Students need to conduct their project work in their units of study to develop their competencies and contribute to the development of best practice models applicable to marketing and business communications. It is planned to use real life organisations as the site of learning for this unit of study. The benefits of this approach are as follows:
- Learning is reality based
- The outcomes of learning is a tangible intellectual asset
- Students learn valuable workplace knowledge
Scope of the Learning Projects
Student teams are to study the marketing communications practices and/or strategies in a case organisation, highlight the observed deficiencies in comparison to the best practices suggested in the literature and develop a revised Marketing Communications Plan that can address the gaps and set the case project/organisation on the path to apply best practices in marketing communications.
In this unit of study the scope comprises the following activities:
- Establishing clear and concise project objectives (Start-Up)
- Literature review, research and documentation of best practice model for marketing communications from the perspective of an enterprise or a business unit or a major functional department in a major organisation (Assignment 1)
- Distillation of key theories reviewed in the literature and of the best practices in marketing communications that the team considers to be suitable to the case organisation – develop a conceptual model. (Assignment 1)
- Develop a research methodology to demonstrate how data will be collected in the case organisation. Use the selected best practice model developed in assignment 1 (conceptual model) as the basis to review the current marketing communications practices in the case organisation. Once the current practices are identified apply a SWOT analyses (Assignment 2)
- In this assignment you need to address the areas that are deficient for further development and demonstrate the gaps – GAP analyses and further develop a revised marketing communications development plan for the case organisation (Assignment 2)
- Evaluate your Marketing Communications Plan vs. the best practices developed in Assignment 1 and the feedback received from your course convenor and or from the actual case organisation Marketing Directors or Executives (Assignment 3)
- Design the presentation structure of your Marketing Communications Plan.
Consolidate the contents from the all preceding activities, finalise and write up your HRM Plan and submit this (Assignment 3)
- Self-reflections of your personal learning
- Present your Marketing Communications Plan and your entire project work (Final Assessment)
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To be successful in the conduct of this assignment you need to identify a suitable case project/organisation (from any industry sector) which is prepared to supply you with the information on their Marketing Communications practices. The case project/organisation does not have to be a large organisation or an entire corporation; it can be a business unit or an arm of a large organisation or a major functional department within a large organisation. The most important criterion for its selection is that it should be acting as a more-or-less autonomous unit, including having its own organisation structure.
If the selected case project/organisation outsources its business then it is not necessarily a good candidate organisation for the study of marketing communications. In such cases it is best to focus on the contractor organisation that has contracted to conduct the work on behalf of the client organisation.
Figure 1 shows the scope of your team project graphically and as noted it involves completing 4 major activities in a structured manner. This brief needs to be read in conjunction with the information published in the SBM2102 website. As may be noted, students will conduct their work in teams and should manage their own IP (not sharing their work with others).
Figure 1: Approach to the conduct of learning project in this unit of study
Terms of Reference (TOR)
The assignment should be executed through a quality-managed process (as per your Team QA/Workplan) following all the requirements spelt out in the website of SBM2102 within the permitted duration.
Each team develops and submits own work in MS Word format. Please keep your own separate copies (please note that the College will keep a copy of all submissions for examination purposes and may use such submissions in manners deemed appropriate by the College for educational purposes pursuant to the College’s Intellectual Property Policy published on the College website). A
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marked copy of the electronic version will be sent back to each team to provide feedback on the work submitted. For this reason all electronic submissions should be in Word or a compatible format.
The final submission should include a single page qualification statement in the form of a table that gives reference to where each item of the requirements of the assignment has been addressed and if the submitted Report complies with all the requirements; if not why not.
Your Marketing Communications Plan must be based on sound research and well justified in terms of conceptual studies. Teams should avoid superficial adoption of the methodologies found in different standards or source documents. The idea is for the teams to show a degree of freshness in tailoring concepts to suit application or coming up with a really optimum solution to the challenge under consideration.
Submissions 1-4 need to be designed to build up and easily consolidate to form the final submission for the unit of study under consideration. Your Team QA/Workplan needs to be included as an appendix to the main report.
The final submission should be ideally 50-70 pages in size. Its Table of Contents should be similar to that included below. (Please note that the suggested table of contents is a notional one provided for guidance only; your team needs to research and design its own table of contents as variations are expected depending on the case project, host/client organisation and industry sector under consideration.)
Table of Contents
Project Title (Marketing Communications Plan for XXX Case Project/Organisation)
Section 1 – Overview (Start-Up)
- Project Background
- Project Objective(s)
- Project Problem/Research Question(s)
- Project Justification
- Team QA/Work-plan
- Declarations and Ethical Considerations
Section 2 – Literature Review (Assignment 1)
- Literature on best marketing communications practices perceived to be applicable to the case project/organisation
- Review industry best practice models where available
- Develop a conceptual model of the key factors or theories to consider when developing your Project Plan
- Outline of review methodology to gather project data
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Section 3 – Case Project/Organisation (Marketing Communications Practices and/or Strategies)
- Outline of review methodology to gather project data
- Case organisation description, background and context
- Review current Strategic Marketing Communications Plan of case organisation or strategic goals as defined by interviewing key managers and or the organisation’s annual report, Marketing Communications audits or other source documents
- Team’s perception of the case project Marketing Communications challenges and opportunities – SWOT analyses
- Other observations and conclusions
Section 4 – Analyses and Development (of a Marketing Communications Plan for Case Organisation) (Assignment 3)
- Basis for the design of a marketing communications plan for the case organisation
- Requirements and challenges of marketing communications in the case organisation
- Gap analyses (evaluation of conceptual model or best practices [Assignment 1] and the current case project marketing communications practices)
- Marketing Communications Plan components (organisation structure, roles, competencies, etc)
- Develop a Complete Draft Marketing Communications Plan
Section 5 – Final Recommendations and Conclusion (Marketing Communications Plan
for Case Project/Organisation) (Assignment 4)
- Review and revision of Draft Marketing Communications Plan to reflect the literature and feedbacks
- Design of Marketing Communications Plan structure, style and presentation
- Marketing Communications Plan details.
- Limitations of This Research and Future Studies
- Team Reflections
- Only those submissions that are made within the Schedule of Submissions published in the SBM2102 website will be assessed; late submissions will not be accepted. The exception is where the team has proposed a different schedule for its submissions within its Team QA/Workplan and when this has been endorsed by the Course Convenor. This option still requires completing the project within the specified 10 week duration.
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- In such situations, the intermediate submission dates will be as per the team’s endorsed QA/Workplan. Please note that endorsement of QA/Workplan by the Course Convenor does not remove the responsibility for timely completion of the entire Project Phase from teams. This endorsement is always subject to team’s bearing full responsibility for meeting the relevant deadlines and the final quality they achieve in their project work or competency acquisition efforts.
- Submissions must be of an adequate professional standard in terms of technical writing, academic referencing, overall structure and flow and graphical design and presentation. All poor quality submissions will be returned without assessment to the team concerned.A team whose work has not been accepted on account of quality of presentation will not receive a final mark. It is important that you and your team to learn how to compile and write high quality technical reports to recognized standards for all purposes. This assignment is a good opportunity to further improve your report writing skills. Poor composition, misspelling of words, poor lay-out and illustrations all detract from the quality of the submission and are not acceptable. In designing your submission you should consider the objectives, readers’ needs and requirements, contents, document structure, where to include any supporting material and academic referencing.
- Please note that marking of each report will be based on the Project Assessment Criteria a copy of which may be found in the APIC website.
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