The purpose of this assignment is to again provide you with an opportunity to apply knowledge, theory, frameworks and tools from the early part of the unit to an analysis of the strategy and strategic practices of a real organisation. In this assignment, you will work to analyse the strategies pursued by Facebook since its creation. You will evaluate marketing-related strategies and their effectiveness and relate those real-life experiences to relevant research and theory. The aim is to provide experience of marketing analysis and practice and to determine your ability to relate real marketing strategy to theory and research.
The Overall Task:
Facebook Inc is a global online social network that has about one billion member accounts. However the organisation is less than 10 years old. Despite intense media excitement when Facebook listed as a public company in May 2012, the share price has bobbed around quite a bit since. Many business analysts are beginning to question the company’s long-term viability because it is difficult to discern a coherent business strategy.
Your task in this case analysis is to answer two questions by critically analysing Facebook’s history, resources and market situation. Please do not just describe events, although you should read Facebook’s history to understand the background to your analysis. You should use the principles and concepts that you have learned throughout the unit to answer the following two questions:
- What marketing strategy or strategies has Facebook adopted since it was created? Answer this question by applying one or more of the theoretical approaches discussed in the course.
- What marketing options can you describe for Facebook if it wishes to remain a successful organisation throughout the next decade? Answer this question based on the circumstances that exist in 2014 and your best forecasts of relevant future industry factors. These are wide-ranging questions and you should undertake extensive independent research into Facebook and its industry. You should explore different aspects of these issues and incorporate them into your report. This is a practical assessment of a real company, but you need to show an understanding of theory and research in your evaluation and suggestions.
- Begin to gather information about Facebook and its marketing-related strategies. There are a range of sources you can make use including the company’s own corporate website and related publications, academic journals, business press and media, blogs and so on. The quality business press such as Forbes or Business Week or the Economist are in some ways good places to start.
- However, you need to begin to study relevant course materials as the task requires you to analyse and evaluate Facebook’s marketing strategy in relation to theory, frameworks and research.
- Consider each of the two questions carefully and begin to relate practice to theory in an attempt to answer each of them. The questions explicitly direct you to specific aspects of the unit material and to specific types of models, tools and theories.
- It should be clear that there is no definitive right answer here. This also mirrors reality, in that companies are not able to find a single solution or pathway; they have to make difficult choices from alternatives. In the light of that try to explore different aspects of the two questions – there are no ‘correct’ answers and lots of valid arguments for and against all kinds of alternatives. The merits of your argument will depend to a large extent on how much evidence you can cite to support your point of view; that is why this is called a research project.
- Write up your analysis. This should be in a report format. Here is a suggested structure:
- Executive Summary
- Background to the Company
- Marketing Analysis
- The Nature of Facebook’s Marketing Strategy or Strategies since it began
- Strategic Marketing Options for Facebook moving forward
Ensure that you have related the real conditions of the company to theory and research and that you have read, cited and referenced appropriate academic material as well as more popular sources (which also need to be properly referenced).
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