Marketing Audit Project Instructions

Marketing Audit Project

Marketing Audit Project Instructions

The Senior VP for Marketing has assembled a task force of its top managers (you or your team!) to conduct a marketing audit, prepare a business plan and present it to the senior executives. You have been given three months to complete this project. Your task is to conduct a marketing audit by analyzing a hospitality company’s environment, mission statement and objectives, grand and overall

strategies, competition, and marketing action strategies and tactics to make specific

recommendations for suitable marketing strategies and tactics (short-run and long-run) to

improve the company’s marketing performance.

Throughout the process, individuals and teams should utilize primary and secondary data

as necessary, including your selected company’s homepage, printed materials from the

organization, extant literature, and interviews with owner/managers and/or other appropriate

individuals.

Projects will be evaluated on thoroughness of marketing assessment, soundness of the

strategic marketing rationale, creativity, use of marketing information and analysis, the fit

between diagnosed marketing issues and recommended marketing actions, and written report

specifications. It should be organized logically and detailed enough to persuade the

owner/management to accept your recommendations. The thoroughness and persuasiveness of

the presentation will also contribute to the final grade.

Companies for Analysis

Listed below are several companies to choose from. You may also choose a company outside of

these if you or your group has a particular interest. If you or someone in your group currently

works for a hospitality company, I would suggest using that company. You must tell me what

company you have decided to conduct the Audit for by September 5, 2015. Informing me

after this date will result in a 5 percent reduction from your final grade for this project.

 Aria, SLS Las Vegas, MGM Grand, Venetian, Cosmopolitan, Nobu Hotel

 Sheraton, Marriott, Choice Hotels International (Pick your own brand from their brand

portfolio)

 Burger King, McDonalds, Taco Bell

 Olive Garden, Cheesecake Factory

 Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean

 Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines

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Please use each of the categories provided below as headers in your paper. This will insure

that you cover all of the required material. Each component will equally contribute to your

grade for the written portion of the assignment.

OUTLINE FOR WRITTEN REPORT1

  1. COMPANY OVERVIEW (5 POINTS, 1/2 Page). This section should be a brief description

of the company, i.e. corporate connection, number of units, when it was founded, where it

operates or any other information pertinent to understanding its marketing strategy. Do not write

too much in this section because the focus of the project is on marketing strategy and tactics.

  1. MISSION STATEMENT, BUSINESS OBJECTIVES, AND STRATEGY (10 POINTS,

1 Page)

What is company’s mission statement? Is it a sound MS? What are the short-term and long-term

goals of the company? What are the growth and competitive strategies of the company?

 

III. ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS (10 POINTS, 1 Page). What are the relevant trends for

the industry and company’s business in competitive, economic, demographic, social/cultural,

technological, and legal and political environments? Keep in mind that these trends may have

different meanings for the industry and the company’s business. Identify at least five relevant

trends and briefly describe an opportunity or threat that each trend creates.

  1. COMPETITOR ANALYSIS (10 POINTS, 1 Page). Identify primary competitors (2-3)

and discuss their overall strategy, market shares, and strategies in terms of product/service, price,

place (location and distribution channels), and promotion.

  1. THE TARGET MARKET(S) AND POSITIONING (10 POINTS, 1 Page). Identify and

describe your company’s primary (top 2) target market segment(s) in detail by using

demographics, psychographics, geography, lifestyle behavioral or whatever segmentation is

appropriate. How large is it (Size may be described by both geographic dimensions and actual

numbers)? Consider what, where, when, why, how, how much, and how frequently they buy in

your description.

What image does the company portray for its target market(s)? What type of positioning

approach is being used? Does the company position itself based on most relevant criteria to the

customer? How does the company differentiate itself from the competition?

  1. MARKETING MIX (ACTION) VARIABLES (4 Ps) (25 POINTS, 1.5-2 Pages). This

section includes an overview of the company’s marketing mix variables (Note that each variable

needs to be mentioned, but some will get more attention than others).

1 The outline includes the required components and it can be customized to reflect your project topic – you can add

some other relevant information based on other class materials, your understanding of the organization, and your

business knowledge where appropriate

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  1. Product

Describe the current product and service offerings of the company. Provide whatever data you

can regarding relative sales contribution of various products or product lines. Highlight

distinctive competencies or competitive advantages of the firm’s products and services — What

do they do or have that is better than anyone else? In addition to strengths, be sure to highlight

any weaknesses you find within the firm and its product/service line.

  1. Price

Describe the pricing objectives and strategies are used by the company? What types of discounts,

if any, are being used?

  1. Place

Describe distribution and location (if appropriate) strategy of the company (i.e. direct or indirect

channels, single or multiple channels, type of intermediaries, E-commerce, etc.)

  1. Promotion

Describe communication strategy of the company in following areas:

Advertising and Sales Promotions

Direct and online Marketing, including social media

Publicity

Loyalty Program/Club

Note: Provide specific examples in Exhibits section.

VII. SWOT ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS (20 POINTS, 1.5-2 Pages).

Summarize opportunities and problem areas (threats) in the environment. Summarize strengths

and weaknesses of the company and its sustainable competitive advantage.

State what you think could be improved in their strategy or what changes should be considered

based on opportunities and threats in the environment and the company’s own strengths and

weaknesses. Try to come up with some innovative, creative, interesting, and attention getting

marketing strategies and tactics. Use your imagination. Are all components you analyzed

consistent with each other? Organize your suggestions under overall strategy, target market

segments, and 4 Ps and support your suggestions. If you do not think anything should be

changed, support this as well. Do not just say you like what they are doing, that would be an

incomplete answer to this section.

REFERENCES & EXHIBITS (10 POINTS)

Include a bibliographic listing of documents referenced (articles, web page, advertising, etc.) and

names of organizational representatives interviewed or consulted.

There is no limit on the number of exhibits, but each should illustrate a key audit element. Use

tables and figures to display data or small amounts of information in categories I strongly

suggest at least two exhibits: 1) a positioning map and 2) a SWOT analysis table.

WRITTEN REPORT SPECIFICATIONS

 The report should be 7-10 pages, excluding cover page, table of contents, references, and

exhibits.

 It should be double-spaced with standard margins (1” all the way around).

 Use 12-pt font size (Times New Roman) and number your pages.

HFT‐3503             ‐              Marketing           Audit     Page     4

 It should have the quality of a formal business document. Use headings and subheadings

to organize information.

 Use tables to display categorized or numerical information (never split between pages)!

 Check spelling, punctuation and grammar. Excessive mistakes will cause you to lose

points.

 On a cover page, put your names, company name, course number, and date.

 All sources of information should be referenced. A typical paper will include 10-15

references. Any charts and figures you use should include a citation of where the

information was found. References must be in APA format and must include a title, date

and author even if they are from the internet. References simply listed as web addresses

(i.e. www.etc.) will receive no credit. Wikipedia is not an acceptable reference and

reliable sources must be used.

 Submit through Blackboard in MS Word only. One submission per group if you are

working in a group and be sure to include all group members’ names and Panther ID

numbers.

 

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