MKT3001 Marketing Research Assignment 1
The first assignment will assess your selection, use and presentation of digital research in relation to an “underperforming brand”.
The assignment is due on the 26th of March 2019 and will be marked out of 100.
Assignment weightage is 25% of your overall grade.
Table 1 shows you three markets. From this table you may select one market for your assignment. Please choose from one of the following: courier service, fast food or E-commerce.
The underperforming brand (i.e. DHL, Taco Bell or Alibaba) is the focus of your assignment.
Table 1: Markets and brands suitable for Assessment in MKT3001
Underperforming Brand (may not appear on the list or
is a new entrant on the list)
Courier Service DHL UPS FedEx
Fast food Taco Bell McDonald’s KFC
E-commerce Alibaba Amazon ebay
Briefly, your task
Undertake digital desk research to provide information about a) the current market and b) make some recommendations to a manager about a way forward, which might help the underperforming brand perform better (or more successfully in the marketplace).
Present your findings to the manager of the “underperforming brand” (e.g. DHL, Taco Bell or Alibaba) in the form of a MS Word document (no more than 1500 words) + reference list or any other visual format that enables you to communicate digital information).
In your assignment, please use a mix of words, numbers, percentages, diagrams, graphs, pictures and illustrations to make your message, clear, concise, interesting, persuasive and informative.
In this assignment, we are judging you on how well you communicate your results as well as your numeracy skills, critically thinking and problem solving skills.
Suggestions on doing the assignment
Click on the hyperlink above and read about the brands in the above table. Choose a market and brand (i.e. DHL, Taco Bell or Alibaba). You need to consider the performance of these brands on a global context. The market and brand you choose will be the same in Assignment 1 and Assignment 2, so please choose carefully.
Using the hyperlink, you will find your first source of information. You are to conduct digital research and locate other sources of information. How many you locate is up to you. You are the decision maker.
After locating several sources of digital information (data), you might like to differentiate, sort, compare and categorise the digital data to help you to make sense of the data and turn it into useful information. Doing this will help you to critically evaluate the data. Critically evaluating the data refers to deciding what is relevant and meaningful and what is key or unnecessary. Be careful to keep a list of where you find the information for your reference list. Once you have identified, sorted and prioritised the information you will need, the next step is to formulate and design a narrative that tells the manager a meaningful story about your findings. It might be easier to begin with describing about what is going on in the marketplace. Finish your discussion by presenting the manager with a solution or a way forward (to improve the brand’s position in the marketplace).
It might be helpful for the reader (manager) if you present some kind of background about the market (product category). Let the reader know the size of the market, how the market is segmented, or how well the market is performing or anything else interesting you can find about the market that succinctly and clearly gives the reader a snapshot of the market.
Essentially, you are providing the reader with a brief overview of the current market. It might be of value to a manager (reader) if you compare at least two other brands (i.e. for courier services that would be UPS and FedEX, McDonald’s and KFC for fast food, and for Ecommerce that would be Amazon and ebay). You might like to find out what the performing brands are doing that is helping them to succeed. You might also like to compare/contrast the market behaviour of the successful brands to the underperforming brand. Doing this might help to give you some ideas about how the “underperforming brand” can improve.
Your ideas on improvement for the underperforming brand (i.e. DHL, Taco Bell or Alibaba) should be evidence-based. That is on the digital research that you have undertaken.
The recommendations (or way forward) should demonstrate that you have undertaken some critical thinking and problem solving to reach the recommendation(s) you are making to the manager. The recommendation(s) should be clear and provide direction for the company about how they might proceed to improve their current position in the market place. Please provide an evidence-based rationale that will persuasively convince the reader of your recommendation(s). One well-structured recommendation with sound evidence and a comprehensive argument for the recommendation is much better than providing many recommendations.
Part of the problem solving process is to look at the many options (recommendations) available, analyse each of the options, compare and contrast them to arrive at an option that best fits or addresses the current issues in the market place. Going through this problem solving process will help you to build a strong rationale that is evidence-based for the recommendation(s) you are making to the manager.
It is important to clearly prioritise the “way forward” or “recommendations” that you are making to the manager (of the underperforming brand), because whatever you decide about the way forward will form the basis of Assignment 2, in which you are to develop a research proposal.
How you present your assignment and what headings you use in your assignment is up to you. Making decisions about headings, how much information to write, whether to use words, numbers, graphs, illustrations or pictures are decisions that you are going to have to make when designing, creating and developing your assignment. Making these decisions will help you to develop further your critical thinking, problem solving skills and communication skills.
In this assignment we are judging you on how well you demonstrate critical thinking, problem solving and communicate your analysis of numerical data and digital data.
Please ensure you check your assignment against the Marking Criteria when developing, constructing and editing your assignment, and again before submitting your assignment.
Please remember to reference all of your information using the Harvard AGPS referencing guide. You may contact the Library for help if you are having trouble on how to reference using Harvard AGPS. I have included the Library link as a reference point for you to use.
There is no limit on the number of sources for this assignment, though, I am expecting you to use at least six different sources of information, and probably many more, given this assignment is about you conducting digital research.