Quality Pet Care Assignment

Quality Pet Care Assignment

Order Description
Introduction
This document provides guidance on how to interpret the brief, structure your answer and check you have completed everything that is required, to obtain a pass or above. It is important that you read this guide along with any briefing sessions (face to face or online) that your tutor delivers. Your tutor is available to help you but cannot give any hints or provide specific answers against the brief.
What is the purpose of an assignment?
The case study you are given is a descriptive document comprising facts and figures about a real or imaginary organisation. Cases often present a fictional organisation in a real market situation, describing specific events at a point in time.
The assignment is set to ascertain that you have grasped and can apply key learning points taught during your IDM studies. The point is to encourage you, in a marketing / consultancy capacity, to evaluate, judge, analyse and make decisions using the material provided in addition to your own knowledge and research. Your ultimate objective is to present a coherent, creative and convincing strategic and tactical plan; compelling enough to persuade a stakeholder to invest money in it.
There is no ‘model answer’ to follow, because it is up to individual marketers to interpret the brief and we do not wish to inhibit your creativity. However, this document will guide you through the recommended approach to tackling your assignment.
How is the assignment marked?
The IDM marking panel (not your tutor) will mark your assignment and you will receive written feedback pointers along with your mark. 15% of assignments, and all those that achieve less than 45% are moderated. The feedback should be used as guidance for when you write your next assignment (where applicable) or if you are required to resubmit.
The marking thresholds are as follows:
? Pass >45%
? Credit >60%
? Distinction >70%
Please refer to the IDM Rules and Regulations for information relating to extenuating circumstances, special needs/considerations, appeals process, malpractice, deferrals and resubmission. Note that you may not appeal against academic judgement.
Writing your assignment
Style and tone-of-voice should be business-like; use crisp direct prose and be factual wherever possible. Avoid metaphors and similes. You can use accepted commonly encountered abbreviations in the marketing industry, such as CRM or PPC. Uncommon abbreviations are inappropriate and may be confusing, so always explain if in doubt.
Take time to ensure the points you raise convey meaning to the reader. Sound positive and confident. Avoid uncertainty in your prose – don’t use phrases such as ‘maybe we could think about…’ as this will not achieve buy-in from the marker.
How to tackle your assignment – Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
© 2015 The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. All rights reserved. IDM is a registered
trademark. Registered charity no. 1001865
Presentation and layout should be attractive and easy to read. Use headings, sub-heads, numbering systems and bullets to break up your words. Put numerical work into charts, tables or graphs and label them. All charts should have a clear title and data should be sourced (especially if taken from outside the brief).
Above all, make your writing interesting, professional and relevant to the target audience.
Cover sheet
You will be supplied with a cover sheet which needs to be completed and submitted with your assignment.
The key information required is:
? Candidate’s name (your name)
? Name of qualification / study mode
• Word count
• Tutor’s name
• Signature (an eSignature is acceptable) to confirm that it is entirely your own work If the cover sheet is not completed in full, your assignment will not be marked.
Word count
The word count defines the scope of the task. Many students could write much more than required, but a word count introduces the discipline of the application of ideas and concepts in a concise and clear way. The word count varies according to qualification:
? Postgraduate Diploma: between 4,000 and 5,000 words
The word count includes all of your work, including appendices even if they are scanned images (graphs, tables etc.). The only exclusions are:
• Budget
? Content calendar (where applicable)
• References
The penalty for exceeding the specified word count will result in your work being returned unmarked.
Assignment structure (SOSTAC ®)
To produce a robust report, and gain good marks, you must:
? Assimilate the facts contained in the brief itself
? Carry out additional research (such as market condition, consumer insight and competitor analysis using relevant resources in the public domain)
? Apply the learnings from your qualification to demonstrate you understand them
? Structure your report to build a logical argument, clearly answering all elements of the task
How to tackle your assignment – Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
© 2015 The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. All rights reserved. IDM is a registered
trademark. Registered charity no. 1001865
With regard to structure, the SOSTAC® planning system provides a logical approach to your assignment:
S
Situation
Where are we now?
Think about performance, capabilities, resources, customer insight, brand perception, PESTLE/SWOT analysis, competition and market dynamics (internal and external analysis)
O
Objectives
Where do we want to be?
Consider the long, medium and short-term objectives covering sales, market share, customer service, efficiency gains
S
Strategy
How do we get there?
Segmentation, targeting, positioning, 7 Ps, brand and creative proposition
T
Tactics
How exactly do we get there? What happens, when?
Tactics are the details of the strategy
Marketing mix and communications mix
A
Action
What is our plan?
Who does what, when? (Internal and external resources) Drill down into the details of the tactics
Explore systems and processes
C
Control
Are we getting there?
How do we monitor performance? What control systems are in place? What happens with feedback?
How to tackle your assignment – Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
© 2015 The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. All rights reserved. IDM is a registered
trademark. Registered charity no. 1001865
Your assignment, with numbered pages, should comprise:
A cover sheet, completed and signed Executive summary*
Contents page*
(S) Situation analysis (this is the starting point for your report)
(O) Objectives
(S) Strategy
(T) Tactics
(A) Actions
(C) Control (including contingency plan) Budget
Appendices References*
* These elements should be written at the end, once you have completed the main body of your assignment
We will now explore each element in more detail.
Executive summary
This section appears at the beginning, but can’t be written until you have completed your recommendations. The executive summary is not an introduction to the report; it’s a short section that sharply states the key issues arising from the analysis, the main objectives, the strategy and planning recommendations and a very top line summary of revenues and costs (including targets and ROI). Its purpose is to allow readers to assimilate the report’s key messages without having to read the whole of it.
Contents
Self-explanatory; here’s where you present your report so the reader/marker can easily navigate.
How to tackle your assignment – Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
© 2015 The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. All rights reserved. IDM is a registered
trademark. Registered charity no. 1001865
Situation analysis
To fully understand the task and create the best solution, you need to begin relevant analysis to unravel any complexities and expose the key issues. You can’t propose relevant objectives and the optimum strategy to achieve them if you haven’t fully grasped the key issues and challenges for the organisation.
Carrying out a situation analysis demonstrates you understand the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses (internal analysis) and have defined the most relevant opportunities and threats (external, or macro-environmental, analysis).
Your report must demonstrate your full understanding of the range of problems and other factors influencing the organisation’s marketing approach. Your analysis may hint at possible solutions, but save your actual proposals and plans for the strategy and tactics sections.
Start with the external analysis.
External (macro-environmental) analysis
Examine the macro-environmental issues that have a bearing on the case, as these may well influence every other element in your report. The macro-environment encompasses issues that are beyond most organisations’ control or influence; for example, financial services organisations cannot independently influence a recession; oil companies can’t readily influence a political situation that limits oil supply.
PESTLE/PESTEL is a concept used as a tool by companies to track the environment they’re operating in or are planning to launch a new project/product/service etc. It is a mnemonic which in its expanded form denotes P for Political, E for Economic, S for Social, T for Technological, L for Legal and E for Environmental.
Macro-environmental factors are a valuable part of your analysis because they can:
? Point to a need for caution in your stated objectives
? Discount certain strategic directions
? Identify future opportunities, such as emergent technology in response to an environmental trend
Key aspects of external analysis
Analysis focus and content
The competitive market environment
Identify and consider any competitors the case organisation plans to challenge. Assess competitor positioning, differentiating factors and resources. Is your client organisation able to influence buying behaviour, drive competitors out of a market or raise powerful barriers to entry?
Show an understanding of the competitive set and which differentiators potentially impact on the case organisation.
As a guideline, limit your research to 3 or 4 direct competitors.
How to tackle your assignment – Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
© 2015 The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. All rights reserved. IDM is a registered
trademark. Registered charity no. 1001865
The market sector (market size, structure, trends)
Discuss relevant trends that offer market and/or product opportunities to the case organisation. Use data to support your discussion.
Include a summary of the key factors that make a particular market(s) attractive (or not).
Consumer insight
Offer some insight into the buying behaviour, needs and attitudes of the main marketplace segments. This section is an exploration of potential customer segments in the wider marketplace and their product choice behaviour – it’s not a discussion of the case organisation’s customer base.
Internal analysis
Where the case study provides significant internal detail, you are being invited to use this information to make realistic assertions about the company’s current business and market position.
Detailed internal data can be used as the basis for:
? Understanding the organisation’s customers and the segments served
? Reviewing current database practices
? Discussing product range, differentiators, the marketing mix
? Assessing the success of previous marketing or testing campaigns
? Considering revenue and profit performance
? Assessing company resources (competencies and assets)
Careful analysis of the current internal situation provides you with a series of clues to existing opportunities and limiting factors. You must acknowledge these before you can go on to write your strategy and plan.
Assess the material you intend to include in your report, as all data is not of equal relevance in a case. For example, a macro-environmental analysis may use the PESTLE/PESTEL structure, but the political heading may be of little relevance while social and technological issues are of central importance. Your analysis should give greater weight and consideration to the most important factors. Your report’s emphasis is determined by the ‘client’ and intended audience; ensure that your discussion is focused on and relevant to the organisation. You should ensure that you draw out the core implications from your analysis and not simply describe the factors under consideration.
SWOT/TOWS analysis summary and key issue definition
Following the internal and external analysis, a SWOT and TOWS analysis forms an invaluable summary of the main points and leads into a statement of the key issues that face the organisation.
Identify the key issues that have emerged from your situation analysis. Key issues are a succinct definition of the problems the organisation must overcome through its strategy (they are not neither objectives nor strategies, but should bridge the analysis and objectives).
Limit yourself to three or four statements. As with PESTLE/PESTEL, these need to be clearly focussed on strategic implications for the firm.
How to tackle your assignment – Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
© 2015 The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. All rights reserved. IDM is a registered
trademark. Registered charity no. 1001865
An example of a key issue is:
The rise in low budget airlines flying to popular holiday destinations, and increase in online travel reviews, means that Airline XXX’s prospects and customers have more choice and are likely to look beyond price when selecting an airline.
Objectives
Your objectives should have SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-related) characteristics and relate to the key issues you have identified.
In most circumstances, your marketing objectives will reflect the case’s stated or implied objectives. Ideally, work beyond these.
Objectives should include metrics such as:
? The campaign’s overall return on investment (ROI)
? The revenue objective within the defined period
? The number of customers acquired (at cost per customer/acquisition)
? Average unit sales or order value per customer
? Retention level
An example of a SMART objective is:
To generate 300 new leads each month, an increase of 10% against previous targets, at an AMC of
£25
Strategy and supporting strategies
You can now present a clear direction. Your strategic choices will reflect the circumstances of the case.
You might propose:
? An acquisition-led strategy, concerned with better penetration of existing market segments or new market and segment development
? A strategy that balances relationship marketing, building customer retention levels, engagement, value and customer acquisition.
Each case is different and you will need to judge the most appropriate elements of the strategy that allow you to offer direction and recommendations. However, it is not appropriate to try to turn the company into something it isn’t, for example by proposing a major corporate acquisition or dramatically changing its mission statement.
As your proposed marketing strategy should always be customer focused, a segmentation and
targeting strategy is a logical strategic starting point.
How to tackle your assignment – Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
© 2015 The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. All rights reserved. IDM is a registered
trademark. Registered charity no. 1001865
Understand the value of your customer segments; you may wish to calculate lifetime value (LTV) to determine who your key targets are.
Segmentation and targeting strategy
Your segmentation and targeting decisions should be based on case study information combined with your own judgement and research. Targeting is the single biggest influence on response so make this section count. Include a compelling rationale for your segmentation strategy, for example:
? How will you define the segments you have decided to approach – gender, geography, socio-economics, lifestyle, needs, attitudes, behaviour, value or combinations thereof?
? What are the characteristics of the target audience(s)?
? Is there more than one target group; a primary and a secondary audience?
? Do you need to adopt a testing strategy to determine the most responsive or profitable target groups?
? Persona development
Supporting strategies
Define your supporting specific strategic approaches, where applicable and pertinent to the case study, such as:
Product, brand and positioning strategy
Does the case require you to consider specific aspects of the product range and brand proposition? It may be appropriate to explore:
? How the proposition can be varied according to the target audience
? The range of products offered and the price and value positioning
? How adding a feature or promotional offer might enhance the proposition to encourage the target audience(s) to respond
? Is it critical to your strategy to test price or a specific product proposition enhancement?
Always be realistic. For example, if you are acquiring new customers for an airline, your first act should not be proposing they buy a new fleet of airliners. Enhance or augment the existing product in an achievable way within the time scale, budgets and limitations of the marketing team.
Creative strategy
Your creative strategy should outline your ideas about the main creative concept, primary and secondary offers and key campaign messages and calls-to-action. You do not need to go into great depth or produce artwork. Depending on the case and your media choices, you might outline ideas for new offer development to target specific channels or media.
How to tackle your assignment – Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
© 2015 The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. All rights reserved. IDM is a registered
trademark. Registered charity no. 1001865
Channel strategy
Organisations can create different brands for different channels or vertically integrate, developing their own branch networks. Perhaps the organisation needs to integrate multiple distribution and communications channels? For example, banks provide complex products and services via high street branches, ATMs, telephone, Internet and financial advisors; a multi-faceted distribution strategy.
Communications strategy and testing
One of the key measures of a good report is close logical links between the targeting and channel strategies and the communications approach.
Which media mix will most effectively reach your target audience segments? Is a wide media selection appropriate for the organisation’s size and budget? If the case organisation and/or budget are relatively small, it may be more effective if you limit the range of media. Your report should justify your communications strategy in terms of its efficiency in reaching the target audience and generating a cost-effective response; i.e. within the target cost per customer or sale. The detailed media plan will appear in the tactics section.
You must also assess the need to test against the time frame, objectives and budget. Testing opportunities may be reduced due to a seasonal demand peak, but comprehensive testing may be a necessity for a business with limited or no knowledge in media selection.
Database and information strategy (including testing)
Your report should advise on the strategic potential and value of the database, recommending best practice management in accordance with the latest technical and legal developments (data protection and privacy). Your database strategy may also encompass a data audit to identify information gaps and a data collection strategy to fill them.
Data collection and storage is a key legal issue for direct and digital marketers, but don’t forget to demonstrate an awareness of legal compliance at other relevant points in your report.
Database development supports your CRM contact strategy, allowing key database segments to be accurately targeted and tracked based on lifetime value analysis and other key data.
Customer relationship (CRM) strategy
The CRM strategy aims to retain customers and build customer value to the satisfaction of both parties. A CRM strategy normally requires a strategic approach to evaluating customer potential and developing a personalised contact strategy using appropriate media to connect with customers at the critical points in the relationship.
Good relationship management involves considering every ‘touch’ or contact point between a customer and the organisation. Although a detailed touchpoint strategy will usually be outside the scope of your case report, it’s worth remembering that every service encounter offers a marketing and selling opportunity as well as a chance to enhance the brand, generate loyalty and increase customer value.
The CRM strategy should not be given cursory treatment. Content must be sharply defined, recognising the importance of database analysis in defining and tracking customer value. You should include value-based segmentation and targeting as part of your retention strategy using, for
How to tackle your assignment – Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
© 2015 The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. All rights reserved. IDM is a registered
trademark. Registered charity no. 1001865
example, Pareto, lifetime value (LTV), RFM analysis and profiling. CRM strategy shouldn’t entirely discount low value customer segments; for example, include cost-effective up-sell and enhancement proposals as part of your strategy.
A predicted lifetime value (LTV) calculation will support your CRM proposal.
Lifetime value analysis example
For a typical cell of 1,000 customers projected over five years
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Customers
1000
600
390
273
204.8
Retention Rate
60%
65%
70%
75%
80%
Sales per customer
£600
£660
£725
£800
£875
Total Sales
£600,000
£396,000
£282,750
£218,400
£179,156
Net Profit 20%
£120,000
£79,200
£56,550
£43,680
£35,831
Discount Rate
1
0.9
0.81
0.729
0.656
NPV
Contribution
£120,000
£71,280
£45,806
£31,843
£23,509
Cumulative NPV
£120,000
£191,280
£237,086
£268,928
£292,437
Contribution
£120,000
£191,280
£237,086
£268,928
£292,437
Lifetime Value at Net Present Value
£120.00
£191.28
£237.09
£268.93
£292.44
Research strategy
It may be relevant to include a research strategy as part of your report. Researching a campaign’s marketplace context is central to successful campaign planning. Your analysis of the case material and third-party research may highlight critical information gaps.
Pre-campaign research may help to refine media selection if there is sufficient budget for research but timescales are too tight for testing. Post-campaign research can provide invaluable insights into the reasons for campaign success or failure.
How to tackle your assignment – Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
© 2015 The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. All rights reserved. IDM is a registered
trademark. Registered charity no. 1001865
Tactics
Whereas strategy provides clear direction, the tactical plan gives clear instruction. This section of your report contains the detailed plans to implement your proposals and explain what happens and when.
You will need to consider price, proposition and the development of message linked to the product(s) to be marketed, the benefits of adopting more than one communications tool, presenting an in-depth campaign approach detailing your communications activities. You will need to show the rationale behind your choice of media, brand building and direct response. Unless it is specifically stated in the assignment brief that a limited media selection is appropriate, you should aim to demonstrate an integrated approach in your communications planning; an awareness of the media- multiplier effect and the importance of timing. For example, brand advertising, PR and sales promotion can be used to support direct response advertising where there is sufficient budget.
You will also need to discuss the logic behind the phases of the campaign, although much of the actual detail may be contained in your media schedule. Although your media budget and schedule will provide much of the information required in a tabular format, do ensure that you have explained the structure of your campaign plans and the rationale that supports your decisions. Link clearly to your segmentation model and show this in your communication tactics.
Channels
Your media choices must be considered in relation to customer channel-preference balanced against cost and delivery potential. You will be expected to demonstrate a practical knowledge of how each selected channel performs a specified role within your plan. For example, the strategy may recommend display advertising as a key channel. The tactics should consider advertising frequency, message/creative, positioning and measurement.
Messaging
At each contact point in the customer journey (across each of your segments), the changing substance of the messaging needs to be explored in detail. Consider the information different segments will find most engaging at each stage of the journey to purchase. At the awareness stage, messages can be simple positioning and differentiating statements. As the journey enters the preference phase, messages should contain more specific information about products and services. As the campaign enters the conversion phase, details about call to action offers, guarantees, payment and delivery details become important. As the campaign moves beyond the conversion phase, details regarding transactions, welcome schemes, upsell and cross-sell plans become important.
Actions
Every marketing campaign is a test of your ability to organise resources, processes and people. In this part of your plan you need to consider the logical process of developing and delivering each component in sequence. Data needs to be processed. Analytics need to be set up. Keywords need to be audited. Content, where appropriate, needs to be developed for social, display, email and PPC. Websites and landing pages need to be optimised. Affiliate relationships need to be developed. Data capture needs to be considered. This list is for guidance only and is by no means definitive. The use
How to tackle your assignment – Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
© 2015 The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. All rights reserved. IDM is a registered
trademark. Registered charity no. 1001865
of channels and actions will be specifically influenced by your evaluation of the market context, the client business and the task explored in your situation analysis.
In this section, you will also need to assign tasks or at least determine if you will be using in-house teams, external agencies or both? Resourcing campaigns and the associated costs need to be reconciled. You will also need to identify what resources, systems and processes need to be augmented/updated/replaced in order to deliver to your objectives.
Timing
Every action identified in your plan needs fixing in a timeline. Establishing a chronology of events is a key part of demonstrating that you understand that each task will take a certain amount of time to plan and deliver. This timeline is shaped by the brief, your objectives and by your practical assessment of the work involved. Some activities will take hours, some days, some weeks and others months to plan and execute. Placing each action point into a timeline in a spreadsheet, for example, helps you demonstrate your understanding of the work involved and ability to organise your resources.
Control (and contingency)
As your plan is put into action, it is important to check everything is on track. The ‘control’ element of your assignment is where you’ll explain how to monitor performance, i.e. what control systems are in place (reports, usability testing, customer satisfaction surveys etc.) and what happens with the feedback you receive.
A brief contingency plan to accompany your tracking and control measures (analytics and metrics) will demonstrate detailed marketing planning ability. Online media allows for cost-effective rapid format and offer changes, and this should opportunity should be maximised and part of a campaign optimisation agenda that could also include testing plans for campaign activities.
Budget
You will be expected to include a table/spreadsheet showing predicted revenue and profit for your customer acquisition and/or retention plans – linked to your campaign objectives – to demonstrate that your proposal can achieve what it claims. The budget should not under-perform on the stated objectives.
Include a top line statement of media costs and performance.
You may decide to include supplementary tables showing cost breakdowns for each media type or campaign element.
A detailed communication budget should show the circulation/universe, ad format, ad cost, predicted response rate, predicted customer acquisition volume and cost per customer. You can link this to sales value to show return on marketing investment (ROMI).
You also need to include advertising frequency and the total campaign outcome, linking back to your target acquisition cost and volume objectives. One very quick credibility check of your report is to compare the report’s objectives with the budget to see if the objectives have been realised in a believable way!
How to tackle your assignment – Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
© 2015 The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. All rights reserved. IDM is a registered
trademark. Registered charity no. 1001865
Different acquisition media will produce different LTVs – it’s helpful to allocate some sort of simple ratio to each result. Your budget should be as realistic as possible, reflecting real-life costs and response rates.
Example of a balanced budget
The table below shows a balanced budget and allowable marketing cost (AMC) using a choice of media types (note that figures have been rounded up). You may use and adapt as necessary, ensuring it meets the task requirement and reflects your strategic choices.
To deliver 10,250 sales at an AMC of £10.50
Media Budget Universe CTR Clicks Conv Rate Sales CPS
Affiliate
£30,000
na
na
30,000
10%
3,000
£10.00
Search
na
na
na
80,000
5%
4,000
na
PPC
£20,000
1,350,000
1.50%
20,000
5%
1,000
£20.00
Display
£30,000
13,500,000
0.10%
13,500
5%
675
£44.44
Mobile
£20,000
2,670,000
1.00%
26,700
5%
1,335
£14.98
Facebook
£8,000
7,500,000
0.08%
5,625
5%
281
£28.44
Total
£108,000
25,020,000
na
175,825
6% 10,291 £10.49
Remember, the budget is exempt from the word count.
Appendices
Your appendices should contain raw data, tables, diagrams, charts and other evidence to support your recommendations. The appendices should be valuable to the reader and every appendix item should be referenced in the body text.
Do not include photocopied report pages in the appendix. The reader has no desire to receive, for example, full surveys or filed accounts. Credit in-text tables in an adjacent reference.
Remember, the appendices are to be included in the word count.
How to tackle your assignment – Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
© 2015 The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. All rights reserved. IDM is a registered
trademark. Registered charity no. 1001865
Tips from the markers
? Avoid unsubstantiated claims and statements
? When making assumptions, state them
? Use the brief; it may give clues to the key issues and objectives!
? Objectives must all be SMART and meet the task requirements
? Differentiate strategy from tactics
? Explain your approach and rationale
? Be imaginative but realistic
? Present the budget clearly and make sure it is legible
? Clearly demonstrate achievement of objectives
? Weight sections according to the mark allocation
? Avoid repetition or padding out
? Use ‘we’ not ‘I’
? Data should be clearly presented, explained and easy to read
? Charts, tables, diagrams should be clearly labelled
? Confine raw data to appendices
? Data should be rounded up or down
? Avoid referring frequently to data in appendices – include a summary within the text
? Don’t copy others’ work – it’s against the rules (and easy for a marker to spot)
? Proofread your work thoroughly
Read the task meticulously and answer the brief. Stay focused and answer within the word count.