Assignment- Case Analysis- Google Aim The purpose of this assignment is to provide you with an opportunity to apply knowledge, theory, frameworks and tools from the early part of the unit to an analysis of the marketing practices of a real organisation. You will work in analysing the strategies pursued by Google since its creation. You will evaluate the 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 It was mid 1998. The dot com bubble had started to burst, and with it the demise of some of the Web’s earliest search tools and browser platforms. Yet despite such chaos, two Stanford University PhD students set about ‘organising the world's information and mak[ing] it universally accessible and useful’ (Google Mission Statement). From those initial plans grew a multinational firm, now with 53,000 employees, and a market capitalisation of $USD360 billion. A great documentary on Google can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnabJegAtMY Your task in this case analysis is to answer three questions by critically analysing Google’s history, resources and market situation. Please do not just describe events, although you should read Google’s history to understand the background to your analysis. You should use the principles and concepts that you have learned in marketing-related modules to answer the following two questions: 1. What marketing strategy or strategies has Google adopted since it was created? Answer this question by applying one or more of the theoretical marketing approaches and/or models discussed in the literature. 2. What strategic marketing options can you describe for Google if it wishes to remain a successful organisation throughout the next decade? Answer this question based on a SWOT analysis of the circumstances that exist in 2014/15 and your best forecasts of relevant future industry factors. Page 2 of 6 These are wide-ranging questions and you should undertake extensive independent research into Google and its industry – we might define it as the search industry. You should explore different aspects of these issues and incorporate them into your paper. 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. Process 1. Begin to gather information about Google and its strategies. There are a range of sources you can make use including the companies 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. 2. However, you need to begin to study relevant course materials as the task requires you to analyse and evaluate Google’s marketing strategy in relation to theory, frameworks and research. 3. Consider each of the two questions carefully and begin to relate practice to theory in an attempt to answer each of them. 4. The first question asks to you identify the marketing strategy and/or strategies pursued by Google. For example, you might consider this in relation to the 4Ps model, or even an extended Ps model which are often found within the marketing literature. Or you might try and determine if Google pursued a clear plan, with respect to their marketing function, or whether you can discern emergent aspects of their marketing strategy. There is latitude here for you to explore things and provide an analysis that you think makes sense. Your analysis should include an assessment of why you think Google developed the strategies that they did 5. The second question is difficult since it asks you to look forward and to suggest the type of marketing strategy and strategising that Google might fruitfully pursue going forward through the rest of this decade. One explicit suggestion is that you use the well known SWOT tool to analyse the situation confronting the company now and as part of the input into determining strategy going forward. However, that does not preclude you using other tools and frameworks to do an analysis and suggest a strategic marketing path for Google. 6. It should be clear that there is no definitive right answer here. This also mirrors reality, 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 three 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. 7. Write up your analysis. This should be in a report format. Here is a suggested structure: a. Executive Summary b. Introduction c. Background to the Company d. Marketing Analysis i. The Nature of Google’s Marketing Strategy or Strategies since it began. ii. Strategic Marketing Options for Google moving forward e. Conclusion f. References g. Appendix Page 3 of 6 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.) 8. Submit the report via the Turnitin Submission Link (under Assessment Details on the Blackboard site)…be fully aware of the plagiarism rules in the School; plagiarism will not be tolerated. The marking criteria for the assignment can be found on the following page. They are published to give you detailed guidelines about the way in which your mark will be calculated. Please read them carefully. Note that they are a guide, not a definitive formula for allocating marks, and no set of criteria can accurately describe every possible assignment. Your final mark will reflect the application of academic judgement by your marker to your whole assignment.