In this project, your client has tasked your team with creating a marketing plan with the goal of increasing sales to other businesses in the United States. This project has been broken down into several smaller tasks in the steps below:
Step 1: Prepare for Group Work Step 2: Review Information on Business-to-Business (B2B) Marketing Step 3: Understand the Components of a Marketing Plan and Research Guidelines Step 4: Prepare a Situation Analysis Report Step 5: Conduct an Environmental Scan Step 6: Research and Analyze the Company’s US Market Step 7: Develop Marketing Objectives Step 8: Conduct a Segmenting and Targeting of the US Market and Product Positioning (STP) Step 9: Develop a Marketing Strategy Step 10: Complete Financial Analysis and Implementation, Controls, and Contingency Plan Step 11: Complete and Submit Your Marketing Plan Step 12: Complete Skills Gap Analysis Step 13: Submit Your Work
Each task will help you create one piece of a complete marketing plan. You will have three weeks, so you should complete the 13 steps of this project by the end of Week 10. If you have any questions, please ask your instructor.
During this project, please submit your individual contribution to the team effort for the instructor to see. Lack of participation on this project as defined in your team agreement may affect your grade.
Your work will be evaluated using the competencies listed below.
· 1.1: Organize document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding and meets the requirements of the assignment.
· 1.3: Provide sufficient, correctly cited support that substantiates the writer’s ideas.
· 1.6: Follow conventions of Standard Written English.
· 2.1: Identify and clearly explain the issue, question, or problem under critical consideration.
· 2.2: Locate and access sufficient information to investigate the issue or problem.
· 3.1: Identify numerical or mathematical information that is relevant in a problem or situation.
· 4.3: Contribute to team projects, assignments, or organizational goals as an engaged member of a team.
· 4.4: Demonstrate diversity and inclusiveness in a team setting.
· 6.1: Identify the general (external) environment in which an organization operates and discuss the implications for enterprise success.
· 6.2: Evaluate strategic implications for domestic and international markets of an organization’s industry.
· 6.3: Analyze an organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses for strategic value.
· 6.4: Develop and recommend strategies for an organization’s sustainable competitive advantage.
· 10.5: Develop operating forecasts and budgets and apply managerial accounting techniques to support strategic decisions.
· 12.1: Assess market risk and opportunity.
· 12.2: Analyze marketing information.
· 12.3: Prepare marketing plan for a new product/service.
· 13.1: Identify and analyze new opportunities.
· 13.2: Create and implement new initiative or enterprise.
Step 1: Prepare for Group Work
The business-development team has convened, and you begin working with a talented group of colleagues. To efficiently and effectively address the task at hand, you first need to complete the team agreement and project work plan. This is especially important because your business-development team is a new group of specialists that has never before worked together, and the members are living and working in different geographic locations with different time zones.
Step 2: Review Information on Business-to-Business (B2B) Marketing
As You Get Started
Jillian Best catches you in the hallway:
“Listen, before I send you the case file on our new client, I want to make sure you have a thorough understanding of the business-to-business relationships that will be at the core of the marketing plan you will be contributing to. Look for an email from me this afternoon.”
INBOX: 1 New Message
Subject: Case Primer for Marketing Plan From: Jillian Best, CEO, MCS To: You As you have learned through your work with MCS clients, marketing is one of the most important functional areas in business. As you get oriented with the realities of business-to-business (B2B) marketing, I’d like you to do some more reading on two main elements: (1) business buying behavior, and (2) strategic alliances.
Business buying behavior relates to how business customers and their suppliers explore different avenues to manage relationships and enhance efficiency and effectiveness. Fostering the right relationship with businesses is crucial for any holistic marketing plan. B2B relationships are affected by supply, complexity of supply, availability of alternatives, and supply-market dynamism.
In addition, our new client may consider forming strategic alliances to expand its US operations. The twenty-first century has seen an increased use of long-term global strategic alliances among both producers and distribution companies. Organizations form these alliances in an effort to secure commercial advantage and eliminate waste from their distribution channels. They can be crucial to success.
Please review the information linked above before going any further. This is a big client and a tremendous opportunity for MCS. Let me know if any questions arise as you get oriented with your team.
Now that you have read the introduction to B2B marketing, continue to the next step, where you will learn about the components of a marketing plan.
Step 3: Understand the Components of a Marketing Plan and Research Guidelines
The team’s marketing knowledge and data acquisition skills are crucial to the success of this project. Your team will collect and analyze the information necessary to develop a marketing plan for expanding the company’s operations within the United States.
Your final marketing plan will ultimately include a situation analysis, analyses of the client’s market, strategy, and financing, and an outline describing the measures to implement the plan. Use this marketing plan template to help you create your marketing plan.
To carry out this assignment, your marketing team needs to understand the client’s customers, how to acquire market knowledge (through primary and secondary research), and how to turn that knowledge into offerings that are needed and wanted by a group of customers. You must also be able to invent market offerings that not only create value for the customer, but also create profitability for the client in a socially responsible and ethical way.
As you will recall from the previous projects, there are two types of market research: primary and secondary research. Both types of research are necessary when creating a marketing plan. As you conduct research for your marketing plan, use the school Library’s Research Guides, specifically (1) Business and Management and (2) Marketing. Consult these two research guides and find articles that will help you complete your assignments. It is easier if you conduct a separate search for each section of your marketing plan. Also, use databases, such as Hoover’s and ABI/INFORM to research the client company and its industry.
Now that you understand the components of a marketing plan, continue to the next step, where your team will learn more details about your client and its industry.
Marketing Plan Template
1. Executive summary
2. Situation analysis
2.2 Product or service description
2.3 Value proposition
2.4 Internal environment scan (SWOT analysis)
2.5 External environment scan (PESTEL & Porter’s five forces analyses)
2.6 Critical issues
3. Market analysis
3.1 Marketing research
3.2 Market size and growth
3.3 Market trends
3.4 Customer analysis (including needs analysis)
4. Strategic analysis
4.1 Marketing objectives (including financial objectives)
4.2 Market segments
4.3 Target market
4.4 Positioning strategy
4.5 Product and branding strategy
4.6 Pricing strategy
4.7 Distribution and supply chain strategy
4.8 Integrated marketing communications strategy
5. Financial analysis
5.1 Breakeven analysis
5.2 Sales forecast
5.3 Expense forecast
6. Implementation, controls, and contingency plan
6.3 Contingency plans
Step 4: Prepare a Situation Analysis Report
Chapters 1, 3, & 14
Lancaster, G., & Massingham, L. (2018). Essentials of marketing management (2nd ed.). Routledge
INBOX: 1 New Message
Subject: Company Case File & Questions to Consider From: Jillian Best, CEO, MCS To: Team Hi again. I wanted to provide you with the company case file and some pertinent questions for you to consider while you work on your B2B marketing plan.
As part of the preparation necessary to complete your business-to-business marketing plan, you and your team will need to do in-depth research on your client’s company, including its operations, global reach, and range of offerings.
I need you to produce a situation analysis report explaining your team’s findings on the company. Be sure to include a value proposition , essentially the promise that is made to the customer, explaining the reason a customer purchases a product or uses a service (i.e., the value that a company delivers to its customers).
Start by reading the attached case file and be sure to consider the following questions while you do additional research:
· Where is the company headquartered?
· What are the company’s major products and/or services?
· What is the company’s annual revenue in dollars, and what is its annual production in units?
· Does the company own its own facilities, or does it subcontract manufacturing to others?
· Who are the company’s major suppliers of raw materials or parts, and where are they located?
· What is the distribution of the company’s workforce by country?
· How does the company differentiate its offering in its highly competitive markets?
· Does the company have exclusive marketing or distribution agreements or partnerships?
· Who are the company’s major global and US customers?
· What benefits does the company offer to its customers?
· Who are the company’s major global and US competitors?
Write a four-page document detailing the main findings of your research about your client, including its mission and vision statement. Submit your document to your team’s study group.
That’s it for now, Jillian
Canadian Solar Inc.
Headquarters Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Annual revenue: US$3.39 billion in 2017
Number of employees: 12,129
Product line: Manufacturer of solar modules that are used in residential, commercial, and industrial solar power generation systems
Competitors: First Solar, JinkoSolar, SunPower
Barron’s. (n.d.). Canadian Solar Inc. Retrieved from https://www.barrons.com/quote/stock/us/xnas/csiq/company-people
Nasdaq. (n.d.). Canadian Solar Inc. Common Shares (CSIQ) Quote & Summary Data. Retrieved from https://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/csiq
The Wall Street Journal. (n.d.). Quotes and Companies: CanadianSolar. Retrieved from https://quotes.wsj.com/CSIQ
In the next step, you will complete your situation analysis by conducting an environmental scan that takes a comprehensive look at the many factors that you need to consider, exploit, or defend against in your marketing plan. This situation analysis will be incorporated into your B2B marketing plan later in this project, along with deliverables from the upcoming steps.
Step 5: Conduct an Environmental Scan
As a member of the business development team for this project, you use quantitative and qualitative market information to make important decisions and set the direction of the marketing plan. As you continue to work on your situation analysis report, your team will use the following tools to conduct an environmental scan, the foundation on which a solid marketing plan is built.
Tools for Environmental Scan
Company-Specific Analysis (internal)
· SWOT analysis—A SWOT analysis is a planning and brainstorming tool that helps a company evaluate its projects and formulate its business plans. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You will use this tool to identify and analyze the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses as well as its external opportunities and threats. The results of this analysis may help the company improve its business or forecast how a new product or service will perform (Harmon, 2016).
Industry, Market, and Customer Analysis (external)
· PESTEL analysis—A PESTEL analysis (sometimes called PEST analysis) enables the company to identify, analyze, and monitor the political, economic, social, technological, legal (including regulatory), and environmental factors that may affect its operations (Frue, 2017).
· Porter’s five forces analysis—Porter’s five forces analysis is a framework that can help the company understand the competitive forces at play in its industry. These forces may influence how economic value is divided among the company’s competitors in the industry (Porter, 2008).
Frue, K. (2017). Why do PEST analysis for your business? Retrieved from http://pestleanalysis.com/
Harmon, A. (2016). SWOT analysis. Salem Press Encyclopedia [online]. Retrieved from Research Starters, Ipswich, MA.
Porter, M. E. (2008). The five competitive forces that shape strategy. Harvard Business Review, 86(1), 78–93.
Research your industry and its market trends in the United States and identify market opportunities, threats, and the company’s major global competition. Then conduct the SWOT, PESTEL, and Porter’s five forces analyses on your client’s company. These tools should allow you to analyze the company’s internal environment, customers, and macro-environment (external environment), and to answer the following questions in your situation analysis report:
· Which elements have the biggest impact on the company’s success?
· What factors affect the company’s customers (other businesses)?
Deliverable: Your final situation analysis should include a four-page overview of your research findings and a ten-page review of your environmental scan. The completed situation analysis report should be 14 pages, excluding cover page, the reference list, and appendices. Any tables, graphs, and figures should be included as appendices. Your report should have one-inch margins and be double spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font. The report should be organized using headings and subheadings to improve its readability.
Support your work with scholarly sources and reliable non scholarly sources such as Reuters, Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, Barrons.com, Morningstar.com, Money, Forbes, Fortune, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review, as well as the school Library databases such as Hoover’s and ABI/INFORM. All sources need to be cited using APA formatting, both within the text and in the reference list.
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Final situation analysis teamname_finalsituation_analysis.docx