Identify which company you think has run the most effective marketing strategy at the end of Period 2

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There are three pieces of assessment on the module:

1. Individual Online Preparation Test (20% of total module mark)

2. Team Situational Analysis Poster (40% of total module mark)

3.Individual Reflection (40% of total module mark)

1. Individual Online Preparation Test

The test is completed on the module Blackboard site and can be found under the ‘Assessment’ tab when available. It is worth 20% of your total module mark.

You can complete your test at any time between the dates of
Thursday5thOctober 2023 (from 12.30pm UK time) - Thursday 12th October 2023 (until 3pm UK time).

The test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions that are randomly generated. Your test is unique to you, so if a course mate, who has already completed their test, offers you their answers do not use them.

Once you have started the test you will have 2.5 hours to complete all 50 questions. When you answer a questionwe recommend immediately savingthe answer to that question.  If your Internet connection fails during the test, immediately re-start the test and let the module leader know if there are any problems.

Prior to attempting the test you should study the following materials:

- YouTube videos (from MarkStrat)

- The Marketing Participant Handbook

- Company Report for TeamSalt

All these links and documents can be found on the module Blackboard site in the `Assignment` tab.  When you attempt the test, we advise you to have access to both the handbook and company report to help you in answering the questions.

The pass mark for the test is 50%.  If you do not make a valid attempt you will have failed this element of the assessment and receive a mark of 0. If you make a valid attempt but do not achieve 50% you will be allowed one further attempt at the test during the dates of Monday 16th October 2023(9am UK time) - Friday 20th October 2023(until 3pm UK time). 


2. TeamPoster

The teamposter is worth 40% of your overall module mark. This assessment task requires your team to answera number of questions that relate to your experience during the simulation and to carry out a situation analysis of where your team currently are in relation to competitors and target markets. During thesimulation, at each decision stage we recommend you make a note of the key decisions you made and a short rationale of why you made these decisions to reflect on for this task and for the third individual reflection task.

Completion of the team poster is a team activity, and your team will receive a single mark. If the team decides that the mark should reflect differences in the contributions of individual members, this can be done through the Peer Team Assessment form. All teams should submit this sheet to their seminar tutor(s) during the poster presentation task if they wish to apply peer assessment. If no peer assessment is submitted by the end of the seminar the tutors will presume no peer assessment has been applied. `Peer Team Assessment` instructions regarding peer assessment and the mechanism for differentiating the marks within the team are included later in this document and you will be briefed on how to apply peer assessment during seminars.

Note: Your team is NOT marked on whether you are the market leader or not!


Your team must work collaboratively to produce a poster that clearly illustrates and communicated your understanding of the current Markstrat marketplace. The poster must creatively demonstrate your teams’ position in the Markstrat simulation, which will provide preparation for your individual reflection assignment.

Your Poster will focus on your results from 0, 1, 2 and 3 andinclude a forecast for expected results for Decision 4.

Assessment Questions:

Using a range of market metrics and financial ratios (see suggestions on the next page), critically evaluate the performance of all the teams and brands in your MarkstratIndustry at the end of decision period 3(you will be makingdecision 4 but will not have the results yet – but should be predicting the results).

Your analysis should use data and information to:

1. Identify which are your customer segments.  This should include what benefits and features they required.                   

2.  Identify which team/brands are your major competitors. You should include what benefits and features you are competing on i.e. convenience, performance or economy.                    

 3.  Identify which company you think has run the most effective marketing strategy at the end of Period 2.  Explain your choice.

4.  Include a Forecast for Period 3 for your company (you will be making/have made these decisions at this time).

To answer these questions, you will need to use your team data. 
Use this data to produce a range of metrics and ratios to answer the questions.  Here are some suggestions:

- what is the contribution sales ratio for all brands and how have they changed between Periods 0 and 2?

- what is the contribution sales ratio after marketing for all brands and how have they changed between Periods 0 and 2?

- what is marketing spend to sale revenue ratio for all brandsand how have they changed between Period 0 and 2?

- what is the sales staff to sale revenue ration for all brands and how have they changed between Periods 0 and 2?

- what is the market position (using BCG) for Periods 0 and 2 for all brands?

- what is the position of allcustomer segments and allmarket brands (using Perceptual Map)?

Your Team Poster should include the following:

  1. Your names, student ID numbers, industry&team, the date and a company logo (and preferably a team photo!)
  2. Title and brief explanation of what the poster contains
  3. Show how you are answering the 4questionson the previous page
  4. Your poster can be up to A2 size (420 x 594 cms). A3 will suffice
  5. Your poster is not a de-constructed report
  6. All members of your team must make sure they have a copy of all the materials. These materials will be used for your individual reflection (task three).

Each of the four questions on page 4 are worth 20 marks and the quality of poster is worth an additional20 marks(this includes marks for the clarity of message).

Any materials that supportyour poster should be included in one plastic pocket.  Include your names & student ID numbers on these materials.

Referencesmust be included.  Include your names & student ID numbers on these materials. These materials must also be uploaded to the module Blackboard site.

TEAM POSTER– this will be handed to the Module Tutors in the Understanding Markets during the week commencing 13th November 2023.

A copy of your teams poster should also be uploaded to the module Blackboard site by 3pm on 16th November 2023.

3.Individual Reflection

Date of submission to Understanding Markets Blackboard site:
Thursday 7th December at 15:00 (UK time)

Make sure you include your name, your Industry and your Team in your assignment footer or header

You are required to complete an individual reflection report
The word guide is 2,500 words (+/- 10%). This is worth 40% of the total module mark.

Question - Critically evaluate your company`s performance in relation to your final market (Period 8) position in comparison to your initial one (Period 0) using the following questions to structure your response. You should include the marketing strategy that your team used and explain changes made to the strategy in these questions, reflecting on how effective your strategy was.

1.  Who are the customers now, who were they at the beginning of the simulation and how have they changed?

2.  Who are your competitors now, who were they at the beginning of the simulation and how have they changed?

3.  What are you company`s financial strengths and weaknesses?  What is the contribution of each product in your portfolio at Period 8?
What does this tell you about your product range?

4.  What are your products strengths and weaknesses now and what are your recommendations for future product development?  Support your answer with market information.

5.  Using changes in your Share Price Index over the simulation explain how the market has changed.  Include the marketing strategy you followed, the objectives you were trying to achieve and what changes occurred in the market.  You should also discuss if you adapted your objectives and marketing strategy to meet the market changes and financial challenges.

You may think you are repeating what you have included in the team portfolio - this is intentional as this individual work allows you to show what your understanding is.  Make sure you address all of the questions -each question is equally weighted.

Individual Assignment Tips:

1. Look at how you formulated your marketing strategy (use the Ansoff matrix).  Take into account how you have used both marketing and financial information.  You can illustrate your answer using examples from your Markstrat experience. 

Warning!  Do not state what actions you took in each decision period(this is operational and not strategic!) but you can use operational examples to illustrate your points.

2. Consider the implications of introducing new products or retaining existing product and what this means for your marketing and financial resources.

3.  For Question 5 you can use your Share Price Index and Cumulative Net Contribution forecasts as part of your answer.

3.  Answer all of the questions to demonstrate your understanding.

4.  Use the questions as headings in your work to demonstrate that you have completed the work (you can use headings such as Customer Analysis; Competitor Analysis; Financial Performance; Product Portfolio; and Market Evolution).

5.  If you include tables, graphs, diagrams etc. then explain what they illustrate to demonstrate your understanding.

6.  Include and apply relevant models and theory e.g. PLC, BCG, Ansoff etc.  These were included in lecture one (Welcome to Markstrat and Assessment Overview). You can also bring in wider reading and theories from other modules and your own independent research.

7.  Make sure you include your Industry name and your Team name on the title page.

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