Strategic Marketing Management

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Assume you are a strategic marketing consultant working on a contract for The Internet Fusion Group (IFG), a unique e-commerce business with niche online positioning and presence across the action sports and outdoor sectors. Management at IFG are looking for further growth for their Surfdome e-commerce offering, in order to maintain their position as one of the UK’s market leading e-commerce sites for surf, snow and skate enthusiasts. As a result, management at IFG have asked you to research, analyse, devise and submit a strategic marketing plan for their Surfdome brand.

 

15 page individual report

 

 

Unit Learning Outcomes Assessed:

 

1.       Analyse, synthesize and evaluate internal and external organisational contexts in order to identify critical issues

2.       Devise, evaluate and select various strategic options appropriate to the context an organisation resides within

3.       Plan the implementation, evaluation and control of a strategic marketing plan

 

 

ASSIGNMENT DETAILS & INSTRUCTIONS:

 

This assignment is to be read in conjunction with Surfdome Company Information in the Appendix.

 

This is an individual assessment where you are required to:

1. Conduct secondary research to thoroughly analyse and evaluate the Surfdome industry sector.

2. Identify and evaluate the strategic options for Surfdome.

3. Formulate a strategic marketing plan justified by the findings of your research and analysis.  The timescale for the strategic marketing plan is to be determined by you, depending on the issues/opportunities understood within the analysis.

4. Outline tactical (marketing mix) recommendations to deliver the strategic marketing plan, based on the issues and market opportunities you have identified within your research and analysis.

Report length and format guide:  Maximum of 15 single sided A4 pages. This allowance excludes a cover page, contents page and references. No appendices should be included with your report. The font used should be either Arial or Calibri and the minimum font size should be no lower than 11pt within paragraphed text. However, text used to annotate graphs/tables and diagrams can be reduced further as long as it is readable.

 

Your report should also be presented to the level of professionalism (concise, well written and

articulate), as you would expect from a real organisation.

 

Material submitted which is over the page limit will not be marked to ensure fairness.

You should aim to produce a clear, concise and coherent report.

 

NB. The research you are required to undertake is secondary research from published sources only. You can also use the research you carried out for the exam. There is a significant amount of information available to you through articles that discuss and debate all of the trends and market players described in the brief. The availability of competing service offerings, pricing points and elements of the operational delivery are all observable and researchable without recourse to any element of primary research, interviews or questionnaires. Students must not contact The Internet Fusion Group (IFG), Surfdome, or any other entity or organisation mentioned in the case study.

 

REPORT DELIVERABLES

 

This individual submission contains three sections and you should structure your report to include the elements described below. Please note: your report should show a high level of research and your strategic decisions should be justified based on your situation analysis.

 

Situation Analysis (40%)

 

a)      Provide an analysis of the macro & micro environment considering

–          PESTLE Analysis

–          Market Analysis

–          Competitor Analysis

–          Customer Analysis

–          Internal Analysis

b)     Clear statement of critical issues facing the organisation

 

Objectives & Strategy (35%)

 

c)      Clear set of SMART objectives

d)     Clear, evaluated and justified strategy

e)      Targeting: evaluation, selection and justification of consumer and/or business segments

 

Tactics and Control (20%)

 

f)       Set of tactics clearly derived from strategy and developed in accordance with segments targeted

g)      Justified implementation plan and a clear set of control statements directly linked to objectives

 

The remaining 5% of marks are for writing the report to a professional standard and referencing.

 

See the Assessment Marking Criteria on pages 4 and 5.

 

RESOURCES

 

You should aim to use independent research in order to understand the market context using a variety of well-referenced sources. You will also benefit from utilising the library electronic databases (e.g. Passport, Mintel and academic journals available electronically via the library website).

§  Lecture slides.

§  Tutorial sessions.

§  Online secondary sources of data: https://www.library.mmu.ac.uk/.

§  Online journals available via Emerald, Ingenta, Sciencedirect, Google Scholar etc.

Trade, industry and media reports. Please see handbook for other resources.

 

 

 

EARLY CAREER SKILLS (AOLS) DEVELOPED IN THIS UNIT:

 

1.         Demonstrate communication skills at the appropriate level and using appropriate media.

2.         Demonstrate critical professional commercial/ corporate awareness in your discipline.

3.         Demonstrate global and/or International awareness of business practice.

 

Resources: see Moodle for details

 

Marking Criteria: as below
See Moodle for Unit Specification

 

 

 

 

Assessment Marking Criteria

 

Grade 86-100% 70-85% 60-69% 50-59% 40-49% 30-39% 20 – 29% 0-19%
  Outstanding
1st Class
Excellent
1st Class
Very Good – 2.1 Class Good – 2.2 Class Pass -3rd Class Fail Clear Fail Very Poor Fail
Situation Analysis& Critical Issues

(40%)

 

Links to AOL 4

Outstanding evidence of research in relevant areas of analysis.

 

Exceptional evidence of understanding the critical issues facing the organisation. Obviously links to the situational analysis.

 

Excellent evidence of research in relevant areas of analysis.

 

Excellent evidence of understanding the critical issues facing the organisation. Links to the situational analysis.

 

Well-directed research and clearly structured analysis.

 

Good evidence of understanding the critical issues facing the organisation. Mainly links to the situational analysis.

 

Acceptable level of research with omissions in some areas which should have been covered in more depth.

 

Acceptable evidence of understanding the critical issues facing the organisation. Limited  links to the situational analysis.

 

Little evidence of research and significant areas omitted from the analysis.

 

Little evidence of understanding the critical issues facing the organisation. Omissions regarding the link to the situational analysis.

 

Inadequate level of research and the evidence of the understanding of structure and content is very limited.

 

Inadequate evidence of understanding the critical issues facing the organisation. Insufficient links to the situation analysis/ shows a lack of understanding.

 

 

Very poor level of research and evidence of the understanding of structure and content is extremely limited.

 

No/ Incorrect evidence of understanding the critical issues facing the organisation. Lacks a link to the situation analysis.

 

No evidence of research or structured analysis and content.

 

No evidence of understanding the critical issues facing the organisation. No  links to the situation analysis. Major omissions.

 

Objectives &Strategy

(35%)

 

Links to AOL 2

Outstanding  SMART objectives. Outstanding application of strategy, positioning and targeting concepts. excellent evidence of understanding Excellent SMART objectives. Excellent use of strategy, positioning and targeting concepts in arguments to support case; detailed evidence of understanding Good objectives but not all of them SMART.

Good use of strategy, positioning and targeting concepts in building the case; clear evidence of understanding

Acceptable objectives but not all of them SMART.

Acceptable use of strategy, positioning and targeting concepts case possibly not compelling; some evidence of understanding

Objectives are not SMART.

Little/Inappropriate use of strategy, positioning, and targeting concepts case not convincing; some evidence of confusion

Objectives have not been stated/ are not SMART.

Inadequate use of strategy, positioning and targeting concepts case highly debatable; many cases of confusion

Objectives suffer from major misconceptions.

Wrong strategy, positioning and targeting concepts major areas missing or not understood.

Major areas of confusion.

 

 

 

Objectives have not been stated/ are not SMART and suffer from major misconceptions.

No clear strategy, major areas missing.

Major misconceptions

 

 

Tactical developments aligned with, and aimed at enacting strategy and methods of evaluation

(20%)

 

Links to AOL 1

Exceptional clarity of plans. Shows critical understanding of extended marketing mix and its practical application. Excellent, comprehensive  evaluation methods. Strong and logical plans. Excellent plan, showing detailed understanding of extended marketing mix  and its practical application.

Very good statements related to evaluation methods.

 

Good plan, showing clear understanding of extended marketing mix  and its practical application.

Good consideration of evaluation methods

 

Reasonable plans but incomplete, Acceptable plan, showing some understanding of extended marketing mix but omissions in content. Evaluation methods reasonably if not fully considered.

 

Plans lack structure and content raises Limited plan, showing some understanding of extended marketing mix, limited content.

Evaluation methods are less than comprehensive.

 

Unclear or incomplete logic, plans raise significant questions. Inadequate plan showing a limited understanding of marketing mix. Evaluation methods are limited in scope. Plan lacks logic and shows a lack of understanding in the context of practical application. Brief statements of evaluation methods only, which lack application. No clear plan.

Lack of understanding or confusion in approach. Does not support practical application. Evaluation methods are missing.

Professional report and referencing (5%)

 

Links to AOL 3

An exceptionally well-written clear, concise and coherent report that is to a high professional standard. Harvard referencing used throughout, without errors. A well-written clear, concise and coherent report that is to a high professional standard. Harvard referencing used throughout, without errors. Good report that is clear and concise. Lacked some coherence in parts. Generally, Harvard referencing used throughout but some minor errors. Acceptable report clear in parts but not consistent. Lacked clarity in parts. Some use of Harvard referencing but had errors. The report lacked clarity and coherence. Errors in Harvard Referencing standards. The report lacked a coherent structure. Inconsistent throughout. Lacked a understanding of Harvard referencing formats. Report not written to a professional standard. Lacked clarity and coherence. Harvard referencing not used correctly. Not written in report format. Lacked coherence.

Harvard referencing not evident.

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX

 

Surfdome Company Information

 

Background

 

Surfdome is part of the Internet Fusion Group (IFG), a fast-growing e-commerce business that has a strong and unique growth strategy. The company operates economies of scale with niche online presences that are the destinations for those needing equipment and lifestyle products across surf, stake, snow and equestrian, as well as premium street and outdoor fashion. The group has the following e-commerce sites under its umbrella: Surfdome, Country Attire, Ride-away and Blackleaf.

 

Company Mission & Vision

 

Everything they do, from the content they create, to the services they deliver and the products they stock are designed to help people enjoy their passions. They don’t believe that humans were built to sit behind a desk all day. It’s their job to make sure that when people visit their sites, they are inspired to pursue their interests whatever they may be. They are their own customers; their passions are the same.

 

The company’s mission is to make it simpleand sustainable. “We want to provide a hassle free and efficient service for you, so thatyou can get out there and enjoy the good life we so crave. We want to provide the #1 online shopping destination for people living or aspiring to their own unique lifestyles.”

 

Company Values

 

They want to help people connect with what matters to them; so they are creating an invigorating environment to reflect that world, and some solid values are that the heart of what they do. By making virtues from the things they do, IGF want their values to be reflected through the attitudes and behaviours of their people.

 

Therefore, the company:

  • Is connected to the communities and products they serve / provide
  • Passionate about continual improvements
  • Committed to delivery
  • Collaborate with our suppliers
  • Drive a sustainability agenda
  • Make sure simplicity remains at the heart of what they do

 

The Technology

 

Their custom-built warehousing facility has been designed to their specification, to ensure simple check in of deliveries, effectively organised storage of stock and extremely efficient dispatch. Their bespoke administration software ensures stock locations are tracked, orders are processed quickly, and picking, packing and dispatch are completely efficient to ensure reliable and speedy delivery to their customers.

 

The Surfdome Brand

 

From the beach to the mountain and the street – Surfdome fuels your passion and has all needs covered. It’s purpose is simple, yet strong. The employees of Surfdome are the same as its customers; they cherish the time spent on their boards. To enhance the lifestyle that board sports offer, staff look for the best value products that can be provided with minimal harm to the environment.

 

Effortlessly serving the customer touches every department at Surfdome. From the curation of selected brands and products to the efficiency of delivery supported with an unparalleled customer service.

Surfdome wants to share their passions of board sport endeavours to be available to all. Surfdomeis built to serve the Surf, Snow & Stake community and lifestyle it breeds 24/7.

 

Audience

 

Avg. Monthly Users 1.5 million
Avg. Monthly Page Views 10.7 million
Gender 48% Male    52% Female
Age 18 – 24   10%

25-34      32%

35 – 44   26%

45-54      19%

55+          13%

Avg. Monthly Orders 67k
Device Spilt 60%  Mobile

29%  Desktop

11%  Tablet

 

Key Audiences

 

Infrequents& None Board Sports Anyone who’s involved in board sports but isn’t passionate or a participant

Anyone who falls into non of the other groups

 

Participants Multiple – someone who’s a participant across two or three board sports

Solus – surf, snow or skate participants

 

Passionates Multiple – someone who’s passionate across two or three board sports

Solus – surf, snow or skate passionate

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Information

 

 

Key Identity Brands: Billabong, O’Neill, Roxy, Vans

Genders Stocked: Mens, Women’s Kids

Key Competitors:Tradeinn, Shore, Snow & Rock, Wetsuit Outlet, ASOS, Stakehut, Urban Industry, Soletrader and the brands’ own retail outlets.

Managed from which office: Shoreditch, London

 

Company Culture

Inclusive, relaxed and quite cool but very serious about trading and the retail of their products

 

Distribution Channels

Global distribution, retailed through their own website and third party partners – Ebay& Amazon

 

Marketing Communications

All digital – email, paid media (social and search), SEO, Blogs/ content/ competitions

 

Strategic Intent & Strategic Direction

  • They are currently on a ‘buy and build’ strategy whereby they are looking to acquire other ecommerce businesses to grow revenue and profit
  • International expansion through new customer acquisition via predominately paid search and in country sites

 

Future Outlook

Very positive, very well financed with strong relationships with their brands. Growth is continuing but at a manageable pace. Continually assessing their overheads and rationalise where possible. Run by entrepreneurs with a strong work ethic that distils down through the company.

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