Principle Marketing

WEEK 3

Assignment:

Target customers and how to reach them deliverable 

From your reading, research, and any insights from the discussion, you are to create a new 3 PG deliverable exploring the target customers and the best way to sell to them as well as a list of potential enhancements to your previous vision statement. (Don’t enhance your vision statement now. Rather, produce a set of potential enhancements and let them accumulate. You will consider all of them and refine your vision your vision during the final module.)

a. Your goal with this week’s deliverable is to characterize the customer, what is prompting them to action, the process you believe they will employ to evaluate potential solutions including the purchase and use of your solution. 

b. You must describe the major characteristics of your customers (e.g. are your customers individuals or business), the reasons supporting this selection, and your recommendation of the best way to reach and support them throughout at least the purchase, deployment, and initial operational phases of the product usage life cycle. What influences their buying decisions and what can you do to help them make better and more informed decisions? (E.g. Management has made it clear that satisfied customers and their willingness to buy again and recommend the product or service to others are key measures of success your employer will use.) 

c. For this deliverable, you are expected to explain how you will gather and use key data to assist you produce appropriate sales aids as well as purchase and usage products and services, such as purchase evaluation and selection tools, adoption tools and services, roll-out and initial use planning, assistance, and support tools and services. Not all products and services require or benefit from such tools and services. Experience has shown, however, that products that significantly change work flows or require the use of new knowledge or skills typically benefit from adoption and usage support (e.g. training and skill development.) There is a great deal of shelfware cluttering offices around the world and that is not your employer’s vision or goal for this program.

WEEK 4

Assignment:

Enhanced target customers and how to reach them deliverable

In this week’s virtual marketing team meeting, a suggestion for producing this week’s deliverable was discussed. You came away happy that you were taking notes. You were advised to identify the critical points that you need to make for this deliverable first, prioritize them, and then preform a thorough a review of the previous deliverable, the feedback you were provided, and select the topics and material that is no longer as important or relevant given these new requirements and insights. Determine where the new material logically fits into the flow of your previous submission and iteratively refine the content ensuring the high-priority items are explained well and are adequately supported by references.

a. What process elements do you believe are critical to ensure your organization understands the target market and its needs today and remains knowledgeable and informed about trends as your business grows and technology and market forces change the market? Are there specific tools (e.g. CRM, big data tools) that should be part of your firm’s toolkit? If so, explain what value they bring, how they fit into your process, and way they are worth the investment of time, money, and mind share during the critical startup phase.

b. You also heard that your ability to justify your targeting and segmenting was going to be valued highly, so you need to be sure that you understand and can properly apply the segmenting lessons learned from your reading and any research you may have performed. Historically, how has segmenting been used to address individual and business customers? Are there new trends that might change the way you might use segmenting?

c. It is also clear that those evaluating your work have a bias toward the use of data in marketing, selling, and product development activities. You need to convince your readers that you have truly considered the relevant market research options (e.g. big data), have evaluated each, and have come to a well-reasoned and defendable conclusion.

Finally, list any issues or specific changes you now believe need to be made to your vision based on the insights you have gained from this week’s activities. This deliverable should be consistent with the others you have produced and should be 3 pages in length.

WEEK 5

Assignment:

The product, the product line, and the life cycle deliverable 

This important deliverable further develops the nature of the business over time by addressing the following items. 

a. Would a product, a service, or maybe some sort of combination better serve the customers’ needs? What options are there and provide a defendable rationale for your choice, making it clear that you considered the other options.

b. Is the future of the firm a product line or set of product lines or is the future a collection of products that don’t fit into the product line concept? Describe and provide a rationale. 

c. What aspects of the “whole product” concept, including branding and packaging, are and are not relevant, and why?

d. From what you have learned, what is your plan to stay ahead of your competition and keep your business relevant and healthy?

e. As the business grows, what changes in roles, processes, life cycles, and products do you see being needed and why? Support your position with references from your reading and any research you may have done.

Are there any potential changes to your vision based on any new insights from this week’s work? If so, be sure to capture them so you can address them at the end of the course.

This deliverable should be consistent in style and format with the others you have produced and should be 3 pages in length.

WEEK 6

Assignment:

The supply chain deliverable 

This document requires you to compare and contrast the business you are imagining with some other existing business that you know and believe will end up having similar supply chain issues as yours, even if the actual product and market space is totally different. Your goal is to use a concrete example to help you reason about a number of issues that are new to you, but are also critical.

a. Identify the company or organization that you believe has supply chain and distribution issues that are likely to be similar enough to those that you believe it should serve as a model. Given what you have read and the research you have performed, why do you believe this firm is a good match?

b. What are the key processes at the heart of the supply management segment of the business, how are they similar, and why do you believe these processes will be crucial to your business’ success as you start up, grow, and mature as a business? Be sure to address the various options for selling (e.g. direct as in retailing or indirect via other distribution channels.)

c. What do you believe are the new and important trends in supply chain and customer relationship management that you believe your model business has done right and why do you believe these aspects are similarly important to your new business?

d. How does your model organization deliver product and/or service to it’s customers and deal with the up, downs, and changes in the technology, the consumers, and the marketplace? What lessons have you learned and how did they influence your vision?

e. At some point, someone has to sell something to the actual consumer. How would you ensure that those individuals, whether they be your employees or those of some distributor, partner, or franchisee, provide the kind of pre-sale, sales, and post-sales experience you believe is important for your current and long-term success? How does your model firm do it?  Are their any examples of anyone doing significantly better? If so why do you believe it?

Are there any potential changes to your vision based on any new insights from this week’s work? If so, be sure to capture them so you can address them at the end of the course.

As with the previous, this deliverable should be consistent in style and format with the others you have produced and should be 3 pages in length.

WEEK 7

Assignment:

Proposed marketing plan deliverable

Now that your vision for many of the key aspects of your business is coming clear, it is time to develop your firms approach and key processes to ensure it will it hit mark with its first offering, continue to deliver significant and growing value moving forward, and remain the supplier of choice in a highly-competitive world. As soon as you become successful, others will notice you. The greater your success the more others will choose to compete in an effort to claim a piece of this growing opportunity. If your vision is to lead, how will you use the tools at your disposal to remain a market leader? If your vision is to follow, how will you ensure that there are distinctive benefits that warrant customers selecting your firm’s offerings over those of the market leader?

This deliverable requires you to find a relevant marketing plan template and use it to create this plan. Many good sources do not require you to create an account or pay money to see and benefit from their insights. Similarly, many marketing plan templates suggest that you need to provide all of the elements of a business plan. Clearly, business plan information is critical, but you only need to focus on the marketing aspect for this deliverable; you already have produced many of the key elements of a business plan in the prior deliverables, so do not duplicate it here.

a. How will your firm go about establishing actionable insights and developing a deep understanding of the needs of those who could benefit from what your firm will produce? How will your firm appreciate the changes the end customer and/or their firm must implement in order to truly benefit from your firm’s offerings? How will your firm understand the trends that might influence the concepts that drive the whole product that should be produced and help your firm prioritize work on the whole product, resolving issues with element of current products, and prepare for and work on future product?

b. What is the right mix of communication, advertising, promotion, and information gathering goals, methods, and processes, and how might they change as your firm goes from startup to a single product firm with no legacy products or services, to a more mature firm with an array of products and services at various stages in their life cycle? Does it make sense to provide self-assessment and performance improvement support materials as part of the advertising and promotional support in order to help improve the probability that the ultimate consumers will be successful using the products and services and realize the envisioned benefits? Are there cases where aspects of self-assessment, education, training, and practice support should be thought of as communication, advertising, and promotion as opposed to salable products and services?

c. Are there likely to be changes in the nature of the relationship between the firm and its customers as the business matures? If so, what might these changes be, why will they develop, and how should the firm prepare for them, should the firm be proactive to help shape these changes? If not, what is it about your product or service that makes you believe that the needs and requirements of more knowledgeable and sophisticated customers are the similar to those of first time buyers? Is such proactive manipulation of customers ethical?

Consider these questions and how you would answer them in the context of a market plan designed to convince your reader that the investment in realizing this marketing plan is a crucial aspect of making your firm successful. 

Are there any potential changes to your vision based on any new insights from this week’s work? If so, be sure to capture them so you can address them at the end of the course.

This deliverable should be consistent in style and format with the others you have produced and should be 3 pages in length.

WEEK 8

Assignment:

Signature Assignment Title: Module 8 Signature Assignment

Assignment Description/Directions:

Tactical and strategic revenue generation deliverable 

The final new addition to your work is a focus on how your proposed firm will initially make money and then continue to do so over time in the face of so many unknowns. At the heart of this deliverable, you need to be sure to address the following:

a. What are the potential sales strategies that could be employed and how would their approach and process into your business vision?  What factors and aspects are most important for your business goals and why?

b. New technology in the creation, development, sales, delivery, deployment, usage, and sustainment can disrupt even the best-laid plans. What management processes are needed to make sure that such disruptions are good as opposed to bad new for your firm?

c. What are the key pricing and selling strategies that you might initially use and why? How might they change over time and what would force this change? What factors would drive the selection and change of these strategies and given what you know today which would you initially employ and why? (One must be aware of legal and ethical issues that could be issues if they not careful considered and the implementation not done most carefully.)

d. As your business grows are there changes that must be considered and why?

Are there any potential changes to your vision based on any new insights from this week’s work? If so, be sure to capture them so you can address them at the end of the course.

This deliverable should be 3 pages in length.