Sales and Marketing

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  • Develop an organizational profile for a company’s marketing environment and a short analysis of the value of secondary sources. There is no page limit for this assessment.Understanding and tracking the marketing environment is a critical marketing function, focusing on the customer as the center of the organization’s attention. The organization can, and usually does, adjust its products, pricing, promotion, and place (distribution) to meet customer needs and to react to external forces. By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
    • Competency 1: Examine the basic marketing models for a business or organization.
      • Explain how characteristics of the U.S. economy affect a company’s retail operations.
      • Explain how characteristics of the global economy affect a company’s retail operations.
      • Explain how characteristics of the legal and regulatory environment that affect a company’s retail operations.
      • Explain how characteristics of the technological forces affect a company’s retail operations.
    • Competency 2: Relate the importance of an integrated marketing program to the economic impact of a business.
      • Explain how secondary sources of information can be used in developing an integrated marketing plan.
      • Analyze the value of secondary sources of information to business economic success.
  • Context
  • Before you begin analyzing and applying principles of marketing, consider that there are two important perspectives on the marketing field:
    1. That of a professional marketer working on reaching a targeted market.
    2. That of interested consumers, each a part of a different target markets; each inundated with marketing messages.
    You make this distinction so that you can more closely analyze what marketing means and how to tell good plans and ideas from the bad ones.The Assessment 1 Context document contains important information related to the following topics:

    • Defining Markets.
      • Conducting Market Research.

    • To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.Based on your research of an organization:
        • How does the organization’s positioning in the marketplace compare to its competitors?
        • How are its product lines similar or different?
        • If you consider a particular product category, such as outdoor apparel, how do the marketing strategies compare?
        • How does this relate to the target market segments for these companies?

      Increasingly, social media sites are utilizing and sharing consumer information that many people consider private, such as their geographic location and their purchasing preferences. This has resulted in some controversy for organizations like Apple and Google.

      • How can marketing departments utilize consumer information from social media to benefit their companies and their customers, while also taking into account privacy concerns?

    • Required Resources

      The following resources are required to complete the assessment.

      Capella Resources

      Click the links provided to view the following resources:

      • REI Case Study – Research Guide.
        • In this course, you will complete two assessments based on a case study of REI. This guide is intended to provide you with a starting point for your research.
      Internet Resources

      Access the following resources by clicking the links provided. Please note that URLs change frequently. Permissions for the following links have been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.

      • REI. (2013). Retrieved from

      Suggested Resources

      The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.

      Capella Resources

      Click the links provided to view the following resources:

      Library Resources

      The following e-books or articles from the Capella University Library are linked directly in this course:

      Course Library Guide

      A Capella University library guide has been created specifically for your use in this course. You are encouraged to refer to the resources in the BUS-FP3030 – Fundamentals of Marketing and Sales Library Guide to help direct your research.

      Internet Resources

      Access the following resources by clicking the links provided. Please note that URLs change frequently. Permissions for the following links have been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.

      Tutorials: You are encouraged to use the following resources.

      • KnowThis LLC. (2013). Retrieved from
      • KnowThis LLC. (2013). How to write a marketing plan. Retrieved from…
        • For the focus of this assessment, you may want to examine the following sections of the How to Write a Marketing Plan tutorial from the site’s Principles of Marketing Tutorials list. Part 1 (Purpose and Mission) and Part 2 (Situational Analysis) are recommended.

      Secondary Marketing Resources: The following Web sites are recommended as secondary sources for your research on the REI case study.

      Bookstore Resources

      The resources listed below are relevant to the topics and assessments in this course and are not required. Unless noted otherwise, these materials are available for purchase from the Capella University Bookstore. When searching the bookstore, be sure to look for the Course ID with the specific –FP (FlexPath) course designation.

      • Lamb, C. W., Hair, J. F., & McDaniel, C. (2018). MKTG 11 (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
      • Ries, A., & Trout, J. (1994). The 22 immutable laws of marketing. New York, NY: Harper Business.

    • Preparation

      For this assessment, refer to the REI Case Study – Research Guide, linked in the Resources under the Required Resources heading. In addition, conduct independent research to develop a case study based on REI.Your research resources should include the REI organization’s Web site, but you are also expected to use information about REI that has been gathered by organizations that are devoted to marketing research. These organizations are referred to as secondary sources. A short list of secondary sources is provided for you in the REI Case Study – Research Guide. Use these sites to get your research started. You are encouraged to explore further secondary sources.Conduct your research on REI, focusing on the following topics:

      • How does the current U.S. economy affect REI retail operations?
      • How does the current global economy affect REI retail operations?
      • What types of legal and regulatory forces affect REI in the U.S.?
      • What types of social and culture trends affect REI?
      • What types of technology changes affect REI?

      Organizational Profile Development

      Based on your research, develop an organizational profile for REI’s marketing environment, analyzing the key environmental factors of the U.S. economy, global economy, legal and regulatory environment, socio-cultural forces, and technological forces.

      • Identify three or more of the secondary sources of information available for conducting market research on REI.
      • Develop a short analysis of the value of these secondary sources, specifically in gathering information on REI.
        • How might these secondary sources be used to develop an integrated marketing plan?
        • How valuable would their information be in developing a marketing plan that would contribute to the company’s economic success?

      Additional Requirements

      • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
      • APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to current APA style and formatting.
      • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.

    • Some of the Web sites and other research resources you might visit in this course refer to a business plan, rather than a marketing plan. Although those two types of plans are related, and both are very important to growing a business, they are not one in the same. It is important for you to understand the function of each type of plan, so you can focus on the proper aspects for your assessments in this course.

      The Business Plan

      A business plan outlines and defines a business, and identifies the goals and objectives for the organization. Think of it as providing the big picture, or the overall scope of the company. It includes all aspects of the organization, including the objectives and strategies set for use in a specific timeframe. An overall business plan includes several sections, such as the:

      • Executive Summary.
      • Business Description.
      • Market Strategies.
      • Competitive Analysis.
      • Design and Development Plan.
      • Operations and Management Plans.
      • Financial Components.

      The Marketing Plan

      By contrast, a marketing plan is a subset of the overall business plan. It focuses specifically on how the organization will seek new customers. It outlines the detailed marketing activities for the organization. Marketing plans include explanations of how the company will get customers to buy its products and services. Marketing plans also present methods for getting the message out to the organization’s target market. Some sections commonly appearing in a marketing plan include:

      • Products and Services, and Your Unique Selling Proposition.
      • Pricing Strategy Sales or Distribution Plan.
      • Advertising and Promotions Plan.

      In this course, we will look specifically at the marketing plan portion of the overall business plan. Please keep this in mind and look specifically for the marketing sections of the plans you study throughout this course, including the plans provided to you as examples, the plans from the recommended Web site resources, and plans you research on your own. Be careful to limit your focus in order to address the proper content for this course.

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