Specify how these competitors’ offerings differ from each other in terms of strengths, weaknesses, and other characteristics.


MK640 Marketing and Advertising

Stand-Alone Project: Competitive Market Analysis (200 points)

You should begin working on the Stand-Alone Project early in the course. Each lesson provides a benchmark for completing the Stand-Alone Project in a timely manner while working through the course. You will find this information in the “Stand-Alone Project Benchmark” section of each lesson. (200 points) (A 10-page response is required for the combination of Parts A, B, and C.)

Instructions: The Stand-Alone Project for this course requires you to assume the role of an account planner for an advertising agency assigned to compile a competitive market analysis on a given product.

Scenario: A manufacturer who is thinking seriously about marketing a new product in an industry with which you are familiar has approached your advertising agency and asked that you prepare a competitive analysis of the market for this product. The client will pay for this work on a project basis then decide whether to launch the product and hire your agency to design and execute the campaign.

While this situation is a hypothetical one with respect to your role and the new product, your competitive analysis should be based on reality. Use an outline format with brief descriptive explanations. The product may be for either the consumer or business-to-business markets. The following sections should guide your composition of the competitive market analysis.

This project is much more involved than the writing project in Lesson 4, which is a plan for gathering information that will be analyzed to support a marketing plan and effort. The Stand-Alone Project may be viewed as an extension of the earlier project, “drilling down” and using the methods described there and expanding on them to construct a competitive analysis in detail. In other words, you may use the product from Lesson 4 or create an entirely new one.

Your Stand-Alone Project responses should be both grammatically and mechanically correct, and formatted in the same fashion as the project itself. If there is a Part A, your response should identify a Part A, etc. (200 points) (A 20-page response is required.)

Part AResearch and Analysis:Begin by researching the product about which you will write an analysis.

1.    Describe the product and its associated industry.

2.    Identify this product’s direct competitors.

3.    Specify how these competitors’ offerings differ from each other in terms of strengths, weaknesses, and other characteristics.

4.    Detail how they differ from the proposed product.

5.    Detail how the proposed product is superior and/or inferior to the competitive products.

6.    Identify the target clientele of the competing products.

7.    Identify the segments in the target market.

8.    Describe the market share each competitor has.

9.  Outline the market strategies used by competitors.

Part B       Competitive Environment: In this section you will research and compose a summary of the competitive environment. Compare four (4) competitors in this section. Depending upon the product you have chosen, in this section you may want to describe the areas in which the proposed product is superior and/or inferior to the competitive products, determine the target consumer group of each competitor, and characterize how those target markets are divided. You may also wish to summarize competitive market shares, analyze the competitor’s marketing strategies, and determine who provides products that satisfy the same or similar customer needs. Tables and graphics in support of the text are encouraged.

Part C       Opinion and Recommendations: The final part of your report should be your own personal opinion of the proposed product’s prospects for success and an explanation of the reasoning behind your conclusions. This is the “bottom line” for your client as you see it. Include three (3) recommendations for steps that will improve the product’s chances to succeed.

NOTE: For an industry you are familiar with your own observations can be valuable. Specific supporting information is also available from many secondary research sources, including the following:

1.    Company Web Sites and Literature

2.    Industry Trade Show Observations and Contacts

3.    Online Databases, including ProQuest, DIALOG, Lexis-Nexis, EBSCO, First Source, PROMPT, Trade & Industry, and Investext

4.    TV Networks

5.    Hoover

6.    Investment Houses and Brokers

7.    Dow Jones/Factiva

Grading Rubric

Please refer to the rubric on the following page for the grading criteria for this assignment.