Marketing Plan Project - Evaluating a New Product Opportunity
In this project you play the role of a marketing manager/entrepreneur whose task is to
study the market and the strategy for a new product or service idea that your company is considering
and develop a marketing plan. You must choose a new product, or service idea that your group is
interested in. Ideally, the chosen product concept must not be a “me-too” business opportunity
which copies some existing product. I encourage you to choose a product or service that is relevant
to the company or industry that one or several of the group members are interested in. Or it could
be a business concept that you have been considering.
Assignment Report Format
The final written assignment should not be more than 2500 words (excluding the
executive summary). In addition, you may attach up to 5 exhibits which present any supporting
analysis that you have done. Finally you should also attach your 2-page questionnaire.
The final report should contain the following:
- Executive Summary: This would be about 1/2 to 1 page in length which succinctly summarizes your
new product idea, your segmentation, positioning, and marketing mix recommendations (minus
recommendation support), and the key insights that you derived. You do not need to add
implementation details. The executive summary must be kept to under one page and is not
included in the word limit for the report.
- Products/Services Description: This should be a brief description of the product or service and its
market. You can include the value proposition, core product benefit for the target market, the
relevant product attributes and features.
- Objectives: This is a brief statement of the ultimate business goal of the marketing plan (i.e., the key
outcome you are trying to achieve). Since each team will be creating a new product or service for
a company, this goal is likely to be similar across teams. In addition to the ultimate goal, you
might also list necessary sub-goals to achieve the ultimate goal (i.e., key targets and activities that
must be accomplished to achieve the ultimate goal). These will necessarily be of a marketing
nature. Furthermore, this section should list the key performance indicator(s) that will be used to
measure success and the timeframe in which you plan to achieve the goals.
- Segmentation, Target Market Identification and Positioning: You should conduct a segmentation analysis
considering various ways to segment the market and select the optimal target market segment(s).
You must consider alternative positioning platforms for your chosen product concept and
choose the optimal positioning for the product.
- Marketing Mix Recommendation: You must specify what the marketing mix challenges
are if the product were to be launched and provide recommendations on the proposed marketing
strategy (product, price, distribution, promotion and advertising). You do not necessarily need to
cover every element of the marketing mix, but may focus on the ones that are most critical for
your problem. This section will probably be the largest section of the plan because it is where
most of the marketing recommendations are made and justified.
Credit will be given to groups that are able to integrate these the components in #4 and # 5 and demonstrate
their interrelationship in the report. Groups will also benefit from applying the concepts and issues discussed in
the class throughout the semester.
- Implementation Details – Action Steps, Financial Evaluation, Controls: here is where you will
include your important action steps, your timeline for key decisions and actions, your assessment
of the risks you face with backup plans to mitigate risks if/when they arise, your financial analysis
that provides evidence that your plan could succeed, and a list of the metrics and key
performance indicators you will monitor to determine whether your plan is working.
The following is a suggested timeline. The only official date is when you must submit
the groups and your final report.
- Week 1: Convene group and pick product idea
- Submit list of group members and basic idea by 10/18, 11pm
- Week 2: Conduct secondary research on product category, market, and
- Week 3-4: Develop Survey Questionnaire. Pretest and refine the questionnaire on 2-3 consumers.
- Week 5-6: Collecting data (approx. 25 respondents) and analyze data. Make decisions on STP and
the design of product/service.
- Week 7: make decisions on marketing mix recommendations.
- Week 8: Pulling it all together, write marketing plan report.
- Submit final report 12/11, 11pm
Data Collection Task
An objective of this project is to give you first-hand exposure in conducting a
small-scale market research. Thus, to collect information for your new product and to aid in
understanding the segmentation and positioning decision you may conduct secondary and primary
research. For your secondary research, you can search free sources on the Internet, but you may
access sources of secondary research (e.g., market and industry reports and archived news and trade
press articles) available at the Long Library. In addition to your secondary research, you can also
conduct some basic primary research in the form of a market survey. Your research should focus on
the product/service category you intend to enter. Note that your research may reveal that your initial
hypotheses need adjustment and the customer value gaps your new product or service can fill may
emerge quite differently from your original conceptions. In the past, my experience has been that
groups find conducting and analyzing primary research to be exciting.
When designing the questionnaire for the research study you can refer to the market
research chapter that will be included in your reading materials for self-study. This will help you to
better design the questions for your survey. You can also refer to the marketing research textbook
listed below and available in the library. These additional resources will be kept on hold in the library
as an introduction to conducting marketing research. The following are a few suggestions:
- Limit the questionnaire to a maximum of about two pages. You will get more cooperation from
respondents if you mention that this is part of a university project.
- A sample size of around 25 respondents will be sufficient for the purposes of the assignment.
- It may be desirable to make primary objective of this survey to learn how the various target
segments react to your chosen i) product concept ii) alternative positioning concepts and iii)
important aspects of marketing strategy such as pricing. Your research can help you to
identify target segments, but given the duration available, it is acceptable if the survey does
not involve a detailed market segmentation exercise.
- Pay heed to sample selection. You cannot select people to interview who might have
nothing to do with your chosen product concept. If your class mates are a relevant target for
your product you may interview them, but please ensure that they do not form more than
50% of the sample.
In studying a target market, and to evaluate your product’s idea you need to
decide what information is a must and which can be had only from direct consumer interviews (plus
other information that is relevant to your product/service). Some issues to consider are:
You may potentially use the information from the study to conduct some relevant analysis of
consumer behavior and consumer preferences (e.g., conjoint analysis) and behaviors that might aid
your segmentation/positioning decision. Apart from the techniques discussed in the class, your are encouraged to use
and basic data analysis techniques such as tabulations and cross-tabulations.
- Information to evaluate segment attractiveness, potential etc.
- Interest, purchase intentions and consumer evaluation of the new product concept.
- How members of the target market make decisions, what are their needs and who influences
their purchase decisions.
- The relative importance of various product/service features.
- Consumer price sensitivity
- How do they evaluate key brands in the category on important dimensions?
- In what ways are key brands/competitors in the category not meeting the needs of your
Many groups in the past have found it very convenient to run their surveys online
through tools such as Survey Monkey or Qualtrics (Go to berkeley.qualtrics.com
for a Qualtrics interface provided to Berkeley students). If you decide that you do not need to do face to
face interviews, you can explore the option to administer your survey online. Note: Do not use the built-in conjoint analysis survey in Qualtrics. Unfortunately, it is not a real conjoint analysis.