Marketing Plan Guidelines (revised on Nov 29, 2018)
The final report should be double-spaced with the font size of 12 pts. Reports
should be no more than 15 pages long, excluding all figures and tables. Points
will be deducted if your report goes beyond this limit.
The following is the guideline on structure and writing of the report. The
numbers in parentheses represent the relative weight for each element.
0. Executive Summary (1 page)
1. Problem definition (1 page): (7%) In this part, you want to identify the
company’s goals and the main decision(s) the company needs to make. In
most progress reports, students consider a company needs to launch a new
product or service to a particular market and that’s fine. Another common
goal and decision is that the company is currently not doing well (e.g., sales
decrease significantly lately), and needs to reconsider STP to improve. The
company may need to modify its existing products to target the right
segment. Given that this is a class project, you need to be more focus.
Having just one goal is certainly fine (e.g., considering enter the Europe
market). In case the company faces several problems, you may focus on
the most important one(s), and the one(s) that you are able to gather based
on your research. Just searching in the internet can get you a lot of facts.
2. Situation Analysis (3C) (3-4 pages): (26%) Company analysis (include
challenges, strengths and weaknesses, products, capacity for change,
financial strength, cultural factors, etc.), customer analysis (current and/or
proposed, what are their value drivers? You should also consider how to
segment the market), competitor analysis (current and/or emerging), and
other external industry factors (size, growth, concentration). A careful
analysis should naturally lead to an understanding about opportunities and
possible threats. Don’t waste any analysis on problems you are not trying
to solve. Keep your problem statement in front of you on every piece of
analysis and use it to screen what is meaningful and what is only a
distraction. No part of your written analysis should convey ‘nice to know’
material. It must have a purpose and that purpose is solving the problem
you have chosen. The ‘so what’ question will arise with your audience if
they ask themselves: ‘Why are you telling me this?’ Don’t let the ‘so what’
question arise. Check list: Is my situational analysis practical to use? Is it
easy and clear for even an outsider to understand? Does it point to my STP
When conducting your STP analysis, you should try to gather as much
information as possible based on secondary research.
3. STP analysis (3-4 pages): (26%) You should have already discussed
segmentation when you discuss customers above. You should consider two
or three (at most three!) STP plans. Define your decision criteria on which
basis the alternatives will be assessed. Given the space constraints for the
report, do NOT specify more than three alternative STP plans. Your analysis
should lead to your most preferred STP plan.
If you are simply considering repositioning an existing product(s), one
alternative that should always be considered is the maintenance of the
Begin with a careful evaluation of the facts that you have gathered.
Marketing analyses is almost always based on incomplete information.
Assumptions are usually made. They should be made only when necessary
and must be clearly labelled as such with their rationale. Try to judge the
relative risks and opportunities offered by the various alternatives. The
optimum choice is the one that strengthens the brand, provides the best
balance between profit opportunities and the risks and costs of failure.
4. 4Ps (3-4 pages): (26%)
Discuss your action plan and how you will use 4Ps to implement your STP
strategy. Explain your rationales about why your 4Ps make sense and
achieve the targeting customer segment and position your product to
provide them with their value drivers.
You also need to consider market and competitive response.
You should also consider the long-term strategies (e.g., dynamic pricing,
dynamic advertising plan, etc.)
Try to be creative and apply and modify what you learn from the course.
Remark: Note that most actual marketing plans require a financial forecast
of that plan, typically the income statement for the proposed course of
action. However, due to space constraints and limited time, I do NOT
expect you to include a financial forecast in your report.
Writing: (15%): The remaining part of the report grade is for writing clarity
and cohesiveness. This is not an English essay. It is a business report. That
means you write succinctly, breaking up sections with title headers, with
crisp, concise and exact words. Do NOT use citations or quote from other
The 15% include evaluating your Executive Summary.
Make it an easy-to-read report. It is hard to follow when poorly formatted
or too long. This problem is easily fixed by improving the flow of your
report and following the page limit.
Proofread. Have someone else read it. We all fall into the trap of repeating
simple mistakes that we do not see.
• All tables and figures need to be numbered, e.g., Table 1, 2, .., Figure 1, 2., ..as
they should be referred to in the main report, e.g. “we have conducted financial
analysis for this option in Table 3…According to the results in Table 3, the
• Tables and figures should be placed either in Appendix section, which will not
be counted towards the page limit.
• Do not simply merge sections written by different members of a group. Make
sure that the project does not reflect misunderstandings and disagreements
among group members. It is fine to “divide labor” to some extent, but it works
only when your group members share an overall marketing direction, detailed
marketing actions, and the central elements of the logical argument.
Otherwise, the project will not form a coherent logic or concerted plan of
For your final presentation
• The presentation time limit is 11 minutes and 3 minutes for Q&A.
• Your presentation may cover all four parts: problem definition, situation
analysis, STP analysis, decision and action planning (4Ps).
• Each group member must participate in the presentation.
• Use PowerPoint only.
• All presentations will be loaded prior to class and used for your
• Practice and time yourselves.
Assessing the quality of the delivery is typically based on the following criteria:
1. Completeness (cover all four parts)
2. Quality of slides (layout, graphics, etc.)
3. Professional manner and poise
4. Group participation and chemistry
6. Answering questions
7. Time management
8. Flow (transition from one topic to another)
The scoring sheet that will be used is shown on the following page.
Presentation Grading Sheet
1. Quality of presentation (e.g., poise, transitions, clear communication, creativity, even
delivery between presenters etc.)
2. Depth of analysis (e.g., relevant marketing frameworks, effective use of facts,
development and assessment of alternatives etc.)
3. Quality of action plan (4Ps) (e.g., precise, well organized, actionable, creative,
4. Questions / Answers
5. Overall Impression
Total Score: _____________________________________