Please view the pic for the instructions and the reading needed to complete the paperNO PLAGIARISM FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS CLOSELY TEXTBOOK REFERNCE ONLYIacobucci, D. (2015). Marketing Management. (5th Ed.). Stamford, CT. Cengage. If you purchase and older edition, it is fine.
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HOW TO PREP A CASE
Why cases? Cases are used all over business schools. The idea behind cases is that you will sort
of temporarily work for the company that is featured, and you will get to practice at playing
Chief Marketing Officer or Chief Executive Officer. The cases tell a scenario based on some
real life marketing situation. Cases begin by describing the company and industry and then some
dilemma is posed that you are supposed to address (and often, figuring out what the dilemma is,
is part of the problem). You will complete cases in classes and they are a good way to introduce
you to some of the scenarios that businesses encounter every day. In the course, you are provided
with an opportunity to practice in a simulated managerial decision setting, without there being
terribly serious real world ramifications.
How to proceed? First, read the case like you were taught to read your texts—that is, first skim
it, looking at the opening paragraph or two, the section headers, peruse the exhibits (tables and
figures at the end), to gain an overall understanding. The exhibits will usually fall into one of
three categories: background (“What a yawn”), some key depictions (“Isn’t that cool!”), and
some in between (“What am I supposed to make of this?”). And again, part of your job will be
figuring out what is what. For example, for marketing classes, the first tables in a case often
contain financial data as “background” information—to give you a sense of how the company
seems to be doing. Check to see whether the numbers are moving steadily over time, or are
dropping precipitously somewhere, are the numbers proportionate over segments, etc., depending
on how the numbers are presented.
At this point, some very rough, very fuzzy questions are probably forming in your head. Some
marketing professors suggest that you begin taking notes, e.g., by writing down your questions
even at this perusal stage. That would be great, but I have been teaching long enough to know
that this suggestion will fall on deaf ears. Besides, it’s quite conceivable that you can barely
articulate your questions at this point.
Use the marketing framework!! Now, start to read the case more carefully. If you use our
familiar marketing framework—5Cs (customer, company, context, collaborators, and
STP (segmentation, targeting, and positioning),
5Ps (product, price, promotion, place (distribution) and people,
It will help you think systemically. In turn, the marketing framework you have learned from this
course will help you identify the problem and potential solutions more readily.
To Case Analysis
Step 1 is a “Situation Analysis”—in layperson’s terms, that means, “What’s going on
here?” The situation is analyzed primarily through the 5Cs. You’ll describe your company, your
current customer base, the actions of the competition, your collaborations, and the industry
context as the setting in which all this business action occurs. Let’s break that down a bit… You
can’t do a good marketing case analysis without identifying the customer and company Cs—
they’re central to the marketplace exchange—how we define marketing. Your competition might
well be doing something in the case that is setting up the central problem. If not, then
competition might be something you only thing about toward the end of the case, after you
identify the problem, and suggest your solution(s), you’ll want to consider which competitors
might respond to your actions, how they’ll respond, how you’ll re-respond, etc. Similarly, in
many cases, except those that focus on distribution channels, your collaborators might not play a
key role in some cases—when that is true, mention them to show you have considered them and
then dismiss it as a nonissue if that is true. Finally, the context is often a driving force
underlying these cases, e.g., something is changing in the business or economic environment,
more e-commerce, more global initiatives bringing more legal entanglements, more green
requests of consumers hence a need to address these issues, etc. The identification of the
relevant contextual trends and their impacts will probably be something you’ll need to
incorporate in most case analyses.
In Step 2, you’ll identify the case problem. Often several problems may be
identified in a case. Then you’ll have to prioritize—which is the central issue and which are
relatively peripheral (but perhaps bear on the central issue, or will help shape your
recommendations). If you’re not certain what the central problem is, that’s okay—write down
all the problems you see in a ‘laundry list’ and priorities will sort out as you proceed.
For marketing cases, start with STP. The key goal for marketers is to keep their customers
coming back—repeat purchase and/or upgraded purchases and/or word-of-mouth, etc. So, who
are those customers and just what do they want? Are you delivering better quality (or value or
service) or are your competitors doing so? Have you chosen the ideal segment(s) to serve,
according to your company’s strengths? These last couple of questions imply the next great tool
for problem identification is a SWOT analysis (c’mon, you know the acronym!).
Step 3 is to propose solutions to your central problem (and if you and time and space, to
the peripheral problems also). Here too, it’s okay to begin with a collection of random thoughts,
but you are going to want to work toward a more impressive statement of not only “Here’s what
the company should do,” but also a defense of “…and here’s why…” Thus, you’ll be generating
solutions but you will also need to decide the criteria along which you’ll judge the proposals.
For consistency, these criteria should be tied to the problems you have identified; e.g., if you’re
concerned about losing market share, one criterion should be, “Will this proposal enhance
market share.” One tip—if you can, try to whittle down your “possible solutions” to two.
Having just two options often helps—it keeps things clear for you, keeps things succinct when
you have to write up a case analysis for your professor, keeps the conversations tighter when you
are being interviewed, presenting to a board, and so on.
When you express your ideal solution and your supportive logic, you’re ready to flesh out the
positioning via the 5Ps. The main ‘heads-up’ here: make sure your Ps are consistent with each
other and with the goals you have just set (the solution and criteria in the previous step). To
gauge consistency, consider the position matrix
Another tip—when you can, support your recommendations with some numbers (e.g., a breakeven, an estimate at LTCV, something). It will really impress your professor! This is harder to
do in an interview—you don’t have the time to crunch numbers. But even then, you can keep at
least a rough mental accounting of “profit = money coming in – money going out”; e.g., is the
case problem one of money pouring out? Can you stop the out pouring of cash? Can you bring
more money in?
Finally, close the case briefly with an assessment of likely risks to watch for as the company
proceeds with your solution. To gain a better grade and look impressive to your professor, offer
ideas about how to measure the success of your plans.
Three more tips—two have to do with marketing in particular, one just FYI. The first marketing
tip: it often helps to think about the product life cycle when you’re thinking about a case—is the
product/service in the introduction, growth, maturity, or declining stage (if you can tell).
The reason this simple assessment is helpful is of course that we expect to see some different
things for products/services in each of these phases, thus the suggestions that are sensible are
likely to vary also. For example, if a product is in decline, and a SWOT indicates the product
line is still a competitive strength of this company, then a brand- or line-extension is a natural
strategy to pursue. But if the case is a product that is in introduction or growth phase, it’s less
likely that a company will adapt and support yet another product line, for all kinds of reasons
(company and collaborator resources, customer confusion, etc.).
The second marketing tip—keep the diagram of the marketing framework (5Cs, STP & 5Ps)
close when you are reading your cases.
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