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The brief doesn’t ask for an introduction, though I can see the sense in including something.
If you want to include an introduction I would tend to keep it to a very few words along the lines of “following on from our prior meeting, please find following the information you asked me to provide”. Please note: you don’t have to use those exact words – in fact, it would be best if you didn’t – this is just a suggestion of the type of thing that would be suitable.
If the assignment doesn’t ask for something you will get no marks for writing about it, but it will use up word count. Therefore, any introduction should be kept as short as possible, as shown above.
The percentages below do not add up to 100 due to rounding. They are for guidance only.
Q1: Explaining and applying STP to CS
About 600 words, about 25% of the marks available
You need to explain to CS what STP means, and how Days-Weeks can use this marketing approach to their benefit. You aren’t expected to complete a full STP strategy (that would be impossible in 2,400 words!) but you are required to explain how they could use STP.
Take as your starting point that CS is a complete beginner when it comes to marketing (as she says in the brief) and that she has no understanding of STP, what it means, or what it involves.
With that in mind, you will need to define each of the three terms (segmentation, targeting, positioning) as you go. I would suggest doing this by giving a couple of referenced definitions from published sources, and then saying how YOU define it – your definition should be aimed at an idiot (which is what CS is … but she’s also your boss, so be careful how you write to her – nobody wants to be told they’re an idiot, especially by someone who reports to them!)
You will need to point out to CS that they would need to first decide on an appropriate segmentation approach (asking yourself which you think would be best for them: demographics, psychographics, or behavioural segmentation, and justifying this with referenced research)
Next you would say how they could decide which segment(s) they should target (maybe by undertaking market research or from database analysis – you’ll need to consider how you would decide which is the best approach for Days-Weeks to use).
Finally, you would say how you would position the company and its services in the minds of the consumer, explaining the benefits of doing this properly.
Remember, you MUST use good quality academic references throughout to support your report in this section. Academic journals and textbooks are the best sources, but don’t stick to just one source too much. Don’t just rely on what is in the lecture slides: you need to give us referenced evidence of extensive reading to gain a good pass.
Q2: Discuss the role of branding in any company’s marketing strategy.
About 500 words, about 20% of the marks available
A gift of a question because it says “… in any company’s marketing strategy”. That means:
You can apply it to Days-Weeks if you want
You can apply it to another named company if you want
You can approach it as a general question and apply it to companies in general if you want
I would start off with two (referenced) published definitions (to show you have read – and not just one source, so don’t just give us the definitions that are in the lecture slides. READ!) and then I would critique these (say what is good and bad about them) and follow that with my own definition of branding.
Next, I would tend to think about the question from the following angles:
Looking from the company’s point of view
Looking from the buyer/consumer’s point of view
In each case, you should write about what benefits each of the above gain because of the use of branding.
Remember, you MUST use good quality academic references throughout to support your report in this section. Academic journals and textbooks are the best sources, but don’t stick to just one source too much. Don’t just rely on what is in the lecture slides: you need to give us referenced evidence of extensive reading to gain a good pass.
Q3: The differences between marketing services and products
About 250 words, about 10% of the marks available
This is a short section so you will have to keep things brief.
As above, start with published definitions of what a service is, and of what a product is. Critique the definitions and end the start of this question with your own definition of each.
Pick out the key differences between marketing of products and marketing a service, from a financial services point of view. Days-Weeks is in the business of marketing Financial Services, so that is the angle CS will be most interested in: she may be interested in what Apple does, but that’s not going to help her grow her company, whereas knowing what financial services companies like hers can do will.
End this section by pointing out what you see as being the key implications for Days-Weeks, and what the company has to do to ensure their marketing is related to a service (financial services specifically) rather than a product.
Remember, you MUST use good quality academic references throughout to support your report in this section. Academic journals and textbooks are the best sources, but don’t stick to just one source too much. Don’t just rely on what is in the lecture slides: you need to give us referenced evidence of extensive reading to gain a good pass.
Question 4; Ansoff’s matrix
About 800 words, about 33% of the marks available
This section is worth a third of the marks, so you are expected to write about 800 words on it.
You are expected to start by giving a general overview of Ansoff’s Matrix (what it is used for, what the different quadrants mean, the different strategies Ansoff suggests for each quadrant). The question says you should be “emphasising and justifying why you feel Market Development to be the best for you”, so you should place the most emphasis on that area.
You are expected to say how you would apply the model to the situation Days-Weeks finds itself in. So, don’t just show me the Matrix (though DO show the matrix!) and explain it in theory, say:
What new methods of segmentation you are suggesting they use (or how they would identify appropriate segments)
What new distribution channels they could use (or why you feel this is not relevant if that’s the case – remember models are like templates; they are NOT carved in stone, but are there for adapting to the needs of the organisation as a starting point)
Which geographic areas they should approach (if you feel this is appropriate)
Any other STRATEGIC approaches you feel would be appropriate for Days-Weeks in adopting a Market Development strategy.
If you are not sure of the differences between objectives, strategies, and tactics, you can look them up in chapter two of the core course textbook, and/or in the lecture for week 04. I’d especially recommend looking at the Muhammed Ali/George Foreman analogy (which was also the topic of week five’s tutorial) to help clear up any confusion in this area – you need strategies here, not tactics.
It would be sensible to list about five or six pros and cons of a market development strategy in the case of Days-Weeks specifically – again, don’t just tell me the pros and cons as theory.
Remember, you MUST use good quality academic references throughout to support your report in this section. Academic journals and textbooks are the best sources, but don’t stick to just one source too much. Don’t just rely on what is in the lecture slides: you need to give us referenced evidence of extensive reading to gain a good pass.
 
Executive summary
About 250 words, about 10% of the marks available
This is an important part of any report, and it is something that many students handle very poorly. So, what is an executive summary, and how do you write one?
What is an executive summary?
Let’s start off by saying what the executive summary (ES) is NOT:
It’s NOT a summary of the task you’ve been set. The person who set it knows that already so there’s no need to tell them that.
It’s NOT a summary of the way you went about researching and writing the report. That will become clear to the reader as they go through your report, and anyway, there’s a certain degree of trust in that matter (you wouldn’t have been asked to write the report if the person asking didn’t trust you).
When you are asked to write a report, the person asking has identified a gap in their knowledge and they have realised that they need to fil that gap. They may do that by asking someone to write them a report on the subject. The problem is that they probably get a lot of reports across their desk, so they don’t have time to read every page of every report: instead, they need what’s known as an executive summary on each report, and they read that.
An executive summary summarises the whole report. It should make sense if it is read on its own, without the need to read anything else in the report. Its function is to fill the identified gap in the knowledge of the person who asked for the report. In other words, it tells the reader:
What you have found out that they don’t know
What they need to do now to further the business (or solve the identified problem)
What is the best (ie quickest, most effective) way to write one?
Even though it goes at the very start of the report, by its very nature the ES must be the last thing you write – you can’t summarise what you haven’t yet written! The best way to write one that I have ever found is like this:
Write the rest of the report.
Put it away for at least 48 hours, during which time you don’t even look at it (though you can think about it if you want!) After 48 hours have passed, you will proof read the document – 48 hours is the shortest time I’ve found to “give me fresh eyes” and let me see the mistakes I’d miss if I tried it before then.
Open the report on one side of your computer screen and have a blank word processor document on the other side of the screen. Proof-read the open report and, as you go, ask yourself “does the boss need to know the contents of this section immediately – is it core to the problem s/he identified?”
■ If it is, summarise the section in as few words as you can on the new document
■ If it isn’t, keep proof reading
When you’ve finished proofing the report, you’ll also have finished writing the ES. Copy and paste it to the front of your report, and make sure it is within the word count allowed for the executive summary.
By reading that one section alone, the boss should know both what you are recommending and what s/he needs to tell other people/departments to do to make the magic you are outlining happen. If s/he can, it’s a good executive summary. If s/he can’t, it isn’t.

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