MKT 3410
CASE ANALYSIS FORMAT
AND
ORAL PRESENTATION GUIDELINES

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"It is not sufficient to know what one ought to say, but one must also know how to say it." - Aristotle

The Case Analysis Format outline shown below is a detailed version of the approach to marketing case analysis. Although reasonably comprehensive, the guide can be shortened, expanded, and/or adapted to meet your needs in various situations. For example, if you are analyzing a business unit that does not utilize channels of distribution, this section of the outline will require adjustment. Likewise, if the sales force represents the major part of the marketing program, then this section should probably be expanded to include other aspects of sales force strategy.

The Case Analysis Format is followed by an outline of possible details that you may want to include in your case background/situation audit.  Notice that the situation audit incorporates the parts of a strategic marketing audit or background. This should be expected, since the main purpose of the audit (sometimes called a marketing audit) is to appraise the effectiveness of strategic marketing operations.

This guide is not intended to be a comprehensive checklist that can be applied in every case situation. Rather it is illustrative of the broad range of issues and questions that you will encounter in analyzing the various strategic decisions presented in the cases. The key is to adapt the outline to the case, not the case to the outline.

Remember, each of the following sections I-XII needs to be a separate section in your outline and ppt, do not combine sections.

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"With money in your pocket, you are wise and you are handsome and you sing well, too." -Ancient Proverb

 

 CASE ANALYSIS FORMAT  

I. Title page

       Include title, name, date, but no page number.

       Also, add something to gain interest, e.g., graphics, color, font style, logo, picture of product/company, etc. 

       This title page (or any part thereof) also can serve as a first overhead or slide.

 

II. Table of contents  

       This page is typically numbered "i".

       It should list each major section and should at a minimum include the table of contents, introduction, background, problem statement, alternative evaluation, solution, implementation, update, conclusion, references, and appendix.

       A corresponding page number should be given for each of the sections.

 

III. Introduction  

       This section introduces the topic of the paper and gains the readers interest.

       Page "1" starts on this page. Then, number the rest of the document as appropriate. Type the page numbers.  The page number on the first page of the body of the paper is not listed.

       In an oral presentation, the introduction includes the introduction of team members and their roles, agenda, introduction of the company, rapport building or something to gain the audience's attention and interest, and a statement regarding the appropriateness of questions.

 

IV. Situation audit or background  

       This is a basic description of the company's current situation.

       See the section following this one (at the bottom of the next page) "Possible Details You May Want to Include in Your Situation Audit or Background".

       Culminates in a SWOT analysis and summary explanation of overall SWOT analysis results. The SWOT analysis is always placed right before the problem statement.

 

V. Problem  

       The problem statement should flow from your SWOT analysis, that is, how to fix a weakness (W) or a threat (T) and/or how to create a competitive advantage out of a strength (S) or opportunity (O).  It should be short and specific.

       Your oral presentation should have an overhead or slide with the problem statement typed on it.

       What are the symptoms that a problem exists?

       What are the major problems and decisions that must be addressed? Remember, every weakness, opportunity, and threat from the SWOT analysis needs to be considered here.  Improving a strength also is a possibility.

       Are there secondary problems or decisions?

       What opportunities need to be addressed?

 

VI. Alternative identification and evaluation  

       Now, how can the company solve that problem or take advantage of that opportunity? What are the best 3-5 options available to the company?

       What pros and cons exist for each option or alternative?

       What actions might provide viable solutions to the problem or decision?

       Can some actions be combined?

       Can some actions be eliminated without further consideration?

 

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"They who are of the opinion that money will do everything, may very well be suspected to do everything for money." - Sir George Savile

 

VII. Solution  

       Use the evaluation of alternatives as your basis for deciding on a solution to the problem. For example, you could create a grid comparing the 3-5 best alternatives. This would make a great overhead/slide, too.

       The point is that you should be able to support or defend your choice of a solution based on facts, i.e., criteria for evaluating the alternatives. Be able to support your position and your thinking process in choosing a solution.

       Describe the solution and your thinking process in detail.

       This section should receive much attention and creativity in your written and oral presentations.

       What criteria should be used to evaluate the strategic options? Any of the items listed in the situation audit may be relevant issues in analyzing the alternatives.

       Analysis or how you arrived at your solution. 

1.  Examine each alternative under consideration in terms of each of the critical issues.

2.  What are the relative advantages of each alternative in terms of each of the critical issues? 

3.  What are the relative disadvantages of each alternative in terms of each of the critical issues?

       Detailed statement of the solution, i.e., what strategy or strategies are to be employed?

       Needs to be at least 1-2 pages. 

 

 VIII. Implementation

       In order to implement that chosen solution, who needs to do what, when, where, why, and how much? That is, time-related details.

       What priorities and contingency plans are necessary?

       This section should be emphasized in the case as a whole. Go into substantial detail. Make assumptions and create some avenues of action.

       What specific actions, including the development of marketing or other plans should be taken and why?

       Who should do what, when, where, and how much?

       What are the expected costs and returns associated with your recommendations?

       What contingencies may alter the attractiveness of your recommendations?

       What are the specifics of how to implement the solution? The tactical, time-related details?

       Needs to be at least 2-3 pages.

 

"Contemplation is to knowledge, what digestion is to food - the way to get life out of it." - Tryon Edwards

 

IX. Update  

       What has happened to this company and/or product since the time the case was written?

       Usually you always can show the web pages.

       What more recent information is available in the library, from the company, possibly from interviews, and from the Internet? Please use a combination of these sources.

 

X.  Conclusion  

       Summarize the bottom line of the case.

       Include something interesting or notable here.

       Ask for questions and answer them. Do not start to put your things away until the last question has been answered. Be willing to take questions. You always can say that you will get back to them on that item if you do not know the answer. Spread Q & A around to all of the group members.

       Thank the audience for their attention and participation.

 

XI. List of references

       You should include library and Internet references.

       Make sure that the references are reliable and accurate.

       At the least, there should be 12 references.

       Use a correct and complete referencing format. The library website has this detailed.

       The reference page(s) also are numbered.

 

XII. Appendix

       Have a cover sheet for the appendix.

       These pages also should be numbered.

       At the least, include a copy of the PowerPoint presentation.

 

"All things are admired because they are new or because they are great." - Francis Bacon

 

POSSIBLE DETAILS YOU MAY WANT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SITUATION AUDIT OR BACKGROUND

 

A.     Corporate mission and objectives.

1.     Does the mission statement offer a clear guide to the product-markets of interest to the firm?

2.     Have objectives been established for the corporation?

3.     Is information available for the review of corporate progress toward objectives, and are the reviews conducted on a regular (quarterly, monthly, etc.) basis?

4.     Has corporate strategy been successful in meeting objectives?

5.     Are opportunities or problems pending that may require altering marketing strategy?

6.     What are the responsibilities of the chief marketing executive in corporate strategic planning?

B.     Business unit analysis.

1.     What is the composition of the business (business segments, strategic planning units, and specific product-markets)?

2.     Have business strength and product-market attractiveness analyses been conducted for each planning unit? What are the results of the analyses?

3.     What is the corporate strategy for each planning unit (e.g., growth, manage for cash, etc.)?

4.     What objectives are assigned to each planning unit?

5.     Does each unit have a strategic plan?

6.     For each unit, what objectives and responsibilities have been assigned to marketing?

C.    Buyer analysis.

1.     Are there niches within the product-market? For each specific product-market and each niche of interest to the firm, answer items 2-9.

2.     Estimated annual purchases (units and dollars).

3.     Projected annual growth rate (five years).

4.     Number of people/organizations in the product-market.

5.     Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of customers.

6.     Extent of geographic concentration.

7.     How do people decide what to buy?

a)     Reasons for buying, i.e., what is the need/want?

b)     What information is needed (e.g., how to use the product)?

c)     Important sources of information.

d)     What criteria are used to evaluate the product?

e)     Purchasing practices (quantity, frequency, location, time, etc.).

8.     What environmental factors should be monitored because of their influence on product purchases (e.g., interest rates)?

9.     What key competitors serve each end-user group?

D.    Key competitor analysis (for each specific product-market and each niche of interest to the firm).

1.     Estimated overall business strength.

2.     Market share (percent, rank).

3.     Market share trend (five years).

4.     Financial strengths.

5.     Profitability.

6.     Management.

7.     Technology position.

8.     Other key non-marketing strengths/limitations (e.g., production cost advantages).

9.     Marketing strategy (description and assessment of key strengths and limitations, i.e., how does our marketing strategy create a differential competitive advantage).

a)     Market target strategy.

b)     Program positioning strategy.

c)     Product strategy.

d)     Distribution strategy.

e)     Price strategy.

f)      Promotion strategy.

E.     Market target strategy - target market(s).

1.     Has each market target been clearly defined and its importance to the firm established?

2.     Have demand, industry, and competition in each market target been analyzed and key trends, opportunities, and threats identified?

3.     Has the proper market target strategy (mass, niche) been adopted?

4.     Should repositioning or exit from any product-market be considered?

F.     Market target strategy - positioning and marketing mix variables.

1.     Program positioning strategy.

2.     Product strategy.

3.     Distribution strategy.

4.     Price strategy.

5.     Promotion strategy.

G.    Market target objectives.

1.     Have objectives been established for each market target, and are these consistent with planning-unit objectives and the available resources? Are the objectives realistic?

2.     Are sales figures and other performance information available for monitoring the progress of planned performance against actual results?

3.     Are regular appraisals made of marketing performance?

4.     Where do gaps exist between planned and actual results? What are the probable causes of the performance gaps?

H.    Marketing program positioning strategy.

1.     Does the firm have an integrated positioning strategy made up of product, channel, price, advertising, and sale force strategies? Is the role selected for each mix element consistent with the overall program objectives, and does it properly complement other mix elements?

2.     Are adequate resources available to carry out the marketing program? Are resources committed to market targets according to the importance of each?

3.     Are allocations to the various marketing mix components too low, too high, or about right in terms of what each is expected to accomplish?

4.     Is the effectiveness of the marketing program appraised on a regular basis?

I.      Marketing program activities.

1.     Product strategy.

a)     Is the product mix geared to the needs that the firm wants to meet in each product-market?

b)     What branding strategy is being used?

c)     Are products properly positioned against competing brands?

d)     Does the firm have a sound approach to product planning and management, and is marketing involved in product decisions?

e)     Are additions to, modifications of, or deletions from the product mix needed to make the firm more competitive in the marketplace?

f)      Is the performance of each product evaluated on a regular basis?

2.     Channels of distribution strategy.

a)     Has the firm selected the type (conventional or vertically coordinated) and intensity of distribution appropriate for each of its product-markets?

b)     How well does each channel access its market target? Is an effective channel configuration being used?

c)     Are channel organizations carrying out their assigned functions properly?

d)     How is the channel of distribution being managed? What improvements are needed?

e)     Are desired customer service levels being reached, and are the costs of doing this acceptable?

3.     Price strategy.

a)     How responsive is each market target to price variations?

b)     What role and objectives does price have in the marketing mix?

c)     Should price play an active or passive role in program positioning strategy?

d)     How do the firmís price strategy and tactics compare to those of competition?

e)     Is a logical approach used to establish prices?

f)      Are there indications that changes may be needed in price strategy or tactics?

4.     Advertising and sales promotion strategies.

a)     Have a role and objectives been established for advertising and sales promotion in the marketing mix?

b)     Is the creative strategy consistent with the positioning strategy that is being used?

c)     Is the budget adequate to carry out the objectives assigned to advertising and sales promotion?

d)     Do the media and programming strategies represent the most cost-effective means of communicating with market targets?

e)     Do advertising copy and content effectively communicate the intended messages?

f)      How well does the advertising program measure up in meeting its objectives?

5.     Sales force strategy.

a)     Are the role and objectives of personal selling in the marketing program positioning strategy clearly specified and understood by the sales organization?

b)     Do the qualifications of salespeople correspond to their assigned roles?

c)     Is the sales force of the proper size to carry out its function, and is it efficiently deployed?

d)     Are sales force results in line with managementís expectations?

e)     Is each salesperson assigned performance targets, and are incentives offered to reward performance?

f)      Are compensation levels and ranges competitive?

J.     Marketing planning.

1.     Strategic planning and marketing.

a)     Is marketingís role and responsibility in corporate strategic planning clearly specified?

b)     Are responsibility and authority for marketing strategy assigned to one executive?

c)     How well is the firmsí marketing strategy working?

d)     Are changes likely to occur in the corporate/marketing environment that may affect the firmís marketing strategy?

e)     Are there major contingencies that should be included in the strategic marketing plan?

2.     Marketing planning and organizational structure.

a)     Are annual and longer-range strategic marketing plans developed, and are they being used?

b)     Are the responsibilities of the various units in the marketing organization clearly specified?

c)     What are the strengths and limitations of the key members of the marketing organization? What is being done to develop people? What gaps in experience and capabilities exist in the marketing staff?

d)     Is the organizational structure for marketing appropriate for implementing marketing plans?

K.     Financial analysis.

1.     Sales and cost analyses and forecasts.

2.     Profit contribution and net profit analyses and projections.

3.     Liquidity analyses.

4.     Break-even analyses.

5.     Return on investment.

6.     Budget analyses.

7.     Pro forma statements.

L.     SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats).

1.     It is very important and must be done!

2.     Your oral presentation should have an overhead or slide of the SWOT analysis.

M.    Summary of the situation.

1.     Has the situation audit revealed opportunities which enable the organization to gain a competitive advantage based upon its distinctive competencies?

2.     What are the major opportunities available to the organization?

3.     What are the major threats facing the organization?

4.     What are the requirements for achieving success in selected product-markets?

5.     What are the organizationís and principle competitorsí distinctive competencies regarding these requirements? Do these competencies match up well with a given opportunity, or do strategic gaps exist that serve as barriers to pursuing the opportunity?

6.     What strategic gaps, problems, and/or constraints exist?

7.     Have the causes of all performance gaps been identified?

8.     Is implementation of planned actions taking place as intended? Is implementation being hampered by marketing or other functional areas of the firm (e.g., operations, finance)?

9.     Has the strategic audit revealed areas that require additional study before action is taken?

10.  What time and resources are required to pursue an opportunity or close a strategic gap relative to competitors?

11.  Do the organizationís mission or objectives need to be redefined?

N.    Opinions and assumptions.

1.     Are opinions or assumptions provided by others? Are they reasonable given the source?

2.     Is it necessary to make assumptions about the organizationís objectives, competition, the environment, or something else?

 

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"Speech is the voice of the heart." - Chinese proverb

 

ORAL PRESENTATION GUIDELINES

Before the Presentation

 

1.     Keep the proper perspective. This does not determine life or death. It also is not some trivial thing to brush aside like junk mail.

2.     PREPARE! PREPARE! PREPARE!

3.     Focus on the target customers as well as on what to do with each of the 4 pís (product, price, promotion, and place) for these target customers. Use a format like the one given in the Case Analysis Outline handout.

4.     Prepare an outline.

-       Include a cover page.

-       Include a table of contents.

-       Number the pages of the outline.

-       The solution and the implementation sections should be the primary focus of the outline.

-       Include a list of references -- library and Internet.

-       Include an appendix that at a minimum includes copies of the overheads used in the presentation.

-       Integrate the outline, i.e., it should not be noticeable when one memberís work ends and anotherís begins.  Have one person or a team of two do a final edit on the entire piece so that it has a unified format.

-       Add some professional "extras" to distinguish your product.

5.     Practice your presentation with a friend or classmate. Ask for honest feedback.

 

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A kid in our neighborhood has been making good money mowing lawns on Saturdays. When he first went into business, he followed the old idea of the "early bird gets the worm" and began calling on people at 8:00 a.m. For the first few Saturdays, he didnít get any business at all and by 10:00 a.m. he would give up and go home. Then he made a discovery that brought him all the business he could handle. "I quit going out so early," he said. "Instead, I didnít look for any business until about 11:00. Then I ran into lots of men who were half through mowing their own lawns and they would hire me to finish up for them." - Winston Pendleton

 

6.     Plan to arrive well before class starts.

7.     Set the stage.

-       Erase the board, place the desk and podium appropriately, place members with or without chairs, set up overhead or flip chart, posters, computer, video, etc.

8.     Make sure you bring all of your visuals, portfolio, etc. with you.

9.     Mix presentation modes.

-       Use your creativity -- handouts, brochures, catalogs, PowerPoint slides, overheads, product samples, flip chart, skits, ads, contests, quizzes, or whatever.

-       Know how to use the equipment -- practice using it before class begins and try out each slide to make sure it works properly.

10.  Center or balance your composure before you begin. Take a deep breath.

11.  Try not to read your presentation. Keep good eye contact.  Use note cards.  It is a more professional look.

12.  Remember it is okay to occasionally say, "Iím sorry, I donít know the answer to that question, but I will find out and get back to you."

 

General Oral Presentation Criteria

 

These oral presentation criteria are included for your public speaking needs in general.

 

Introduction

       Appropriate dress, e.g., job interview

       Carry materials to the podium in a professional manner

       Start with an overhead/slide of the company name and/or logo (color and graphics are nice extras)

       Gain attention and interest early on 

       Introduce the topic clearly

       Relate the topic to the audience, that is, built rapport with audience (e.g., "Have you used the product?" "What is your experience with the company?")

       Establish the speaker's credibility

       Introduce group members and their roles

       Preview the agenda

       Include an effective comment regarding audience questions during and/or after the presentation

 

Body

       Main points clear

       Main points fully supported

       Organization well planned

       Language accurate

       Language clear

       Language appropriate

       Connectives effective

       Background sufficient

       Clear and concise problem statement

       Alternatives clear

       Advantages and disadvantages of alternatives are thorough

       Thorough statement of solution

       Thorough statement of implementation

       Thorough statement of update

 

Conclusion

       Have a planned conclusion

       Prepare the audience for the ending of the presentation

       Reinforce the central idea of the speech

       Have a vivid and memorable ending

       Have a professional question and answer portion of the presentation (all group members should stand and participate)

 

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort Ďem as much as you please." - Mark Twain

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Delivery

       Get centered before speaking

       Wait for the (collected) audience's attention

       Begin the speech without rushing

       Maintain strong eye contact being aware of cultural differences

       Avoid distracting mannerisms (chewing gum, uhs, oks, uhms, nervous habits, carrying pen, over gesturing, anything that draws attention from the intended message)

       Use note cards and not 8 1/2" X 11" paper

       Articulate your words clearly

       Use pauses effectively

       Use vocal variety to add impact

       Use variety in visual aides to add impact

       Present audio/visual materials well

       Be energetic/enthusiastic and control it so that you last the entire presentation

       Depart from the lectern without rushing and in a professional manner

 

Overall Evaluation

       Cover the topic thoroughly

       State the specific purpose of the presentation well

       Adapt the message to audience

       Complete the speech within the time limit

       Hold the interest of audience

       Each speaker should be well prepared

       Set-up the room and presentation materials so that they contribute to the presentation

       Use the presentation equipment professionally Ė have a contingency plan in case the equipment does not work properly

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