英国business school marketing assig

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Assignment 2 Information Sheet


To be supplied to students when they receive the coursework assignment task



Unit Co-ordinator:     Dr Rosemary Burnley



Unit Name:      Marketing for Managers


Unit Code:    MAR0601-6


Title of Coursework:  Individual Marketing Plan Report



% weighting of final unit grade:    50%




Assignment Brief                                     


Submission instructions



Assignment should be handed in by midnight of the submission date.

Pages should be numbered. Headings and sub-headings must be provided.


All areas of the plan must be considered.


The unit  title and code number must be clearly marked on the assignment top sheet.


Coursework must be submitted into turnitin by the date and time specified.  Late work is not accepted, and will be deemed a fail and graded G(0) (no work submitted). 


Learning Outcomes



The completion of this assignment requires you to demonstrate the ability to:


·         Identify and critically evaluate environmental factors that can affect organisational success.

           Categorise and analyse the environmental factors at play and consider  their impact on the

           Organisation under consideration.


·         Undertake a marketing audit of an organisation. Identify and critically assess in a comprehensive fashion the current strengths and weaknesses of the organisation relative to its external environment.

  • Apply consistently in-depth knowledge and reference relevant marketing management theories/concepts. Generate a variety of ways of tackling a selected problem and identify options that have a chance of success in the organisation under consideration.


  • Identify quantitative and qualitative “information gaps”, and the relevant sources needed to fill such lacunae. Prepare and use IT to aid efficient searching, evaluation and selection of information, exploring alternative lines of enquiry where appropriate. Present information effectively, including evidence to support your conclusions.


·         Identify and critically assess in a comprehensive fashion the current marketing strategies employed by the organisation in its market. Evaluate and synthesise information from different sources, theories and principles, and communicate relevant information effectively, and with accuracy. Put forward relevant and robust strategic recommendations for the organisation.


·         Critically analyse the effectiveness of your strategy, including factors that had an impact on the outcomes, and identify ways to take the firm/organisation forward, and ways of further developing problem solving skills




Format for submission



There is a page limit of 5 pages, excluding cover page, references in the bibliography and the appendices. Your cover page must have your full name and ID number.

All work should be word processed using either Times New Roman or Ariel font, with line spacing of 1½ and justified.

References must include academic sources.

No more than 50% of references may be from the internet.




Assignment Detail





Assessment 2:  Individual Marketing Plan Report

The Co-operative (Co-op) Group, UK

The chief executive of the Co-operative Group has blamed past mismanagement of the organisation for the problems it has faced.


Richard Pennycook told BBC Radio 5 live that the group had been "let down" by its former management.

However, recent changes to its structure and governance should rectify that situation, he said.

The organisation had been "undermanaged" in the past, according to Mr Pennycook.

"We let the co-operative movement down in a fairly significant way, after 150 proud years where the Co-op had a reputation for doing the right thing."

It now needed to become "better at business" and return to making profits, he said: "Just applying good management disciplines and taking out costs can improve profitability."

It had been necessary to go through the "painful" process of selling some businesses to repair the balance sheet, Mr Pennycook said.


The Co-op is second to Tesco in the convenience market

The group is focusing on its grocery shops and funerals, and retains a 20% stake in the Co-operative Bank, which is now controlled by US hedge funds.

The Co-op was second to Tesco in the convenience food market, he said, and the quality of its products had increased markedly: "We can absolutely compete with the best."

Mr Pennycook was appointed as the Co-op's interim chief executive early last year before assuming the role permanently.

Allan Leighton, chairman of the Co-operative Group, is in the process of rebuilding the board after being appointed in February as its first independent chair.

His appointment followed the record £2.5bn loss for 2014 that was caused largely by the crisis in the group's banking business.

The former Royal Mail chairman will preside over his first annual meeting of the Co-op on Saturday.

Co-op members will vote on appointing three directors to the board. They are: former Labour minister Hazel Blears; Ruth Spellman, chief executive of the Workers' Educational Association; and Paul Chandler, former chief executive of the fair trade group Traidcraft.


Summary of Co-op’s Business  & Performance



The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned by more than eight million members. It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer operating across the country with almost 2,800 local, convenience and medium-sized stores. 

Amongst its other wholly-owned businesses are the UK’s number one funeral services provider, a major general insurer and a developing legal services business.

The Group also has a minority shareholding in The Co-operative Bank and a joint-venture travel business with Thomas Cook.


Co-op’s Businesses:

The performance of our businesses reflects how they are at different stages of the Rebuild process: 

o   Our Food business continued the implementation of the True North strategy, focused on the convenience market. The business delivered a robust performance, with like-for-like sales up 0.4% overall, and 3.2% in the core convenience estate. Underlying profits increased 1.5% to £251m. We acquired 82 new convenience stores and refurbished more than 700 stores; prices were lowered across 40 categories and the investment in own-brand product continued with over 170 awards for quality won during the year

o   Funeralcare, where we are currently developing the next phase of our strategy, saw sales fall almost 2% by £7m in a year affected by a particularly low death rate. However, underlying profits rose by 6% to £66m after a clear focus on efficiencies

o   General Insurance is now pursuing a new strategy, with a focus on providing motor and home insurance products targeted at Co-operative Group members. The business experienced difficult trading conditions, in line with the industry as a whole, with market premiums dipping across Home and Motor. Revenue was also impacted by a conscious decision to exit low-profit areas. Revenue fell to £371m (2013: £476m), leading to an underlying loss of £7m, compared to a profit of £36m in 2013

o   Legal Services witnessed a year of significant change. Revenues declined by a third to £23m, due mainly to the decline of personal injury income following regulatory changes. However, decisive action taken on operating costs reduced prior year underlying losses from £9m to £5m in 2014, and in the second half of the year the business was trading profitably. 

Source: The Co-operative Group, April 09, 2015.






The Marketing Task:


Richard  Pennycook, Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group, made the following comment:


 “We made solid progress in 2014 as we successfully concluded the Rescue phase of our turnaround. The hard work of Rebuilding The Co-operative Group for the next generation, and restoring it to its rightful place at the heart of communities up and down the UK, is now underway. (9th April, 2015)

A key deduction from Richard Pennycook’s comment is that the focus of the Co-op Group is now on rebuilding the company in order to achieve sustainable growth. 



One of Co-op’s businesses, the food retailing business, seems to be on its way to recovery. As a Marketing Consultant, you have been approached by Co-op’s Chief Executive, to develop a Marketing Plan for Co-op’s food retailing business for the next five years.



Marketing Plan   (Key areas to cover)

-       Executive Summary

-       Introduction & Objectives

-       Market Situational Analysis, especially the competition

-       Target Market/Segmentation

-       Marketing Mix Strategy

-       Implementation & Control

-       Budget/Sales Projections



In terms of the content of the Marketing Plan Report, you will be marked on the degree to which  you:


  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the purpose of the exercise.
  • Display knowledge of the planning tools and theories involved and an ability to apply them effectively.
  • Demonstrate the ability to select critical points, evaluate them and communicate the conclusions effectively.


In terms of overall presentation, you will be marked on the following:-

  • Language (Appropriate Language, Grammar, spelling etc.)
  • Presentation (Layout, Style, Quality etc.)















Further  Guidance on the Marketing Plan Report



  1. Objectives – objectives need to be SMART but it is unnecessary to explain in detail how smart they are.


  1. The balance between market analysis and the actual planning/actions– ensure that your submissions are balanced with regards to analysis and planning. For example, do not use a lot of space summarising the analysis, at the expense of setting objectives and planning objective-specific marketing strategies and tactics.


  1. Vagueness – planning needs to be very specific; stating that you will use ‘social media’ for promotion because it is the ‘most efficient tool’ is not enough. You need to explain the social media tool (s) – what they are, why you are using them and how you would use them.


  1. Academic content – you are expected to apply models, and not just describe or define them. For example, your SWOT or PEST analyses should not read like textbooks in which you explain what SWOT or PEST are – this is essentially incorrect. You needed to apply them and not describe them.


  1. Executive summary – an executive summary should be written in a way that allows the executive who reads it to know what the problem is and how it is to be solved. Essentially, it is a summary of your problem statement, objectives and how to achieve them (i.e. how to solve the problem).


  1. Secondary data use – Analysis should be supported with secondary data (from the literature). You should demonstrate wider reading and acknowledge the sources of your information, both in the main body and in your bibliography. Avoid making very bold but not substantiated statements, such as ‘the best supermarket in the UK’ or ‘massive campaign’ or ‘massive customer segment’. Give numbers if you think the segment is large and compare it to other segments to give an idea of the size of it.


  1. Presentation and structure – to achieve an excellent grade, your presentation needs to be immaculate – this includes numbering tables, referencing correctly etc. Do not present a lot of data and information in tables as appendices. Data or statistics that refer directly to your discussion in the main  body, should be presented in the main body. Tables and figures – tables and figures need to be numbered and each should have a title that is self-explanatory. Your analytical content must be high, demonstrating critical thinking and the ability to apply relevant marketing concepts (refer to the marking criteria in your handbook).


  1. Word limit – although there is no word limit for this work, there is a page limit. Your Marketing Plan Report should be presented in not more than five pages. This will, however, exclude your references in the bibliography, the appendices and the cover page. Please, note that your cover page must have your Full Name and ID Number.



Good Luck!!!


Dr. Rosemary Burnley








Marking Criteria for the Marketing Plan Report


To obtain an A grade  you must:


  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the task for the Marketing Plan
  • Display knowledge of the concepts/theories involved and an ability to apply them effectively.
  • Provide evidence of further reading, including academic journals.
  • Demonstrate the ability to select critical aspects of the plan, evaluate them and communicate the conclusions and  strategic recommendations effectively



To obtain a B grade:

  • Show a clear understanding of the tasks for the Marketing Plan
  • Display knowledge of most of the concepts/ theories involved and an ability to apply them effectively.
  • Provide evidence of wider reading.
  • Demonstrate the ability to select critical aspects of the plan, evaluate them and draw sound conclusions and strategic recommendations.


To obtain a C grade:

  • Show an adequate understanding of the tasks for the Marketing Plan
  • Display knowledge of some of the concepts/ theories involved and an ability to apply them.
  • Provide evidence of some wider reading.
  • Demonstrate the ability to select key aspects of the plan and provide analysis of these.


To obtain a D grade:

  • Show some understanding of the tasks for the Marketing Plan
  • Display knowledge of some of the concepts/ theories involved and an ability to apply them.
  • Provide evidence of some wider reading.
  • Demonstrate the ability to select key aspects of the plan and provide analysis of these.


To obtain an E grade:

  • Made an attempt to complete the tasks of the Marketing plan
  • Display little knowledge of the concepts/ theories involved.
  • No evidence of academic reading.
  • An inability to recognise the key aspects of the plan.



To obtain an F1/F2 grade:

  • Work of little academic merit.


To obtain a G grade:

  • Work of no academic merit.
  • No attempt.