Review existing marketing plans created by, or on behalf of, companies
Compile preexisting marketing materials for use in strategy formulation
Generate new strategy with knowledgeable understanding of a businesses operations
Throughout the course, you’ve been working to create a new marketing plan for a company of your choice, but you may have not realized it… I certainly never directly said as much!
In our final week together, you’ll take the worksheets you’ve completed in previous weeks and transform them into a digital marketing plan with an outline provided by me. You’ll be doing a fair bit of writing this week, but don’t worry, you’ll also be able to copy and paste some of the tables from your worksheets to round out the plan!
This assignment is a sort of “trial by fire” where you’ll be learning about both digital marketing and marketing planning by hands-on real-world doing! It’s the core foundation of Full Sail education, and it certainly beats having to read thousands of text book pages without ever getting a chance to apply what you’ve learned!
(For what it’s worth, I’ve both been a learner and teacher in both types of environments, and I see merits to each, but real world is much more directly applicable.)
Individually create and submit a marketing plan following the SOSTAC planning model (discussed below). You won’t have to do much formatting work, as a fully laid out template is provided for you (hand authored by me!) to use as not just another template, but also as a learning tool to see how real plans are actually structured.
The bonus is that you’ll find out they don’t contain much more than topics you’ve already been exposed to at Full Sail. Sure, they get a lot more in depth, but you still have a few more portfolio cycles to go before graduation!
Two real-world sample plans are also included in the download materials to serve as inspiration, and you’ll observe that formats vary slightly from plan to plan, but you’ll explore that more in the future in other courses. However, much of that learning also comes from on-the-job training after graduation to get the specific likes, dislikes, and best practices from your employer (or friendly businesses and support groups if you’re an entrepreneur).
There are seemingly abundant models and frameworks for everything in business. This rings so true today in the world of technology, that the words “model” and “framework” (as well as “platform” and “library” for our programmer colleagues) often elicit annoyed groans and sarcastic eye-rolls. So, for our purposes, we’re not trying to become SOSTAC Certified—which, yes, that’s a real thing—but we are hoping to become aware that such a model exists.
SOSTAC is an acronym for the stages of marketing planning as identified by Paul R. Smith (who goes by PR Smith and runs the PR Smith Marketing Consultancy). The stages should sound rather familiar to you at this point, and I’ll encourage you to conduct further exploration into this topic based upon your interest level in a marketing career. What will be expected in terms of this assignment, however, is that you are clearly following these stages and have all stages represented within your plan.
S – Situation Analysis
O – Objectives (quantifiable, as opposed to goals)
S – Strategy
T – Tactics
A – Actions
C – Control (including Evaluation)
Collect Worksheets 1-9 completed earlier in this course
Review all Assignment 4 instructions and downloads (including a read-through of the examples)
Utilize the PDM A4 Template to create a marketing plan for the business, brand, or product you’ve been representing this term. Do not alter the template’s format, but you may improve upon it (not remove!) if you so desire. This involves a lot of writing. We’ve created worksheets 1-9 which give us many of the “ideas” but now we have to document those ideas in writing!
If any of your tables from Worksheets 1-9 are highly relevant to the text you wrote within the plan, include that table (or those tables) as appendices at the end of the template. Just copy and paste the tables over and make sure you provide them with headers like Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.
Proofread, proofread, proofread! Don’t get nickle-and-dime’d with points deductions by making sloppy mistakes. Typos, spelling, punctuation, grammar… they add up quickly!
Submit your completed (individual!) marketing plan by the deadline. Allow plenty of time for uploads if on mobile, experiencing connection issues, or if the server is overloaded. These common issues are not grounds for an extension and occasionally cause the dreaded automatic-zero even after hours of work!
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