etc.
VI. References (APA or MLA styles preferred)
You may use scholarly articles, industry sources, popular press, the Internet, as well as personal interviews as sources of information. In fact, it is expected that you will use most of these sources. Further, examplesfrom industry-related advertising, popular press articles, and personal experience should be used to demonstrate your understanding. Do not rely solely on Internet searches (Google is not a substitute for the library).
BE SURE ALL SOURCES OF INFORMATION ARE APPROPRIATELY REFERENCED IN THE BODY OF YOUR REPORT AND LISTED IN THE REFERENCE SECTION.
Submission: Submit your paper online on Canvas by the deadline indicated in the course syllabus. Please note that late assignment will be subject to point deduction.
List of Industries (you are not limited to one of the industries on this list)
Beverage (e.g., beer, soft drinks)
Telecommunications (e.g., AT&T, Verizon)
Consumer Electronics (e.g., computer, smart phones)